Weekly Email 2/9/22

Dear Common Ground Friends,

We’ve gone through some hard times together lately. Just in the last week we’ve witnessed the tragic death of Amir Locke, an innocent young black man, just a day after reckoning with a shooting outside a Richfield school in which we lost young Jahmari Rice. As we bear witness to all that moves within and around us related to our individual and collective reckoning of these profound tragedies and so much more, may we remember to make space. May we make space for ourselves. May we make space for each other. For the confusion, the fear, the rage, the numbness, the tears, the loud voices, the feet that march and the whispers in quiet vulnerable moments too. With all the creativity we can find, our practice asks us to make space for it all, for ourselves and each other. The road to compassion and wisdom is paved in moments like these. We’re going through some difficult things each in our own ways. Let’s make space, allowing the words of the Buddha to be a north star in this process of reckoning with what is and in our confidence that we can make the world a better place.

Shelly Graf – Co-Guiding Teacher

Hatred never ends through hatred.
By non-hatred alone does it end.
This is eternal truth.
Victory gives birth to hate;
The defeated sleep tormented.
Giving up both victory and defeat,
The peaceful sleep delighted.
All tremble at violence:
All fear death.
Having likened others to yourself,
Don’t kill or cause others to kill.
If you surveyed the entire world
You’d find no one more dear than yourself.
Since each person is most dear to themselves,
May those who love themselves not bring harm to anyone.
The person who day and night
Delights in harmlessness,
And has loving-kindness toward all beings,
Is the one who has no hate for anyone.

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

  • 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
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.
Interplay with Spruce Krause
Thursday, February 10th, 7:00-8:30pmBook 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.

Daylong Retreat with Shelly Graf
Saturday, March 19th, 9:30am-4:00pm
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.
  • Residential/Zoom Retreat with Shelly Graf & Mark Nunberg
    6:15pm Thursday, February 17th – 12:00pm Monday, February 21st
  • FULL: Practice Period with Mark Nunberg
    February 22-27
  • Practice Period with Jane Reyer & Robb Reed
    5:30pm Thursday, March 17th – 2:00pm Sunday, March 20th

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 9th, 7:30-9:00pm on Zoom.
  • Community Group for Organizers & Activists, Thurs. February 10th, 6:00-7:30pm on Zoom/In-Person
  • Christianity-Buddhism Book Club, Saturday, February 12th, 9:00-10:15am on Zoom
  • Mindfulness & Depression Community Group, Sunday, February 20th, 4:00-5:30pm, 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.

View public calendar for Zoom links and more information.
To see the complete list of community groups, click 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
We need to learn our lessons. There is no
shortcut. If we don’t learn our lessons when
they present themselves, they will come up
again and again until we give them our
attention and learn from them.

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