Relf 120 F15: Site Visits

Below is a list of sites that have been very welcoming of students in the past. As with all information on the internet, you should make sure that this information is accurate and up to date before you make any plans based on it. Be sure to check out the websites and contact individuals to make sure that the information is accurate. If you do happen to notice a glaring mistake, please email me. 

A. Buddhism

Sweetwater Zen Center
Buddhism: Mahayana, Zen (Soto Zen tradition)
2727 Highland Avenue
National City, CA 91950
Students are welcome to visit the center to attend a brief Introduction to Zen with meditation service. It is preferred, though not absolutely required, that you visit in small groups (rather than individually). Owing to space limitations, groups larger than 15 cannot be accommodated. To arrange for the lesson and meditation, students are asked to contact the center at least two or three weeks BEFORE their report is due. For attendance at a class/lesson, a donation (usually $10) is always appreciated.

Vajrarupini Buddhist Center
Buddhism: Tibetan, New Kadampa Tradition
3344 Fourth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 692-3676
Location: San Diego (Hillcrest)--on Fourth Ave., between Upas and Thorn.
See website for dates of "Lunchtime Meditations," 12:00-12:45pm (includes meditation plus time to eat the lunch you bring with you). Some events may take place at alternative sites. A fee may be requested for certain classes and activities.

Soka Gakkai International-USA, San Diego Community 
Buddhism: Mahayana, Nichiren Buddhism
4828 Ronson Court
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 514-3870
Location: San Diego (Kearny Mesa), in an industrial park.
Contact Person: Mr. Akira Takahashi
Thursday nights, 7:00-8:30 pm are recommended to students as the best time to come. Otherwise, "drop-in" visits are welcome any time during opening hours. Open daily, except Wednesdays.

Hsi Fang Buddhist Temple
Buddhism: Mahayana, Ch'an, Pure Land Buddhism, Humanistic
4538 Park Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 298-2800
Location: San Diego (North Park)
"For the English speaking public: Buddhist studies sessions and discussions are held on Sundays from 2:00pm to 3:00pm. These have no prerequisites, and are open to the public and free of charge. Meditations are held on Sundays from 3:00pm to 4:00pm. These sessions include walking, standing, and sitting meditation. This is also open to the public and free of charge." (from website)
"The temple is open daily seven days a week from 10:00am to 6:00pm."

Dharma Center
Buddhism: American Zen;"Tantric Meditation"
5059 Newport Avenue
San Diego, CA 92107
(619) 797-5483
Location: San Diego (Ocean Beach).
Contact Persons: Teachers Jenna Walsh and Lynne Miller, who can both be reached at the center phone number (above). Lynne Miller can also be contacted via her cell phone: (619) 840-0737.
This site appears to be a meditation center that has no evident links to institutional Buddhism. World Religions students are welcome to attend basic meditation sessions and "dharma talks" (about various life issues). A donation may be appropriate.
Located in Ocean Beach area.

Buddhist Temple of San Diego
Buddhism: Mahayana, (Japanese) Jodo Shinshu (Shin Buddhism)
2929 Market Street
San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 239-0896
Location: San Diego (Grant Hill); parking available in lot.
Contact Person: Rev. Yushi Taishi Mukojima, Resident Minister, who may be reached at (619) 239-0896 or You may also phone the temple's secretary/office manager, who is usually in the office Mon- Fri. You are welcome to attend the temple's services and activities (see below) or make an appointment with Rev. Mukojima. To enter the office, you may need to ring the door bell on the parking-lot side of the building. Most Sundays (phone first to confirm!): Meditation Service at 9am, followed by Family Service at 10am. Fourth Sundays of the Month (usually, but phone first): Introduction to Buddhism class, 9-10am. The "Fourth Sunday Program" is organized by the Buddhist Education Committee: Bill Teague (chair; 858-525-7772), Kaytee Sumida (619-229-0009 or, and Paul Yasuhara.
General E-mail:

Buddha for You
6145 El Cajon Blvd, Suite D
San Diego, CA 921115
(619) 582-1100
Location: The Buddha for You site is actually a store rather than a temple, and it is located at the Von's shopping center, El Cajon Blvd. at College Ave., close to SDSU. Ample parking is available. The atmosphere is informal and very welcoming to college students.
Introduction to Buddhism and Meditation Classes: Tuesdays, 7:00 to 8:15 p.m., and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 12 noon.

