Local Sanghas (Meditation Groups)
Meditation for Stress Reduction with Alistair Shanks-
This is an ongoing small group that teaches mindfulness skills for managing anxiety and stress.  
Eugene Cash- One of the Bay Areas most well known sanghas led by a excellent teacher.  The group meets Sunday nights at the Unitarian Church at Franklin and Geary in San Francisco.  Cash has a background in psychotherapy and is a seasoned practitioner/teacher of the Diamond Approach. http://www.sfinsight.org
Howard Cohn- This group has been meeting in the San Francisco’s Mission District for over 25 years.  http://www.missiondharma.org/
Urban Dharma- Created by Noah Levine, author of Dharma Punx.  Although he is no longer the regular weekly instructor, he often visits from his new home in Los Angeles.  It is a great community for practitioners seeking a youthful, edgy approach to meditation practice. There is no web address for this group.
Led by Vinny Ferraro, Kris Bailey & Gene Lushtak
Fridays, 7:30pm-9:00pm
at the Cultural Integration Fellowship
2650 Fulton St @ 3rd Ave, SF 94118
James Baraz-Located in the East Bay.  This group led by James Baraz is perfect for someone seeking a joyful, light hearted approach to practice.
Dorothy Hunt- Dorothy teaches in the tradition of Non-Duality as inspired by Ramana Maharshi. Her group meets at the Unitarian Church at the corner of Franklin and Geary in San Francisco.    http://www.dorothyhunt.org

Meditation Retreats

Spirit Rock Meditation Center- This meditation center is one of the premier facilities in the country.  They teach in the traditions of the Buddha according to the Pali discourses.  The teachers themselves are highly trained meditation practitioners.  Many of them have backgrounds in psychotherapy as well. The location is majestic and the organic food is delicious.  SRMC is a little on the expensive side, but if the cost is manageable for you, it is well worth it.  http://www.spiritrock.org/
California Vipassana Center-  This place is known in some circles as “Buddhist Boot Camp.”  It was created by S.N. Goenka of Burma.  This center is closer to what a practitioner may experience in the East.  It is a more aesetic experience with respect to comforts, food and formalities.  First time practitioners must come for a full 10 day silent retreat.  The Goenka school survives on donation only so it is a better option for those with tighter finances or a practitioner who wants a more traditional experience.  http://www.mahavana.dhamma.org/
Insight Meditation Center-The Insight Meditation Center (IMC) is a community-based urban meditation center for the practice of Vipassana or Insight meditation guided by Gil Fronsdal and Andrea Fella. The center is located in Redwood City.  It is non-residential meaning there are no over night accommodations.  http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/


Yoga Tree San Francisco- Yoga Tree has several yoga studios throughout San Francisco and offers a variety teachers and styles.  http://www.yogatreesf.com
Urban Flow- Led by vinyasa teacher Rusty Wells.  Urban Flow is located in San Francisco’s SOMA District.  The studio offers yoga by donation. http://www.rustywells.com/
Yoga Works- Offers yoga of various traditions.  They have studios in Mill Valley and San Francisco. http://www.yogaworks.com


ACTCM- American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine is San Francisco’s premiere acupuncture school.  They offer sliding scale treatment that is affordable and professional.  Clinicians are highly trained instructors and interns.  http://www.actcm.edu/

Group Therapy & Group Process

Tending the Fire Within- This is an ongoing men’s group led by co-facilitators Rob Schene and Jordan Wolfe.  Through interactive group process they explore anger, power, and the capacity for intimacy in a safe and supported male community.  415-263-0691
Self Inquiry- These groups are led by John Prendergast, PhD with the purpose of supporting spiritual and awakening.  John is a deeply insightful teacher who comes from a well seasoned history of practice in the tradition of Non-Duality.
BEING OUR SELVES is an experiential therapy group for men and women who
want to expand their awareness of themselves while cultivating deeper
intimacy. The group will meet weekly in the inner Richmond in San Francisco, from 7
to 9PM, Monday nights. Cost per session is $25. Contact Adam Shemper 415.820.1494
The Self Aware Woman- This is a group for women only that teaches skills to building self assertion, self esteem and relationship skills.  It is lead by Susan Leksand MFT.
Soul Renewal for Mothers- A skills based support group for mothers led by Elizabeth Sullivan MFT Intern. 
Recommended Readings for a Healthier Mind

If you want to change your life and your relationships consider doing some research.  During my time in graduate school and now as a therapist I have encountered literature that in my opinion defines the fundamentals of psychological transformation.  The books that I am suggesting here are ones that I find to be accessible to just about anyone and require no prior background in psychological theory.


Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma by Peter Levine

Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman, MD

Healing Sex by Staci Haines

The Body Remembers by Babette Rothschild


Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg

Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller

Passionate Marriage by David Schnarch

Getting The Love You Want by Harville Hendrix, PhD

After the Honeymoon by Dan Wile

Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson, PhD

Facing Love Addiction by Pia Mellody

Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships by John Welwood


The Multi-Orgasmic Couple by Mantak Chia and Maneewan Chia

Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel

Urban Tantra by Barbara Carrellas


Parenting from the Inside Out by Daniel Siegel, MD


Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting
By Myla Kabat-Zinn and Jon Kabat-Zinn
Raising and Emotionally Intelligent Child: The Heart of Parenting
By John Gottman & Joan Declaire
Playful Parenting
By Lawrence J. Cohen



Dharma Punx by Noah Levine

One Breath at A Time by Kevin Griffin

A Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps by Patrick Carnes

Death and Loss

When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron

Who Dies? by Steven Levine

On Death and Dying by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Mindfulness and Meditation

Against the Stream by Noah Levine

Gradual Awakening by Steven Levine

A Path With Heart by Jack Kornfield

The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh