Weekly Email 2/24/2021
Dear Common Ground Friends,
What can I learn from 2 sick pets and a sleepless night? This was the question running through my mind in the wee hours of the morning as I searched for something meaningful in this stripped down moment. Maybe this is true for you too, that it is often the ordinary that wakes me up to the profound. Learning to allow life itself to be our teacher is in and of itself a profound teaching. What can be revealed is wanting a better moment, a more pleasant moment, where I get more of what I want and fewer challenges…a healthier moment, a more sane world, and so much more. But, what I get, and what we all get are moments to practice being bigger than we can imagine. For example, learning to embrace moral duty and responsibility but without control or violence. Thanks to Sebene Selassie, in the wee hours of the morning, “let it be”, a simple but deeply wise and compassionate mantra was my guide. May it be for you too.
“Let it be is a powerful incantation that releases us from the suffering of control but not from our responsibility to act. Aspirations are incantations that move us into alignment with liberation. Comprehending that ultimately, we are not in control is a vital step towards liberation. AND, lack of control does not mean lack of power.Ultimately, “to be” encompasses the limitless capacity of our imaginations to create from love and liberation. When we act from there, we align with a world where our interconnection is inherent and inextricable (Let it be!), where the Earth and all her beings may live in balance and reciprocity (Let it be!), where love and joy will abound for all (Let it be!), where we may move toward our collective liberation (Let it be!).
The aspiration and incantation let it be is an opening – a simple imperative pointing to the paradox of aspiration without expectation, incantation without anticipation, of power without controlling.”
Upcoming Program Highlights
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24TH
SHELLY GRAF will lead the Weekly Practice Group. 7:30-9:00pm. Zoom link here.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26TH
STACY MCCLENDON will lead the weekly Lovingkindness Practice Group, 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27TH
SHELLY GRAF will lead a Daylong Retreat, 9:30am-4:00pm. Zoom link here.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28TH
- SHELLY GRAF will lead the Weekly Practice Group, 10:30-11:45am. Zoom link here.
- WYNN FRICKE & MARK NUNBERG have started offering a weekly Community Practice Check-In each Sunday from 4:30-5:30pm. Zoom link here. Remember, there are two other Community Practice Check-Ins each week: Tuesdays at noon with Mark and Stacy (Zoom link here) and Thursdays at 9am with Shelly (Zoom link here). This Saturday Ramesh offers a similar program, Dharma Reflections, at 10:30am (Zoom link here.) These groups are open to all and feature meditation time followed by time for questions and reflections.
TUESDAY, MARCH 2ND
NANCY BEAULIEU, DANI & SCOTT RUSSELL will lead Dharma Among Us tonight on the topic of how we might relate to skillfully to the climate justice movement with special attention to Line 3. 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here.
SATURDAY, MARCH 6TH
MARK NUNBERG will lead a Half-Day Retreat from 1:00-5:00pm. More info and registration here.
MONDAYS, MARCH 8TH – APRIL 19TH
Registration is open for the next 7-week Buddhist Studies course on Mindfulness of Feeling Tone with MARK NUNBERG. 7:30-9:00pm. More info and registration here.
TUESDAYS, MARCH 9TH – APRIL 13TH
Registration is open for the next 6-week Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation course with MARK NUNBERG. 7:30-9:00pm. More info and registration here.
FRIDAY, MARCH 12TH
MERRA YOUNG will start a book club on the book No Self, No Problem by Anam Thubten. It will meet the 2nd Friday of the month 11:15am-12:30pm from March to June. You can register 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 Mark or 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.
Community Groups Meeting this Week
- Millenials Sangha Community Group, Friday, Feb. 26th, 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here.
- Dharma Friends Sit & Discussion, Sunday, Feb. 28th, 7:00-8:00pm. Zoom link here.
See the calendar for more info about these community groups.
Job Opening at Insight Meditation Center of Western Massachusetts
Our friends at IMCWM are hiring a remote Outreach, Website, and Social Media Coordinator. Read more 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, March 14th @ 8:45am. To get on their mailing list you can email April at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Emotions don’t need to go away. The
objective is to know what the emotions
feel like; what thoughts you are having
when there are emotions; and to under-
stand the nature of emotions and
the mind’s behavior.
photo of Prairie Farm Retreat by Ari Lindquist