Weekly Email 3-30-22

Dear Common Ground Friends,

Cultivating a lifestyle of mindful awareness is challenging because we are going against the stream of our conditioning that values distraction, superficiality, and fixed views. Although difficult, the practice is simple. We are learning to wisely recollect (over and over again), ‘This experience is being known.’ Our habit bound mind might reject this with, “Big deal! So what! What’s the point?” I am guessing that the Buddha’s compassionate response might be something like, “You are going to have to check this out for yourself before you will understand the value of the practice.” To help us check out how this practice will be of value in our lives, we can periodically ask the mind a question such as: “What is being known here and now?”, “What is the mind knowing?”, or “Can the experience, that is being known, be allowed?” We will have to find our own ways to start over each time the mind has once again become distracted or lost in thought. In order to develop some momentum, we will need to sense directly the value of the practice. See if you can notice the brightening energy that builds with more continuity. With dedicated practice one should sense in the background of the mind a trustworthy and growing sense of space that has the flavor of peace and freedom, whenever the mind is not distracted. At first this freedom and peace will be subtle, but it is important that it be clearly acknowledged and appreciated for what it is. We might also notice how we are more nimble and resilient as we relate and respond in our daily lives. This naturally will arise from valuing the continuity of present moment awareness, discerning, ‘This present moment experience is being known.’



Weekly Programs

To view our entire list of programs and to access Zoom links to participate in online programs, please visit the online calendarWeekly 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
    • Wednesday, March 30th will be with Patrice Koelsch
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
    • This Friday, April 1st with Patrice Koelsch & scottie hall
  • 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.

Metta Vigil for Myanmar, Ukraine & The World with Greg Scharf & Carole Wilson
Saturday & Sunday, April 2nd & 3rd. More info and zoom link here

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, April 14th, 7:00-8:30pm

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.

Spring Community Practice Intensive with Mark Nunberg and Sarah Wilson
Three Mondays, April 11th – April 30th. Ending with a daylong retreat at our retreat center
In Person or on Zoom. More information here. Registration here.

Mindfulness & Physical Pain: A Workshop with Ramesh Sairam
April 16th, 9:00am – 1:00pm. Info and registration here.

Half-Day Retreat with Shelly Graf
Saturday, April 23rd, 1:00pm-5:00pm
In Person or on Zoom. 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 & Sarah Wilson
5:30pm Monday, April 25th – 2:00pm Thursday, April 28th.Mindful Gardening Practice Period with Julie Meyer & Tony Fernandez
5:30pm Tuesday, May 3rd – 2:00pm Sunday, May 8th.Practice Period with Tracey Ghiladri & Robin Major
5:30pm Thursday, May 9th – 2:00pm Sunday, May 22nd.Practice Period for BIPOC Practitioners with Jen Racho & Zenzele Isoke
5:30pm Thursday, May 26th – 2:00pm Sunday, May 29th.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 and 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 volunteer kitchen manager for a retreat organized by the Black, Indigenous, People of Color community group. At our retreat center April 26-29th. Prioritizing BIPOC volunteers.
  • 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
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, April 3rd, 4:00-5:30pm
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thursday April 7th, 6:30-8:00pm
  • Community Group for Organizers & Social Justice Activists, Thursday April 14th, 6:00-7:30pm
  • Refirement Community Group for Retirees, Thursday April 21st, 12:00-2:00pm

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
Compassion is a wholesome state. When
you feel pure compassion, it feels good. The
energy of the mind is good. Very gentle. And,
the desire to help is always a part of compassion. You  want to bring relief.

You accept, and you want to help. It is very positive.

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