Weekly Email 1-19-23

Dear Common Ground Friends,

This week as we celebrate the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, I spent some time studying his work, listening to his sermons and reading his memos and speeches. I was moved once again by his steady and unwavering efforts to alleviate suffering. I imagine too that he was not always clear about what to do or what to say, yet he kept participating and kept turning to his spiritual practice to guide his actions. In many moments it seemed like he was preaching to himself, giving his heart the message it needed to hear. I like receiving Dr. King as a great student of love and freedom as much as I appreciate receiving him as the great teacher and leader that he was. It’s also good to remember that Dr. King wasn’t a perfect person. He was a person, living a life, and using his body and speech for the benefit of our collective well being. This is something we can all do. The Buddha encouraged us to look around and emulate the human good we see in the world. It matters where we place our attention and it matters how we use our bodies and our speech to participate in our collective reality. Perhaps one of the gifts of Rev. Dr. King now, so many years after his death is to remind us to attune to our own human potential, the potential to align our actions and our speech with a heart that cares about alleviating suffering and to ask our spiritual practice to meet us there even when we don’t know what to say or do. May we remember not only to be the people that others want to emulate but may we remember to recognize the many offerings around us worth emulating.
Peace, Love, and Justice,

Upcoming Guest Teachers
To see full list of programs and access Zoom links for online programs visit our calendar.

Ajahn Brahmali
Buddhist Morality and Constitutional Freedom: Is there a Connection?
Monday, January 30th | 7:00 -8:30pm
In Person and On Zoom

*Ajahn will be leading a weekend retreat, January 27-30, at Camp Omega, in Waterville, MN. Space is still available. See details here

Rebecca Bradshaw
Karma, We Become What We Practice
Thursday, February 16th | 7:30 -9:00pm
In Person and On Zoom

Chas DiCapua
Friday, February 24th | 7:00 – 8:30pm
In Person and On Zoom

Weekly Programs
We are experimenting with new ways to get information out about upcoming programs. You may see this weekly email changing some over the upcoming weeks. To view a complete list of our regular program offerings, visit our the upcoming programs page on our website. As always, our the online calendar is the best way to find correct times and Zoom links. 

Open Meditation- NEW TIMES!
In person meditation is now available, M-Th, starting at 6:30 a.m. Check our online calendar for additional times and details. There are many in-person as well as virtual opportunities for silent meditation, 7 days a week. Visit the calendar for times and details.

Weekly Practice Groups

  • Sunday mornings, 10:30-11:45am in-person and on Zoom with Mark Nunberg
  • Sunday evenings, 7:00-8:30pm in-person with Mark Nunberg
  • Wednesday evenings, 7:30-9:00pm on Zoom with Shelly Graf
Monthly Practice Groups
  • First Fridays, 7-8:30pm on Zoom, Lovingkindness with Mark Nunberg and Stacy McClendon

Community Practice Check-Ins

  • Sundays, 4:30-5:30pm with Mark Nunberg and Wynn Fricke, on Zoom
  • Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00pm with Stacy McClendon, on Zoom
  • NEW! Wednesdays, 8:30-9:30am with Shelly Graf, in-person;
    • Cancelled 1/18 and 1/25
  • Fridays, 9:00-10:00am with Shelly Graf, on Zoom
  • Every other Saturday, 10:30am-12:00pm with Ramesh Sairam, on Zoom
Yoga & Qigong
We offer Yoga and Qigong several times a week, both in person and online.
Mindfulness, Recovery, and the Twelve Steps
Meets every Friday, 7:00-8:30pm.
In-person and on Zoom

Youth Programs

  • Children’s Program: The Children’s Program is held on the 1st and 3rd Sundays, 10:30 – 11:45am. The program is for kindergarteners – 3rd graders. If your child is preschool age, you are welcome to join the group but a parent will need to stay with the child.
  • Teen Program: The teen group will be meet 10:30 – 11:30am on 1/8, 1/22, 2/5, 2/19, and 3/5. You can join the Common Ground teen listserv by emailing info@commongroundmeditation.org.


Upcoming Programs: Online Only

To see full list of programs and access Zoom links for online programs visit our calendar.

