Weekly Email 6-7-23

Dear Common Ground Friends,

When the mind is distracted and superficial, only what is exciting and provocative gets our attention. Part of our Buddhist awareness training is to attune, in a balanced way, to both the subtle and the gross aspects of experience. Importantly, we can’t actually be intimate and clear with one without a deep appreciation and sensitivity to the other. Much of the initial work of dharma practice is cultivating a mind that can recognize, open to, and sustain interest in what is subtle. Shinzen Young often used to say, “Subtle is significant.” It is this connection with subtlety and the deepening understanding that follows, that opens up and transforms how the mind relates to and understands the gross and seemingly obvious aspects of our experience.

Of course daily sitting meditation and regular retreat practice is a great support for this necessary balancing and integration of the gross and subtle. However, we can and should also find ways to continue this work throughout our daily lives. One simple training is to cultivate interest in the space of silence or stillness that is naturally present even as different experiences arise and are known. Imagine a painter who is able to sense and keep in mind the empty canvas even as they add brush stroke after brush stroke of vivid colors. Remember, this is in no way a denial or rejection of the experiences that are arising in our daily lives. Rather, we are interested in a more full and complete connection with the truth of the moment.

Please consider the following retreat opportunities to help you build up some momentum in your practice:

Daylong Retreat on June 24th with Mark Nunberg

Teacher-Led Practice Period June 15th – 18th with Wynn Fricke

The Joy of Renunciation Practice Period July 11th – 16th with Mark Nunberg, Robin Major, Cory Clemetson, and Rick Condon

Summer Work Retreat July 17th – 28th with Cory Clemetson


Mark Nunberg
Co-Guiding Teacher

The Practice of Generosity

Ongoing Programs
To view a complete list of our regular program offerings, visit our upcoming programs page on our website. As always, our online calendar is the best way to find the correct times and Zoom links. 

Open Meditation
In-person meditation is now available, M-F, starting at 6:30 AM Check our online calendar for additional times and details. There are many in-person as well as virtual opportunities for silent meditation, 7 days a week. Visit the calendar for times and details.

Weekly Practice Groups

  • Sunday mornings, 10:30-11:45 AM in-person and on Zoom with Mark Nunberg
  • Sunday evenings, 7:00-8:30 PM in-person with Mark Nunberg
  • Wednesday evenings, 7:30-9:00 PM now in-person and on Zoom with Shelly Graf
Monthly Practice Groups
  • Now in-person and on Zoom! First Fridays, 7:00-8:30 PM, Lovingkindness with Mark Nunberg and Stacy McClendon
  • NEW PROGRAM! First Thursdays, 7:00-8:30 PM, Developing the Art of Spiritual Inquiry with Ramesh Sairam. In-person and on Zoom.
Community Practice Check-Ins
  • Sundays, 4:30-5:30 PM, on Zoom with Mark Nunberg and Wynn Fricke, on Zoom
  • Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM, on Zoom with Stacy McClendon, on Zoom, joined by Mark Nunberg on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month.
  • Wednesdays, 8:30-9:30 AM, in-person with Shelly Graf, assisted by Robin Major
  • Fridays, 9:00-10:00 AM, on Zoom with Shelly Graf and every other Friday with Shelly and Jen Racho
  • Every other Saturday, 10:30 am-12:00 PM, on Zoom with Ramesh Sairam
Yoga & Qigong
We offer Yoga and Qigong several times weekly, both in person and online.
  • NEW! Yoga with Nancy Boler, Mondays from 5:30-6:30 PM, in-person only
Mindfulness, Recovery, and the Twelve Steps
Meets every Friday, 7:00-8:30 PM.
In-person and on Zoom
Mindfulness Self-Compassion with Jane Rauenhorst & Jean Haley
On Friday, June 16th, this group will join the guest teacher talk with devon hase
In-person and on Zoom
7:00-8:30 PM
Youth Programs
  • Children’s Program: The Children’s Program is on pause for the summer, except for Sunday, June 18th, the next Community Potluck.
  • Teen Program: This Sunday is the last gathering of the teen group for the semester. You can join the Common Ground teen listserv by emailing info@commongroundmeditation.org.

