List of sanghas in San Diego County, California

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This is a list of sanghas and Buddhist temples in San Diego County, California, which corresponds to the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos Metropolitan Statistical Area. Both major branches of Buddhism, Theravada and Mahayana, are represented there, as is the Mahayana form Zen,[1] as are Vipassanā and Jōdo Shinshū (Pure Land). There is also a secular Zen sangha. The area is home to monasteries as well as to less formally engaged groups who gather for meditation and community. Siddhārtha Gautama died over 2500 years ago, but the oldest Buddhist organization in San Diego County is less than 100 years old.[2][3]


During 1916, Japanese immigrant Buddhist farmers were killed when what was then named Otay Dam gave way and resulted in the Hatfield Flood. The local Japanese diaspora needed a place to hold religious services and went on to found what they call the oldest Buddhist organization in San Diego County.[4][5] They met informally until they were able to afford a temple space. First they rented a second-floor room on 6th and Market in May 1926.[3] Boys and girls in costume paraded through downtown to celebrate.[3] Later, in 1931, they dedicated today's Buddhist Temple of San Diego at 2929 Market.[3]

Center for American Buddhist Practice[edit]

The Mirror Mind San Diego Sangha is a branch of The Center for American Buddhist Practice organization which was established in 2005. Mirror Mind Sangha strives to give its participants the tools needed to live a happier life through compassion and Buddhist wisdom. CABP centers seek to propagate the teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha in ways that are suitable for American practitioners and that are in good accord with the original intent of the Buddhadharma. The sangha meets every Tuesday evening at 4320 Campus Ave., San Diego, CA. Beach meditation classes are offered two Sundays per month in Pacific Beach at Law Street. Updated information can be found through

Dharma Bums[edit]

Founded in 2006, the Dharma Bum Temple in downtown San Diego is a home for the study and practice of Buddhism in America, without regard for the particular school or sect.[6] The organization manages the retail store Buddha for You, sponsors a sangha at San Diego State University and sponsors a group called Dharma Bum Kids.


Built in 2000 just outside the city of San Diego in neighboring Escondido, California, the Deer Park Monastery was founded by the Most Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who has been described as the second most famous Buddhist after the Dalai Lama.[7][8] Also in Escondido are the Drikung Kyobpa Choling Monastery, which has practiced Tibetan Buddhism since its founding in 1996 or 1997,[9][10] and the Sunnataram California Meditation Monastery which practices in the Thai tradition.[11]

Pacific Buddha (太平佛)[edit]

Pacific Buddha is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that was founded in Monterey Park, California, by two Chinese Buddhist monks in 2002. Before the final passing of our last teacher, our charity was put in the care of a sixth-generation Western disciple, representing the longest lineage of Western Buddhism from 1880 to present.[12]

In 2013 Pacific Buddha moved to Encinitas, California, fulfilling our last monk’s final wish to become an educational resource that teaches the universal human values set forth in the ancient teachings of Buddhism. We focus on preserving and promoting teachings that increase people’s experience of Health, Love, Awareness, and Abundance.

Pacific Buddha meets weekly in Leucadia on Tuesdays, from 7:45-8:45pm, at Moxey Physical Therapy & Cali Fit Coaching Services, 560 N. Coast Highway, Suite 4A, Encinitas CA 92024; as well as in Del Mar on Wednesdays, from 7:45-8:45pm, at Zenergy Holistic Physical Therapy, 910 Camino Del Mar, Suite B, Del Mar, CA 92014.

Each meditation class has an optional yoga class beforehand from 6:30-7:30pm, $15 to drop in. The meditations are offered freely, with any donations given receiving 501c3 receipts. For maps and class descriptions, see

List of sanghas[edit]

