Weekly Email 1-25-23

Dear Common Ground Friends,

What do we mean by Buddhist retreat practice? Buddhist awareness practices are skillful ways we develop the mind’s natural capacity to recognize, to connect, and to be intimate with things as they are. During sustained practice we learn to value non judging awareness, to stabilize and unify it, and to use it in support of deepening wisdom–the mind’s discerning of the causes for stress and the causes for release. This is what our heart deeply cares about, for our own well-being, and as a way to care for our wider world. We learn how it is that our heart becomes entangled and burdened over and over again, and how it is that this heart can realize real freedom, release and resonate compassion.

During retreat practice we set aside socializing and talking as we do our best to sustain a relaxed continuity of mindful awareness during all activities including meals, resting times, and during work. This gentle yet persistent effort to be aware produces an ever-deepening understanding of the underlying nature of life and the mind, and gives rise to liberating wisdom. Common Ground retreats are suitable for beginners as well as more experienced meditators, and include small group practice check ins so everyone has the chance to ask questions and get specific feedback from a teacher. Please consider whether or not these retreat opportunities might be good dharma medicine in your life.
Upcoming teacher led retreats that you can register for (link below) at this time:

  • January 28th Daylong with Mark Nunberg
  • February 4th Half Day with Shelly Graf
  • February 16-20 Four Day retreat with Shelly Graf, Mark Nunberg, Assisted by Stacy McClendon
  • February 25th Daylong with Mark Nunberg
  • March 9-12, Introduction to Buddhist Retreat Practice with Mark Nunberg & Stacy McClendon

Wishing all beings the deepest release,
Mark Nunberg

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
  • 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 the 2nd and 4th Sundays. 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

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

Introduction to Buddhist Retreat Practice with Mark Nunberg & Stacy McClendon
Thursday evening, March 9th – mid-day Sunday, March 12th
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 Articles from our friends at Buddhist Justice Reporter (BJR)

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
  • Millenials Sangha, Friday, January 27th, 7:00pm
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thursday, February 2nd, 6:30-8:00pm
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, February 5th, 4:00-5:30pm
  • Buddhism and Other Religions Book Group, Saturday, February 11th, 9:00 a.m.
  • With the Current: Poetry Reading, Sunday, February 12, 1:30pm – 3:00pm
  • Retirement Group, Thursday, February 16th, 12:00-2:00 PM
  • To see the complete list of community groups, click here.

Weekly Tejaniya

Ask Yourself Often: “Am I Aware?”
Ask yourself often:
“What am I aware of now?”
“Am I properly aware,
or only superficially aware?”

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.