Upcoming Programs at Common Ground’s City Center
To see the full list of programs visit our calendar

Cultivating Virtue as a Support for Liberation: a Bimonthly Practice Group with Gabe Keller Flores
2nd and 4th Thursdays | 7:00 – 8:30 PM
The last meeting is Thursday, June 8th. Gabe will resume a bi-monthly practice group in January.
In-person and on Zoom
No registration necessary

Half-Day Retreat with Shelly Graf
Saturday, June 10th | 9:00 pm-1:00 PM
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Enlightenment is an Accident: A book reading with Tim Burkett
Sunday, June 11th, 3:30 – 5:00 PM
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Buddhist Studies with Mark Nunberg: Divine Abodes
Eight Classes: Mondays, June 12th – July 31st
Optional Sitting Period, 7:00 – 7:30 PM
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Metta for Our Times with devon hase
Friday, June 16, 7:00 – 8:30 PM
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Weekly Practice Group with Guest Teacher Deborah Ratner Helzer
Sunday, June 25, 10:30 – 11:45 AM
In-person and on Zoom
No registration needed

Maneuvering the Simple Complexity and Complex Simplicity of Dhamma Practice with Nils Heymann
Sunday, June 29, 7:00 – 8:30 PM
In-person only 
No registration needed

Half-Day Retreat with Shelly Graf
Saturday, July 1st | 1:00 pm – 5:00 PM
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Upcoming Programs at our Retreat Center
Common Ground Retreat Center is located in Wisconsin, about an hour-and-fifteen-minute drive from Minneapolis. More information and registration for upcoming programs at the retreat center can be found here

Contemplative Arts Practice Period with Wynn Fricke and Richard Bonk
Thursday, June 22nd – Sunday, June 25th
In-person only at the retreat center
More info and registration here

Educator’s Practice Period with Risa Cohen, Paul Sackaroff, and Cecilia Ramón
Thursday, July 6th – Sunday, July 9th
In-person only at the retreat center
More info and registration here

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

Labor Day Retreat
with Shelly Graf and Mark Nunberg, assisted by Stacy McClendon and Gabe Keller Flores

Saturday August 26th – Monday September 4th
On Zoom, in person at our city center and in person at our retreat center
More info and registration here

In addition to these weekend retreats, we also offer public drop-in groups on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month at the retreat center, 6:30-7:45 pm. The groups are led by Dharma teachers and community leaders. More info about these Wednesday night programs here.

Current Volunteer Needs 

Please contact our Office Manager, Robin Major, at robin@commongroundmeditation.org if you are interested in any of these volunteer opportunities:

  • Office Volunteers: We are looking for one or more people with 1-2 years of experience at the center and with prior office experience to help us with office tasks and bulletin board maintenance. Experience with G-Suite and general comfort with computer technology would be helpful.
  • Wishlists: If you would like to donate a specific item, check out the Retreat Center Wishlist and the City Center Wishlist.

Community News 

Community Potluck!
Sunday, June 18th | 12:00 – 1:30 PM
Celebrate community and bring a vegetarian dish to share! There will be music. If you’re like to volunteer to help out before, during, or after, click here.

TCVC Retreat with Deborah Helzer & Vance Pryor
June 17th-24th
This retreat, organized by the Twin Cities Vipassana Collective, will be held at St Anthony Spirituality Center in Marathon, Wisconsin.  Click here for more info and registration.

Upcoming Community Group Meetings
To view a complete list of our regular program offerings, visit our upcoming programs page on our website. As always, our online calendar is the best way to find the correct times and Zoom links. 

  • Be Queer Now, weekly on Wednesday, 7:30-9:00 PM
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, First and Third Thursdays, 6:30-8:00 PM
  • Community Group for Organizers and Social Justice Activists, Thursday, June 8th, 6:00-7:30 PM
  • Zoom: Buddhism and Other Religions Book Group, Saturday, June 10th, 9:00 – 10:30 AM
  • Community Group: Learning to Approach Social and Political Conflict with Skill and Kindness, Sunday, June 18th, 1:30-3:00 PM
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, June 18th, 4:00-5:30 PM
  • Millennials Sangha, Friday, June 23rd, 7:00-8:30 PM
  • To see the complete list of community groups, click here.

We overcome unhappiness
only by becoming clearly aware
of the process that creates it in the mind.
With interest, we observe the process
of mind called unhappiness. In this way,
we gradually learn about this process,
and how it gets started in the first place.

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.