June 6, 2023
The New SFZC Dharma App Is Launched!

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By Tova Green, with Greg Bilke and Dan Belsky

As part of San Francisco Zen Center’s efforts to make the dharma accessible to SFZC members and the public, a new, free application for mobile devices, the SFZC Dharma App, has been released for iPhones and iPads on the Apple App Store. A version for Android devices is scheduled to be released later in the month.

The SFZC Dharma App gives easy access for mobile devices to the SFZC online media library of over 4,300 audio and video recordings of dharma talks, events, ceremonies, and instructional programs recorded at City Center, Green Gulch Farm, and Tassajara since 2007. New content is added weekly.

Up to now, the entire collection of SFZC dharma talks was only available on the SFZC website. The new app makes accessing that content easier and more convenient using your portable phone or tablet. Useful functions include the ability to pause a talk you’ve begun watching or listening to and return to it later from where you left off. You can also save talks that you may want to come back to. Links to talks can be shared with others through social media or email.

Talks are organized in several ways. The app highlights recent/popular/trending talks, as well as talks in organized, curated categories, such as social/racial justice. The content can be searched by teacher, title, or description.

Other curated categories that are currently available are twenty-six talks from the Suzuki Roshi Awakening the Archives series. A historical category shows a variety of footage of the early days of SFZC and of Suzuki Roshi in Japan. The app also includes thirty-three Zazen instruction videos as well as ceremonies, such as the recent Mountain Seat Ceremony. New curated categories will be added to the app as needed.

Additionally, the app allows you to opt-in to receive instant notifications on your mobile devices to let you know when a live SFZC dharma talk is happening.

Future planned updates to the app include user interface enhancements, in-app livestream event viewing, more robust search capabilities, and additional customization features.

The SFZC Dharma App was developed and is maintained by SFZC IT department members Dan Belsky and Greg Bilke with support from Dan Gudgel and David Chow in the SFZC Online Content department as well as various SFZC content experts. If you have any suggestions or feedback regarding the app please contact the team at app@sfzc.org.

The new SFZC Dharma App is available now on the Apple App Store. It’s free. Give it a try!

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