Weekly Email 12/8/20

Dear Friends,

Common Ground is co-sponsoring two upcoming events for the launch of the new book, Black and Buddhist: What Buddhism Can Teach Us about Race, Resilience, Transformation, and Freedom, co-edited by our beloved dharma teacher, Ayo Yetunde.

Join editors, authors, and Buddhist leaders Gaylon Ferguson, Cheryl A. Giles, Gyozan Royce Andrew Johnson, Ruth King, Kamilah Majied, Lama Rod Owens, Lama Dawa Tarchin Phillips, Sebene Selassie, and Pamela Ayo Yetunde as they discuss the importance of the Buddhisms and spiritual community in the lives of African-American people in two free online events.

Author Discussion 
Hosted by Harvard University’s Center for the Study of World Religion
Tuesday, December 8, 2020 | 5:00 pm– 6:30 pm EST | Online/Free
More Information and Registration HERE

Book Release Party
Hosted by Center of the Heart
Wed, December 9, 2020 | 7:00 pm–8:00 pm EST  | Online/Free
More Information and Registration HERE

I hope to see many of you at one or both of these events or any of the programs coming up this week at Common Ground, including tonight’s Dharma Among Us conversation with Greta Gaard. Meski Mebatsion will be leading the loving kindness practice group this Friday and Wynn Fricke will be leading the Sunday morning practice group, this upcoming Sunday. See below for many additional offerings. We always hope that you’ll find something that meets your needs.

Warmest Wishes to everyone,


Upcoming Program Highlights

GRETA GAARD will be the guest speaker at Dharma Among Us tonight. 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here.

SHELLY GRAF will lead the Weekly Practice Group as usual, 7:30-9:00pm. Zoom link here.

MESKI MEBATSION will lead the Friday evening Lovingkindness Practice Group from 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here. Meski is a long-time community member, student of life and the Buddhist teachings. She recently graduated from Common Ground’s Dharma Leadership Training program. She co-facilitates the people of color sangha.

WYNN FRICKE will lead the Weekly Practice Group this week while Mark is on retreat. 10:30-11:45am. Zoom link here.

WYNN FRICKE, SHELLY GRAF, MARK NUNBERG, and STACY MCCLENDON will offer an online Year-End Retreat. The retreat is full with a waiting list. Priority registration is given to BIPOC, genderqueer, and transgender folks. More info and registration here.

MARK NUNBERG will offer the next Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation course January 12-Feburary 16, Six Tuesdays, 7:30-9:00pm. More info and registration here.

Please note that all times listed are in Central time. For complete, up-to-date program information, 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 Shelly Graf:

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


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 looking for snowblowing volunteers! This can be a fun job! We have a snowblower and we can train you in. Also, if you’re intimidated by the snowblower, we also need shoveling volunteers. The job is done best with a snowblower and shoveler working together. If interested in joining the snow team, please email Rob at rwkohlmeyer@yahoo.com. Thank you!

Have a spare digital watch to donate?
If you have a working digital watch you’d like to donate to Prairie Farm, please let gabe@commongroundmeditation.org know. They would be helpful for practice leaders keeping track of when to ring the bells for meditation periods. Thanks!

Opportunity to Offer Gratitude to Cory
Cory Clemetson has been our Construction Manager for these past 2-3 years of renovation at Prairie Farm. He has poured his creativity, craftsmanship, hard work, and good heart into this place. He is almost finished with the final touches before we invite the building inspector back for the final inspection so it seems the right time to offer our wholehearted thanks. May Cory’s hard work, and the tremendous generosity of so many volunteers and contributors set much good in motion, in our hearts and in the world. Wynn and Mark have offered to pay for Cory and his partner Lisa to fly somewhere for a vacation. If you are interested in helping to fund a “Community Thank You Vacation Trip” for Cory and Lisa please send in a contribution to the center designating it for “Cory’s thank you.” These funds will help cover the costs of a rental car and accommodations.

Preparing meals for retreatants at Prairee Farm
One way you can offer support is by preparing a meal for retreatants at Prairie Farm. Mark Nunberg will be on retreat at Prairie Farm for most of December and will be training in other practice leaders during his stay. If you’re interested in preparing and freezing a meal, let gabe@commongroundmeditation.org know. You can view possible recipes here.


Community News 

Organizers and Activists Community Group on Thursday
This group meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month from 6 – 7:30 p.m. In these uniquely challenging times, people who are dedicated to fighting for justice need a place of refuge, for honest sharing about the challenges we face and for learning tools to more effectively bring mindfulness and compassion into political work and organizing.  Zoom link here. Email phillipcryan@gmail.com for more information.

Open Meditation on Fridays
Thanks to scottie hall and Sarah Wilson for taking over the Friday morning Open Meditation slot! 6:30-7:15am. scottie and Sarah are both graduates of Common Ground’s Dharma Leadership Training program. Zoom link here. There is Open Meditation every morning and a few evenings a week, see the calendar for complete details.

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, errands support, or other forms of support. If you’re interested in participating, you can fill out the form here.

Seeking contributions to virtual year-end poem!
If you’ve attended our New Year’s Eve Celebration in the past and stayed till the end, you’ll remember the tradition we have of the Spontaneous Dharma Poem. We’re going to do something similar this year, but virtually. The idea is to collect short videos (no more than 10 seconds) from community members speaking a phrase or a sentence that is meaningful, inspiring, heart-opening, funny, clarifying, etc. Then we will randomly order the videos into a collage of wisdom, love, and creativity. So please don’t be shy, send in your contribution to gabe@commongroundmeditation.org. Feel free to be creative with your setting, with including other family members or pets, etc. Thanks for contributing! The video will air for the first time at the New Year’s Eve Zoom event we’ll have on the 31st, which you can register for here. Then we’ll share the video on our Youtube channel.

Support Group for Friends of People with Mental Illness
Friendship/support group for people who have a loved one with mental illness, to provide listening, support, practical resources and reflections on our experiences in light of the dharma. Facilitated by Jean Fagerstrom. This group will meet on Sunday over Zoom from 1:00-2:30pm. Zoom link here. For more info text Jean: 612-423-2926

Online Retreat with Ajahn Sucitto
One of the senior monastics in the western lineage of the Thai Forest tradition, Ajahn Sucitto, will be offering an online retreat Dec 15-20. More info and registration here.

Quote of the Week
Only when there is true understanding,
will there be real happiness. Not the kind of
happiness people want to indulge in, but a
happiness that arises because you are at
peace with the way things are.
-Sayadaw U Tejaniy

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