Weekly Email 5-25-22

Dear Friends,

In the midst of such suffering in our lives and in the world, we can be animated, renewed, and protected by our practice of dana or generosity. How can we keep bringing a fresh, ‘beginner’s mind’ attitude to this moment-by-moment practice? Let’s remember that the Buddha often began his teachings by encouraging us to go beyond our habits of fear, stinginess, and greed. Holding back on our capacity for goodness does not lead to happiness. We often interpret generosity as just another spiritual ‘should’ that I need to take on. This attitude is unhelpful and stressful. The practice of dana is the spiritual art of learning how to receive and give freely in a way that is functional, enlivening, and powerfully liberating. And, we can undertake this practice right now. We don’t need a different moment to practice relating with an open and generous heart. This is the deep medicine we all need.

At Common Ground, we practice dana/generosity as a pragmatic way to meet the needs of the organization. As most of you know, we don’t do fundraising, we don’t charge for any programs, and we rely on volunteers to operate the two centers. In other words, we practice giving and receiving freely. We are not saying that this approach is better or the only way that spiritual organizations should operate. But we can say that this way of operating aligns with our spiritual practices of letting go of attachment, ideas of control and self-centeredness. Whether we like it or not, we are all responsible for finding our way with this practice. We can’t avoid it. In every moment of our lives, choices are being made, and ways of relating to experience are being cultivated. Let’s reflect, what kind of heart do we want to cultivate? Let’s resolve to experiment with bringing generosity, the joy of giving, into ordinary moments of our lives. Notice what is set in motion, might this be a real source of joy in my life?



Online spots still open!

Embodied Dharma: an Insight Meditation Retreat with Ayya Niyyanika, Shelly Graf, and Wynn Fricke
5:30pm Thursday, June 2nd – 12:30pm Sunday, June 5th
More info and registration here

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. Zoom only.
From June 3rd – July 29th, the Mindfulness, Recovery, and Twelve Steps group will be offered in-person and over Zoom. For more info click here.
Upcoming Programs: Online Only

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

InterPlay with Spruce Krause
Thursday, June 9th. 7:00 -8:30pm

Daylong Retreat with Mark Nunberg & Shelly Graf
Saturday, June 11th 10:00 – 3:00pm
Zoom only. More info and registration here.

Mindful Self-Compassion Practice Group with Jean Haley and Jane Rauenhorst
Friday, June 17th 7:00 -8:30pm

Book Study: The Citadel of Awareness with Merra Young
Wednesday, June 22nd, 12:15–1:30pm

Upcoming Programs: In Person/Hybrid at Common Ground

To see full list of programs visit our calendar

Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation with Stacy McClendon & Shelly Graf
3 Tuesdays: May 17th – May 31st, 7:30 – 9:00pm
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.

Half-day Retreat with Mark Nunberg
Saturday, June 4th 1:00 – 5:00pm
In-person or on Zoom. More info and registration here.

Workshop with Shannon Gibney: Writing as a Practice of Freedom
June 19th, 2:00 – 4:00pm
In-person only
More info and registration here.

Buddhist Studies Summer Course
Sila: Moral Integrity, Non-Harming, and the Bliss of Blamelessness

In-person and on Zoom
8 Mondays, June 27th – August 15th | 7:30 – 9:00pm
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 for the following programs can be found here

BIPOC Community Day of Mindfulness Practice
With Jen Racho & Zenzele Isoke
Saturday, May 27th from 9:30 – 4:30pm

Embodied Dharma: an Insight Meditation Retreat with Ayya Niyyanika, Shelly Graf, and Wynn Fricke
5:30pm Thursday, June 2nd – 12:30pm Sunday, June 5th

June Practice Periods with Wynn Fricke & Gabe Keller-Flores:

  • 5:30pm Wednesday, June 8th – 2:00pm Sunday, June 12th.
  • 5:30pm Thursday June 16th – 2:00pm Sunday, June 19th.
  • 5:30pm Wednesday June 22nd – 2:00pm Sunday, June 26th.

Divine Abodes Retreat: Four Dimensions of Love with Patrice Koelsch
5:30 p.m. Thursday, August 11th – 12:30 p.m. Sunday, August 14th

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 

  • Wish List for the retreat center: We are looking for a large cooking pot (sized for 15 or more servings) and comfy sitting chairs for the bedrooms.
  • 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 Tuesday mornings, 8:00- 8:30am.  Email info@commongroundmeditation.org if interested.

Community News 

Join the Mowers!

We are looking for one more volunteer to join the city center mowing team. Emailinfo@commongroundmeditation.org if you are interested.

Upcoming Community Group Meetings:

  • Be Queer Now, weekly on Wednesday, 7:30-9:00pm
  • Millenials Sangha, Friday, May 27th 7:00-8:30pm
    Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thursday June 2nd, 6:30-8:00pm
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, June 5th, 4:00-5:30pm
  • Community Group for Organizers & Social Justice Activists, Thursday June 9th, 6:00-7:30pm
  • Christianity-Buddhism Book Group, June 11th, 9:00 – 10:15am
  • Refirement Community Group for Retirees, Thursday June 16th, 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
For more info, click here.

Weekly Tejaniya

Be kind to yourself. Relax.
This heart-mind is very impor-
tant. It has to be relaxed, at ease
and comfortable—only then
can it do its best.

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

Tulips in the Common Ground garden

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