B. Christianity

Holy Trinity Catholic Church 
Christianity: Roman Catholic 
405 Ballard Street
El Cajon, CA 92019
(619) 444-9425
Contact Person: Deacon Lou Rocha, "Deacon Lou", who occasionally takes courses at Cuyamaca College, is eager to be helpful to our students; you are welcome to call him on either his cell or home phone. Several services are available on both weekends and weekdays. The 12-noon Sunday mass is celebrated in Spanish; the other services are in English.

Foothills United Methodist Church
Christianity: Methodist
4031 Avocado Blvd
La Mesa, CA 91941
(619) 670-4009
Location: La Mesa; on Avocado Blvd. just north of Hwy 94 Senior Pastor: Rev. John Farley; E-Mail:

Santa Sophia Church
Christianity: Roman Catholic
9800 Juan Street
Spring Valley, CA 91977
(619) 463-6629 (off); 619-388-8696 (ans. service)
Those who wish, may phone the parish office to request a meeting with one of the clergy.
Several services are scheduled on both weekends and weekdays. Most services are fairly "traditional", but the Saturday, 4:30pm service features "contemporary" music.

College Avenue Baptist Church
Christianity: Baptist (General Conference America)
4747 College Avenue
San Diego, CA 92115
(619) 582-7222
Location: San Diego (College Area, close to SDSU)
Student visitors are enthusiastically welcomed. For information on the best opportunites for a visit, please contact the church office. For those who are interested, some activities and services are conducted in Spanish..

St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church
Christianity: Eastern Orthodox (Greek) 
3655 Park Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 297-4165
Location: San Diego (North Park); parking on street.
Presiding Priest: Father Peter D. Costarakis
E-Mail Addresses:
If you attend worship at this--or any other Eastern Orthodox church--you should allow sufficient time to be present for the entire service (which can last as much as 2 or more hours)

Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church
Christianity: Lutheran (ELCA)
10842 Fury Lane
La Mesa, CA 91941
(619) 670-7656
Location: La Mesa, at the corner of Fury Lane and Avocado Blvd
Contact Person: Pastor Dan Roschke; e-mail: Pastor Dan always extends a warm welcome to Cuyamaca College students when they visit his church.

St. Paul's Cathedral
Christianity: Episcopal/Anglican
2728 Sixth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 298-7261
Location: Just north of downtown and across 6th Street from Balboa Park
Contact Person: Mr. Brooks Mason, Cathedral Verger; he may be contacted by phone (above) or by e-mail:
Services are available in English and Spanish.

St. Luke Catholic Church
Christianity: Roman Catholic 
1980 Hillsdale Road
El Cajon, CA 92019
(619) 442-1697
Many services (both Sundays and weekdays); very beautiful campus and facilities 

C. Hinduism

Vedanta Society of Southern California
Hinduism: Vedanta Society
1440 Upas Street
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 291-9377
Location: San Diego (North Park). You could easily drive past this site, which is an unmarked house in a quiet residential neighborhood. Parking is on the street.
Vesper service daily at 6pm (7pm on Fridays)
Additional information is posted on the Society's website.

Self-Realization Fellowship Temple
Hinduism-influenced: Self-Realization Fellowship (Combines Hindu and Christian beliefs) 
3072 First Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 295-0170
Location: San Diego (Hillcrest, just north of downtown)
Services and events are listed on the website.

