Weekly Email 1-5-23

Dear Common Ground Friends,
It has been quite the winter wonderland here in Minnesota, over the past 48 hours as we welcome 2023 with awe. Even though the sky is overcast here today, the warmth of the sun is melting some of the snow and now slush on the sidewalks. I know I’m not alone saying that I spent quite some time outside yesterday shoveling and helping dig motorists out of the snow packed street where I live. Back inside, from where I sat by the window, every now and then I’d hear my neighbor yell from her stoop, “do you need help out there”? That would activate a few neighbors to come out and lend a hand. It felt good to be participating in community, supporting others in a non-transactional way, accepting conditions without resistance, and receiving the generosity of others as well. One neighbor snow blowed the entire block this morning. Goodness of heart is a wonderland too!  We can welcome the many movements of kindness, generosity, patience, and more with a similar awe that we welcome the beautiful snow fall. We learn to take refuge in the heart’s capacity for goodness here and now, not in some idealized future moment when the conditions are easier. Let’s remember to tune into our own hearts as well the movement in the collective around us so that we can notice all the powerful and impactful movements of goodness that sometimes seemingly magically and often invisibly arise. What a gift! Wishing us all many moments of wonder and awe and we welcome in and make our way through 2023.

Healing in the Present Moment: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Course with Nan LeRoy
8 Wednesdays: January 19th – March 8th | 7:00-9:30pm
A Daylong Retreat on Saturday, February 18th
Register here

To learn more about the course, attend one of the three orientation sessions:
January 5th: 7:30 – 8:30pm CT
January 12th: 7:30 – 8:30CT
January 14th, 12:30 – 1:30pm CT

Zoom links here.

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 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

Half-Day Retreat with Ayya Niyyanika & Mark Nunberg
January 7th | 1:00pm – 5:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Questions & Reflections with Venerable Ayya Niyyanika
January 8th | 2:00 – 4:00pm
In-person only
No registration necessary

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 & Cecilia Ramon
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:

  • Snowblowing and Shoveling: If you would like to help Ollie and Rob keep the sidewalks and parking lot clear, please contact Ollie at: ostocker1@gmail.com. Ollie and Rob will be happy to train you in with the snowblower if you have not used one before.
  • 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 

An Evening of Kirtan (Sacred Chanting)
January 7th | 7:30pm – 9:00pm
In-person only
Join Temple of Light for an evening of kirtan. Kirtan is from the Bhakti yoga tradition. It is sacred chanting of mantras and the names of the divine set to music. For many it leads into deep blissful states.

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 5th, 6:30-8:00pm
  • Community Group for Organizers & Social Justice Activists, Thursday, January 12th, 6:00-7:30pm
  • Buddhism and Other Religions Book Group, Saturday, January 12th, 9:00 a.m.
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, January 15th, 4:00-5:30pm
  • Retirement Group, Thursday, January 19th, 12:00
  • Millenials Sangha, Friday, January 27th, 7:00pm
  • To see the complete list of community groups, click here.

Weekly Tejaniya

Delusion Says “Let’s Party!”
If wisdom is lacking, delusion
will be right there to say,
“We’ve finished meditation.
Now let’s party!”

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

From left to right: Gabe Keller Flores, Shelly Graf, and Mark Nunberg, at Common Ground’s New Year’s Eve Celebration

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