Weekly Email 11-2-23

Dear Common Ground Friends,
At some moments for different reasons it can feel hard to bear the reality of our hearts, our lives, or the world. Maybe this resonates with you now. I have learned to rely on the practices of lovingkindness in moments like these. Cultivating the heart that cares, can be a beneficial balm that supports our heart’s balance and invites us into a direct relationship with all that is skillful. It is both radical and generous, care so much, that we take responsibility for the seeds we are planting through our thoughts, words, and actions. I know from my own experience that when I am sincere about these efforts, not only does it feel good, but there is enough energy to contribute in ways that are meaningful. Perhaps you see this too. When we contribute, we intentionally participate in change in little and big ways. When we cultivate the heart that cares, we participate wholeheartedly in our own and our collective well being.
Grateful to be on the path with you.
Shelly Graf
Co-Guiding Teacher

We have many great community teachers leading the Wednesday and Sunday Weekly Practice Groups in November. Click the images below for the full schedule.


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. 

The Sure Heart’s Release
Year End Retreat with Wynn Fricke, Mark Nunberg, and Shelly Graf
Tuesday, Dec 26 – Sunday, Dec 31| In-person at the city center, retreat center, and on Zoom | Register here
A lottery for in-person spots at the retreat center will be run on November 9.


With Shelly Graf

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

  • November 8th with Patrice Koelsch

Half-Day and Daylong Retreats with Shelly Graf

  • Half-Day: Saturday, December 9 | 9:00AM- 1:00PM | In-person and on Zoom | Register here
Community Practice Intensive with Shelly Graf & Sarah Wilson
Three Mondays: December 4 – 18 | 7:00 – 8:30PM | In-person and on Zoom
Ending with a Daylong Retreat on Saturday, December 23
More info and registration coming soonWith Mark NunbergWeekly Practice Groups with Mark
Sundays, 10:30-11:45 AM, in-person, on Zoom, and live-streamed to YouTube

  • Nov 5 with Kyoko Katayama
Sundays, 7:00-8:30 PM, in-person only
  • Nov 5 with Stacy McClendon

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.

Upcoming Teacher-Led Programs

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 Meski Mebatsion
Saturday, November 11 | 1:00-5:00 PM
In-person only
Register here

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

Sound Bath with Marc Anderson
Sunday, November 19 | 3:00 – 4:30 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

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

  • Snow Removal: Join the Common Ground snow removal team to help shovel and snowblow to keep the center’s sidewalks clear after snowstorms.
  • 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 

Young Adult Community Group
There is interest in a monthly young adult community group at the center. If you consider yourself a young adult and are interested in helping to initiate this community group, we are looking for folks who have residential retreat experience with Insight Meditation and have been around Common Ground Meditation Center for a few years. If this is you please let Robin Major, robin@commongroundmeditation.org, know. We are aiming to start the group in January of 2024. You can also let us know if you just want to be on the email list for this young adult group.

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, next meeting is November 2nd, 6:30-8:00 PM
  • Zoom: Buddhism and Other Religions Book Group, Saturday, November 11th, 9:00-10:30 AM
  • Refirement Group, Thursday, November 16th, 12:00-2:00 PM
  • Mindfulness & Depression, November 19th, 4:00-5:30 PM
  • Learning to Approach Social and Political Conflict with Skill and Kindness, Sunday, November 26th, 1:30-3:00 PM
  • Be Queer Now: First Wednesdays of the month, next meeting is December 6th, 7:30-9:00 PM
  • To see the complete list of community groups, click here.

There Is No Point in Feeling Guilty

There is no point in feeling
guilty. Guilt is from the past,
a concept. The feeling of guilt
is happening now, so it is an ob-
ject. Our awareness should
be on the mind’s reaction
to this object.

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

A glowing Silver Maple in the garden at Common Ground Meditation Center in Minneapolis Photo by Kay Christianson

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