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.


Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation

This course includes exploration of the intention behind practice, an introduction to insight (vipassana) meditation techniques, instructions for working with common obstacles, an overview of the practice of lovingkindness, and a discussion on how mindfulness can be part of one’s daily life.

Intro Class with Mark Nunberg, Six Tuesdays, June 12th – July 17th, 7:30-9:00 p.m. Register here.

Intro Workshop with Gail Iverson, Saturday, July 21st, 1:30-5:00 p.m. Register 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.

Summer Buddhist Studies: Mindfulness of Breathing
Please join in for this 8 week course examining the Buddha’s 16 instructions for mindfulness of breathing. This set of teachings has been wrongly described as preliminary instructions, but is actually a complete map for the whole path of awakening. Following these instructions also opens the heart to an organic and lawful progression of inner joy and peace. Led by Mark Nunberg, Wynn Fricke, ShellyGraf, Gabe Keller-Flores and Ramesh Sairam. Register here.
Eight Mondays, July 2 – August 20

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

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 August. Join our weekly email list to find out when registration opens.



Workshop for Couples with Cheri and Jane: Cultivating Lovingkindness with Your Beloved

Saturday, August 4, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Register here

All couples are welcome. A unique opportunity to use your mindfulness practice to deepen your intimacy with each other.

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 mindfulness related classes and workshops at the University of St. Thomas, Macalester College, and the University of Minnesota.

Cheri Desmond-May, a psychotherapist for over 39 years, 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 practicing meditator for over 35 years– at MZMC, Compassionate Ocean and now, Common Ground. She has studied with Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chodron, John Kabat Zinn and Jack Kornfield. She is on the leadership team for Heart to Heart, an annual couple’s weekend retreat in the Twin Cities.

With Emil Jalonen: Cultivating Happiness, Transforming Anger

Sunday, August 12, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Register here

When suffering is extinguished, happiness is revealed. This workshop will explore a direct path to happiness and its role in transforming anger and its consequences.

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 of Addiction Studies. He began attending Common Ground and his meditation practice in 2004 as part of his ongoing recovery from addiction. Since then he has attended numerous residential retreats in the Midwest and a month long retreat at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Emil regularly teaches at Common Ground’s Mindfulness, Recovery and the 12 Steps Group and is one of the facilitators of a mindfulness meditation group at Stillwater Correctional Facility. Emil has also been a guest teacher and led workshops at Common Ground on Transforming Anger, Understanding Fear.


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 gender-non-conforming. 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.