by Tova Green
The San Francisco Zen Center bookstore has been a wonderful resource for people to visit in person. The new Online Bookstore will enable people to view and search the bookstore inventory virtually.
During the pandemic, people have ordered items by calling or emailing. They could pick up items at a scheduled time or ask for them to be shipped. Since the SFZC Bookstore will remain closed for now, the new Online Bookstore makes it possible to browse the variety of inventory offered and to place orders using a credit card. The orders can be shipped or a time set for onsite pick-up.
The bookstore carries books, cards, and home altar and meditation supplies, as well as items from the Green Gulch Farm Welcome Center and the Tassajara Stone Office. It also carries titles by authors affiliated with San Francisco Zen Center, books for beginning practitioners, for those studying the precepts, traditional Buddhist and Zen texts, books related to programs SFZC is offering, poetry, and children’s books. One of the most-ordered items is SFZC’s boxed incense.
The Online Bookstore website was developed by City Center resident Joshin Shaevel, who has a background in website and applications development, as well as graphic design. He spent days in the bookstore taking photographs of all the items, and used an online store platform to categorize and inventory them. Joshin will feature items on the website and let people know what has newly arrived.
Joshin began formal Zen practice at Austin Zen Center in 2010, became a resident there in 2013, received lay initiation, and served as ino (head of the zendo) before he moved to San Francisco Zen Center in 2017.
Joshin is pleased that the Online Bookstore is finally open and that it will serve as a resource for the wider sangha.