Guiding Teacher

Mark Nunberg began his practice in 1982 and has been teaching meditation since 1990. He co-founded Common Ground Meditation Center in Minneapolis in 1993 with Wynn Fricke and continues to serve as the center’s Guiding Teacher. Mark has studied with both Asian and Western teachers and finds deep inspiration in the teachings of the Buddha. Mark practiced as a monk for five months in Burma and completed four three-month retreats at Insight Meditation Society Retreat Center, as well as many months of intensive retreat practice at The Forest Refuge. Mark continues to be a grateful student of Buddhist practice.

Associate Director

Shelly GrafWhat Once Was Is Now

Shelly provides direct support to the guiding teacher with developing and clarifying the center’s vision, policies, and priorities. She also manages all of the center’s communication systems such as the newsletter, the online calendar, and the weekly email.

Shelly has been coming to Common Ground since 2005. She remembers Mark telling her at her first daylong retreat, when she was feeling unsure, “If you can sit for half an hour you can sit for a day.” Since then, she has become an integral leader in our community, serving in many different roles over the years, including as an office volunteer, a program host, and a cushion-putter-away-er. Currently she leads the Sunday morning teen group with Ramesh Sairam, teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and serves as a Practice Leader at Common Ground’s retreat property. She also started the Unraveling White Privilege community group with Leigh Rosenberg. For a long time she has been interested in what it means to serve as a white social worker in brown communities. She is also a huge MN Lynx fan!

Bookkeeping Manager

Gail Iversonbookkeeper@commongroundmeditation.orgGail Iverson

As bookkeeper, Gail is in charge of ensuring that all donations are recorded and deposited properly and that the center’s bills are paid. The bookkeeper also sits on the Finance Committee, which does budgeting and oversees the financial health of Common Ground.

Gail has been practicing mindfulness meditation since 1987 and practicing at Common Ground since 2002. Her first volunteer position was being in charge of the bulletin board at the previous building. Since then, she has been an integral member of our community and served in many important roles. She was chair of the Board of Directors for 6 years. She currently is part of the Operational Team for Common Ground’s retreat property in Wisconsin. She also is one of our main teachers and has led the Intro to Mindfulness Meditation workshop for many years.

Office Manager

Gabe Keller-Flores, Gabe Keller

Gabe is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the center, including volunteer coordination, communications support, and program support. 

Gabe has been coming to Common Ground since 2008, when he was in high school and stumbled across the teachings of the Buddha. Since then, he has been a dedicated practitioner and has experienced increasing freedom and connection in his life. He enjoys sharing the Dharma and currently leads the center’s new Spanish group as well as the quarterly Young Adult Retreat with Shelly Graf. Gabe’s volunteer work at Common Ground has included serving for several years as co-coordinator of the Common Ground Music Festival with Mary Beth McRaith and currently serving on the Board of Directors as Secretary.

All Common Ground leaders, teachers, and facilitators follow Common Ground’s Ethical Standards for Harmonious Community Life.