Weekly Email 12-28-22

Dear Common Ground Friends,

I am spending the final days of 2022 helping to lead Common Ground’s 30th Annual Year End Retreat with more than 60 people participating. I have always been inspired by my own and others’ willingness to stick with a meditation practice. It doesn’t take much reflection to realize that our hearts and minds could use a kind and persistent retraining. Otherwise, we are destined to simply think and act in ways we have done before and then get results similar to what we have gotten before. The Buddha refers to this predicament as being caught in the wheel of samsara or suffering.

Wisdom arises from meditation practice;
Without practice it decays.
Knowing this two-way path for gain and loss,
Conduct yourself so that wisdom grows.

– Dhammapada 282

Perhaps this is a good time to reignite our daily meditation practice and recommit to a path of awakening. No matter the specific circumstances in our lives, it is possible to find an appropriate way to set good in motion, and to cease feeding unhelpful habits of mind. The proximate cause for awakening more wisdom, compassion and freedom in life is the cultivation of present moment awareness. It is for this purpose that so many of us commit to daily meditation practice. We sense the deep and essential value of this work in seeing more clearly what we haven’t yet seen, internally in our hearts and externally in our world and relationships. Please join in for any of our daily meditation sessions listed below. Some are in-person at the city center and some are on Zoom. One proven strategy that can help support our commitment to sit more often is to take on the responsibilities to support the practice of others. Common Ground is always looking for dedicated folks to support the community by volunteering to help make these programs available to the wider community. Please contact Robin Major, Common Ground’s Office Manager, if you have any questions about how to get more involved at the center: robin@commongroundmeditation.org.

Wishing Everyone the Deepest Healing and Awakening,

Mark Nunberg
Co-Guiding Teacher

Open Meditation Schedule
Bells are rung at the half-hour. Please enter or depart the dharma hall at the bell.
Mondays – Fridays: 6:30am – 8:30am
Tuesdays: 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Wednesdays 11:00am – 12:00pm
Saturdays: 7:30am – 8:30am
Sundays: 8:30am – 9:30am

On Zoom:
Mondays- Saturdays: 6:30am – 7:15am (teacher led)
Thursdays: 8:30pm – 9:00pm
Sundays: 9:00am – 9:45am

In Person Bell-Ringing Volunteer Opportunities
If you are interested in volunteering for one of these practice leader shifts, email Robin at robin@commongroundmeditation.org.

Mondays from 6:30 – 7:00am and 7:00 – 7:30am
Tuesdays from 6:30 – 7:00am, 7:00 – 7:30am and 8:00 – 8:30am
Thursdays from 8:00 – 8:30am
Fridays from 6:30 – 7:00am and 7:00 – 7:30am

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
  • 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, 1/22, 2/5, and 2/19. You can join the Common Ground teen listserv by emailing info@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

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

Practice Periods:

Practice Period with Robin Major & Melissa Bailey
5:00pm Thursday, February 9th – 12:00pm Sunday, February 12th

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: 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.
  • 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
  • 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, January 19th, 12:00
  • Millenials Sangha, Friday, January 27th, 7:00pm
  • To see the complete list of community groups, click here.

Weekly Tejaniya

Thoughts of “Me” or “Mine” Fuel the Emotions
All thoughts that you identify
with as being “me” or “mine”
actually fuel the emotions.

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

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