How many cities can offer visitors an entire Zen Center in a gorgeous valley next to the ocean? Not too many, but San Francisco can.Green Gulch Zen Center and Farm — Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.org
If you're truly interested in the practice of Zen, be sure to visit their website and make arrangements before you visit. Some of the most knowledgeable instructors of Zen meditation in the country reside at Green Gulch. In fact, if you're really serious, you can even make reservations to stay at Green Gulch itself. Since it's only a 10 to 15 minute drive to San Francisco, it's not a bad option for those who still want to see the city.
But if you just want a taste of what Green Gulch has to offer, try to make it on a Sunday. That's the only day that the center offers lunch to the public - at a very reasonable price, too. The lunch is usually simple, but the quality is fantastic, since the greens for the salad or the soup come straight from their enormous organic garden - the same garden, in fact, that supplies legendary San Francisco vegetarian restaurant Greens with their produce. To really "earn" your lunch, though, arrive to the center early for Zazen meditation followed by the always popular Dharma talk. There's nothing like contemplating enlightenment to work up the ol' appetite.
Feed your spirit with meditation; feed your body with fresh greens and vegetables; and feed your spirit after lunch with a stroll through Green Gulch gardens. It's a classic northern California day that's hard to beat.Green Gulch Zen Center and Farm — Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.org