Weekly Email 4-26-2021

Hi Everyone,

What does a peaceful heart look like, feel like in a world where there is so much suffering, injustice, and uncertainty? It can seem that ease of heart is unavailable and even inappropriate until we are done fixing our lives and world. There is much we all can do to make the world a better place, but does this require postponing happiness? Are we obliged to be stressed because of the miserable state of the world? Does our unhappiness benefit anyone or contribute in any way? We often have strange ideas about happiness, as if it is a limited commodity, or that we don’t deserve it. Perhaps we are unclear about what real happiness actually feels like.

The Buddha’s teachings place a great emphasis on developing a discerning present-moment awareness that allows us to recognize wholesome qualities of mind as pleasant and wholesome, a cause for happiness now and in the future. For example, have we clearly experienced the inner pleasure of goodness when relating to any circumstance with a wholesome attitude? Any moment can be the context for wholesome qualities of mind to arise and be expressed–even this moment. We have all seen friends relate to their lives in relatively skillful and unskillful ways and we know that this makes all the difference in the person’s present state and what is set in motion for future states of mind. You are welcome to join in on Sunday mornings as we begin our study of the Paramis–the ten beautiful qualities of the heart described in Early Buddhism: generosity, non-harming, renunciation, wisdom, energy, patience, truthfulness, determination, kindness and equanimity. The teachings ask us to develop these qualities of the heart as our trustworthy foundation for deep and lasting happiness. The first step is to be interested in recognizing and appreciating wholesome qualities in ourselves and others every day. We want to correlate these ways of relating to experience with the absence of stress. It was the power of the Paramis in the Buddha’s heart that created the ground for his awakening. Here are two books to support your study and practice: Parami, Ways to Cross Life’s Floods by Ajahn Sucitto and Pay Attention, For Goodness’ Sake: Practicing the Perfections of the Heart by Sylvia Boorstein.

May our lives be rooted in goodness,

Mark Nunberg
Guiding Teacher

Upcoming Program Highlights


  • STACY MCCLENDON & MARK NUNBERG lead the weekly Community Practice Check-In. 12:00-1:00pm. Zoom link here.
  • Please join Guest Teacher VALERIE MASON JOHN, poet, author, and one of the leading African descent voices in the field of mindfulness for addiction, for a Compassionate Conversation About Race, as part of the Truth & Justice Vigil6:00-7:30pm. More info here. Zoom link here.

SHELLY GRAF will lead the Weekly Practice Group. 7:30-9:00pm. Zoom link here.
  • SHELLY GRAF leads the weekly Community Practice Check-In9:00-10:00am.Zoom link here. All are welcome.
CECILIA RAMON leads the weekly Lovingkindness Practice Group, 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here.

MARK NUNBERG will lead a Half-Day Retreat, 1:00-5:00pm. More info and registration here.

  • MARK NUNBERG will lead the Weekly Practice Group. 10:30-11:45am. Zoom link here.
  • WYNN FRICKE & MARK NUNBERG lead the weekly Community Practice Check-In. 4:30-5:30pm. Zoom link here.
MARK NUNBERG will offer an Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation Course over Zoom. 6 Tuesdays, 7:30-9:00pm. More info and registration here.

Work Day at Common Ground (Minneapolis)! More info and registration here. 9am-12pm.

Daylong Retreat with SHELLY GRAF & WYNN FRICKE. More info and registration here.

Please note that all times listed are in Central time. This list of program highlights doesn’t include all our programs; for complete, up-to-date program information, visit the online calendar. We recommend you bookmark it for easy access during the week. You might also want to bookmark our Youtube channel. 

Outside Online Programs with Mark and Shelly

  • Mark will be leading a session as part of the Healing Our City Virtual Prayer Tent series of daily reflections from different faith leaders. Wed. May 5th @ 8am.
  • Online Retreat: Insight Meditation Society: Contemplating Arising and Passing Away: The Path to Insight with Shelly Graf, Tara Mulay, & Andrea Castillo
    May 07 – May 09, 2021; Registration here .
  • Online Retreat: Southern Dharma: Understanding the Whirlpools of this Mind
    with Mark Nunberg
    May 19 – 23, 2021; Registration here.


The Practice of Generosity

Continuing in the tradition of Buddhist monasteries in Southeast Asia, all programs at Common Ground, including these online programs, 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.


Community News 

Community Groups Meeting this Week

  • Mindfulness & Depression Community Group, Sun. May 2nd, 4:00-5:30pm. Zoom link here.
See the calendar for more info about these community groups.

Community Survey
If you haven’t yet, please fill out this survey regarding your interest in in-person and online programming in the coming months.

Work Retreat at Prairie Farm May 26th-30th
We are looking for up to 7 volunteers to help out with a Prairie Farm work period. More info here.

Looking for Mowing Volunteers
We are looking for a few more volunteers to help mow the lawn at Common Ground (Minneapolis) this summer. Please email Don if you’re interested: ddarnutzer@aol.com

Looking for Donation of Lawn Chairs
If you have any extra lawn chairs you’re not using and would like to donate them to Common Ground, please let Gabe know by emailing gabe@commongroundmeditation.org

Buddhist Justice Reporter
Read articles from Pamela Ayo Yetunde, Shannon Gibney, and Zenzele Isoke.

Recent Blog Posts
Photos from Protest Sit
Community Member Looking for Support
National Buddhist Memorial Ceremony for Asian American Ancestors on May 4th

Looking for Donations for Prairie Farm
We’re looking for the following items to be donated to Prairie Farm, if anyone has them:

  • 2 nightstands
  • wool area rugs (5×9 or smaller)
Please email gabe@commongroundmeditation.org if you have these items to donate.

Weekly Tejaniya
Most of us remember to be mindful when
we are suffering. The moment things get bet-
ter, the mind relaxes and we forget to continue
to be mindful. Then greed, hatred and delusion
are allowed to grow again, and they come
with lots of strength and added force.

Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

Spring begins at the CG garden

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