Weekly Email 12-20-22

Dear Common Ground Friends,
Please note the following schedule changes and year end events that might be of interest.

First, I have decided to continue with our Sunday morning and evening Weekly Practice Groups on Christmas Day, December 25th and New Year’s Day, January 1st. Please join in!

Remember, the city center will be closed to all programs during our 30th Annual Year End Retreat that begins on Monday evening, December 26th and ends at 12:00 noon on Saturday, December 31st. We have more than 70 people registered, both in person at the city center and joining on Zoom for this important community practice time. You can still register if you are interested. 

We will be having our annual New Year’s Eve Practice and Celebration on December 31st, in-person and via Zoom. Dharma reflections will be offered by Shelly Graf, Stacy McClendon, and Mark Nunberg. Music will be performed by Ellis Delaney and Gabe Keller Flores. Please arrive by 7:30 but feel free to leave when you want. The vegetarian potluck begins around 9:15 pm. Music will start around 10:10pm. You can find more information on our calendar page We’re looking for several people to set up and clean up before or after the potluck. Please email Robin at robin@commongroundmeditation.org if you’d like to help out.

Folks can begin the new year by taking our next six week Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation beginning on Tuesday evening, January 10th. Or, registering for the eight week Buddhist Studies Course that begins on Monday evening, January 9th. Buddhist Nun Venerable Ayya Niyyanika and I will be leading a half-day retreat on Saturday, January 7th.

Finally, you can still join in tonight for our Solstice Night Retreat. More information here.

On behalf of the Common Ground teachers and staff, wishing everyone Happy Holidays and deep wishes for peace in our hearts, homes, communities, and world!

Mark Nunberg
Co-Guiding Teacher

Weekly Programs
We are experimenting with new ways to get information out about upcoming programs. You may see this weekly email changing some over the upcoming weeks. To view a complete list of our regular program offerings, visit our the upcoming programs page on our website. As always, our the online calendar is the best way to find correct times and Zoom links. 

Open Meditation- NEW TIMES!
In person meditation is now available, M-Th, starting at 6:30 a.m. Check our online calendar for additional times and details. There are many in-person as well as virtual opportunities for silent meditation, 7 days a week. Visit the calendar for times and details.

Weekly Practice Groups

  • Sunday mornings, 10:30-11:45am in-person and on Zoom with Mark Nunberg
  • Sunday evenings, 7:00-8:30pm in-person with Mark Nunberg
  • Wednesday evenings, 7:30-9:00pm on Zoom with Shelly Graf
    • December 28th with Patrice Koelsch
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
    • Cancelled 12/25
  • Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00pm with Stacy McClendon, on Zoom
  • NEW! 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
Yoga & Qigong
We offer Yoga and Qigong several times a week, both in person and online.
Mindfulness, Recovery, and the Twelve Steps
Meets every Friday, 7:00-8:30pm.
In-person and on Zoom

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 1/8 and 1/22. 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.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with Nan LeRoy
8 Wednesdays, January 19th – March 8th, 7:00-9:30pm and Daylong Retreat, Saturday, February 18th
Register here

MBSR-Based Mindfulness Practice with Nancy Boros
Mondays, 12:00 -1:00pm

Mindful Self-Compassion Practice Group with Jean Haley and Jane Rauenhorst
Friday, January 20th | 7:00 -8:30pm

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

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

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
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

New Year’s Day Yoga with Nancy Boler
January 1st | 12:30pm – 3:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Half-Day Retreat with Ayya Niyyanika & Mark Nunberg
January 7th | 1:00pm – 5:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Questions & Reflections with Venerable Ayya Niyyanika
January 8th | 2:00 – 4:00pm
In-person only
No registration necessary

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


Tranquility & Insight Retreat with Shelly Graf & Mark Nunberg. Assisted by Stacy McClendon
Thursday evening, February 16th – mid-day Monday, February 20th
On Zoom and in-person at Common Ground Retreat Center in Prairie Farm, WI
Register here

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 

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
To view a complete list of our regular program offerings, visit our the upcoming programs page on our website. As always, our the online calendar is the best way to find correct times and zoom links. 

  • Be Queer Now, weekly on Wednesday, 7:30-9:00pm (cancelled Wednesday the 21st)
  • Millenials Sangha, Friday, December 23rd, 7:00pm
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, January 1st, 4:00-5:30pm
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thursday, January 5th, 6:30-8:00pm
  • Community Group for Organizers & Social Justice Activists, Thursday, January 12th, 6:00-7:30pm
  • Buddhism and Other Religions Book Group, Saturday, January 12th, 9:00 a.m.
  • Retirement Group, Thursday, December 15th, 12:00

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

Weekly Tejaniya

With Joy and Interest You Are Doing Fine
As long as you find joy
and interest in the practice,
you are doing fine.

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

Scenes from the practice period at the retreat center last weekend

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