Open the Doors to Our San Francisco Meditation Center

It's really happening! Help us cover the final costs to open up Against the Stream's San Francisco meditation center.
Against The Stream
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San Francisco, California
United States
6 Team Members


We cannot thank you enough for making this campaign such a phenomenal success. Your generosity has gone above and beyond. We can't wait to see you at our new meditation center!

Stay tuned for updates on our progress with construction, confirmation for your thank you gifts (ETA September), and more. 

We couldn't have done this without you. If you'd like to continue to support the day-to-day operating costs of the center once we're open, please consider becoming a monthly sustainer of our work.

Interested in becoming a volunteer? Just click here.

From all of us, thank you so much!


Our campaign was scheduled to end this evening but we received a call from someone who is offering a $10,000 donation if we can match it by 11:59pm on Friday August 15. We are extending the campaign to take advantage of this generosity. Your contributions of $10,000 and the matching grant will bring us $20,000 closer to making your center a reality. 

Once we've made it to $43,604, we're in. Thank you!



Thank you so much for helping us get to our $30,000 funding goal! 

The $30,000 you just raised brings us what we need for the original renovation contract, but every dollar more buys us some breathing room for any overruns. It will also helps us with some important finishing touches: 

  • A gift of $30 buys a chair (and we'll need a lot of them!)
  • $70 buys us one zafu/zabuton set
  • $150 gets us an all-in one printer or a credit card machine
  • $300 gets us a wireless microphone or a digital recorder
  • $500 gets us a PA system so everyone can hear
  • $1,000 gets us a laptop
  • $2,000 helps ensure we get the other furnishings we'll need: racks for folding chairs, tables, rugs, lamps, and more

We've been blown away by your incredible support, now let's see how far we can take this! Thank you so much!  


We're in the homestretch! We've already raised more than $140,000 and we're counting on you to help us raise the final $30k needed to complete construction and open the doors to our new meditation center at 2701 Folsom Street!

For over a decade, people from all over the Bay Area have been getting together every Friday, to sit in silent meditation and learn from a phenomenal group of dharma teachers including Vinny Ferraro, Gene Lushtak, Matthew Brensilver, Megan Cowan and more. If you’ve meditated with us over the last couple of years, you know this well: we’re packed to capacity! To help keep up with our growing community, we’ve added two new weekly meditation groups, and launched several weekly Refuge Recovery meetings to offer our community a Buddhist approach to recovery from addiction. But the final piece of the puzzle is to bring all this and more under one roof.

Well, it’s finally happening!  All the pieces have come together and we’re getting ready to open our very own meditation center at 2701 Folsom Street in San Francisco! The space has been secured, the permits are all approved, and we’re gearing up to start construction ASAP-- the only thing we still need is you.

(Vinny Ferraro has led the group for over a decade)

Started by Noah Levine and led by teacher Vinny Ferraro for the last 11 years, our San Francisco meditation group is a part of Against The Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, which makes the teachings of the Buddha available to all who are interested. Over the years, our community has grown, but we’ve never had a home to call our own. It’s been in the works for a few years, and now is the time to make it happen!

(Our new home: 2701 Folsom Street!)

When we open our center, we’ll be able to offer so much to the community:

  • Teacher-led meditation groups several nights a week. (Don’t forget: all meditation classes are donation based- no registration needed, just pay what you can.)

  • Peer-led sitting groups 7 days a week.

  • Daylong retreats led by Against the Stream and guest teachers.  

  • Refuge Recovery meetings.

  • Space to form new affinity groups for women, people of color, LGBTQ folks, families, and more.

  • Potlucks, movie screenings, workshops, movement classes, and many, many more opportunities to create community and practice together!

Whether you call it Urban Dharma, Dharma Punx, the Back of the Bus, or its official name-- Against the Stream --  this center is yours. This is just the beginning, and you’ll help us shape our next chapter. We can’t wait to open our doors to you.