MBSR-Based Mindfulness Practice with Nancy Boros
Mondays, 12:00 -1:00pm

Mindful Self-Compassion Practice Group with Jean Haley and Jane Rauenhorst
Friday, February 17th | 7:00 -8:30pm

Upcoming Programs: In Person/Hybrid at Common Ground
To see full list of programs visit our calendar

Buddhist Studies: Seven Factors of Awakening with Mark Nunberg
Eight Mondays: January 9th – February 27th
7:30pm – 9:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation with Mark Nunberg
Six Tuesdays: January 10th – February 14th
7:00 – 8:30pm
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Cultivating Virtue as a Support for Liberation: a Bimonthly Practice Group with Gabe Keller Flores
2nd and 4th Thursdays beginning January 12th | 7:00 – 8:30pm
In-person and on Zoom
No registration necessary

Queer Community Retreat with scottie hall & Brian Young
January 21st | 9:30 – 4:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Daylong Retreat with Mark Nunberg 
January 28th | 9:30 – 4:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Half-Day Retreat with Shelly Graf
February 4th | 1:00 – 5:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Upcoming In-Person/Hybrid Programs at our Retreat Center
Common Ground Retreat Center is located in Wisconsin, about an hour-and-fifteen-minute drive from Minneapolis. More information and registration for the following programs can be found here

Tranquility & Insight Retreat with Shelly Graf & Mark Nunberg. Assisted by Stacy McClendon
Thursday evening, February 16th – mid-day Monday, February 20th
On Zoom and in-person at Common Ground Retreat Center in Prairie Farm, WI

Practice Periods:
Practice Period with Robin Major & Melissa Bailey
5:00pm Thursday, February 9th – 12:00pm Sunday, February 12th

For more upcoming Practice Periods, click here.

In addition to these weekend retreats, we also offer public drop-in groups on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month at the retreat center, 6:30-7:45pm. The groups are led by dharma teachers and community leaders. More info about these Wednesday night programs here.

The Practice of Generosity

Continuing in the tradition of Buddhist monasteries in Southeast Asia, all programs at Common Ground are offered free of charge in the spirit of generosity. This offering is possible because of the generosity of people like you—from the Buddha on down to all the people in our community—who contribute their practice, time, and financial resources to support the continuation of the center.

To learn how to support the center and our teachers, visit this page. Let us know if you have any questions.

Current Volunteer Needs 
Please contact Robin Major at robin@commongroundmeditation.org if you are interested in any of these volunteer opportunities:

  • Cleaning: We are looking for folks to help out with ongoing cleaning at our city center. If you regularly come to a program in person and are willing to spend 15-30 minutes before or after doing some cleaning, please email shelly@commongroundmeditation.org
  • Website Volunteer: We are hoping to re-do our website in the coming months. If you have experience building websites and are interested in helping with this, please write an email of interest to Robin.
  • Plant Pots: We are looking for two large terracotta, ceramic, or nicely made resin pots for plants at the retreat center. The pots should be at least 15in in diameter.

Community News 

ASDIC Antiracism Study and Dialogue Circle
Our friends at ASDIC are hosting another 10 week study circle beginning next week, January 26th. Attending one of these programs in which Common Ground hosted was a transformative experience for many of us. We encourage you to consider it if you are able.

New Book by our very own Ayo Yetunde!
Common Ground dharma teacher Ayo Yetunde, also founder of Buddhist Justice Reporter, has a new book coming out, Casting Indra’s Net: Fostering Spiritual Kinship and Community. Congratulations Ayo! There will be a book release party on February 9th, at 7pm CT hosted by her organization, Center of the Heart. Join us if you can!

New Article from our friends at Buddhist Justice Reporter (BJR)
Check out this new article from BJR, authored by Kundan Chabbra: Escaping Negative Thinking and Toxic Positivity- Dharma or Dharma Thinking as a Third Way that Resolves a False Binary

Calendar Page Captchas
If you have been experiencing difficulty opening the calendar page, you are not alone! We are working to update our calendar page and hopefully will have it fixed soon. Accessing the calendar through Google Chrome, or another non-Safari platform, works best.

Upcoming Community Group Meetings
To view a complete list of our regular program offerings, visit our the upcoming programs page on our website. As always, our the online calendar is the best way to find correct times and zoom links. 

  • Be Queer Now, weekly on Wednesday, 7:30-9:00pm
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thursday, January 19th, 6:30-8:00pm
  • Retirement Group, Thursday, January 19th, 12:00
  • Millenials Sangha, Friday, January 27th, 7:00pm
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, February 5th, 4:00-5:30pm
  • Buddhism and Other Religions Book Group, Saturday, February 11th, 9:00 a.m.
  • To see the complete list of community groups, click here.

Weekly Tejaniya

Keep a Close Watch on Attachment and Aversion
When there is attachment or aversion
in the mind, always make that your
primary object of observation.

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

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