Weekly Email 2/2/21

Dear Common Ground Friends,

I recently read an article by Ajahn Succito that inspired me to explore more deeply what he calls “the inner tyrant”. We all know the inner tyrant, expressed in the urgings and preoccupations of incessant self talk of the critical kind. Urging us to be careful of believing everything we think, Ajahn reminds us that the capacity for empathy and freedom is here and now. He Says, “All compulsions grab the heart and deprive us of freedom; without meditation, people just use the Tyrant of blame, repression and punishment to ward off the Tyrant of compulsive desire. When we’re thrown between these two forces, we lose self-respect, empathy and clear understanding. But when we operate in terms of present-moment experience, and a clear and empathic approach to meeting the energies of fear, rage and desire as they happen to us, then there’s a way out of the tyranny. The energy of desire can then be held and correctly channelled, not into prophesies or assumptions of what others think or God wills, but into the full fruition of the heart.”

Wishing us all a week of brave and empathetic exploration.


Shelly Graf

Upcoming Program Highlights

SHELLY GRAF & PATRICE KOELSCH will lead Dharma Among Us tonight, on the conundrum of Identity and how we relate skillfully to the ways we view ourselves. 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here.WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3RD
SHELLY GRAF will lead the Weekly Practice Group as usual. 7:30-9:00pm. Zoom link here.

The bimonthly People of Color Practice Group meets 6:30-8:00pm. Zoom link here.


  • MARK NUNBERG leads the weekly Lovingkindness Practice Group, 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here.
  • Every Friday we offer a Mindfulness, Recovery, and the Twelve Steps practice group facilitated by a rotating group of experienced teachers. The group is open to all who have an interest in mindfulness and the Twelve Steps recovery pathways. 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here.

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

MARK NUNBERG will lead the Weekly Practice Group as usual, 10:30-11:45am. Zoom link here. Mark is currently covering Mindfulness of Breathing. There are resources on the topic here.

There is still space in the Two-Day Online Retreat with SHELLY GRAF and MARK NUNBERG.For more info and registration, click here.

SHELLY GRAF will lead a Daylong Retreat, 9:30am-4:00pm. More info and registration here.

Yoga & Qigong
Remember, we offer live online yoga and qigong classes every week!

  • Mondays, 5:30-6:45pm – Yoga with Myra Rucker
  • Tuesdays, 5:30-6:45pm – Yoga with Nancy Boler (Level 2)
  • Wednesdays, 9:30-10:30am – Qigong with Autumn Compton
  • Fridays, 9:30-10:45am – Yoga with Nancy Boler (Level 1)

You can access the links to participate on our online calendar.

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 Mark and Shelly:

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

  • Be Queer Now Meditation Sangha, Wednesday, Feb. 3rd, 7:30-9:00pm. Zoom link here.
  • Mindfulness & Depression Community Group, Sunday, Feb. 7th, 4:00-5:30pm. Zoom link here.

See the calendar for more info about these community groups.

Ten Percent Happier Interview with Jozen Tamori Gibson
Each week Shelly and Gabe will feature a Dharma resource they found useful recently. Read more on our blog here.

New Book for CG Book Club 
The CG Book Club reads books on the topics of race and racism and is facilitated by April Hanson. The next book they will be reading is The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart by Alicia Garza. The first meeting to discuss the new book will be Sunday, February 28th @ 8:45am. To get on their mailing list you can email April at apriljoyhanson@gmail.com.

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 Metta Meditation Retreat Center 
Our friends at Metta Meditation Retreat Center in Janesville, MN are hiring an Administrative Lead and asked us to spread the word. Read more here.

Weekly Tejaniya
Don’t try to be aware. You just need to
be the supervisor, by regularly checking
whether awareness is doing its job. Keep
asking yourself whether there is aware-
ness, whether awareness is at work.

Thanks to Kim S for this lovely picture of a wintry Prairie Farm!

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