Weekly Email 4-13-22

Dear Common Ground Community,

Here’s another poem inspired by the Therigatha, creatively and beautifully written by Matty Weingast from his book, The First Free Women. The Therigatha, often translated as Verses of the Elder Nuns, is a powerful little book of poems of early awakened women at the time of the Buddha. I hope this poem inspires us to consider what this path of practice really means to us and how we are walking it in our unique ways.

Warm Wishes,


Rohini ~ Wandering Star

You don’t become the cloth
just because you put on robes.
You don’t turn into empty space
just because you carry a bowl.
The sun doesn’t bow down.
Trees don’t throw flowers at your feet.
Birds don’t start answering when you call.
The Path will hold even the biggest mistakes.
The Path will make room for even your deepest regrets.
But you don’t become
the cloth of the robe
It can begin very quietly.
Something you barely even notice.
Like the touch of water on your skin,
like a knife in a drawer,
like the next five minutes—
unless they’re your last.
The Path isn’t a line on a map.
It’s a great shining world.
Enter wherever you like.
You might get thrown back once or twice,
but if you push through
the outer layers—
oh, my sisters,
you will know
the true welcome
that is the very essence
of the Path.

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
  • 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.

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

Book Study: The Citadel of Awareness with Merra Young
Wednesday, April 20th, 12:15 – 1:30pm

Upcoming Programs: In Person/Hybrid at Common Ground

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.

Half-Day Retreat with Shelly Graf 
Saturday, May 7th, 1:00pm-5:00pm
In Person or on Zoom. More info and registration here.

Daylong Retreat with Mark Nunberg 
Saturday, May 28th, 9:30am – 4:00pm
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.

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 19th – 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.

June Practice Periods with Wynn Fricke & Gabe Keller-Flores are open!
More info and registration 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 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 

  • Common Ground is seeking a qualified volunteer to advise the Finance Committee to make a series of longer-term investments that will help us offset the anticipated future added costs of inflation. Ideally the person would have qualifications and experience advising clients in making similar investment decisions. Email info@commongroundmeditation.org if you are interested.
  • 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.  Email info@commongroundmeditation.org if you are interested.
  • 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

 Garden Work Day!

Friday April 29th, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Spring is finally here! We’re inviting Garden Team members and anyone who wants to join us. All levels of garden experience welcome! Follow up garden work days will be on the first Saturday of the month from 10am – 12pm. If you’d like to be added to the garden listserv, please contact Kathleen at keschuler47@gmail.com or robin@commongroundmeditation.org.

We have some garden needs and positions to fill. If interested, please contact Kathleen at keschuler47@gmail.com .  

  • Garden co-leader to work with Kathleen
  • Adopt a garden- Quan Yin garden and two rain gardens still available. Adopting means weeding and watering outside of garden work days.
  • Anyone with expertise in bush trimming

Meeting to Organize Programs for Families (Zoom Only)
Sunday, April 24th, 12:00pm – 1:00pm
See our calendar for the zoom link
We would like to organize parents or caregivers who are interested in attending, developing, volunteering in a children’s program or preteens program at Common Ground. We’d like to hear from the community about thoughts and hopes for programs, as well as inquire and request folks to lead or volunteer. Children are welcome. We also have compiled a short survey to gauge interest.  Please complete the survey here.

Spring Maintenance Day!
Thursday, May 19th from 9:00am – 12:30pm
Join the city center Building Committee to participate in a day of maintenance, repairs and deep cleaning of the building.
Refreshments will be provided

Upcoming Community Group Meetings

  • Be Queer Now, weekly on Wednesday, 7:30-9:00pm
  • Community Group for Organizers & Social Justice Activists, Thursday April 14th, 6:00-7:30pm
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thursday April 21st, 6:30-8:00pm
  • Refirement Community Group for Retirees, Thursday April 21st, 12:00-2:00pm
  • Millenials Sangha, Friday April 29th, 7:00 – 8:30pm
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, May 1st, 4:00-5:30pm
  • Christianity-Buddhism Book Group, May 14th, 9:00 – 10:15am

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

Only if we have trust in something,
can we actually apply ourselves to it.
We must recognize the trust we have,
however little or much. It is what
keeps us on the path.

Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

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