Hare Krishna Temple
Hinduism: International Society for Krishna Consciousness
1030 Grand Avenue
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 483-2500
Location: San Diego (Pacifici Beach); parking available on street.
Information can be obtained from the temple's own website ( or by e-mail (
Supplementary information is available at:

Shri Mandir (Hindu Mandir Society of San Diego)
Hinduism: "Ecumenical" Hindu-Jain
9474 Black Mountain Road
San Diego, CA 92126
(858) 566-5644; (858) 566-5219
Location: San Diego (Miramar), in a large strip mall--the "Little India Center"--that houses a variety of Indian businesses (grocery stores, restaurants, video store, clothing stores, bank, etc.)
Every evening (almost), at approximately 6:30 - 7:30pm, a priest conducts the evening puja service.

D. Islam

Islamic Center of San Diego (Masjid Abu Bakr)
Islam: Sunni
7050 Eckstrom Avenue
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 278-5240
Location: San Diego (Kearny Mesa), close to Balboa Avenue and just west of and visible from I-805; parking available in lot. This is the largest mosque in the San Diego area, and the membership, which comes from all parts of the Muslim world, is ethnically diverse and fairly cosmopolitan. Contact Person: Tasa Hassane, Imam. He is eager to give you a very warm welcome to the mosque, and prefers that you contact him at least two weeks in advance of your visit by e-mail: Also, he strongly encourages you to come in groups, rather than as individuals. Impromptu or "drop-in" visits are discouraged. For Fall 2006, he will be unavailabe to accept student visitors from 9/24 until 10/25, because he will be busy evenings with the activities of Ramadan.
Located close to Balboa Avenue and just west of I-805.

Muslim Community Center of Greater San Diego
Islam: Sunni
14698 Via Fiesta
San Diego, CA 92127
(858) 756-5100
12788 Rancho Peñasquitos San Diego, CA 92129
(858) 484-0074
Location: San Diego (Fairbanks Ranch), midway between I-5 and I-15, and north of Hwy. 56.
The best time to visit is for midday prayers at 12:30pm on Fridays. The Friday service consists of prayer and a sermon, and is followed by time for questions and answers. English is the primary language used at this site, and the ethnicity of the membership is fairly diverse.

Masjid Al-Rribat Al-Islami
Islam: Sunni
7173 Saranac Street
San Diego, CA 92115 
(619) 589-6200
Location: San Diego (Rolando; almost in La Mesa), on Saranac Street, two blocks east of 70th Street. This is the second- largest mosque in San Diego, and the membership comes from all parts of the Muslim world. Contact Person: Sheik Saaed, who can usually be reached by telephoning the mosque office on weekdays, between 12:00-3:00pm. It will be helpful--and even advantageous--to phone a few days before visiting. The best time for a visit is usually on Fridays, for the 1:00pm service; it is best to arrive 15-20 early. Don't be surprised to discover that there is no entrance on Saranac Street. To find the proper entrance, you will need to around the block and drive up the alley, where you will find a parking lot and the main entry to the mosque. Men may enter the downstairs area of the mosque, but women must take the outside stairway so that they can attend the service from the balcony.
See the mosque's website for more information.
[Muneer Elhabashi, former President of Al-Rribat Mosque, can usually be contacted in person on Fridays, before 1:00pm or after 1:45pm (i.e., before/after the Friday service). Most of the above information was provided by Salem, one of the mosque's administrators.]

E. Judaism

Congregation Dor Hadash
Judaism: Reconstructionist 
4858 Ronson Court
San Diego, CA 92111 
(858) 268-3674
Location: San Diego (Kearny Mesa), in an industrial park; sufficient parking availalble.
Contact Person: Mark Newman, Administrator, by phone (see above) or e-mail: Mr. Newman comments, "Students are always welcome to visit us!" He added, however, that attending a scheduled service is the preferred--and most relevant--sort of visit for students to make. To get the most out of their visit, students are encouraged to stay for the social hour after the service--which will be the best opportunity ask questions and obtain information.

Tifereth Israel Synagogue
Judaism: Conservative
6660 Cowles Mountain Blvd. San Diego, CA 92119
(619) 697-6001
Location: San Diego (San Carlos), close to intersection of Navajo Road and Cowles Mountain Road (not far from Grossmont College)
Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal's e-mail:
This is a very visitor-friendly synagogue. A visit here should include attendance at one of the Sabbath services (see the synagogue's website for a schedule).