Teachers

Mark Nunberg, 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

Louis Alemayehu

Born in Chicago of African and Native heritage, Louis Alemayehu, a multicultural elder, developed his poetic skills and musical sensibilities as a part of the Black Arts Movement in the 1970s. His believes that poetry is a tool for healing;

David Alley

David Alley is CEO and Chairman of Designs for Learning, a MN consulting firm with 30 employees and 20 contractors serving Charter Schools, non-profits and small businesses since 1992, with a wide variety of services. He has a doctorate in

Nancy Boler

 Nancy Boler has been teaching since 1999. She draws from her background in Kripalu yoga, Iyengar yoga, and Mindfulness Meditation. Her class instruction focuses on physical alignment, breath awareness, yoga philosophy, and development of wholesome mind states. Nancy also teaches

Cheri Desmond-May

Cheri Desmond-May, MSW and Licensed Psychologist, has been a psychotherapist for over 35 years and has dedicated herself to helping couples learn how to deepen and strengthen their commitment to each other in a wholehearted way.  She has been a

Jean Fagerstrom

Jean Fagerstrom is a long-term meditator who has been teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction through the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing for the past 10 years. She is now teaching Mindful Self-Compassion, the course developed by Kristin Neff

Wynn Fricke

Wynn Fricke

Wynn Fricke is co-founder of Common Ground Meditation Center, where she served on the board for nine years and continues as an active leader and practitioner. She has practiced extensively in the Thai Forest and Mahasi Sayadaw traditions and has

Shelly Graf

Shelly Graf, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, received her Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota in 2003. For the past ten years, Shelly has been privileged to work with children and teens, primarily in schools. Shelly

Jean Haley

Jean Haley

Jean Haley has been studying and practicing Buddhism since 1998.  She completed the Community Dharma Leaders training through Spirit Rock Meditation Center in 2012 and has been a guest teacher at Common Ground and elsewhere since then. She is a

Alex Haley

Alex Haley

Alex Haley is the Director of Mindfulness Programs at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing, where he teaches, assists with research, and sets the strategy for the mindfulness program area. He has been trained by the Center

Nils Heymann

A native of El Salvador, Nils started meditating at the age of 16. He studied major religions at Lancaster University in England and did research on gurus in Pune, India. He stayed in Hindu and Benedictine monasteries until he went

Gail Iverson

Gail has been practicing mindfulness meditation since 1987.  For eight years she worked at the Vipassana Support Institute with Shinzen Young, the author of “Break Through Pain: A Step-by-Step Mindfulness Meditation Program for Transforming Chronic and Acute Pain”. Since coming

Emil J

Until 2015, Emil enjoyed careers advocating for unions as a labor law attorney and counseling in the field of substance abuse, including several years for Hazelden Foundation. Emil also taught as an adjunct associate professor at the Hazelden Graduate School

Kyoko Katayama

Kyoko Katayama

Kyoko Katayama, a psychotherapist for over 30 years, has made an intention and practice of integrating her spiritual life, her professional work, and personal experiences towards ease and integrity in all that she does. She has been a student of

Gabe Keller-Flores

Gabe Keller-Flores 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

Patrice Koelsch

Headshot of Patrice Koelsch

Formally trained with a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Patrice Koelsch is a writer, educator, and HIV/AIDS services specialist who began sitting at Common Ground Meditation Center in 1995. Patrice is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leaders Program, and completed

Spruce Krause

Spruce Krause holds an M.A. in Counseling Psychology and is a Reiki Master Teacher, Life/Career Coach and Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, and InterPlay & Laughter Yoga Leader. Spruce has been practicing at Common Ground since about 2000 and weaves practice

Jane Rauenhorst

Jane Rauenhorst is a licensed Psychologist who integrates mindfulness into her work as a therapist in private practice in St. Paul.  She has pursued a meditation practice and studied mindfulness and Buddhism for the last 15 years.  She has taught

Myra Rucker

Myra K. Rucker is a yoga teacher, and yoga student, who firmly believes in the benefits of  “sthira sukham asanam” (Yoga Sutras, II:46) – steady, joyful practice. Her introduction to yoga, practicing once a week between professional dancers and musicians

Ramesh Sairam

Ramesh Sairam

Ramesh has been part of the Common Ground sangha since 2006 and joined the Board of Directors in 2016.  He is a Geriatric psychiatrist and has a deep professional interest in understanding the complex and dynamic interplay between our minds and bodies that often underlie many physical and

Sharon Sebring

Sharon Sebring has dug very deep to find what transformation means in her own life. Today, yoga is a true expression of that. She is a certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher and offers an invitation for you to join her in

Merra Young

Merra Young is a psychotherapist, community dharma leader, and founder of Rivers’ Way Meditation Center.  She’s also on faculty at the U of M , Center for Spirituality and Healing and at the University of St. Thomas /St-Catherine, Graduate School