Weekly Email 2/15/2022

Dear Common Ground Friends,

I want to invite us all to take some time in an ongoing way to acknowledge the Asian roots of the teachings that provide the foundation of our center and that have benefited us in so many ways. Let’s remember that these teachings of the Buddha have ancient roots. Here is a video of IMS Guiding Teacher Kamala Master’s opening words at the IMS Teacher Training Graduation Ceremony from May 2021, acknowledging and honoring our Asian spiritual ancestors. I encourage everyone to listen to Kamala’s words and for each of us in our own ways to cultivate a deeper experience of belonging to our wider spiritual community/sangha by doing a better job at recognizing and appreciating those who have held, protected and passed along these teachings before us. In order for us to become good stewards of the dharma in our hearts, lives, and world, we need to be sensitive to all causes and conditions that have allowed these valuable practices to show up in our lives. Gratitude is considered to be a rare and exalted state of mind.


Mark Nunberg

Related resources:


Weekly Programs

To view our entire list of programs and to access Zoom links to participate in online programs, please visit the online calendarWeekly Practice Groups

  • Sunday mornings, 10:30-11:45am on Zoom with Mark Nunberg (with an option to watch the livestream together in person in the meditation hall)
  • Sunday evenings, 7:00-8:30pm in person with Mark Nunberg
  • Wednesday evenings, 7:30-9:00pm on Zoom with Shelly Graf
    • Patrice Koelsch will lead the group on Wednesday, February 23rd.
    • The weekly practice group will happen at an earlier time on Wednesday, March 2nd: 5:30-7:45pm. Shelly will be giving the talk through Cambridge Insight Meditation Center. As such, the Zoom link will be different this week. See CIMC’s webpage for more details.
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 (Mark Nunberg joining on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month), on Zoom
  • Fridays, 9:00-10:00am with Shelly Graf, on Zoom
  • Every other Saturday, 10:30am-12:00pm with Ramesh Sairam, on Zoom (next meeting February 12th)
  • NEW: Every first Tuesday of the month, 8:00-9:00am, with Mark Nunberg, in person
Open Meditation
Join fellow community members for meditation practice in person or online, 7 days a week. Visit the calendar for times and details.Yoga & Qigong
We offer Yoga and Qigong several times a week, both in person and online. Click here for times and details.

Mindfulness, Recovery, and the Twelve Steps
Meets every Friday, 7:00-8:30pm. On Zoom every week except the second Friday of the month, which is hybrid.

Upcoming Programs: Online

To see full list of programs and access Zoom links for online programs visit our calendar.

Book Study Group: The Citadel of Awareness with Merra Young
3rd Wednesday of the month starting February 16th, 12:15-1:30 pm
More info and registration here.

Mindful Self-Compassion Practice Group with Jean Haley & Jane Rauenhorst
Friday, February 18th, 7:00-8:30pm

Daylong Retreat with Shelly Graf
Saturday, February 26th, 9:30am-4:00pm
More info and registration here.

Inner Self-Compassion Course with Jean Haley & Jane Rauenhorst
6 Tuesdays, 1:00-3:00pm, April 19th-May 24th + Half-Day Retreat on May 14th
More info and registration here.

Upcoming Programs: In Person/Hybrid at Common Ground
To read our latest covid protocols, click here.Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation Course with Mark Nunberg & Shelly Graf
6 Tuesdays, March 8th – April 12th, 7:30-9:00pm
In Person or on Zoom. More info and registration here.

Living in Liminal Space with Love: An inquiry into and conversations on how to be present with the unknown with Jean Haley & Kaia Svien
Saturday, March 26th, 9:00am-3:00pm
In Person only. More info and registration 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. Registration is now open for the following programs there.

