Weekly Email 11-30-22

Dear Common Ground Friends,

The Buddha taught both the experience of suffering and freedom arise lawfully & naturally when the supporting causes are present. So, what are the supporting causes for freedom, what the Buddha sometimes referred to as, “the unshakeable release of the heart”? If suffering arises due to misperceiving the way things are and then thinking and acting in accordance with our misperceptions, then freedom arises when the mind sees clearly the way things are and engages life in accordance with this deep understanding. This is why the Buddha emphasized the cultivation of a balanced stable present moment awareness. This awareness sees the underlying empty nature of our experience and the knowing mind itself. It is this clear seeing or insight that naturally, unstoppably matures into a trustworthy uplifting dispassion and a deepening disenchantment with the reactive, entangling and stressful habits of liking and disliking.

With the maturing of dispassion arises insight into the dropping away of the mind’s habits of selfing–projecting a permanent self at the center of our experience. This profound and subtle insight uproots the latent tendency to misperceive and misunderstand our experience in ways that lead to identification and clinging. This is the natural process of awakening that leads onward toward an unshakeable release of all that burdens the heart.

Wishes for the peace of release all around,

Mark Nunberg
Co-Guiding Teacher

Bell-Ringing & Morning Sits
For the weeks of the Community Practice Intensive (Nov 28th – Dec 17th), we are expanding our in-person open community sit to 6:30am – 8:30am for most mornings of the week. Join us even if you are not participating in the Community Practice Intensive! If you would like to volunteer for any of the following bell-ringing shifts, please reach out to Robin: robin@commongroundmeditation.org.

7:00 and 7:30am on Mondays (Dec 5 & 12)
7:00 and 7:30am on Tuesdays (Dec 6 & 13)
7:00 and 7:30am on Fridays (Dec 2, 9, & 16)
8:30am on Tuesdays (ongoing)
8:30am on Thursdays (ongoing)

If there is enough interest in this new early morning sit time, we will make this a more permanent change.

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
    • Dec 4th with Kevin Griffin
    • Dec 11th with Shelly Graf
  • Sunday evenings, 7:00-8:30pm in-person with Mark Nunberg
    • Dec 4th with Shelly Graf
    • Dec 11th with Ramesh Sairam
  • Wednesday evenings, 7:30-9:00pm on Zoom with Shelly Graf
    • Dec 14th with Jean Haley
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
  • Wednesdays, 8:30-9:30am with Shelly Graf, in-person
  • 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: The Children’s Program is held 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 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, December 8th | 7:00 -8:30pm

Mindful Self-Compassion Practice Group with Jean Haley and Jane Rauenhorst
Friday, December 16th | 7:00 -8:30pm

Upcoming Programs: In Person/Hybrid at Common Ground
To see full list of programs visit our calendar

Half-Day Retreat with Shelly Graf
Saturday, December 3rd | 1:00pm – 5:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Guest Teacher Talk with Ben Connelly: Imagination, Interdependence, and Liberation
Thursday, December 8th | 7:00 – 9:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
No registration necessary

All-Night Solstice Retreat
With Mark Nunberg, Cory Clemetson and Robin Major
9:00pm December 20th – 7:00am December 21st
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Annual New Year’s Eve Celebration and Potluck
Saturday, December 31st | 7:30am – 12:15am
In-person and on Zoom
No registration necessary

Half-Day Retreat with Ayya Niyy?nika & Mark Nunberg
January 7th | 1:00pm – 5:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Registration coming soon!

Buddhist Studies: Seven Factors of Awakening with Mark Nunberg
Eight Mondays: January 9th – February 27th
7:30pm – 9:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation with Mark Nunberg
Six Tuesdays: January 10th – February 14th
7:00 – 8:30pm
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

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

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 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 the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month at the retreat center, 6:30-7:45pm. The groups are led by 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:

  • Snowblowing and Shoveling: ‘Tis snow season! If you would like to help Ollie and Rob keep the sidewalks and parking lot clear, please contact Ollie at: ostocker1@gmail.com. Ollie and Rob will be happy to train you in with the snowblower if you have not used one before.
  • 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 15-45 minute cleaning task for you to do.
  • Website Volunteer: We are hoping to re-do our website in the coming months. If you have experience building websites and are interested in helping with this, please write an email of interest to Robin.
  • Plant Pots: We are looking for two large terracotta, ceramic, or nicely made resin pots for plants at the retreat center. The pots should be at least 15in in diameter.

Community News 

Community Potluck!
Our next Community Potluck will be on Sunday, December 18th from 12:00pm – 1:30pm. If you’d like to help out during the event, you can sign up for a volunteer slot here.

An Evening of Kirtan (Sacred Chanting)
January 7th | 7:30pm – 9:00pm
In-person only
Join Temple of Light for an evening of kirtan. Kirtan is from the Bhakti yoga tradition. It is sacred chanting of mantras and the names of the divine set to music. For many it leads into deep blissful states.

Calendar Page Captchas
If you have been experiencing difficulty opening the calendar page, you are not alone! We are working to update our calendar page and hopefully will have it fixed soon. Accessing the calendar through Google Chrome, or another non-Safari platform, works best.

Upcoming Community Group Meetings
View public calendar for Zoom links and more information.

  • Be Queer Now, weekly on Wednesday, 7:30-9:00pm
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thursday December 1st, 6:30-8:00pm
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, December 4th, 4:00-5:30pm
  • Community Group for Organizers & Social Justice Activists, Thursday December 8th, 6:00-7:30pm
  • Buddhism and Other Religions Book Group, Saturday, December 10th, 9:00 a.m.
  • Retirement Group, Thursday, December 15th, 12:00

To see the complete list of community groups, click here.

Weekly Tejaniya

Do You Think You Are in Control?
Whenever you think you
are in control of a situation,
craving, aversion and delusion
are actually in control.

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.