Courses & Workshops

To register for all courses and workshops, please visit the calendar

Common Ground offers both multiple-week courses and one-time workshops. Topics vary by quarter. All Common Ground programs are offered freely in the spirit of generosity. To learn more about supporting the center and our teachers, click here.



Buddhist Studies Program

The Buddhist Studies Program is designed for people who have attended three or more mindfulness meditation retreats and have a commitment to daily meditation practice. The course includes dharma talks, small and large group discussions, and guided sitting time. Participants will be expected to use the teachings as a focus of their meditation and daily life practice. Led by Mark Nunberg.  Find current class information including handouts and articles here.

Fall Buddhist Studies: Karma and Dependent Origination

This class will begin with the study of the Buddha’s teachings on Karma – that intention matters. With a grounding in understanding the conditional nature of experience we will examine the Buddha’s insights into the causes of suffering and its release. The course includes Dharma talks, small and large group discussions, and guided sitting time. Participants will be expected to use the teachings as a focus of their meditation and daily life practice.  Led by Mark Nunberg. 

Eight Mondays, September 17 – November 5, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  Register here.

Optional Sitting Period, 7:00 – 7:30 p.m.


Befriending Death

In this six-week class, we will explore how we relate to death and dying – our own and that of others, some of the rituals and care involved in one’s end of life, grief, embracing life, and befriending death. We will practice relating to death as a great teacher who can break our heart yet awakens us to the Truth that will liberate us. You must have some meditation experience or familiarity with Buddhist meditative traditions. The class is not appropriate for people who have recently experienced the loss of a loved one and whose grief is raw. Led by Kyoko Katayama. Both morning and evening options are offered.

6 Thursdays, November 1 – December 13 (no class November 22)

Morning section: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Register here

Evening section: 6:30 p.m – 8:30 p.m  Register here


Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

This eight-week program is an introduction to mindfulness meditation practice following the stress reduction program pioneered by Jon Kabat-Zinn over 30 years ago. Led by Shelly Graf. The next course will begin sometime in February.  Join our weekly email list to find out when registration opens.




Art and Dharma with Wynn Fricke and Ajahn Jotipalo

In this workshop we will reflect on the interconnections of our art-making practices and our spiritual path. How do our distinct disciplines as artists and as Buddhist practitioners naturally converge? What is the role of expression in our aspiration for deepening freedom? We will discuss our experiences in the creative process, with its joys and obstacles, as a means for self-discovery, and insight.

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 taught movement as part of Marcia Rose’s Self-No Self and the Creative Process Retreat. Wynn is president of the Buddhist Insight Network, a non-profit organization that serves as a resource for Insight teachers and sanghas across the country. She is a professional choreographer and directs the dance program at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.

Ajahn Jotipalo was born in 1965 in Indiana. He received a B.A. from Wabash College and worked for six years in technical sales. He became interested in Theravada Buddhism after sitting several Goenka retreats. While on staff at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, he met Ajahn Amaro and Ajahn Punnadhammo. After leaving IMS, he spent three months with Ajahn Punnadhammo at the Arrow River Forest Hermitage in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Ajahn Jotip?lo came to live at Abhayagiri in 1998 and subsequently spent two years training as an An?g?rika and S?ma?era. He ordained as a Bhikkhu with Ajahn Pasanno as preceptor on Ajahn Chah’s birthday, June 17, 2000. Since that time, Ajahn Jotip?lo has also stayed at Ajahn Chah-branch monasteries in Thailand, Canada, and New Zealand.

Saturday, December 8, 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m Register here


Mindfulness and Physical Pain: A Workshop with Ramesh Sairam

Mindfulness meditation can help practitioners understand the complex nature of pain and provide tools to reduce the suffering associated with it. This half-day workshop will include guided meditation, lectures, and group discussions. It is open to everyone, but may be especially useful for people experiencing physical pain and those (professional and otherwise) who help people in pain.

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 mental health illnesses. His spiritual practice too is guided by the Buddha’s advice about the deep wisdom inherent in our bodies – “within this very fathom-long body, with its perceptions and inner sense, lies the world, the cause of the world, the cessation of the world and the path that leads to the cessation of the world.” He shares some of his experiences through workshops at Common Ground on mindfulness and chronic pain, and finding wisdom in our bodies.

Saturday, December 15, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Register here



Registration Policy

Common Ground is committed to giving priority for registration to members of some communities that have experienced historical oppression: people of color, trans, and non-binary. We hope this increases the likelihood of a sense of safety and belonging for members of these communities who often don’t see themselves represented in the community or in teaching roles. 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 We welcome feedback on any aspect of this policy.