Weekly Email 11/26/20

Dear Common Ground Friends,

A heart grounded in gratitude and truth provides a foundation of integrity and guides our actions and speech. I will be taking pause today as will many of you to reflect on the blessings around and within us while not neglecting to remember the costs endured by Indigenous and African descended communities in this country over generations. Giving our hearts fully to each moment of radical inclusion, is also an opportunity to feel into the possibility of our individual and collective growth. Zen Buddhist Priest, Shohaku Okumura said that emptiness “…is soft and flexible like a plant that tries to go around a big rock and continues to grow. There is always some other way to live and to grow”.  

There are many upcoming programs to help us grow, starting with Lovingkindness practice led by Stacy McClendon tomorrow night. Our twice annual Community Practice Intensive with Shelly Graf and Gabe Keller-Flores is scheduled December 7-19, and finally registration is now open for our 28th Annual Year End Retreat with Wynn Fricke Shelly Graf, Mark Nunberg and Stacy McClendon from Sunday evening December 27 until Thursday, the 31st at noon. 


Shelly Graf
Associate Director


Upcoming Program Highlights

STACY MCCLENDON will offer the Lovingkindness Practice Group this Friday, 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here.

MARK NUNBERG will offer a Daylong Retreat on Saturday from 9:30am – 4:00pm. More info and registration here.

AUTUMN COMPTON will begin offering a weekly Qigong class on Wednesdays, 9:30-10:30am, over Youtube livestream. Visit our channel to connect.

JEAN HALEY and CECILIA RAMON will offer a Half-Day Retreat from 1:00-5:00pm. More info and registration here.

SHELLY GRAF and GABE KELLER FLORES will lead the annual December Community Practice Intensive. This intensive emphasizes the integration of daily life duties and responsibilities with elements of retreat practice. Past participants have found these intensives to be a powerful time to experiment living in a more mindful way and noticing the wholesome effects arising throughout one’s daily life. For more info and registration click here.

Our dear friend and teacher PAMELA AYO YETUNDE has co-edited a new book: Black and Buddhist: What Buddhism Can Teach Us About Race, Resilience, Transformation and Freedom. We’re happy to be co-sponsoring two events celebrating the release of the book and offering a chance to hear from some of the authors and editors. Harvard Divinity School will be hosting an author discussion on Tuesday, December 8th, 4 – 5:30pm (central time), (more info and registration here) and Center of the Heart will be hosting a release party on Wednesday, December 9th, 6:00-7:00pm central time (more info and registration here).

WYNN FRICKE, SHELLY GRAF, MARK NUNBERG, and STACY MCCLENDON will offer an online Year-End Retreat. More info and registration here.

MARK NUNBERG will offer the next Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation course January 12-Feburary 16, Six Tuesdays, 7:30-9:00pm. 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. We recommend you bookmark it for easy access during the week. You might also want to bookmark our Youtube channel. 

Additional non-CG events Taught by Shelly Graf:

Friday, January 15 – Monday, January 18 w/ Nakawe Cuebas Berrios & Devin Berry


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.

Preparing Meals for Retreatants at Prairie Farm
One way you can offer support is by preparing a meal for retreatants at Prairie Farm. Mark Nunberg will be on retreat at Prairie Farm for the second half of November and most of December and will be training in other practice leaders during his stay. If you’re interested in preparing and freezing a meal, let info@commongroundmeditation.org know. You can view possible recipes here.


Community News 

Millenials Sangha Community Group Meets Friday
The monthly Millenials Sangha Community Group is meeting this Friday, November 27th over Zoom from 7:00-8:30pm. For more information or to get on our email list contact Gabe Keller Flores or Carrie Jackling: geeabekeller@gmail.com or carriebjackling@gmail.com. Zoom link here.

Teen Practice Group Meeting on Zoom Each Sunday
The Teen Practice Group is now meeting over Zoom every Sunday from 10:30-11:45am. For more info, click here.

Opportunity to Offer Gratitude to Cory
Cory Clemetson has been our Construction Manager for these past 2-3 years of renovation at Prairie Farm. He has poured his creativity, craftsmanship, hard work, and good heart into this place. He is almost finished with the final touches before we invite the building inspector back for the final inspection so it seems the right time to offer our wholehearted thanks. May Cory’s hard work, and the tremendous generosity of so many volunteers and contributors set much good in motion, in our hearts and in the world. Wynn and Mark have offered to pay for Cory and his partner Lisa to fly somewhere for a vacation. If you are interested in helping to fund a “Community Thank You Vacation Trip” for Cory and Lisa please send in a contribution to the center designating it for “Cory’s thank you.” These funds will help cover the costs of a rental car and accommodations.

Sleight of Mouth Trainings offered through ASDIC
Antiracism Study and Dialogue Circle (ASDIC) is a wonderful local organization Common Ground has partnered with in the past. We wanted to let the community know about an upcoming workshop series they will be offering in December called Addressing Race-Based Beliefs with Sleight of Mouth Patterns & Practice – December 3, 10 & 17, 2020 – 6-8pm CST on Zoom. More info 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.

Quote of the Week
Observing from different angles and
perspectives is wisdom at work.
-Sayadaw U Tejaniy

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