Weekly Email 6-21-21

Dear Common Ground Friends,

Shantideva, a ninth-century Buddhist monk said, “We who are like senseless children shrink from suffering, but love its causes.” One way we can go beyond this neurotic contradiction is by valuing the sensitivity of our hearts. It is not easy to live attuned to the sensitive heart, but the compelling truth is that numbness, disconnection and insensitivity don’t work. If we pay attention, life teaches us that what we think, say, and do matters. It matters because the reverberations of these actions can be felt in our sensitive hearts. There is so much that is uncertain and ungovernable in life; however, this law of karma is dependable. The quality of our intentions determines what continues to reverberate in our hearts and in the world. When trained, the heart can discern the wholesomeness and unwholesomeness of our intentions. Wisdom and compassion depend on this sensitivity in order to make wiser and more compassionate choices. In this sense, our sometimes raw, seemingly overexposed hearts can be developed into an important internal dharma teacher. Notice how life begins to be transformed the more we listen with integrity to what the sensitive heart is reflecting back. We can learn to ask, “What is the heart feeling now, what happens when I pause and let this feeling in?” This sensitivity doesn’t give us specific answers; it strengthens an intuition that allows the learning from the past to inform the present moment. We are no longer destined to live out our very imperfect cultural programming.  In our Buddhist practice we are invited to combine this deepening moral sensitivity to what is wholesome and unwholesome with these five precepts or mindfulness trainings that specifically illuminate areas in life where we tend to plant seeds of suffering. They are:

1. I undertake the training to refrain from harming living beings.

2. I undertake the training to refrain from taking that which is not given.

3. I undertake the training to refrain from causing harm through sexual misconduct.

4. I undertake the training to refrain from false and harmful speech.

5. I undertake the training to refrain from the misuse of intoxicants.

For more information on this training in the the five precepts you can use the Common Ground Meditation Center’s Refuges and Precepts Recitation

Wishing you well,

Mark Nunberg

Guiding Teacher


Upcoming Programs-In Person

If you missed our announcement last week about phase 2 of our reopening, to begin July 5th, you can read it here.

Community Tea and Dharma
Weekly on Tuesdays, 8:00am-9:00am. More info here.

  • with Mark Nunberg Tuesday, June 22nd
  • with Gabe Keller Flores Tuesday, June 29th
Silent Open Meditation In Person
We’ve added extra sitting times during the Community Practice Intensive, which ends on Saturday. Starting Saturday we’ll return to the following schedule:
Monday-Saturday, 7:30-8:30am,
Sundays 8:30-9:30am,
more info here

Next Buddhist Studies Course on Mindfulness of Mind
Mark Nunberg leads, 6 Mondays, June 28 – Aug 2, 7:30-9:00pm. Register here. Starting with Week Two, participants can choose to attend in person if they wish.

Hybrid: Dharma Talk with Ajahn Chandako
On Wednesday, July 14th from 6:00-7:30pm, Guest Teacher Ajahn Chandako will offer a talk at Common Ground that will be in-person and livestreamed on Youtube. There will also be an opportunity to offer him a meal that morning around 10:30am.

Registration open for Metta Retreat at Prairie Farm with Patrice Koelsch
Registration is now open for our first public retreat at Prairie Farm after the pandemic! For more info on practice periods at Prairie Farm this summer, click here.

Qigong at Matthews Park
Steve and Autumn Compton are now offering weekly in-person Qigong at Matthews Park near Common Ground, Wednesdays from 10:00-11:00am. Autumn also offers weekly livestreamed Qigong on Fridays from 10:00-11:00 on our Youtube channel.

Save the Date for Labor Day Retreat
This year’s Labor Day retreat with Mark Nunberg and Shelly Graf will take place Wed. Sep 1st – Mon. Sep 6th. It will be a Zoom retreat with a limited number of spots available at Prairie Farm in person. Registration will open July 1st.

Upcoming Programs-Online

Please note that going forward, we won’t be including Zoom links in this weekly email but will instead direct you to our public calendar to find the links. This will minimize the risk of having Zoom links listed incorrectly. If you ever have trouble finding a link to join a program, please don’t hesitate to email info@commongroundmeditation.org or call us at 612-722-8260. One tip is to bookmark our public calendar page for easy access.


  • MARK NUNBERG and STACY MCCLENDON lead the Community Practice Check-In, 12:00pm-1:00pm. On Zoom.
  • The Truth & Justice Vigil with STACY MCCLENDON, 6:00pm-7:30pm. On Zoom.

SHELLY GRAF will lead the Weekly Practice Group7:30-9:00pm. On Zoom.

SHELLY GRAF leads the weekly Community Practice Check-In, covering all topics9:00-10:00am. On Zoom.

STACY MCCLENDON will lead the Lovingkindness Practice Group7:00-8:30pm. On Zoom.


  • MARK NUNBERG will lead the Weekly Practice Group10:30-11:45am. Attend on Zoom or Youtube.
  • WYNN FRICKE & MARK NUNBERG lead the weekly Community Practice Check-In4:30-5:30pm. On Zoom.
Next Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation Course
6 Tuesdays, July 6th-August 10th. WYNN FRICKE & MARK NUNBERG will lead. On Zoom. 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. 

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
Find Zoom links at the public calendar.

  • Be Queer Now Meditation Sangha, Wed. June 23rd, 7:30-9:00pm.
See the calendar for more info about these community groups.

Co-Guiding Teacher Survey
If you missed the recent email requesting feedback for the Co-Guiding Teacher Hiring Committee, you can find it here.

Looking for Donation of Plastic Lawn Chairs 
We’re looking for any extra lawn chairs you might have, for our garden. Let us know, thanks!

Garden Work Days this Summer
If you’re interested in helping out with Common Ground’s beautiful garden this year (in Minneapolis), please contact Kathleen (Keschuler47@gmail.com) to get on the garden team mailing list.

Buddhist Justice Reporter
Read articles from Tara Mulay, Tuere Sala, Pamela Ayo Yetunde, Shannon Gibney, Zenzele Isoke and others reflecting on the Chauvin trial.

Recent Blog Posts
All blog posts here

Weekly Tejaniya
I want you to relax, really relax, and
be aware. One of the wonderful things
that happens when you’re relaxed is that
you not only notice the things that you’re
observing, you notice the fact that you are
observing. We notice that awareness it-
self is working to help us be aware.

Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

The roses outside Common Ground!

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