Weekly Email 5-4-23

Registration Open for Upcoming Residential Retreats

A meditation cushion facing the altar at Common Ground Retreat Center. On the altar sits a candle, two bouquets, a Buddha Rupa and a picture of Dipa Ma.

A meditation cushion facing the altar at Common Ground Retreat Center. On the altar sits a candle, two bouquets, a Buddha Rupa and a picture of Dipa Ma.

Dear Common Ground Friends,

We might think of intentions as a powerful force that guides and shapes our lives. Reflecting on our values or intentions can keep our lives moving in the direction we want them to. Planting seeds of goodness. When life gets confusing, and we don’t know what to do, it can be wise to pause, and remember that intentions shape every moment of our lives. We can check in with ourselves about what our thoughts, words, and actions are setting in motion. Becoming more and more mindful of the seeds we are planting can help us realize that we have some agency, some choice in what we bring to our lives, relationships, families, and communities. We have an abundance of opportunity each day to cultivate intentions that will add beneficial energies to our collective realities. No matter what we’re experiencing, we can ask ourselves, is the way I’m relating here, the energy that I want to extend into my life and into the world? It is powerful to remember that we can influence our lives in good and beneficial ways. We can also make a choice to reset our intentions in any moment, so that we are living more and more in alignment with our deepest values. We can do this even in the most ordinary of moments, asking ourselves, can this moment be inspired by what is beneficial? Can my actions be fueled by the love, compassion, honesty, patience and all the beautiful energies that I want to see reflected in the world?

Setting aside some time for retreat practice is a beautiful way to intentionally cultivate the good. in addition to our daylong and half day retreats at our Minneapolis city center every month, there are many ongoing residential retreat opportunities at our retreat center in Western Wisconsin, about an hour and fifteen minutes outside of Minneapolis. Additionally, Twin Cities Vipassana Collective (TCVC) has been hosting an 8 or 9 day retreat every June. See below for more details about upcoming retreat opportunities through Common Ground or TCVC. We hope you’ll find something to suit your needs.

Warm Wishes,
Shelly Graf
Co-Guiding Teacher

Retreat with Deborah Helzer and Vance Pryor
with our sibling organization the Twin Cities Vipassana Collective
Saturday, June 17 – Saturday, June 24
Register here

Renunciation Practice Period
with Mark Nunberg, Cory Clemetson, Rick Condon, & Robin Major
Tuesday, July 11th – Saturday, July 16th
More info and registration coming soon!

Labor Day Retreat 
with Mark Nunberg & Shelly Graf, Assisted by Gabe Keller Flores & Stacy McClendon
Saturday evening, August 26th – midday Monday, September 4th
On Zoom and in-person at our city center and retreat center
More info and registration here

Divine Abodes Retreat: Four Dimensions of Love
with Patrice Koelsch
Thursday afternoon, August 10th – Sunday midday August 13th
In-person only
More info and registration here

Opportunities for Supporting the Retreat Center
Please email our Office Manager Robin Major at robin@commongroundmeditation.org if you would like to support the retreat center in either of these ways:

  • Cooking: If you are unable to attend a retreat but would like to support make the retreat happen by cooking a meal.
  • Work Retreats: If you would like to stay updated on our Work Retreats schedule at the retreat center. Work tasks include deep cleaning, cooking, fixing and maintenance, and garden work.
  • Wishlist: If you would like to give specific items to the retreat center, check out our wishlist here.
  • The Practice of Generosity: Common Ground Retreat Center and all of Common Ground operate fully in the spirit of generosity. Click the bowl below for the link to our donations page.


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