Weekly Email 3-28-24

Dear Common Ground Friends,
It has been a beautiful sunny day here in the twin cities. Even with chilly temperatures, the sun is strong and melting evidence of the winter storm earlier this week. One thing I noticed about the winter storm was that it was alive with generosity…the generosity of neighbors helping each other out by adding a little grit to a slippery spot, swinging a shovel, or driving carefully…the generosity of the birds offering a song, or the sun its warmth. It felt good to be notice these things and to participate in community, supporting our collective well being in a non-transactional way, accepting conditions without resistance, and receiving the generosity all around us. I observed so many acts of generosity in my neighborhood and at Common Ground’s beloved city center too. We can welcome the many movements of kindness, generosity, patience, and more with a similar awe that we welcome the beautiful snow fall. We can learn to take refuge in the heart’s capacity for goodness here and now, not in some idealized future moment when the conditions are easier. Let’s remember to tune into in our own hearts as well the collective around us so that we can notice all the powerful and impactful moments of goodness that sometimes seemingly magically and often invisibly arise and pass away. Wishing us all the joy of practice.
Warm Wishes,
Shelly Graf
Co-Guiding Teacher

Programs with our Co-Guiding Teachers

With Shelly Graf

Weekly Practice Groups

  • Wednesday evenings, 7:30-9:00 p.m., in-person and on Zoom
  • Sundays mornings, 10:30-11:45 a.m., in-person, on Zoom, and on YouTube
  • Sundays, 7:00-8:30 p.m., in-person only
    • with Jean Haley on April 7
Half-Day and Daylong Retreats
In person and on Zoom
  • Half-Day Retreat on Saturday, April 6. More info and registration here.
  • Daylong with Cecilia Ramon and Shelly on Saturday, April 27. More info and registration here.
  • Daylong with nakawe cuebas and Shelly: Saturday, May 11. More info and registration here.

Community Practice Check-ins
Every Wednesday, 8:30-9:30 a.m. in-person
Every Friday, 9:00-10:00 a.m. on Zoom

With Mark Nunberg

Buddhist Studies: Dependent Origination
5 Mondays, April 29th – May 27, 7:30-9:00 p.m.
optional sitting time 7:00-7:30 p.m.
In-person and on Zoom
More info and registration here.

To see the latest CaringBridge update from Mark, click here.

Upcoming at our City Center

Daylong Retreat for the BIPOC Community with Stacy McClendon
Saturday, March 30, 9:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. In person only. More info and registration here.

Men’s Mindfulness-Centered Yoga with Robb Reed
Drop-in class starting Wednesdays in person, April 3 – June 26 at 5:30–6:35 p.m. All who identify as male are welcome. All levels welcome. More info here.

Self-Compassion Half-Day Retreat with Jean Haley & Jane Rauenhorst
Saturday, April 13, 1:00-5:00 p.m. In person only. More info and registration here.

Guest Teacher Talk with Bhikkhu Sambodhi: How Has the Idea of Gradual Training Gone Out the Window?
Tuesday, April 16, 7:00-9:00 p.m. In person and on Zoom. More info here.

Queer and Trans Community Daylong Retreat with scottie hall and Brian Young
Saturday, April 20, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. More info and registration here.

Programs at Our Retreat Center

Common Ground Retreat Center is located in Wisconsin, about an hour-and-fifteen-minute drive from Minneapolis. For background on our retreat center, click here.

Practice Period with Tracey Ghilardi & Robb Reed
Thursday, April 4 – Sunday, April 7
More info and registration here.

Practice Period with Louise Delagran & Matthew King
Thursday, April 18 – Sunday, April 21
More info and registration here.

Mindful Yoga Retreat with Nancy Boler
Thursday, May 9 – Sunday, May 12
More info and registration here.

Work Practice Period with Stephen Gregg, Tony Fernandez, and Julie Meyer
Thursday, May 16 – Sunday, May 19. More info and registration here.


Our online calendar remains the definitive place to check for program information.

Community News 

New Mindful Parenting Community Group
Parents and caregivers of children and teens are invited to come as you are as we explore how our mindfulness practice, understanding of the Buddhist teachings, and cultivation of wisdom and compassion are challenged and deepened as parents/caregivers. This group will take place on the first Sunday of the month starting on April 7 at the Common Ground City Center 12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. The parenting group will follow the Weekly Teacher-Led Practice Group for those who want to attend both. For more info click here.

New Young Adults Community Group
This is a Buddhist practice group for people roughly in the 18-40 age range. We will be meeting from 6:30 – 8pm on the 4th Friday of each month (starting April 26) for a partly-guided meditation and discussion around a monthly theme. After the formal group closes, we’ll have an optional time to socialize and connect with each other. We offer a friendly and welcoming space, whether this is your first time meditating or you have been practicing for years. If you would like to receive announcements, including the upcoming readings for the next meeting, please join the email list by following this link and clicking “ask to join group.”

Yoga with Nancy Cancelled Friday, Monday, Wednesday
Please note Mindful Yoga with Nancy will be cancelled March 29, April 1, and April 3.

Freely Giving and Receiving

Common Ground offers all programs freely in the spirit of generosity. If you’d like to donate to support the teachers and the center, click the link below.


Volunteer Opportunities

Mid-week cleaner: We could use another cleaning volunteer to come in and do some light cleaning sometime mid-week, ideally Tuesday or Wednesday before the Weekly Practice Group. Contact gabe@commongroundmeditation.org if you’re interested. Thank you!


A Deep Knowing That Everything Ends

A true understanding of imperma-
nence is a very deep knowing that ev-
erything ends. Does impermanence only
manifest when the leaf is falling off the
tree? Or is the leaf already imperma-
nent when it is still part of the tree?

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

kuan yin in the snow at the city center
p.s. thanks to our volunteer snow team for their efforts clearing the walks and lot last weekend!

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