Weekly Email 3-8-22

Dear Common Ground Friends,

Today I’d like to share with you a poem (below) from the book of poetry called The First Free Women, by Matty Weingast. Matty’s poetry was inspired by the Therigatha, which is a short book of poems of enlightened women at the time of the Buddha. Both collections of poetry have been deeply inspiring to me and help me to remember that no experience needs to be excluded from the path. We are invited to come just as we are, completely how we are, with all the movements of energy and emotion, confusion and clarity. With so much swirling in and around us these days, the reminder to be honest and let the practice begin from there has been a good reminder. Maybe it is for you too.
Shelly Graf

Ubbiri ~ The Earth

How many days and nights
did I wander the woods
calling your name?

Jiva, my daughter!
Jiva, my heart!

Late one night,
finally exhausted,
I fell to the ground.

Oh, my heart, I heard a voice say,
84,000 daughters all named Jiva
have died and been buried
here in this boundless cemetery
you call a world.

For which of these Jivas are you mourning?

Lying there on the ground,
I shared my grief with those 84,000 mothers.

And they shared their grief with me.

Somehow I found myself healed—
not of grief,
but of the immeasurable loneliness
that attends grief.

My sisters.
Those of you who have known the deepest loss.

As you cry out in the wilderness,
just make sure
you stop
every so often
to listen for a voice calling back.


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.

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

Half-Day Retreat with Shelly Graf
Saturday, March 12th, 9:00am-1:00pm
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.

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

Metta Vigil for Myanmar 
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.
  • Intro to Buddhist Retreat Practice with Mark Nunberg & Stacy McClendon (ONLY VIRTUAL SPACE AVAILABLE)
    6:15pm Thursday, March 10th – 10:15am Sunday, March 13th. In Person and on Zoom.
  • Work Retreat with Mark Nunberg
    11:30am Tuesday, March 15th – 10:00am Thursday, March 17th.  More info on Work Retreats here.
  • WAITLIST ONLY: Practice Period with Jane Reyer & Robb Reed
    5:30pm Thursday, March 17th – 2:00pm Sunday, March 20th
  • 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 5th – 2:00pm Saturday, April 9th.
  • Practice Period with Mark Nunberg
    5:30pm Tuesday, April 12th – 2:00pm Saturday, April 16th.
  • Work Retreat with Mark Nunberg
    11:30am Tuesday, April 19th – 10:00am Thursday, April 21st. More info on Work Retreats here.
  • Practice Period with Mark Nunberg & Louise Delagran
    5:30pm Thursday, April 21st – 2:00pm Sunday, April 24th.
  • Practice Period with Mark Nunberg & Sarah Wilson
    5:30pm Monday, April 25th – 2:00pm Thursday, April 28th.

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 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
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thurs. March 3rd, 6:30-8:00pm on Zoom.
  • Mindfulness & Depression Community Group, Sunday, March 6th, 4:00-5:30pm, on Zoom
  • Community Group for Organizers and Social Justice Activists, Thursday March 10th, 6:00-7:30pm
  • Christianity-Buddhism Book Group, Saturday March 12th, 9:00-10:15am
  • Common Ground Book Club, Sunday March 13th, 8:45-10:15am
  • Refirement Community Group for Retirees, Thursday March 17th, 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
Mindfulness aims to remember,
to recognize, not to forget. What
do we forget? What is whole-
some, what is right.

Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

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