Retreats & Practice Intensive

Leaving behind our homes, family and friends, and our duties and responsibilities can be a powerful support for deepening insight. In a quiet setting, with a simple schedule of sitting and walking meditation, practicing noble silence, the mind naturally begins to quiet down. A quiet, serene mind is capable of seeing clearly in a way that is often not available during our busy lives. Clear seeing or insight uproots the confusion behind the cycles of stress and suffering.

There are many opportunities for retreat practice, through Common Ground and through other organizations. It often takes a fair amount of forethought and planning to schedule retreats into our lives, so we’re offering this comprehensive listing of retreat opportunities so that you can plan ahead.

Please visit our calendar to register for half-day and daylong retreats. All Common Ground programs are offered freely in the spirit of generosity. To learn more about supporting the center and our teachers, click here.

Half-Day Retreats

Usually scheduled for the first Saturday of the month.

Saturday, May 13, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. with Gail Iverson. Register
Saturday, June 3, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. with Gabe Keller-Flores. Register
Saturday, July 8, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. with Merra Young. Register
Saturday, August 5, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. with Shelly Graf. Register

Daylong Retreats (Please bring a bag lunch.)

Usually scheduled for the fourth Saturday of the Month.
Saturday, May 27, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. with Jean Haley and Gabe Keller-Flores. Register
Saturday, June 24, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. with Mark Nunberg. Register
Saturday, July 29, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. with Mark Nunberg. Register

Common Ground Residential Retreats

Saturday, August 26 at 5:00 p.m. to Monday, September 4 at noon; registration begins May 26.
To register or for more information about Common Ground’s residential retreats, go to the retreats website.

Community Practice Intensive

The next Community Practice Intensive will begin on Monday, June 12th, 7 p.m., and end Thursday, June 29th, 9 p.m. This intensive emphasizes the integration of daily life duties and responsibilities with elements of retreat practice. Past participants have found these intensives to be a powerful time to experiment living in a more mindful way and noticing the wholesome effects arising throughout one’s daily life. In addition to a commitment to a continuity of mindfulness in all daily activities, participants are asked to commit to an intensification of one’s formal practice schedule. Please carefully reflect on the practice guidelines below. Most participants will have to creatively adapt and adjust these guidelines so that each person can commit to a schedule that works in their life. These Community Practice Intensives are also a good time to deepen relationships with others in the community. Led by Mark Nunberg. Read the practice guidelines here. Register here.

Registration Policy

Common Ground is committed to supporting access to programs for those who identify as a person of color, a member of the queer community and/or a person with a disability.  We recognize this policy benefits us all as we practice the Buddha’s teachings in an increasingly multicultural community and engage in the ongoing work needed to create a more equitable world.  To learn more, contact Gabe Keller-Flores: 612-722-8260 or

TCVC Residential Retreats

Friday, June 16th – Sunday, June 25th with Steve Armstrong assisted by Shelly Graf
Visit for more information.

Other Residential Retreats with Common Ground teachers

With Mark Nunberg, Kamala Masters, and Deborah Ratner Helzer at Insight Meditation Society, May 2 – 9
For Young People (18-35): With Shelly Graf, Keri Pederson, and Alexis Santos at Cloud Mountain Retreat Center, June 2 – 9
With Mark Nunberg and Kamala Masters at Cloud Mountain Retreat Center, June 30 – July 9
With Mark Nunberg, Steve Armstrong, Kamala Masters, and Deborah Ratner Helzer, at Insight Meditation Society, August 3 – 13
With Wynn Fricke, Marcia Rose, and Sean Murphy, August 16-30, Mountain Hermitage, Taos, NM: Self-Not Self & the Creative Process Retreat

Madison Insight Meditation Group

is offering the following retreats this year:

*Ayya Medhanandi, May 21-25, 2017,  Pine Lake Camp, Westfield, WI (residential)

*DaRa Williams, October 5-8, 2017,  Pine Lake Camp, Westfield, WI (residential)

Arrow River Forest Hermitage

near Thunder Bay, Canada is a great place to do an individual retreat, with daily meetings with Ajahn Punadhammo.

There are many opportunities for long and short retreats at the big insight meditation centers around the country:

Insight Meditation Society

in Barre, MA offers retreats at their Retreat Center and self-retreats at the Forest Refuge. They sometimes have special scholarships for people of color and young people (16-32).

Spirit Rock Meditation Center

in Woodacre, CA.

Cloud Mountain Retreat Center

in Castle Rock, WA.