Weekly Email 2-2-2022

Dear Common Ground Friends,

Although these times may feel exceptionally painful or uniquely devastating, it’s good to remember the full scope of humanity behind us and in front of us. Pain, tragedy, or suffering is not something we transcend but that we learn to be courageous in the face of. May the Buddha’s awakening inspire us to keep seeking moments of peace and competency with life exactly as it is. Freedom is as possible for us as it was for him. It is possible.

Shelly Graf

“Abandon what is unskillful,
One can abandon the unskillful,
If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do so.
If this abandoning of the unskillful would bring harm
and suffering,
I would not ask you to abandon it.
But as the abandoning of the unskillful brings benefit
and happiness,
Therefore, I say, “abandon what is unskillful.”
Cultivate the good,
You can cultivate the good.
If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do it.
If this cultivation of the good would bring harm
and suffering,
I would not ask you to cultivate it.
But as the cultivation of the good brings benefit
and happiness,
Therefore, I say, “Cultivate the good!” 

– The Buddha

Weekly Programs

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

Weekly Practice Groups
Led by our Guiding Teachers Mark Nunberg and Shelly Graf, these programs provide ongoing instruction and teachings that help illuminate the simple but challenging practice of mindfulness.

  • 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
  • Rebecca Bradshaw will lead the Wednesday evening Weekly Practice Group group tonight, Feb. 2, at an earlier time: 6:30pm. She will teach on “Freeing the Heart.”
Rebecca is a Guiding Teacher at Insight Meditation Society and a longtime visiting teacher at Common Ground.
Community Practice Check-Ins
Every week we offer several opportunities to practice with and ask questions of Common Ground Dharma teachers. It’s also a time to share reflections from your own practice with the group.
  • 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 January 29th)
  • 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 access Zoom links for online programs visit our online calendar.
Lovingkindness Practice Group with Mark Nunberg
Friday, February 4th, 7:00-8:30pm

Mindfulness & Physical Pain Workshop with Ramesh Sairam
Saturday, February 5th, 1-4pm
More info and registration here

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

Interplay with Spruce Krause
Thursday, February 10th, 7:00-8:30pm

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.

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.

Half-Day Retreat with Mark Nunberg
Saturday, February 12th, 1:00-5:00pm
In Person or on Zoom. More info and registration 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.

Upcoming Programs at Common Ground 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.
  • Practice Period with Mary Clark, assisted by Pietro Ferrero
    5:30pm Thursday, February 3rd – 2:00pm Sunday, February 6th
  • Residential/Zoom Retreat with Shelly Graf & Mark Nunberg
    6:15pm Thursday, February 17th – 12:00pm Monday, February 21st
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 

  • 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.


Community News 

  Upcoming Community Group Meetings

  • Be Queer Now Meditation Sangha, Wed. February 2nd, 7:30-9:00pm on Zoom.
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thurs. February 3rd, 6:30-8:00pm on Zoom.
  • Mindfulness & Depression Community Group, Sunday, February 6th, 4:00-5:30pm, on Zoom
  • Christianity-Buddhism Book Club, Saturday, February 12th, 9:00-10:15am on Zoom

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

Looking for Donations for CG Retreat Center
If anyone has a loveseat in good condition you’d like to donate to our retreat center, please let us know by replying to this email, thanks!

Weekly Tejaniya
Meditation is cultivating good
qualities in the mind. It’s making
conditions right so the good
qualities can arise.

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