Weekly Email 1-26-22

Dear Common Ground Friends,

We want to announce the news that Gabe Keller Flores will be leaving his job as Office Manager on March 1st. We have been aware of Gabe’s interest in moving on for some time now, so this isn’t a surprise to us. Nonetheless, this will be an impactful change for our whole community, but especially for our integral collaborative administrative team that has worked together for many years, consisting of Gabe as Office Manager, Bookkeeper Gail Iverson, and now two Guiding Teachers–Shelly and Mark. Some of our long-time community members might remember 15 years ago when a 16 year old high school student started showing up regularly and very soon began inspiring us with their sensitivity, clarity, and good nature. People who have worked with Gabe know that he is a bright Dharma light. He had been an important leader and wise presence in the community well before he was hired as the office manager 6 or more years ago. Many of you have had interactions with Gabe over the years and know directly the grace, kindness, and nimble skills that he brought to his job as the hub of the wheel of Common Ground Meditation Center. Gabe is a devoted and wise dharma practitioner, a talented musician and songwriter, and a dear dear friend to so many of us. He will be deeply missed in this central role.

Gabe isn’t sure of his future plans except that he plans to take a road trip south and west. Fortunately for us, Gabe expects to continue in his role as one of Common Ground’s Dharma Teachers so we are not going to have a big going away party. Wynn Fricke and Gabe will be leading practice at Common Ground’s Retreat Center for the entire month of June. We’ll have more information about this practice opportunity by the end of March. Shelly and Mark will be putting together a gift on behalf of our whole community to support Gabe’s travels and whatever is next for him. Feel free to send in your good wishes to gabe@commongroundmeditation.org. If you want to add to our community gift you can make a donation to the center and designate your gift, “Thanking Gabe”. Gabe will be working in the Common Ground office this month, feel free to email Gabe and let him know if you would like to stop by to connect in person.

On behalf of the entire Common Ground Community, let’s together send our good wishes to Gabe. May all his generous, wise, and good work over these years be part of the causes for the deepest happiness in his heart and in our world.

With Gratitude,

Shelly Graf and Mark Nunberg
CG Guiding Teachers

Weekly Programs

To view our entire list of programs and to access Zoom links to participate in online programs, please visit the online calendar

Weekly Practice Groups
Led by our Guiding Teachers Mark Nunberg and Shelly Graf, these programs provide ongoing instruction and teachings that help illuminate the simple but challenging practice of mindfulness.

  • Sunday mornings, 10:30-11:45am on Zoom with Mark Nunberg (with an option to watch the livestream together in person in the meditation hall)
  • Sunday evenings, 7:00-8:30pm in person with Mark Nunberg
  • Wednesday evenings, 7:30-9:00pm on Zoom with Shelly Graf
    • Rebecca Bradshaw will lead the group on Feb. 2, at an earlier time: 6:30pm. She will teach on “Freeing the Heart.”
Community Practice Check-Ins
Every week we offer several opportunities to practice with and ask questions of Common Ground Dharma teachers. It’s also a time to share reflections from your own practice with the group.
  • Sundays, 4:30-5:30pm with Mark Nunberg and Wynn Fricke, on Zoom
  • Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00pm with Stacy McClendon (Mark Nunberg joining on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month), on Zoom
  • Fridays, 9:00-10:00am with Shelly Graf, on Zoom
  • Every other Saturday, 10:30am-12:00pm with Ramesh Sairam, on Zoom (next meeting January 29th)
  • NEW: Every first Tuesday of the month, 8:00-9:00am, with Mark Nunberg, in person
Open Meditation
Join fellow community members for meditation practice in person or online, 7 days a week. Visit the calendar for times and details.

Yoga & Qigong
We offer Yoga and Qigong several times a week, both in person and online. Click here for times and details

Mindfulness, Recovery, and the Twelve Steps
Meets every Friday, 7:00-8:30pm. On Zoom every week except the second Friday of the month, which is hybrid.

Upcoming Programs: In Person/Hybrid at Common Ground

To read our latest covid protocols, click here.

Daylong Retreat with Mark Nunberg
Saturday, January 29th, 9:30am-4:00pm
In Person or on Zoom. More info and registration here.

Half-Day Retreat with Mark Nunberg
Saturday, February 12th, 1:00-5:00pm
In Person or on Zoom. More info and registration here.

Upcoming Programs at Common Ground Retreat Center

Common Ground Retreat Center is located in Wisconsin, about an hour-and-fifteen-minute drive from Minneapolis. Registration is now open for the following programs there.
  • Practice Period with Mary Clark, assisted by Pietro Ferrero
    5:30pm Thursday, February 3rd – 2:00pm Sunday, February 6th
  • Residential/Zoom Retreat with Shelly Graf & Mark Nunberg
    6:15pm Thursday, February 17th – 12:00pm Monday, February 21st
More info and registration for these retreats can be found here.

In addition to these weekend retreats, we also offer public drop-in groups on select Wednesdays at the retreat center, 6:30-7:45pm.

  • First Wednesday of the month: Community Group led by Matthew King and other practice leaders
  • In January 2022 Mark Nunberg will offer a 3-week Introduction to Mindfulness class on January 12th, 19th, and 26th.
More info about these Wednesday night programs here.

Upcoming Programs: Online

To access Zoom links for online programs visit our online calendar.
Lovingkindness Practice Group with Stacy McClendon
Friday, January 28th, 7:00-8:30pm

Mindfulness & Physical Pain Workshop with Ramesh Sairam
Saturday, February 5th, 1-4pm
More info and registration here

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

Interplay with Spruce Krause
Thursday, February 10th, 7:00-8:30pm

Book Study Group: The Citadel of Awareness with Merra Young
3rd Wednesday of the month starting February 16th, 12:15-1:30 pm
More info and registration 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 

  • Weekly Sunday Evening Cleaning: Every Sunday evening there is a drop-in Community Cleaning time from 6-7pm, led by community leaders Brad Dupre and Dave Redelman. No RSVP needed.
  • Tuesday evening bellringer (in-person): We’re looking for someone interested in ringing the bell for the evening sit on Tuesdays, 7:30-9:00pm, once or twice a month. Email gabe@commongroundmeditation.org if interested.


Community News

   Upcoming Community Group Meetings

  • Millenials Sangha, Friday, January 28th, 7:00-8:30pm on Zoom/In Person
  • Be Queer Now Meditation Sangha, Wed. February 2nd, 7:30-9:00pm on Zoom.
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thurs. February 3rd, 6:30-8:00pm on Zoom.
  • Mindfulness & Depression Community Group, Sunday, February 6th, 4:00-5:30pm, on Zoom

View public calendar for Zoom links and more information.

To see the complete list of community groups, click here.

Video of Community Gathering to Celebrate Shelly Graf’s Hiring as Co-Guiding Teacher
In case you missed the event we held back in December to celebrate and honor Shelly stepping into their new role as Co-Guiding Teacher, you can watch the recording here.

Teen Practice Group Back In Session!
For more info, click here.

Looking for Donations for CG Retreat Center
If anyone has a loveseat in good condition you’d like to donate to our retreat center, please let us know by replying to this email, thanks!

Weekly Tejaniya
Greed and hatred arise out
of ignorance. What is ignorance?
It is just not seeing what is really
happening in the mind.

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