Weekly Email 10-13-22

Dear Common Ground Friends,

Let’s open our minds to the possibility of real happiness regardless of the arising conditions in our lives. Strangely, we often have a strong habit to hold to the idea that this messy world precludes the experience of deep and unshakeable happiness. If that is the fixed view of our minds, then unconsciously we go about confirming it. We habitually turn our attention to experiences of weight and stress and ignore the flavors of real freedom that arise whenever the mind releases its habitual clinging and struggling.

The Buddha explains that he talks about stages of awakening, “… not for the purpose of flattering people or for the purpose of gain, honor, renown, or with the thought, ‘Let people know me to be thus’…. rather, it is because there are faithful people inspired and gladdened by what is lofty, who when they hear that, direct their minds to such a state, and that leads to their welfare and happiness for a long time.”

So, let’s not be shy about directing our minds in the direction of full release and see what comes from it.

If you don’t know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else.
-Yogi Berra

“This is peaceful, this is exquisite – the stilling of all mental processes, the relinquishment of all the paraphernalia of becoming, the ending of craving, dispassion, cessation, nibbana.”
– The Buddha

Mark Nunberg
Co-Guiding Teacher

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

  • Sunday mornings, 10:30-11:45am in-person and on Zoom with Mark Nunberg
    • October 16th taught by Shelly Graf
    • October 23rd Mark will be live-streamed in the dharma hall
  • Sunday evenings, 7:00-8:30pm in-person with Mark Nunberg
    • October 16th with Ramesh Sairam
    • October 23rd with Ramesh Sairam
  • 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
  • Fridays, 9:00-10:00am with Shelly Graf, on Zoom
  • Every other Saturday, 10:30am-12:00pm with Ramesh Sairam, on Zoom
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.
In-person and on Zoom
Visit the calendar for Zoom link


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

InterPlay with Spruce Krause
Thursday, October 13th | 7:00 -8:30pm

Daylong Retreat with Shelly Graf
Saturday, October 15th | 9:30am – 4:00pm

Mindful Self-Compassion Practice Group with Jean Haley and Jane Rauenhorst
Friday, October 21st | 7:00 -8:30pm

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

Annual Day of Remembrance with Kyoko Katayama and Patrice Koelsch
Sunday, October 30th | 1:30pm – 3:30pm
In-person only
No registration necessary.

Untangling Karma; Intimate Zen Stories on Healing Trauma
A Book Launch with Judith Ragir

November 6th | 2:00 – 3:30pm
No registration necessary

Half-Day Retreat with Shelly Graf
November 12th | 9:00am – 1:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Living with Chronic Illness: A Workshop with Ramesh Sairam
November 12th | 2:00pm – 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


Fall Retreat with Mark Nunberg & Shelly Graf, Assisted by Gabe Keller Flores
Thursday evening, November 3rd – mid-day Sunday, November 6th
On Zoom and in-person at our retreat center (waitlist only for retreat center spots)

Mindful Hatha Yoga Retreat with Nancy Boler
5:30pm Thursday, November 17 – 2:00pm Sunday, November 20th
In-person only

Year End Retreat with Shelly Graf & Mark Nunberg
Monday evening, December 26th – mid-day Saturday, December 31st
In-person at Common Ground in Minneapolis and on Zoom.

Practice Periods:

BIPOC Community Day of Mindfulness Practice with Jen Racho & Arleta Little
October 15th | 9:30am – 4:00pm

Practice Period with Tracey Ghilardi & Kerry Dunn
5:00pm Thursday, October 27th – 2:00pm Sunday, October 30th

Year End Practice Period for Millennials and Gen Z’s with Robin Major & Jack Arpin
December 26th – December 31st
Robin and Jack will be livestreaming the Year-End Retreat taught by Shelly Graf & Mark Nunberg

For more upcoming Practice Periods, click 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
  • Third Wednesday of the month: Monthly Practice Group with 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:

  • Adopt a Cleaning Task for the Common Ground building! Our meditation home is welcoming more traffic these days. If it would feel good for you to pick up a work task and give to the community in this way, please let Robin know a specific time you would like to come in and we can identify a weekly 15 minute cleaning task for you to do.
  • Wishlist items: large pot (for over 20 servings), one bookshelf, large high quality wool rugs for the dharma hall at the retreat center, large indoor trees with nice pots.

Community News 

Upcoming Program with Brian Young and Liz Reynolds
Common Ground Board Secretary and Be Queer Now facilitator Brian Young is leading a daylong program with Liz Reynolds on October 22nd, from 10:00 – 5:00 pm CT. Please email Brian if you are interested in more info bri.p.young@gmail.com. All dana will go to a social justice organization.

Upcoming Community Group Meetings:

  • Be Queer Now, weekly on Wednesday, 7:30-9:00pm
  • Community Group for Organizers & Social Justice Activists, Thursday October 13th, 6:00-7:30pm
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, October 16th, 4:00-5:30pm
  • Refirement Community Group for Retirees, Thursday October 20th, 12:00-2:00pm
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thursday October 20th, 6:30-8:00pm
  • Millennials Sangha, Friday, October 28th, 7:00-8:30pm
  • Buddhism & Other Religions Book Group, Saturday, November 12th, 9:00 – 10:15am

View public calendar for Zoom links and more information.
To see the complete list of community groups, click here.

Weekly Tejaniya

For Those Who Say Meditation is Difficult
Many yogis tell me that meditation is difficult.
What they are actually saying
is that they cannot get what they want.

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

Happy community members celebrating a day of work during the Fall Maintenance Day last Sunday

Happy community members celebrating a day of work during the Fall Maintenance Day last Sunday

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