Thanks to the support of our community we’ve already raised over $140,000. This covers a huge chunk of our construction costs and the permits and plans ($15k+!). We could never have gotten this far without the incredible folks who have already made a contribution, signed up to volunteer, and more. Thank you!


Construction: We want our new space to be accessible to all, and large enough to accommodate over 150 people. To do that, we have to knock down a wall, and do some renovations to the bathrooms and entrances. It’s taken us several months to go through the permit process with the city of San Francisco but the final plans have been signed off and approved and we’re ready to go.

Start-Up: Once construction is done, we’ll need to buy chairs, cushions, and other one-time expenses for the space. Your support in this campaign may literally buy the chair you sit in!

The Bottom Line: We’re so close to opening the new center, and will have to start paying rent on the space this summer. Because of this, the longer we take to complete fundraising, the more we'll have to raise to cover our costs. We need your support now to make this a reality.

We're almost there and to open our doors, we'll need $30,000 to complete construction. While the total cost of construction is more than $150,000, we only have a small gap left to fill! Our $30,000 goal for this campaign will complete the job.


In addition to opening a brand new meditation center, we’ve got some great gifts thank you for your support: t-shirts, books, daylong retreats, and more! Here's a peek at some of that:

Your gift of $75 will get you a signed copy of 'Dharma Punx'!

Your gift of $100 will get you an Against the Stream T-shirt!

Your gift of $300 will get you a T-shirt and this zip-up hoodie!

And, of course, once the center is open, you’ll be able to come any day of the week to join us in practice! All regular meditation classes are based on dana (generosity), and open to all.  We wish to create and sustain communities of healthy, accountable, wise and compassionate people from every walk of life. We welcome people from all racial, economic, sexual, social, political and religious backgrounds and preferences and believe that the path of awakening is attainable by all and should be available to all. We strive to create a safe environment for all who come to practice.


The $30,000 gap we’re fundraising for will cover the final pieces we need to open the doors to the center. We are committed to the center and are actively moving forward, but we cannot start the final construction until we meet our goal. If we don't meet it through this campaign, we'll keep on fundraising, but the more time goes by, the more rent we'll have to pay on an unfinished space. So we're asking big-- will you help us make this dream into a reality?


If raise more than $30,000, we will use those funds for the following:

$10,000 Finishing Touches: This covers paint, carpets, and all of those other final touches that will turn a raw space into a real home.

$10,000 Chairs and Cushions and more: Because you'll definitely need somewhere to sit, put your shoes and hang your hat.

If we make even more, that money will go directly toward making sure the rent and utilities on our new home is covered in the months to come. The more we have in the bank, the stronger we'll start and the better we'll be able to respond to unexpected needs.  (And hey, it might also mean more comfortable chairs!)


Some people just can't contribute, but that doesn't mean they can't help:

  • Help us spread the word-- the more folks who share our campaign on facebook, twitter, and via email, the more likely we are to meet our goal. If you don’t have the cash to make a donation yourself, consider joining our fundraising team. Just drop us a note and we’ll help you get started!

  • Become a volunteer-- once the center is open, we’ll have plenty of opportunities for volunteers. To sign up to become a volunteer, just click here.

Find This Campaign On
raised by 409 people in 1 month
147% funded
0 time left
Verified Nonprofit
$30,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on August 15, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $20USD
    Against the Stream Buttons!

    We're almost there! Help us boost our campaign in its final days with a $20 gift and we'll thank you with a set of Against the Stream buttons. Thank you!

    17 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $25USD
    Our undying thanks!

    We cannot wait to thank you! We'll share our thanks for your incredible support on a Gratitude List to be displayed at the new center.

    28 claimed
  • $30USD
    Buy us a Chair!

    We've reached our goal, but we still need your help! Your gift of $30 buys us a chair, and a spot on our Gratitude List. Thank you!

    11 claimed
  • $50USD
    Half-day retreat and buttons!

    You'll be included on our Gratitude List, given access to an invite-only half-day retreat, and get a 3-pack of Against the Stream Buttons to show your support.

