Ethics and Reconciliation Council

Common Ground Meditation Center is committed to making the center a safe and respectful place for all participants. It values the cultivation of peace and harmony through individual responsibility, mutual respect, and practice of the precepts. However, we recognize that conflict will inevitably arise.

Common Ground Meditation Center has formed an Ethics and Reconciliation (EAR) Council to help provide confidential consultation and support to any Common Ground participant who would like to move towards understanding and resolution of conflict through informal dialogue or reflection. 

EAR Council Members are available to:

  • Listen empathically and with open awareness
  • Serve as a non-judgmental witness
  • Consider the suffering of the individual coming forth and the suffering of all those involved
  • When appropriate, facilitate or mediate difficult conversations among people within the Common Ground community
  • Suggest appropriate channels or resources for unresolved difficulties, questions, and concerns

In addition, on the rare occasion that allegations of a serious ethical breach are raised, a Formal Grievance Procedure may need to be implemented. Any Common Ground participant who believes they have been subjected to, or who is aware of, any form of serious ethical misconduct or harassment involving a Common Ground leader or participant, is requested to set up a meeting with an EAR Council member to voice his or her concerns.

In 2010, the Common Ground Board of Directors formally approved and adopted the Ethics and Reconciliation Policy (ERP). The document outlines Common Ground’s procedures for formal grievance proceedings and informal EAR Council consultations. Please review the Common Ground Ethics & Reconciliation Policy prior to contacting the EAR Council.  

The EAR Council is composed of a small group of senior practitioners in the Common Ground community. Members have been appointed by the Common Ground Board of Directors, which includes our Co-Guiding Teachers Shelly Graf and Mark Nunberg. At present, EAR Council is composed of Kyoko Katayama (chair), Mariann Johnson, and Jean Choe. 

To contact the EAR Council, e-mail the EAR Council directly at or leave a phone message at Common Ground Meditation Center, (612) 722-8260. Maintaining your privacy is very important to the EAR Council. When you contact the EAR Council, care should be taken to keep your initial phone or e-mail messages brief; please simply include your name, phone number, and specific EAR Council member to whom you would like to speak or be in contact.