Weekly Email 4-12-24

Dear Common Ground Friends,
We can be hard on ourselves can’t we? We can also learn to trust and appreciate learning. Every effort that we make to cultivate a skillful relationship to experience matters. What is also true is that skillful habits deepen and widen with wise and loving persistence. It is beneficial to remember often that in this very moment right here, it matters how this mind is relating to life. Remembering often is foundational to developing skillful mind and life habits that are meaningful to us. Practice is a movement toward what is skillful. I am moved regularly by the strength of goodness, of strong skillful mind habits in our beloved Common Ground community. Let’s  strengthen wholesome habits of awareness and gratitude together by noticing movements of the skillfulness in and around us. Just this week alone I’ve been moved by the laughter of children in the community room on Sunday morning, the steady stream of early morning sitters and the virtual engagement of those coordinating garden care. I’m grateful to be in relationship and in community with you and all of the wholesome energies you bring forward!

I know you join me in welcoming Mark back to teaching this Sunday. I’m grateful as I know you are too, that he is feeling well enough and ready to return. Please read and familiarize yourself with our new protocols to protect Mark’s health and also the health of all immunocompromised people in our community.

Wishing you all beautiful practice in the upcoming days.
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, 7:00-8:30 p.m., in-person only
Half-Day and Daylong Retreats
In person and on Zoom
  • 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

Weekly Practice Groups

  • Sundays mornings starting April 14, 10:30-11:45 a.m., in-person, on Zoom, and on YouTube
  • NEW Tuesday evening group starting April 30, 7:00-8:30 p.m., online-only

Buddhist Studies: Dependent Origination
5 Mondays, April 29 – 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.

Community Practice Check-in
Every Sunday, 4:30-5:30 p.m. on Zoom, with Wynn Fricke

Open Meditation
Mondays starting April 15, 6:30-7:15 a.m. on Zoom

Upcoming at our City Center

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.
Originally from Czechoslovakia, Venerable Sambodhi ordained as a bhikkhu (Buddhist monk) in 2000 in a Pa Auk forest monastery in Lower Burma. Besides association with both Burmese and Sri Lankan traditions, he also spent considerable time in Western monasteries of the Luang Por Chah lineage, where he benefited tremendously from their teachings. 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.

Book Reading with Ellen Hufschmidt: a Gentle Practice for Tough Times: Contemplations for Dying and Living
Sunday, April 28, 2:00-3:00 p.m. in person. More info here.

Guest Teacher Talk with nakawe cuebas
Friday, May 10th, 7:00-8:30 p.m. In person and on Zoom

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 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. Retreat is full but you can join the waitlist.

Work Practice Period with Stephen Gregg, Tony Fernandez, and Julie Meyer
Thursday, May 16 – Sunday, May 19. The group will spend about 3 hours working in the morning and the rest of the day practicing. The work will mostly revolve around planting and plant maintenance. More info and registration here. Please note that if you can’t make the whole time, you could join for just the weekend or even a day. You can indicate your availability in the form.

Memorial Day Retreat with Shelly Graf & Wynn Fricke
Thursday, May 23 – Monday, May 27. More info and registration here.

Residential Retreat with Ayya Niyyanika & Wynn Fricke
Thursday, June 20 – Sunday, June 23. More info and registration here.

Residential Retreat for the BIPOC Community with Tuere Sala
Sunday, July 7 – Friday, July 12. More info and registration here.


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

Community News 

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 6:30-8 p.m. 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.”

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

  • Graphic Designer: We are looking for a graphic designer or artist interested in turning our logo into a digital image and providing general support on the design of our new website. Contact gabe@commongroundmeditation.org if you’re interested.
  • Program Hosting: We are looking for a few more program hosts to help greet people and set up the meditation hall on Sunday mornings. If you enjoy making people feel welcome, have good attention to detail, and have been coming to the center for at least a year, feel free to reach out to gabe@commongroundmeditation.org. Thank you!


Check the Motivations Behind Your Thoughts

Check the motivations be-
hind your thoughts. They can
be wholesome and wise, and
equally can be unwholesome.
Only you can know for your-
self, by checking.  

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

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