Weekly Email 11-4-21

Dear Common Ground Friends,

As this election cycle closes many of us might, whether we’re happy or sad about the results, many of us have questions about the effects of our collective actions and where we’re headed together.  It has been useful over the past few days to remind myself that the future is seeded in every moment whether I remember to be aware or not…and I really want to know how I’m contributing to this life as well as our collective reality. Well then, what could be more important than practice that  strengthens this heart’s capacity to be here now with all of life’s joys and sorrows, hopes, fears, disappointments and joys !? Let us all remember that it really matters how we relate to life, each other, our friends, colleagues, etc in every, seemingly insignificant moment. Let’s continue to trust sensitivity together and see where that takes us.

The effects of our actions extend through space and time like ripples on a pond, influencing not only our future selves but also our surroundings. If we wish to be a certain kind of person and live in a certain kind of world, we need to be heedful about the seeds we cultivate.
– Seth Zuiho Segall, “A More Enlightened Way of Being”

Warm Wishes,

Shelly Graf

Upcoming Programs: In Person at Common Ground

Silent Open Meditation
Monday-Saturday, 7:30-8:30am,
Sundays 8:30-9:30am,
Tuesdays from 7:30-9:00pm, &
Wednesdays, 11:00am-12:00pm

Wednesday, November 3rd
  • Autumn and Steve Compton alternate offering In-Person Qigong from 9:30-10:30 on Wednesdays, now meeting inside at Common Ground.
  • Nancy Boler is now offering an In-Person Mindful Yoga Class on Wednesdays, from 12:05-1:05pm.
Friday, November 5th
  • Nancy Boler is now offering a hybrid In-Person/Zoom Mindful Yoga Class on Fridays from 9:30-10:45am.

Sunday, November 7th

  • Livestream of Weekly Practice Group with Shelly Graf, 10:30-11:45am. The meditation hall is open on Sunday mornings for community members to gather to watch the Weekly Practice Group livestream together on a screen. There will be a program host there to facilitate conversation for those who wish to stay afterwards. Mark will be teaching online from the office.
  • In-Person Zoom: Weekly Practice Group with Nils Heymann, 7:00-8:30pm. Please note that we will have a different format this week for the Sunday evening weekly practice group. Nils Heymann will be teaching remotely from California; the talk will be broadcast on a TV in the meditation hall for in-person participants.
Monday, November 29th – Saturday, December 18th
  • Zoom/In-Person: Community Practice Intensive with Shelly Graf & Gabe Keller Flores. The Community Practice Intensive is an opportunity to increase the amount of time we spend doing formal meditation practice, as well as commit to being mindful throughout our day, for a period of just under three weeks. More info and registration here.
Saturday, December 4th
  • In-Person/Zoom Mindfulness and Recovery Retreat with Mary G. and Charlie B., 9:00am-12:00pm. More info and registration here.

Upcoming Programs In Person at Common Ground’s Retreat Center at Prairie Farm

Common Ground Retreat Center is located in Wisconsin, about an hour-and-fifteen-minute drive from Minneapolis. Registration is now open for the following programs there.

  • Practice Period with Matthew King and Evelyn Kaiser
    Thursday evening, December 2nd – Sunday mid-day December 5th. Registration here.
  • Practice Period with Matthew King and Tracey Ghilardi
    Thursday evening, December 16th – Sunday mid-day December 19th. Registration here.
More info and registration for these programs can be found here. Please note that we are currently requiring vaccination and masking for programs at the retreat property.

Upcoming Programs: Online

Tuesday, November 2nd

  • Stacy McClendon will lead the Community Practice Check-In, join in for a guided meditation and Community conversation and Q&A about our practice. 12:00pm-1:00pm on Zoom.

