General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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Hello all, I am new to this forum. I have been studying/practicing privately for a while now. Mostly Pureland practices (Buddha-Name recitation) as I feel called to the Mahayana path. There seems to be a plethora of "temples" and sanghas in San Francisco. Many seem to cater to Westerners (such as myself) but seem to be more 'self-help', business professionals looking for "eastern philosophy" without all the restrictions than what I am looking for (I do not mean to judge any of them or anyone, just an observation). Also many seem to charge fees for meditation courses, classes, etc. While I understand there are expensive bills to be paid (especially in this city), and i am not opposed to donating, I notice that the more "Asian" temples do not seem to be so commercial. I suppose I feel a little out of place, being a Westerner and visiting a mostly asian temple. I have visited the Gold Mountain Monastery in Chinatown once, and the San Bao temple on Van Ness, and had somewhat nice experiences (nothing bad of course). I am still new and feel a bit alone in all of this, so would appreciate any insight anyone may have here in San Francisco. Thank you!