Celebrating Buddha’s Birthday

Have you ever observed Buddha’s birthday? Buddha’s birthday is celebrated on different days by different schools of Buddhism, and on Sunday, April 28, his birthday was celebrated at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center near San Francisco.

Yellow poster for Buddha's Birthday

After driving past Green Gulch for years, on my way to the beach or to a trailhead, I finally stopped. We drove down the narrow dirt road edged by towering redwood trees, parked in the designated visitor lot, and walked toward the center.

Several white calla lilies

Although we missed the formal ceremony and pageant, we were in time for some birthday cake and were able to check out the organic plant sale. Green Gulch produce and its bread are sold at the farm and at the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmers’ Market from May through August.

Green Gulch Gardens

One of the San Francisco Zen Center’s three locations, Green Gulch Farm Zen Center is a Buddhist practice center in the Japanese Soto Zen tradition. According to its website, “Our effort at Green Gulch is to awaken in ourselves and the many people who come here the bodhisattva spirit, the spirit of kindness and realistic helpfulness. This is how we offer our understanding of Buddha’s Way.”

Large bell hanging from tree

Green Gulch Farm is located on Shoreline Highway about half a mile from the Pelican Inn and Muir Beach. Check out their website for accommodations and for upcoming lectures and programs open to the public.

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