Wednesday, November 3rd

  • Shelly Graf will lead the Weekly Practice Group; a cornerstone for one’s practice by providing ongoing instruction and teachings that will help illuminate the simple but challenging practice of mindfulness. 7:30pm-9:00pm on Zoom.
Friday, November 5th
  • Shelly Graf will lead the weekly Community Practice Check-In. All are welcome. 9:00-10:00am on Zoom. Today’s meeting and every other session we will explore racism through an inquiry into whiteness and domination.
  • Shelly Graf will lead the Lovingkindness Practice Group. 7:00pm-8:30pm on Zoom.
Saturday, November 6th
  • Ramesh Sairam will lead the Dharma Practice Reflections; join in to explore the practical implications of following the path of dhamma. 10:30am-12:00pm on Zoom.
Sunday, November 7th
  • Shelly Graf will lead the Weekly Practice Group, 10:30-11:45am on Zoom and Youtube.
  • Wynn Fricke and Gabe Keller Flores will lead the Weekly Community Practice Check-In; join in for a guided meditation and Community conversation and Q&A about our practice. Everyone is welcome. 4:30-5:30pm on Zoom.
Saturday, November 13th
  • Half-Day Retreat with Shelly Graf, 9:00am-1:00pm. More info and registration here.
  • Mindfulness and Physical Pain Workshop with Ramesh Sairam, 1:00-4:00pm. More info and registration here.
Sunday, November 14th
  • Day of Remembrance with Kyoko Katayama and Patrice Koelsch, 2:00-3:00pm. We invite you to this informal zoom gathering to share our grief and to remember and express our love and thanks to our friends, family members, and partners who have died. Registration not needed.
Saturday, December 11th
  • Half-Day Retreat with Shelly Graf, 9:00am-1:00pm. More info and registration here.
  • Couples’ Workshop with Jane Rauenhorst & Jean Haley, 9:00am-12:00pm. More info and registration here.
These are program highlights. To see a complete list of all our programs and access Zoom links to participate, please visit the online calendar. Also, please note all times listed are in central time.

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

  • Tuesday evening bellringer: We’re looking for someone interested in ringing the bell for the evening sit on Tuesdays, 7:30-9:00pm, once or twice a month. Email gabe@commongroundmeditation.org if interested.
  • Biweekly Sunday Evening Cleaning: Every other Sunday evening there is drop-in Community Cleaning time from 6-7pm, led by community leader Brad Dupre. Upcoming dates: Nov 14th
  • Cooking for Practice Periods at Prairie Farm: There is a tradition in Buddhism of supporting people doing intensive retreat practice. We are always looking for volunteers interested in cooking and freezing meals ahead of time for retreatants at Prairie Farm. You can see a list of recipes here. Common Ground has pots and tupperware you can borrow for cooking and freezing. Contact retreatcenter@commongroundmeditation.org if you wish to offer a meal. Or to donate in support of groceries for the retreatants, you can designate a gift for “CG Retreat Center” here.


Community News

   Upcoming Community Group Meetings

  • Tea and Dharma Community Group, Tue. Nov. 2nd. In Person, 8:00-9:00am.
  • Be Queer Now Meditation Sangha, Wed. Nov. 3rd. On Zoom, 7:30-9:00pm.
  • BIPOC Community Group, Thurs. Nov. 4th. On Zoom, 6:30-8:00pm.
  • Mindfulness and Depression Community Group, Sun. Nov. 7th. On Zoom, 4:00pm-5:30pm.

Snowblowing Team
It’s that time of year to start thinking about the snowblowing team again! If you’re interested email gabe@commongroundmeditation.org. The way we do it is you sign up for times when you’re on call to respond if there’s a snowfall. We need both shovelers and people to operate the snowblower. Snowblowing training provided :)

Registration Open for EcoSattva Course
Put on by One Earth Sangha, The EcoSattva Training is a course several CG leaders have participated in over the last few years. From their website: “The EcoSattva Training is an eight-part series designed to support you in developing your response, internal and external, to a changing world. We’ll offer new insights from multiple Dharma traditions as well as the growing field of climate psychology as we soothe these tender bodies, hearts and minds. Supported by these teachings and one another, participants can discover and cultivate a way forward.”

Upcoming Antiracism Programs with ASDIC
Our friends at ASDIC (Antiracism Study and Dialogue Circle) have some online programs coming up, open to all:

  • What These Times Demand: Why ASDIC’s Work is More Important than Ever, with Okogyeamon, Professor Joe R. Feagin, and Joy Sorensen Navarre on November 17, 7-8:30pm CT. Registration here.
  • Third Sunday Forums: Conversations on Race, Nov 21 and Dec 19, 12:30 PM. More info here.
Article on Dana
Mark was featured in an article in an online Buddhist journal called Buddhistdoor Global on the practice of offering the Buddhist teachings on a donation basis called “The Dana Dilemma.” Click here to read.Invitation to Braver Angels: Bridge-Building across Political Difference
Charlie Birge, a CG community member, describes in this blog post his work with Braver Angels and invites other CG community members to join him. He writes: “Braver Angels workshops invite both sides of political conflicts to attempt to understand the underlying values and concerns of their opposites.” Read more on the blog here.

Weekly Tejaniya
Only when you are relaxed can you
see things as they are. The more you
try to see something, the less clearly
you can see it. Those who don’t try
to look for anything, see more.

Common Ground Retreat Center

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