    40 claimed
  • $65USD
    Refuge Recovery Book!

    20 supporters at the $65 level will get a copy of Noah Levine's new book 'Refuge Recovery' and be thanked on our Gratitude Wall! Many thanks to Noah's publisher, HarperOne, for their donation of books to support our new center!

    13 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $70USD
    Buy us a Zafu!

    Your contribution of $70 will buy us one zafu/zabuton set to use in our new center-- you'll literally be buying us the cushion you'll sit on! Your incredible support will be recognized on our Gratitude List and a spot at an invite-only half-day retreat.

    5 out of 25 claimed
  • $75USD
    Dharma Punx Book!

    You'll be included on our Gratitude List and receive an autographed copy of Noah Levine's book Dharma Punx!

    13 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $100USD
    The T-Shirt!

    We'll feature your name on our Gratitude List and throw in a classic Against the Stream T-Shirt!

    49 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $125USD
    The Tote Bag!

    We'll thank you on our Gratitude List and send you a special Against the Stream San Francisco tote!

    9 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $150USD
    A Month of Yoga Classes

    Support the new center at the $150 level and you'll be thanked on our gratitude list and get one month of unlimited yoga classes at YogaWorks, thanks to sangha member Jan Halpern! Only 5 available!

    3 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2014

    90-Minute Massage

    Support the center at the $200 level and you'll receive a 90-minute massage, donated by sangha member Jesse Witthoft at Yerba Buena Community Acupuncture in San Francisco! Only 4 available!

    4 out of 4 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2014
  • $200USD
    Founder's Celebration!

    Your gift of $200 or more will take us so far! We'll thank you with an invitation to a special Founder's Celebration, recognize you on our Gratitude List, and throw in an Against the Stream T-Shirt, just for good measure. Already given at the $200+ level? Don't worry-- you're invited to our celebration too! Already given and want to get up to $200? Feel free to give a second time! Thank you!

    11 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2014

    Hoodie and a T-Shirt!

    We'll thank you on our Gratitude List and send you an Against the Stream t-shirt and hoodie-- perfect for staying warm in the cold San Francisco summer!

    15 out of 15 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $300USD
    Tote and a Hoodie!

    We're in the homestretch, and we want to thank you with a new thank you gift! For the last five days of our campaign, not only does your $300 gift get doubled through our matching challenge, we'll thank you with an Against the Stream tote, hoodie, and a spot on our Gratitude List. Thank you!

    2 out of 15 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $500USD
    5 Daylongs!

    At the new center, we'll offer daylong retreats led by incredible teachers. Support us at the $500 level and you'll be joining us for five daylongs of your choice. We can't wait to see you there! And of course, we'll thank you on our Gratitude List!

    7 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    Session with a Teacher!

    You'll be thanked on our Gratitude List and get a private session with a teacher! To support our sangha, Against the Stream meditation teachers in San Francisco and LA have all joined us to donate a 60-minute private session. This can be in person or via video conferencing (Skype, Google+) or phone. We have a limited number of sessions per teacher, but will do our best to match you with a teacher you'd like to work with.

    5 out of 13 claimed
  • $2,500USD
    Year of Daylongs Plus...!

    You'll be thanked on our Gratitude List and given access to all of our daylongs! Every daylong, every class series-- you got 'em. Backers at the $2,500 level get into any daylongs and regular class series for no registration fee for 12 months.

    0 claimed
  • $5,000USD
    3-Day Retreat!

    Join us at a three-day Against the Stream Retreat of your choosing! (And hey, we'll thank you on our Gratitude list, and throw in a tote, book, and t-shirt while we're at it! Thank you so much!)

    0 out of 2 claimed
  • $10,000USD
    Weeklong Retreat!

    Only one available-- make a huge impact on the new center's future and join us for a weeklong Against the Stream retreat of your choice! We'll also thank you on our Gratitude List, throw in a tote, book, and t-shirt while we're at it! Thank you for your tremendous support!

    0 out of 1 claimed
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