Weekly Email 12-12-23

Dear Common Ground Friends,

As many of you know, my personal practice over the last few months has involved the dharma teachers of pain, uncertainty, vulnerability, and a more and more radical submission to the support and expertise of those around me. (See Mark’s CaringBridge for more information) It has really cracked open my heart in beautiful ways I am so grateful for. Compassion practice is becoming much more real, and in moments, natural. I am surprised by compassion’s emotional richness, its depth and breadth, and that includes for me a healing trustworthy sweetness. Compassion feels good! My heart loves loving. It has a vastness that can hold it all without feeling distant. This wise, tender heart of compassion is my refuge. Of course, it can’t be captured or owned by me or anyone. It is real, but it is its own living process/movement. It seems my job is to stay interested, learn how to trust it more and more, and to be grateful for its movements through the body, heart and mind whenever and however that happens. I am doing my best to be a good student.

I thought I would share a beautiful song written and sung by long-time Common Ground leader Linda Breitag. Everytime I listen to this song my heart opens, it is good Dharma medicine for me. Perhaps it will be good support for your compassion practice as well. Much gratitude for this song Linda!. Linda Breitag, “Simple Things are Holy”
May we all find our way home to an ocean of compassion, nothing left out,

Mark Nunberg
Co-guiding Teacher

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| Spots still open in-person at the city center and on Zoom | Register here


New Year’s Celebration & Potluck!
with Mark Nunberg & Shelly Graf
Music with Ellis Delaney and Gabe Keller Flores
No registration required
See the calendar page for more info

Living the Practice: A Workshop on Faith & Doubt
with Shelly Graf & Mark Nunberg

Saturday, January 13 | 1:00-5:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

With Shelly Graf

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

Half-Day and Daylong Retreats with Shelly Graf

  • Half-Day: Saturday, January 6 | 1:00 – 5:00 PM | In-person and on Zoom | Register here

Community Practice Intensive with Shelly Graf & Sarah Wilson
Three Mondays: December 4 – 18 | 7:00 – 8:30 PM | In-person and on Zoom
Ending with a Daylong Retreat on Saturday, December 23
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

  • December 17 with Shelly Graf
Sundays, 7:00-8:30 PM, in-person only
  • December 17 with Patrice Koelsch

Buddhist Studies: Dependent Co-Arising with Mark Nunberg
Eight Mondays, January 8th – February 26, 7:30 – 9:00 PM
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation with Mark Nunberg
Six Tuesdays: January 9 – February 13, 7:00 – 8:30 PM
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Lovingkindness Practice Group
First Fridays, 7:00-8:30 PM with Stacy McClendon, in-person and on ZoomCommunity 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

Daylong Retreat for the BIPOC Community with Stacy McClendon & Jen Racho
Saturday, January 20 | 9:30 AM – 4:00 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, Developing the Art of Spiritual Inquiry with Ramesh Sairam. On Zoom only.
  • Mindfulness Self-Compassion with Jean Haley and Jane Rauenhorst. The next session is Friday, December 15.
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: Many Sundays 10:30-11:30 AM. See the calendar page for the schedule.

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 

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. 

  • Learning to Approach Social and Political Conflict with Skill and Kindness, Sunday, December 17th, 1:30-3:00 PM
  • Mindfulness & Depression, December 17th, 4:00-5:30 PM
  • Refirement Group, Thursday, December 21st, 12:00-2:00 PM
  • Be Queer Now: First Wednesdays of the month, next meeting is January 3rd, 7:30-9:00 PM
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, First and Third Thursdays, next meeting is January 4th, 6:30-8:00 PM
  • Zoom: Buddhism and Other Religions Book Group, Saturday, January 13th, 9:00-10:30 AM
  • To see the complete list of community groups, click here.

Thoughts Arise and There’s Only One Problem

We say the mind “wan-
ders,” but it doesn’t really go
anywhere. Thoughts arise, that’s
all. The only problem is we
think they shouldn’t.    

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this

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