Weekly Email 3-16-22

Dear Common Ground Friends,


As of today, March 16, 2022, Common Ground has dropped its mask and vaccine requirements following the recommendations of the CDC, the MN Department of Health, and our two Doctor consultants, Steve Hillson, Ramesh Sairam. We continue asking all in person participants to consider everyone’s well being when deciding how to participate at Common Ground. Please participate remotely if you have viral symptoms such as fever and fatigue. Please consider your own and the community’s health and well being when considering whether or not to be vaccinated and boosted and when it is appropriate to wear a mask. We understand that not everyone will feel safe being at in-person programs with large groups of people. We are committed to continuing our virtual programming so that all who are interested can find a means to practice with the Common Ground community.

We must also be prepared for future surges of COVID and other viruses, but for now it seems appropriate for the center to return to previous ways of operating. For folks who are medically vulnerable, Common Ground will continue to have good masks available for those who are in need of one. We must rely on our community’s wisdom and compassion as we navigate together these ever changing conditions. Feel free to reach out to the office if you wish to discuss these issues in terms of your participation at our City Center or Retreat Center.

We are also happy to announce that the Center will sponsor a community conversation on Sunday, March 27th, 2-3:30 p.m. featuring Ramesh Sairam, one of our longtime Dharma Teachers and the Chair of our Board of Directors and community member Steve Hillson. These two doctors along with Guiding Teacher Shelly Graf will share and facilitate a community conversation around how we can wisely and compassionately engage in our world with the uncertainties of COVID and other public health issues that might arise. Please join in if you can.

Wishing us all ease in this transition,

Shelly Graf and Mark Nunberg


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

Monthly Practice Groups

  • Fourth Fridays, 7:00-8:30pm on Zoom, Lovingkindness with Stacy McClendon
  • First Fridays, 7-8:30pm on Zoom, Lovingkindness with Mark Nunberg

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.

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. Still taking participants.

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

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.

InterPlay with Spruce Krause
Thursday, March 10th, 7-8:30pm
No registration necessary

Metta Vigil for Myanmar with Mark Nunberg 
Join with people from around the world to offer Mett? (lovingkindness*) for the people of Myanmar and express our gratitude for all Burmese Buddhism has given us. This event will take place on zoom
Friday, March 18th, 7:30 p.m.

Upcoming Programs: In Person/Hybrid at Common Ground

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.

Spring Buddhist Studies Course: Sensuality, Craving, Contentment and Dispassion with Mark Nunberg
Four Mondays, March 14th – April 4th, 7:30-9:30pm
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 and can be found here.

  • Zoom Only (In-person is full): 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.
  • Practice Period with Mark Nunberg
    5:30pm Tuesday, April 12th – 2:00pm Saturday, April 16th.
  • Practice Period with Mark Nunberg & Sarah Wilson
    5:30pm Monday, April 25th – 2:00pm Thursday, April 28th.

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 info@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.
  • Bellringers (in-person): We’re looking for volunteers interested in ringing the bell for the morning sits on Wednesday and Friday mornings, 7:30-8:30am and for Tuesday evenings, 7:30-9:00pm. Email info@commongroundmeditation.org if interested.

Community News

 Supporting Parents in the Community
Knowing that pandemic has been hard on parents, we are seeking to better understand the current needs of parents to better assess if there are ways the Common Ground community can be supportive. if you are a parent and would be willing to share your experience, please reach out to Annie at joh02055@gmail.com. If you are a community member who would like to support parents at this time by offering a one time or weekly meal to a family, please contact shelly@commongroundmeditation.org.

Upcoming Community Group Meetings

  • Be Queer Now, weekly on Wednesday, 7:30-9:00pm
  • Refirement Community Group for Retirees, Thursday March 17th, 12:00-2:00pm
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thursday March 17th, 6:30-8:00pm
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday March 20th, 4-5:30pm
  • Millenials Sangha, Friday March 25th, 7-8:30 pm

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

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

Weekly Tejaniya

To keep bringing one’s attention to
the breath can be useful when the mind
needs calming down. But I encourage all
yogis to remain aware of whatever the mind
naturally takes an interest in. The mind
naturally takes objects* and this
is Dhamma at work.

* E.g., any of the five sense perceptions (sights,
sounds, etc.) plus thoughts; pleasant and unpleasant
feelings; emotions; attitudes; moods; etc. 

Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

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