Weekly Email 10-3-23

Dear Common Ground Friends,
I’m away teaching a retreat in the mountains near Big Bear California through the weekend with a small group of yogis and also with the big redwoods and turkey vultures too. It has been powerful to practice with the 4 elements: earth, air, fire, and water and to feel the healing power of noticing each element both in the natural world as well as in this human body. Our human bodies are not that different from the elements in the natural world, the sturdiness of bone like the sturdiness of trees, the movement of wind, like the movement of breath, the rain like tears, and the warmth of the sun like the heat of emotions. In moments, the body can feel more like nature than something that is mine. What a gift it can be to drop the habit of personalizing that which belong to nature and feel the interconnectedness of life.

Wishing us moments of wonder and peace as we practice in the natural world and realize that everything belongs.
Shelly Graf
Co-Guiding Teacher

Community Potluck!
Sunday, October 8 | 12:00 – 1:30pm
Please join for the Common Ground quarterly potluck! Bring a vegetarian dish to share. All are welcome. Please email Robin at robin@commongroundmeditation.org if you are interested in coming early to help with set up or clean up.

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. 

Fall Retreat with Mark Nunberg & Shelly Graf, Assisted by Stacy McClendon
Thursday afternoon, October 12th – Sunday midday October 15th
Zoom spots open
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 25 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

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.

Half-Day and Daylong Retreats with Mark Nunberg

  • Half-Day: Saturday, Oct 7th  | In-person and on Zoom | Register here
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

Upcoming Teacher-Led Programs

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 – 5:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Living with Chronic Illness: a Workshop with Ramesh Sairam
Saturday, November 11 | 9:00am – 12:00pm
On Zoom only
Register here

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

Seven Noble Qualities of a Friend with Patrice Koelsch
Saturday, November 18 | 9:30am – 12:30pm
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 10:30am – 11:45am
  • Preteen Program: 4th grade- 7th grade, every other Sunday 10:30am – 11:45am
  • Teen Practice Group begins Sunday, September 24

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, 9:30am – 12:45pm
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. 

  • Be Queer Now: First Wednesdays of the month beginning October 4th, 7:30 – 9:00PM
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, First and Third Thursdays, 6:30-8:00 PM
  • Learning to Approach Social and Political Conflict with Skill and Kindness, Sunday, October 8th, 1:30-3:00 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
  • To see the complete list of community groups, click here.

You Are Doing Fine If …

As long as you find joy
and interest in the practice,
you are doing fine.

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

Wynn Fricke, Mark Nunberg, and Dr. Femi Akinnagbe at the Minnehaha Falls Park

Wynn Fricke, Mark Nunberg, and Dr. Femi Akinnagbe at the Minnehaha Falls Park Thank you Dr. Femi for visiting and sharing your dharma teachings last weekend

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