Weekly Email 10-26-22

Dear Common Ground Friends,

We might think of intentions as the powerful force that guides and shapes our lives. Reflecting on our values or intentions can keep our lives moving in the direction we want them to. When life gets confusing, and we don’t know what to do, it can be wise to pause, and remember that intentions shape every moment of our lives. We can check in with ourselves in this moment about what our thoughts, words, and actions are setting in motion. Becoming more and more mindful of our intentions can help us realize that we have some agency, some choice in what we bring to our lives, relationships, families, and communities. We have an abundance of opportunity each day to cultivate intentions that will add beneficial energies to our collective realities. No matter what we’re experiencing, we can ask ourselves, is the way I’m relating here, the energy that I want to extend into my life and into the world? It is powerful to remember that we can influence our lives in good and beneficial ways. We can make a choice to reset our intentions in any moment, so that we are living more and more in alignment with our deepest values. We can do this even in the most ordinary of moments, asking ourselves, can this moment be inspired by what is beneficial? Can my actions be fueled by the love, compassion, honesty, patience and all the beautiful energies that I want to see reflected in the world?

Warm Wishes,

Shelly Graf
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 30th Mark will be live-streamed into the dharma hall
  • Sunday evenings, 7:00-8:30pm in-person with Mark Nunberg
    • October 30th with Shelly Graf
  • 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

Youth Programs

  • Children’s Program: From October – December, the Children’s Program will run 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 10/30, 11/13, 11/27 and 12/11. You can join the Common Ground teen listserv by emailing Robin: robin@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

InterPlay with Spruce Krause
Thursday, November 10th | 7:00 -8:30pm

Mindful Self-Compassion Practice Group with Jean Haley and Jane Rauenhorst
Friday, November 18th | 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

Reflections and Poems on Aging, Living, Humor, and the Wisdom of Letting Go
Poems by community member Alice Vollmar
In-person only
No registration necessary

Daylong Retreat with Patrice Koelsch
November 26th | 9:30am – 4:00pm
In-person only
Registration coming soon

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
Only Zoom spots open

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:

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

Practice Period with Robin Major & Pietro Ferrero
5:00pm Thursday, December 15th – 2:00pm Sunday, December 18th

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 

Article Co-Authored by Jen Racho
Please take a moment to read this piece, Filipino Americans Share Their Journey to Buddhism, co-authored by Common Ground community leader Jen Racho in honor of Filipino American History Month.

Upcoming Community Group Meetings:

  • Be Queer Now, weekly on Wednesday, 7:30-9:00pm
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thursday November 3rd, 6:30-8:00pm
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, November 6th, 4:00-5:30pm
  • Community Group for Organizers & Social Justice Activists, Thursday November 10th, 6:00-7:30pm
  • Refirement Community Group for Retirees, Thursday November 17th, 12:00-2:00pm
  • Millenials 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

When you are sick, right view is to think,
“This is not personal; this is nature; this is
a physical and mental process.” In this way,
the mind becomes interested. If you think in
terms of “I” and “my”—by saying “I’m sick;”
“my body is sick;” “my mind is sick,”— then
anger arises and the mind becomes messy.
When you’re sick, it is a good time
to learn about this process. 

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

Mark Nunberg and dharma teachers from IMS (Insight Meditation Society) visiting with Ajahn Sumedho after the rains retreat at Temple Monastery in New Hampshire last week.

Monastics left to right: Ajahn Sumedho, Ajahn Viradhammo, Ajahn Jayanto
IMS teachers left to right: Greg Scharf, Dawn Scott, Joseph Goldstein, Sally Armstrong, Guy Armstrong, Carol Wilson, Roxanne Dault, Vance Pryor, Mark Nunberg

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