Weekly Email 10/22/20

Dear Common Ground Friends,

There are two upcoming meditation retreat opportunities with a Daylong Retreat on Saturday, October 31st and a Two-Day Retreat on Friday and Saturday, November 6th & 7th to support the more quiet work of seeing the deep roots of suffering, attachment and the possibility of the heart’s release. And we have three upcoming programs designed to illuminate the messy work of wisely engaging the complexity of power and difference in our wider world:

  • In just a few days, on Sunday and Monday, October 25 & 26 there will be a Non-Violent Engagement Direct Action Training so interested folks will know better how to take action in alignment with our commitment to non-harming. The first session meets Sunday from 4:00-6:00pm. The second session is Monday from 5:30-7:30pm. More info and registration here.
  • Common Ground and Clouds in Water Zen Center will be offering a seven-month study of Resmaa Menakem’s transformational book, My Grandmother’s Hands, from Nov 12 – May 13. You can read more about the program and register here. On Thursday evening, November 5th, 7:00-8:30pm, there will be an introductory preview session for folks who might be interested but want more information about the commitment and expectations. We invite anyone interested in this program to join the introductory gathering with this Zoom link. Feel free to attend and decide after the introductory gathering whether this commitment makes sense for you.
  • Finally, on Tuesday, November 10th, 7:00-8:30pm, Jason Sole, a criminal justice educator and past president of the Minneapolis NAACP will be leading a program entitled Actions Speak Louder Than Words: How Do You Bring Your Values to the Work of Racial Justice? More info and registration here.
  • Here is a poster with the info for these three programs. Feel free to share widely.
Let’s aspire to show up in our communities with all the wise and compassionate action that is needed at this time.

Upcoming Program Highlights

This week:

  • The EcoSangha Practice Group is not meeting this Thursday. It is taking a hiatus for the winter.
  • Stacy McClendon will lead the weekly Friday night Lovingkindness Practice Group, 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here.
  • Ramesh Sairam will offer his Dharma Reflections & Discussion ongoing group on Saturday morning, 10:30am-12:00pm, over Zoom. All are welcome. Link here.
  • The Common Ground Book Club, facilitated by April Hanson, is meeting Sunday morning at 8:45am to begin discussion of Ibram X. Kendi’s book How to Be an Anti-Racist. More info here.
  • On Sunday, Mark will lead the Sunday morning Weekly Practice Group over Youtube, as usual, 10:30-11:45am. Every week there is an opportunity to join small groups on Zoom after the talk. Look for the Zoom link in the Youtube description, under the video. Also, here is an article Mark mentioned during his last talk: A Walk in the Woods by Phra Khantipalo.
  • Ramesh Sairam will offer a workshop on Mindfulness and Physical Pain on Sunday afternoon, 1:00-4:00pm. We are still determining whether it will be offered over Youtube or Zoom. There is also room for 5 participants to attend in-person, at the center. More info and registration here.
  • The Dharma Friends & Discussion community group facilitated by Danielle Sewell, Megan Brandeland, and Gabe Keller Flores meets this Sunday evening, 7:00-8:00pm. Zoom link here.
  • Mark Nunberg and Stacy McClendon offer the Tuesday mid-day Community Practice Check-In every Tuesday, at 12:00-1:00pm. Zoom link here.
  • Devin Berry and Shelly Graf will lead the next Dharma Among Us program on Tuesday, Oct. 27th, 7:00-8:30pm. The conversation will center the dharma of James Baldwin and Nikki Giovanni, 2 of the most prolific and influential literary giants of our lifetime. Zoom link here.
  • Shelly will lead the Wednesday evening Weekly Practice Group as usual, 7:30-9:00pm. Zoom link here. Feel free to join early for virtual Tea Time, 7:00-7:20pm, for some time to connect with others over Zoom before the program.
  • Shelly will offer their weekly Community Practice Check-In on Thursday, from 9:00-10:00am. Zoom link here. This week’s meeting and every other session we will explore racism through an inquiry into whiteness and domination. All are welcome.

Looking ahead:

  • The 7th Annual Day of Remembrance will be held over Zoom on Sunday, November 1st, 2:00-3:30pm. More info here.
  • The Support Group for Friends of People with Mental Illness will be meeting again over Zoom on Sunday, November 8th. This is a friendship/support group for people who have a loved one with mental illness, to provide listening, support, practical resources and reflections on our experiences in light of the dharma.  Facilitated by Jean Fagerstrom and Carolyn Lancaster. For more info text Jean: 612-423-2926

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

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.

Volunteer Request 
Our volunteer audio team leader, Kevin Bjorklund, is looking for audio processing volunteers to help him continue to keep our Dharmaseed page updated. If you have experience with audio editing and are interested, please contact kbjork63@gmail.com.

Community News 

Reflections on Sangha at Prairie Farm from Matthew King, our Caretaker

Matthew writes: The past few weeks have reminded me of the power of sangha, often translated as community. It’s within this community of spiritual friends that I see where my mind is hooked, where impatience, anger, judgement, etc… arises. Sure, most of these thoughts, feelings, and emotions will come up without the presence of others, but in the supportive retreat setting at Prairie Farm, when the mind is a bit more collected, I’m able to see things with more clarity, less judgement, and more interest. Continue reading here.

Upcoming Events from Healing Minnesota Stories

Healing Minnesota Stories is an organization that works across racial and cultural lines to tell the stories of indigenous people in Minnesota. They have an event coming up that may be of interest.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 27, 6:50-8:00 p.m.,  Investing in Healing Minnesota Stories Virtual Event

For more info on their work, visit their website.

Preparing Meals for Prairie Farm Work Retreatants

Work retreatants continue to visit our retreat property this fall to practice and to maintain and develop the grounds and facilities. If you’re inspired to prepare and freeze a meal to offer to the work retreatants, email gabe@commongroundmeditation.org. You can view a list of possible recipes here.

Common Ground Forums

We’ve created a new medium for online connection for the CG community: forums! We envision the forums as a place for community announcements, mutual aid offers/requests, dharma discussions, and more. Check them out here! Gabe made an initial post inviting folks to introduce themselves and share something about how they’re practicing these days.

Community Survey Still Open for Participation

Thank you to everyone who filled out the community survey we sent out recently. You can still fill it out if you haven’t already, here.

Weekly Tejaniya
When you experience good mind states, ac-
tively remember them. Remind yourself that
you are experiencing a good mind state, that
good mind states are possible, and this is how
a good mind state feels. In this way you re-
inforce the understanding of the good
mind states you experience.Fall Quan Yin

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