Weekly Email 12/27/20

Dear Common Ground Community,

Our wise spiritual teachers and ancestors advised us to keep the impermanent nature of all conditions in mind. When the heart attunes to the changing, ephemeral nature of experience, it understands that clinging is inherently stressful and learns to abide in a peaceful relationship to the flow of nature. This way of relating is dynamic, alive, and flexible, able to adapt as conditions constantly arise and pass away. This is a source of joy, generosity, and kindness, as we see how we are all doing our best to be happy amidst changing and uncertain conditions.

We have some opportunities this week to be together in community to reflect on the passing of a year and the beginning of a new one. The Year-End Retreat begins tonight, and is full, but anyone who wishes to can tune in to our Youtube channel to listen to the evening talks starting Monday. The schedule is posted below. And on Thursday, evening, the 31st, we will have our annual New Year’s Eve Celebration. More details below.

Wishing you a peaceful and joyful end of year,


Upcoming Program Highlights

We will be livestreaming the evening Sit and Reflection from the Year-End Retreat Monday through Wednesday. Tune in on our Youtube channel to watch the livestream from 7:00-8:00pm. WYNN FRICKE will lead Monday, MARK NUNBERG will lead Tuesday, and SHELLY GRAF will lead Wednesday.THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31ST
New Year’s Eve Celebration! 7:00-9:00pm. For over twenty years members of the Common Ground Community have been gathering on December 31st for an evening of practice, reflection, sharing, and celebration. Please join us as we bring in the New Year with awareness and joy. There will be dharma sharing by Mark Nunberg, Shelly Graf, Stacy McClendon, and Wynn Fricke, and music by Ellis Delaney and Gabe Keller Flores. Registration here.

NANCY BOLER will offer New Year’s Day Yoga over Zoom. 10:30am-1:00pm. Zoom link here. No registration required.

MERRA YOUNG will lead the Lovingkindness Practice group, 7:00-8:30PM. Zoom link here.

RAMESH SAIRAM will lead Dharma Reflections from 10:30am-12:00pm. Zoom link here.

MARK NUNBERG will lead the Weekly Practice Group as usual. 10:30-11:45am. Zoom link here.

PAMELA AYO YETUNDE will lead Dharma Among Us. Is There Such a Thing as a Buddhist Bystander Effect? Much of the world’s eyes will be on Minneapolis when George Floyd’s police killer and police accomplices are on trial.  What will the world learn about Twin Cities Buddhists during the trial?  Pamela Ayo Yetunde, co-editor of Black and Buddhist: What Buddhism Can Teach Us About Race, Resilience, Transformation and Freedom (Shambhala, 2020) will engage in trialogue with SHELLY GRAF and PATRICE KOELSCH about whether our beliefs and practices feed a bystander impulse, or create the conditions for witnessing in a constructive way.  Ayo will also share some thoughts about creating a Buddhist-inspired justice making organization. 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here.

MARK NUNBERG will offer a Half-Day Retreat from 1:00-5:00pm. More info and registration here.


MARK NUNBERG will offer the next Buddhist Studies class on Mindfulness of the Body. Eight Mondays, 7:30-9:00pm. More info and registration here.

MARK NUNBERG will offer the next Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation course. Six Tuesdays, 7:30-9:00pm. More info and registration here.

SPRUCE KRAUSE will begin offering Interplay monthly on the second Thursday of the month from 7:00-8:30pm. InterPlay helps you explore old habit energy and discover new possibilities through movement, sound, words, stillness and connection. We use simple, easy to do, incremental forms to promote a playful sense of ease, and an authentic sense of connection – both to yourself and others. Zoom link here.

Please note that all times listed are in Central time. For complete, up-to-date program information, including programs cancelled for holidays, 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 Mark and Shelly:

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

Mindfulness & Insight Meditation: The Mah?si Method
Thursday, February 25 – Sunday, February 28 w/ Mark Nunberg, Kamala Masters, & Steve Armstrong


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.

Interested in snowblowing for CG this winter?
We are still looking for snowblowing volunteers! We have a snowblower and we can train you in. If you’re intimidated by the snowblower, we also need shoveling volunteers. If interested in joining the snow team, please email Rob at rwkohlmeyer@yahoo.com. Thank you!


Community News 

Community Groups Meeting This Week

  • Mindfulness and Depression, Sunday, 4:00-5:30pm. This group is open to anyone with personal experience of depression. Zoom link here.
  • Dharma Friends Sit and Discussion, 7:00-8:00pm. Our evening will start with a guided meditation, followed by a dharma discussion. Zoom link here.

Be Queer Now Meditation Sangha starting January 6th!

Come sit with queers! Join fellow compassionate-minded practitioners from the LGBTQQIA+ community for weekly meditation and Dhamma chats. Whether you’re curious about Buddhism or have been practicing for decades, you’re welcome here. Wednesdays from 7:30 – 9 pm on Zoom, with scottie hall (ze | zir), Brian Young (they | them), and others. Zoom link here. On the last Wednesday of each month, we will join the full community for the Weekly Practice Group, led by Shelly Graf (they | them).

CG Mutual Support Form
We’ve created a form to gather info from community members interested in offering eachother support in the form of social connection, help with errands, or other forms of support. If you’re interested in participating, you can fill out the form here.

Job Opening at Compassionate Ocean Zen Center
Our fellow Twin Cities Dharma center Compassionate Ocean Zen Center are looking to hire a part-time Administrative Director. This is a new leadership position, taking full responsibility for developing, maintaining, and growing the administrative function of the Center. More info here.

Antiracism Study and Dialogue Circle Beginning January 18th
Our friends at ASDIC will be offering their next 10-week circle January 18th -March 22nd. Mondays. 5:30 PM-8:30 PM. This is an excellent training many CG leaders have done. More info here.

Weekly Tejaniya
In meditation, when investigating the
mind, it is only important to recognize
when there is identification with an
object and when there is not.

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