  • FULL: Practice Period with Mark Nunberg 
    February 22-27
  • Intro to Buddhist Retreat Practice with Mark Nunberg & Stacy McClendon
    6:15pm Thursday, March 10th – 10:15am Sunday, March 13th. In Person and on Zoom.
  • Practice Period with Jane Reyer & Robb Reed
    5:30pm Thursday, March 17th – 2:00pm Sunday, March 20th
  • Daylong Retreat with Mark Nunberg & Cecilia Ramon: Cultivating a Wise and Kind Resilience
    Saturday, April 2nd, 9:30am-4:00pm. In Person and on Zoom.

More info and registration for these retreats can be found here.

In addition to these weekend retreats, we also offer public drop-in groups on select Wednesdays at the retreat center, 6:30-7:45pm.

  • First Wednesday of the month: Community Group led by Matthew King and other practice leaders
  • Third Wednesday of the month: Monthly Practice Group with Mark Nunberg or guest teachers
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 

  • Looking for audio processing volunteers to help upload talks to Dharmaseed, let gabe@commongroundmeditation.org know if you have the skills to help.
  • Weekly Sunday Evening Cleaning: Every Sunday evening there is a drop-in Community Cleaning time from 6-7pm, led by community leaders Brad Dupre and Dave Redelman. No RSVP needed.
  • Tuesday evening bellringer (in-person): We’re looking for someone interested in ringing the bell for the evening sit on Tuesdays, 7:30-9:00pm, once or twice a month. Email gabe@commongroundmeditation.org if interested.


Administrative News – New Interim Office Manager

We are grateful to introduce Robin Major in her new role of Interim Office Manager, a position that aside from a few days of training at the end of February, begins officially on March 14th. This four-month position will give Robin time to settle into the job and us all time to fully consider the role moving forward. Robin has just returned to Minnesota after having lived out of state for the past three years. She began attending Common Ground programs in 2012 and has undertaken about 15 months of retreat practice over the years. Robin is currently in the middle of a long retreat at our Retreat Center. While in Minneapolis, Robin worked for several years helping to manage local farmer-owned co-ops. There will be opportunities later this Spring for the community to get to know Robin and support her in her new role. We are grateful for Robin’s depth of practice and the great set of skills that she brings to her new position.

-Mark Nunberg and Shelly Graf


Community News

 Upcoming Community Group Meetings

  • Be Queer Now Meditation Sangha, Wed. February 16th, 7:30-9:00pm on Zoom.
  • “Refirement” Community Group for Retirees, Thursday, February 17th, 12:00-2:00pm on Zoom.
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thurs. February 17th, 6:30-8:00pm on Zoom.
  • Mindfulness & Depression Community Group, Sunday, February 20th, 4:00-5:30pm, on Zoom

View public calendar for Zoom links and more information.
To see the complete list of community groups, click here.

Upcoming Antiracism Study and Dialogue Circle
We want to spread the word about our friends at Antiracism Study and Dialogue Circle’s upcoming 10-week circle starting next week on Feb. 24th, over Zoom. Common Ground has hosted this circle a couple of times at our center, including a circle for our leaders which we all benefited from. We highly recommend this program. More info and registration on their website here.

Openings in CG Sutta Study Groups
Common Ground has three Sutta Study Groups that meet on the first Saturday morning of each month to study the teachings of the Buddha and to strengthen relationships among committed practitioners and leaders. The groups are now accepting applications for new members, who will join the groups starting in April. Apply before February 17th to be included in the lottery. For more info and to apply, click here.

Video of Community Gathering to Celebrate Shelly Graf’s Hiring as Co-Guiding Teacher
In case you missed the event we held back in December to celebrate and honor Shelly stepping into their new role as Co-Guiding Teacher, you can watch the recording here.

Teen Practice Group Back In Session!
For more info, click here.

Weekly Tejaniya
Throughout our life we
habitually seek and grasp. To
sit back and just watch this hap-
pening is difficult. However, this
sitting back and just watching is
essential to become able to see
and understand these habits.

Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

Kuan Yin’s compassion keeps watch over the snowy garden.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.