Weekly Email 10/27/20

Greetings Friends,

There are a number of programs coming up to help us deepen our ability to be a force of good in the world. When met with awareness, the goodness of the heart expressed strengthens the heart’s ongoing capacity for goodness. Everybody benefits when we take responsibility for understanding how our internal experiences become our external reality.

Tonight we relaunch a weekly program that we’re calling The Dharma Among Us. Honoring the diversity of lived experiences, we will explore both in practice and in conversation with each other how to live skillfully with all the complications of our humanness. Come, talk and listen together on Tuesday nights, 7 – 8:30 p.m.. Through our sharing, we will feel more deeply into the liberative teachings of the Buddha and their full capacity to guide us and unite us at this unique moment in time. Tonight’s conversation will be about how dharma practice sustains activism with Robin Wonsley Worlobah, Shannon Gibney, and scottie hall. (Zoom link here.) Patrice Koelsch will offer an election night resource on the 3rd. Then, on Tuesday, November 10th, Jason Sole will be with us to discuss how to bring our values to the work of social justice. Join in as often as you’d like. There are many additional program offerings coming up. Please make sure to read this email thoroughly for more information.


Shelly Graf

p.s. See the community news section for a link to a beautiful video from community member and artist, Malik Watkins aka MaLLy!

Upcoming Program Highlights

This week:

  • 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. All are welcome.
  • Femi Akinnagbe will lead the weekly Friday night Lovingkindness Practice Group, 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here. Femi Akinnagbe is a graduate of Common Ground’s first 2-year Dharma Leadership Training Program and a member of Common Ground’s People of Color (POC) sangha steering committee.
  • Mark is offering a Daylong Retreat on Saturday, 9:30am-4:00pm. Zoom link here. Putting aside our duties, responsibilities, and social engagements for a period of time can be a powerful support for the deepening of insight and for touching into deeper states of calm and peace. Mark will offer guided meditations, talks, and times for group discussion. Please join us for this day of practice.
  • 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. (Sorry for the technical difficulties last week! It shouldn’t happen again.)
  • Also on Sunday, from 2:00-4:00pm, we’ll have our 7th Annual Day of Remembrance. Zoom link here. There will be a sit, community ritual, a short talk, and music by Linda Breitag. More info 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.

Looking ahead:

  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.

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.

Community News 

Video from Community Member and Hip-Hop artist MaLLY

In this short video from PBS’s ART IS… series, Common Ground community member and acclaimed hip-hop artist MaLLY reflects on his creative process, spirituality, and the significance of home. Thanks for sharing MaLLy and for weaving the dharma into your art so beautifully! MaLLY and the other artists from his PBS “ART IS…healing” cohort will be airing a digital performance on November 12th that can be accessed free of charge. More info here.

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.

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

Greed, hatred and delusion make the
mind tired. That’s why we should not
let the mind be idle. That’s why I tell
you to practice continuously all day.

FallWinter Quan Yin

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