Name School of Buddhism Founder/Date Location
Center for American Buddhist Practice Buddhism (regardless of school), non-sectarian Mahayana ca. 2005 Hillcrest[citation needed]
Dharma Bum Temple Buddhism (regardless of school) Dharma Bum Jeff (2006) San Diego[13]
Pacific Buddha 太平佛 Buddhism (regardless of school), non-sectarian Mahayana 2002 Meet in Leucadia at Moxey Physical Therapy & Cali Fit Coaching Services, 560 N. Coast Highway, Suite 4A, Encinitas, CA, 92024, USA (Tuesdays 7:45-8:45pm). Or meet in Del Mar at Zenergy Holistic Physical Therapy, 910 Camino Del Mar, Suite G, Del Mar, CA, 92014, USA (Wednesdays 7:45-8:45pm) [14]
Blue Sky Zen Sangha Zen (tradition of Junpo Denis Kelly Roshi) E. Hermogenes (2011) San Diego[13][13][13][13]
Buddha For You Buddhism (regardless of school) A. Baron (ca. 2000) San Diego[13]
Vista Zen Center Zen White Plum lineage Vista[1]
Three Treasures Zen Community Zen White Plum lineage Rancho Peñasquitos[15]
Deer Park Monastery Zen Thich Nhat Hanh (2000) Escondido[1]
Sweetwater Zen Center Zen National City[16]
Hidden Valley Zen Center Zen (1968) San Marcos[1]
Ensenada Zen Group Vietnamese Zen Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico[17]
All People's World Beat Sangha Zen, Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh 2100 Park Blvd., Balboa Park, San Diego, CA, 92101, USA (2nd & 4th Sun. 5-7pm)[18]
Heart Beat Sangha (People of Color) Zen, Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh 2100 Park Blvd., Balboa Park, San Diego, CA, 92101, USA (1st & 3rd Sun. 5-7pm)[19]
Open Heart Sangha Zen, Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh (2010) 4190 Front Street, San Diego, 92103, USA (every Sun. 4-6pm)]][20]
Peaceful Shores Sangha Zen, Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh 9595 La Jolla Shores Dr, directly off Torrey Pines Rd and across the road from UCSD., San Diego, CA, 92037, USA (every Fri. 6:30pm)[21]
Compassionate Heart Sangha Zen, Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh Encinitas, CA, USA (every Sat. 11am-12:30pm)[18]
Palomitas de Paz Sangha Zen, Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh 1600 Buena Vista Drive, Vista, CA, 92081, USA (every Sat. 9-10am)[18]
Really Beneficial Sangha Zen, Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh Rancho Bernardo/Escondido, CA, USA (every Wed. 7:30-9pm)[18]
Still Ripening Sangha (Order of Interbeing) Zen, Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh 2499 Melru Lane, Escondido, CA, USA (3rd Sun. after lunch, under the pepper tree by the dining hall)[18]
Metta Forest Monastery Theravada, Thai Forest Tradition Valley Center[22]
Sunnataram California Meditation Monastery Theravada, Thai tradition Phra Ajahn Yantra Amaro (1995) Escondido[23]
Wat Lao Navaram Monastery Theravada Linda Vista[24]
Wat Sovannkiry Cambodian Buddhism San Diego[25]
UU Meditation Circle Vipassanā San Diego, First Unitarian Universalist Church[26]
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito Vipassanā Solana Beach[27]
Buddhist Temple of San Diego[28] Jōdo Shinshū (Pure Land) (1926, 1931) Grant Hill[3]
Hsi Fang Temple Ch'an and Pure Land (associated with Fo Guang Shan order in Taiwan) Hsing Yun (1989) University Heights[29]
Vista Buddhist Temple Shin Buddhism (1980) Vista[30]
Vajrarupini Buddhist Center Tibetan, New Kadampa Tradition Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Hillcrest[31]
Diamond Way Buddhist Center Tibetan, Karma Kagyu tradition Lama Ole Nydahl (ca. 1972) University City[32]
Tibetan Healing Center, Dzogchen Shri Singha of San Diego, Tsegyalgar West Tibetan, Dzogchen Lineage Chogyal Namkhai Norbu (2003) Hillcrest, Encinitas, Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico[33]
San Diego Shambhala Meditation Center Tibetan Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche North Park[34]
Karma Thegsum Chöling (San Diego) Buddhist Meditation Center Tibetan Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (1977) San Diego[27]
San Diego Rigpa Tibetan Sogyal Rinpoche San Diego[35]
Drikung Kyobpa Choling Tibetan (1996 or 1997) Escondido[9][10]
Zen Center of San Diego Secular Joko Beck (1983–2006) Pacific Beach[36]


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