Weekly Email 10-13-23

Dear Common Ground Friends,

Can ten thousand sorrows be held in community?

None of us are innocent of grief. Changes are inevitable. We daily encounter the truth of impermanence, large and small, far and near. Our parents get old. One day we might change our mother’s diaper like she did when we were a baby. Our children grow up and leave home. A best friend moves away to another city. We lose our beloved family member to cancer. To suicide. To drug overdose. A friend told me she has been in deep grief in understanding the consequences of slavery and the genocide of the Indigenous peoples. We grieve for the destruction of our beautiful blue planet. We grieve when our dream of a peaceful, loving, and just society seems further away sometimes.

Grief is not a problem to be solved or fixed. Grief asks of us to pay attention to our tender heart. We are learning to live with the consequence of love, so we must bear loss as deeply as we cared. The tears are the salve for the broken heart, just as the season of rain nourishes the earth. With courage we must trust our pain enough to explore it. And when our personal sorrow connects with the ten thousand others in sorrow, it ripples across the shared reservoir of grief, turning into a sense of profound tenderness and care for each other.

In this way, grief is not just a personal matter. We bear witness to each other’s pain and each other’s courage to live on. We are daily invited by life itself to connect with goodness of being alive. We realize that we can hold both sorrow and joy in one heart, and in the goodness of a community.

At Common Ground we gather once a year to create and hold a community space to remember and honor the loved ones who are no longer with us in physical form. We’ll share stories and memories. We’ll bear witness to each other’s grief, longing, gratitude, and love in a simple and heartfelt in-person ceremony.

Please join us in our annual Day of Remembrance on Sunday, October 29 at 1:30 in the dharma hall. Please bring a symbol or a photo of your loved one(s) and together we will create a communal altar. No registration necessary.

Kyoko Katayama

Questions? Contact Kyoko tenshinkyoko@gmail.com or Patrice pckoelsch@yahoo.com

The Practice of Generosity

Programs with our Co-Guiding Teachers
Visiting our online calendar is the best way to find the correct times and Zoom links. 

With Mark Nunberg

Weekly Practice Groups with Mark
Sundays, 10:30-11:45 AM,  in-person, on Zoom, and live-streamed to YouTube
Sundays, 7:00-8:30 PM, in-person only

Lovingkindness Practice Group
First Fridays, 7:00-8:30 PM, with Stacy McClendon, in-person and on Zoom

Community Practice Check-ins
Sundays, 4:30-5:30 PM, on Zoom with Wynn Fricke, Zoom only
Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM, on Zoom with Stacy McClendon, Zoom only, Mark joins on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month.

Daylong Masculinity Workshop: Fluency with Feelings and Needs
With Malik Watkins, Mark Nunberg, Omkar Sawardekar, Robb Reed, and Gabe Keller Flores
At Common Ground Retreat Center in Prairie Farm, WI
Saturday, October 21 | 9:30 AM-5:00 PM | In-person only
More info and registration here

With Shelly Graf

Weekly Practice Group with Shelly
Wednesday evenings, 7:30-9:00 PM, in-person and on Zoom

  • October 25th with Mark Nunberg

Community Practice Check-ins
Wednesdays, 8:30-9:30 AM, in-person only, assisted by Robin Major
Fridays, 9:00-10:00 AM, Zoom only, every other Friday with Jen Racho

Half-Day and Daylong Retreats with Shelly Graf

  • Daylong: Saturday, Oct 21 | 9:30 AM-4:00 PM | In-person and on Zoom | Register here

Upcoming Teacher-Led Programs

Day of Remembrance with Kyoko Katayama and Patrice Koelsch
Sunday, October 29 | 1:30 – 3:30 PM
In-person only
No registration necessary

Self-Compassion Practices for Trying Times with Jean Haley and Jane Rauenhorst
Six Thursdays: November 2nd – December 14th | 6:30-8:00 PM
In-person only
Register here

Half-Day Retreat with Jean Haley
Saturday, November 4 | 1:00-5:00 PM
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Half-Day Retreat for the BIPOC Community with Stacy McClendon and TBD
Saturday, November 11 | 1:00-5:00 PM
More info and registration coming soon

Seven Noble Qualities of a Friend with Patrice Koelsch
Saturday, November 18 | 9:30 AM-12:30 PM
In-person only
Register here

Ongoing Teacher-Led Programs
As always, our online calendar is the best way to find the correct times and Zoom links. 

Open Meditation
Check our online calendar for times and details. There are many opportunities for silent meditation, 7 days a week, in-person and on Zoom.

Monthly Practice Groups
  • First Thursdays, 7:00-8:30 PM, Developing the Art of Spiritual Inquiry with Ramesh Sairam. On Zoom only.
Community Practice Check-Ins
  • Every other Saturday, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM, on Zoom with Ramesh Sairam
  • Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM, on Zoom with Stacy McClendon, on Zoom, joined by Mark Nunberg on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month.
Yoga & Qigong
We offer Yoga and Qigong several times weekly, both in person and online.
Mindfulness, Recovery, and the Twelve Steps
Meets every Friday, 7:00-8:30 PM.
In-person and on Zoom
Youth Programs 
View the calendar page for more info
  • Children’s Program: Kindergarten- 3rd grade, every other Sunday 10:30-11:45 AM
  • Preteen Program: 4th grade- 7th grade, every other Sunday 10:30-11:45 AM
  • Teen Practice Group: Next meeting is Sunday, October 22nd, 10:30-11:45 AM

Programs at Our Retreat Center
Common Ground Retreat Center is located in Wisconsin, about an hour-and-fifteen-minute drive from Minneapolis.

CLICK HERE for more info and registration for retreat center programs. We have many upcoming practice periods and retreats. 

Volunteer Opportunities

Spring Maintenance Day!
October 28, 9:30 AM-12:45 PM
Join us for a morning of fixing, cleaning and maintenance at the city center. We will end with a meal together.

Please contact Robin Major, at robin@commongroundmeditation.org if you are interested in any of these volunteer opportunities:

  • Audio Editing: For talks uploaded to dharmaseed. The audio editing is easy to learn, no previous experience required. 1-2 hours per week, or every other.
  • Graphic design: One or two graphic designers to support the buildout for a new website. Experience with mobile-friendly graphic design preferred.
  • Bell ringing: For a community member who is interested in training to be a practice leader at one of the morning in-person silent sits.
  • Tree trimming: A community member with skill and experience trimming trees; for a tree at the city center.
Wishlists: If you want to donate a specific item, check out the Retreat Center Wishlist and the City Center Wishlist.

Community News 

Upcoming Community Group Meetings
To view a complete list of our regular program offerings, visit our upcoming programs page on our website. As always, our online calendar is the best way to find the correct times and Zoom links. 

  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, First and Third Thursdays, 6:30-8:00 PM
  • Zoom: Buddhism and Other Religions Book Group, Saturday, October 14th, 9:00-10:30 AM
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, October 15th, 4:00-5:30 PM
  • Refirement Group, Thursday, October 19th, 12:00-2:00 PM
  • Be Queer Now: First Wednesdays of the month, next meeting is November 1st, 7:30-9:00 PM
  • Learning to Approach Social and Political Conflict with Skill and Kindness, Sunday, November 19th, 1:30-3:00 PM
  • To see the complete list of community groups, click here.

Good and Bad Experiences Are Okay

You should not be concerned
whether you have good or bad
experiences. You should only be
concerned about your attitude
towards these experiences. 

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

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