Weekly Email 1/26/21

Dear Common Ground Friends,

Sometimes we can get the impression that Buddhist practice is mostly about learning how to relate wisely to the suffering in life. But the tools and insights that come with our awareness practices also help us to be skillful with all the pleasant moments in life as well. With well-established wisdom & awareness we discover that it is possible to open to and be at ease with the full range of human emotion and experience without resistance or fixedness of view. It can be surprising to discover how we get tight around what is pleasurable, wanting more of it or wanting it to last. In our dharma practice we are taught that the means (practice) and the ends (awakening & freedom) must be in alignment. If we aspire to be intimate, skillful and free then we practice in this way with whatever arises. With practice we discover how liberating it is to be cultivating an embodied, easeful, and curious way of being with the full range of our experience. In particular, let’s remember to embody the ordinary wholesome pleasures that come our way. As if we were to say to ourselves,  “Ah, this is what joy feels like in the body and mind, can this be OK? Can I allow this to be the way it is now, without clinging in any way?” And finally some wise words from the Inaugural Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman.


Mark Nunberg
“For there is always light
if only we are brave enough to see it,
if only we are brave enough to be it.”
    — Amanda Gorman Click here to watch the video of her performance from Inauguration Day.

Upcoming Program Highlights

SHELLY GRAF & PATRICE KOELSCH will lead Dharma Among Us tonight, on the topic of the Buddhist teachings and practices on love and how these beautiful qualities of heart form a basis to realize our resiliency. 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here.

SHELLY GRAF will lead the Weekly Practice Group as usual. 7:30-9:00pm. Zoom link here.


  • CECILIA RAMON leads the weekly Lovingkindness Practice Group, 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here.
  • Every Friday we offer a Mindfulness, Recovery, and the Twelve Steps practice group facilitated by a rotating group of experienced teachers. The group is open to all who have an interest in mindfulness and the Twelve Steps recovery pathways. 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here.

RAMESH SAIRAM leads his biweekly Dharma Reflections program. 10:30am-12:00pm. Zoom link here.

MARK NUNBERG will lead the Weekly Practice Group as usual, 10:30-11:45am. Zoom link here. Mark is currently covering Mindfulness of Breathing. There are resources on the topic here.

JEAN HALEY and JANE RAUENHORST are offering a six-week Mindful Self-Compassion course on Tuesdays, 1:30-3:00pm. For more info and registration click here.

MARK NUNBERG will lead a Half-Day Retreat from 1:00-5:00pm. More info and registration here.

SHELLY GRAF and MARK NUNBERG will lead a Two-Day Online Retreat. For more info and registration, click here.

SHELLY GRAF will lead a Daylong Retreat, 9:30am-4:00pm. Registration will open next week.

Yoga & Qigong
Remember, we offer live yoga and qigong classes every week!

  • Mondays, 5:30-6:45pm – Yoga with Myra Rucker
  • Tuesdays, 5:30-6:45pm – Yoga with Nancy Boler (Level 2)
  • Wednesdays, 9:30-10:30am – Qigong with Autumn Compton
  • Fridays, 9:30-10:45am – Yoga with Nancy Boler (Level 1)

You can access the links to participate on our online calendar.

Please note that all times listed are in Central time. For complete, up-to-date program information, visit the online calendar. We recommend you bookmark it for easy access during the week. You might also want to bookmark our Youtube channel. 

Additional non-CG events Taught by Mark and Shelly:

Mindfulness & Insight Meditation: The Mah?si Method
Thursday, February 25 – Sunday, February 28 w/ Mark Nunberg, Kamala Masters, & Steve Armstrong


The Practice of Generosity

Continuing in the tradition of Buddhist monasteries in Southeast Asia, all programs at Common Ground, including these online programs, 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.

Interested in snowblowing for CG this winter?
We are still looking for snowblowing volunteers! We have a snowblower and we can train you in. If you’re intimidated by the snowblower, we also need shoveling volunteers. If interested in joining the snow team, please email Rob at rwkohlmeyer@yahoo.com. Thank you!


Community News 

Community Groups Meeting this Week

  • Buddhism-Christianity Community Group, Saturday, Jan. 30th, 9:00-10:15am. Zoom link here.
  • Dharma Friends Sit & Discussion, Sunday, Jan. 31st, 7:00-8:00pm. Zoom link here.
  • Mindful Self-Compassion Community Group, Monday, Feb. 1st, 10:00-11:00am. This monthly drop-in group is open to everyone who has completed Common Ground‘s eight-week MSC Training. Zoom link here.

See the calendar for more info about these community groups.

New Book for CG Book Club 
The CG Book Club reads books on the topics of race and racism and is facilitated by April Hanson. The next book they will be reading is The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart by Alicia Garza. The first meeting to discuss the new book will be Sunday, February 28th @ 8:45am. To get on their mailing list you can email April at apriljoyhanson@gmail.com.

CG Mutual Support Form
We’ve created a form to gather info from community members interested in offering eachother support in the form of social connection, help with errands, or other forms of support. If you’re interested in participating, you can fill out the form here.

Weekly Tejaniya
Don’t try to be aware. You just need to
be the supervisor, by regularly checking
whether awareness is doing its job. Keep
asking yourself whether there is aware-
ness, whether awareness is at work.

Thanks to Kim S for this lovely picture of a wintry Prairie Farm!

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