Weekly Email 6-1-22

Dear Common Ground Friends,

If you’ve ever been on a retreat before you know that the heart becomes more sensitive with time. Through the process of learning to be intimate, we also find that we become more and more capable of responding to the people and activities we care about, from a connected and skillful place. Doesn’t it feel good to be skillful, connected, and use our energies well?

Thankfully, we get a taste of the power of the sensitive heart even after moments of short, but regular and intentional practice time, such as when we take some time to sit or be still in the mornings or evenings. We can get an even bigger taste of the power of the sensitive heart when carve out longer periods for intentional practice, such as a half day, full day, or longer. When we remember to stay connected there is an unmistakeable impact on the quality of our lives. Even in painful moments, feeling is trustworthy. Little by little, we learn to trust and abide in the heart’s sensitivity.

Setting aside some time for retreating can be a powerful way to recharge the sensitive heart, to cultivate connection and intimacy that can only benefit the wholeheartedness and skillfulness we bring to our daily engagements. There are a number of retreat opportunities coming up, both at Common Ground’s city center and at our Retreat Center. Please take a look at the lists below. I hope you find something that suits you.


Shelly Graf

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.
In-person and on Zoom
Visit the calendar for Zoom link

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
This month this practice group will meet on the fourth Friday:
Friday, June 24th 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

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.

Relating Wisely to Vulnerability and Uncertainty with Ramesh Sairam
July 9th, 2022 | 9:00am – 12:00pm
In-person only
More info and registration here

Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation with Jen Racho & Mark Nunberg
In-person and on Zoom
Five Tuesdays: July 12th- August 9th | 7:30pm – 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

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.

Practice Period with Robin Major & Richard Bonk
5:00pm Thursday, July 14th – 2:00pm Sunday, July 17th.

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

 As It Is Now: Too Many Guns and Too Much Bypass by Zenzele Isoke

Long time community and leader, Zenzele Isoke was recently featured in Lion’s Roar, a popular Buddhist journal. Her article, As It Is Now: Too Many Guns and Too Much Bypass, linked here and also posted on our blog, is a timely and compassionate response to the complex times we live in. Perhaps more importantly though, Zenzele shares with us her courageous heart and models the responsibility that we all have to apply the Buddha’s teachings in every corner of our lives.Join the Mowers!
We are looking for one more volunteer to join the city center mowing team. Emailinfo@commongroundmeditation.org if you are interested.

Seeking vocalist/guitarist
Local Kirtan group “Temple of Light”, led by Common Ground community members, is seeking a vocalist/guitarist. Click here for more info.

Upcoming Community Group Meetings:

  • Be Queer Now, weekly on Wednesday, 7:30-9:00pm
  • 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
  • Millenials Sangha, Friday, June 24th 7:00-8:30pm

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

In the beginning you have to
make a big effort for some length
of time. We can take heart that with
all the effort we put in, at some point
it becomes easier. The dhamma comes
and takes you by the hand, and
shows you the way

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

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