Weekly Email 4-5-2021

Greetings Dharma friends,

I hope this email finds you and yours well, safe, and at ease. There’s a lot moving in our communities and hearts these days, and I trust we’re all doing our best to connect with sources of renewal, rest, grounding, and inspiration.

Many of you may be wondering, quite naturally, when we will be able to gather again together in Common Ground’s physical building, and what that will look like. Please know that this is an active topic of discussion among the leadership at Common Ground, and we are in conversation with our doctor advisors from the community, Ramesh Sairam, Steve Hillson, and Megan Brandeland, as we begin planning. While we don’t have all the details yet, we wanted to give you a short update regarding some of the values and considerations guiding our planning:

1. We are going to continue to provide online programming. We know that the shift to online programming has had many benefits, including the ability for people from out of town and people with limited mobility to attend programs at Common Ground. We plan on continuing to have online options for programs even as we begin welcoming people back into the building. (To read about a new online version of our longstanding Sutta Study program, see the community news section below.)

2. We are committed to following appropriate safety protocols once we start welcoming people back into the building: masks, social distancing, and hand sanitizing. All community members will be expected to follow these guidelines carefully.

3. We are aiming for June 1st as a target to start having public programs in the building. This is subject to change, of course, depending on the state of the pandemic at that point. And, it’s possible there could be some public programs before that date, again, depending on the state of the pandemic.

As we continue envisioning this transition to reincorporating (literally) in-person programming into our offerings, we want to hear from you! Your input will guide our decision-making as we consider how to offer a mix of in-person and online programs in a way that best meets the evolving needs of our community. Please take 5 minutes to fill out this important survey. Thank you. Wishing you health, joy, and resilience as we continue journeying together.

Gabe Keller Flores, on behalf of the CG administration

P.S. Our annual Treasurer’s Report is now available. You can read it here.

Upcoming Program Highlights 


  • NANCY BOLER’s weekly Mindful Yoga Level 2 class will now take place in the morning instead of the evening. 9:30-10:45am on our Youtube channel.
  • STACY MCCLENDON & MARK NUNBERG lead the weekly Community Practice Check-In. 12:00-1:00pm. Zoom link here.
  • Guest Teacher RALPH STEELE will lead a session on the Four Noble Truths for the Truth & Justice Vigil, 6:00-7:30pm. 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. Today’s meeting and every other session will explore racism through an inquiry into whiteness and domination. All are welcome.
  • Interplay with SPRUCE KRAUSE meets tonight, 7:00-8:30pm. More info here. Zoom link here.
CECILIA RAMON leads the weekly Lovingkindness Practice Group, 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here.
  • MESKI MEBATSION, SHELLY GRAF, & MARK NUNBERG will lead a daylong Living the Practice Workshop on Relating Wisely to this Sensual World. 9:30am-4:00pm. More info and registration here.
  • RAMESH SAIRAM leads his biweekly Dharma Practice Reflections program, 10:30am-12:00pm. Zoom link 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.
LOUIS ALEMAYEHU, MARK NUNBERG, ROBB REED, OMKAR SAWARDEKAR, MALIK WATKINS, & GABE KELLER FLORES will lead a Community Conversation for Those who Identify as Male, Men, or as Embodying Masculinity on exploring assertive and receptive qualities. 2:00-3:30pm. More info here.
STACY MCCLENDON & JEAN HALEY will lead a Daylong Retreat from 9:30am-4:00pm. More info and registration here.

MARK NUNBERG will offer an Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation Course over Zoom. 6 Tuesdays, 7:30-9:00pm. Look for registration in next week’s weekly email.

Please note that all times listed are in Central time. 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. Apr. 14th @ 8am.
  • Online Retreat: Cloud Mountain Retreat Center: Understanding the Whirlpools of this Mind with Mark Nunberg & Shelly Graf
    Apr 23 – 27, 2021; Registration here .
  • 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

  • Be Queer Now, Wed. Apr. 7th, 7:30-9:00pm. Zoom link here.
  • Community Group for Organizers & Activists, Thurs. Apr. 8th, 6:00-7:30pm. Zoom link here.
  • Dharma Friends Sit & Discussion, Sun. Apr. 11th, 7:00-8:00pm. Zoom link here.

See the calendar for more info about these community groups.

Openings in CG Sutta Study Groups: CORRECTION
In our announcement about this last week, we linked to a post that included an outdated criterion for participation in the group. The post has been updated and can be viewed with the link at the end of this blurb.
Common Ground has two Sutta Study Groups that meet on the first Saturday morning of each month to study the teachings of the Buddha and to strengthen relationships among committed practitioners and leaders. The groups are now accepting applications for new members, who will join the groups starting in May. There are 5 open slots in the existing groups for which a lottery will be run on April 26th. Additionally, we are starting a new, online-only sutta study group with meeting time TBD by the participants. For more info and to apply, click here.

Community Member Looking for Support
We would like to pass along a request from a CG community member, Kathilyn, who is struggling with a debilitating, life-threatening illness. To read more, click here.

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

  • twin bed frame
  • 2 nightstands
  • 2 lamps for nightstands
  • wool area rugs (5×9 or smaller)

Please email gabe@commongroundmeditation.org if you have these items to donate.
Weekly Tejaniya
Every one of us has inherent
Buddha-nature—the potential to
awaken in any given moment to what
is real, to what is. Can we find it?
Can we take refuge in it?

Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

photo of Prairie Farm Retreat by Ari Lindquist

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