Weekly Email 7-26-22

Dear Common Ground Friends,

In his quest for total liberation the Buddha discovered that craving was the cause of all suffering. So, in attempting to apply the Buddha’s discovery to our lives, craving is a very important part of our experience to investigate and to be curious about. Preferences are a universal human experience. How can we relate to our preferences without clinging or attachment? Can we explore the possibility of letting go when a problem is destroying our peace of mind? Adjusting ourselves to things as they are. It’s not easy to restrain ourselves from reacting. We can remind ourselves that the belief we are “running the show” is a delusion. If we work to free ourselves from regrets about the past and from worries about what lies ahead, we will find ourselves better able to cope with our present moment experience.

The practice of mindfulness meditation is a helpful way of becoming more familiar with the mind, observing how states of mind arise, are experienced, and then dissolve. With practice we become better at noticing the states of mind associated with wanting and not wanting. By observing these mind states and having an intention to let them go again and again, our mind becomes more settled.

When we find ourselves entangled, connecting with the body and repeating the phrase, “Don’t think, just feel and breathe” can be a helpful way to restore some peace and equanimity.

Kind Regards,

Gail Iverson
Common Ground Dharma Teacher and Bookkeeper

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 in-person and on Zoom with Mark Nunberg
  • Sunday evenings, 7:00-8:30pm in-person with Mark Nunberg
  • Wednesday evenings, 7:30-9:00pm on Zoom with Shelly Graf
    • Wednesday, July 27th with Ramesh Sairam
    • Wednesday, August 3rd with Mark Nunberg
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
    • Friday, July 29th Peer-Led
  • 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

   – Kevin Griffin joining via Zoom on August 19th 

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, August 11th | 7:00 -8:30pm

Mindful Self-Compassion Practice Group with Jean Haley and Jane Rauenhorst
Friday, August 19th | 7:00 -8:30pm

Upcoming Programs: In Person/Hybrid at Common Ground
To see full list of programs visit our calendar

Half-Day Retreat with Shelly Graf
Saturday, August 6th | 1:00pm-5:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Info and registration here.

Practice Group for the BIPOC Community with Femi Akinnagbe
Friday, August 12th | 6:30pm – 8:00pm
In-person only
No registration required
More info here

Living the Practice Workshop: Understanding Healing and Awakening
with Femi Akinnagbe, Shelly Graf, and Mark Nunberg

Saturday, Aug 13th, 2022 | 9:30am – 4:00pm
In- person and on Zoom
Info and registration here

Daylong Retreat with Mark Nunberg
Saturday, August 20th | 9:30am – 4:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Info and registration here.

Young Adult Daylong Retreat
with Meg Brandeland and Gabe Keller Flores

Saturday, August 27th | 9:30am – 4:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Info and registration here

Daylong Retreat with Kevin Griffin: 
Wrestling with the Buddha: Reflections on the Anapanasati Sutta

Saturday, September 24th | 10:00am – 5:00pm
Info and registration here

Half-Day Retreat with Kevin Griffin:
Dharma & Recovery

Sunday, September 25th | 1:00pm – 5:00pm
For Recovery Community Only
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. More information and registration for the following programs can be found here


Labor Day Retreat with Mark Nunberg & Shelly Graf
6:15pm Sunday, August 28th – 10:30am Monday, September 5th

Practice Periods:

Practice Period with Louise Delagran & Jen Stewart
5:00pm Thursday, September 29th – 2:00pm Sunday, October 2nd.

Practice Period for BIPOC Practitioners with Jen Racho & Arleta Little
5:00pm Thursday, October 13th – 2:00pm Sunday, October 16th

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
    • Cory Clementson leading August 3rd
  • 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 
Please contact Robin Major at robin@commongroundmeditation.org if you are interested in any of these volunteer opportunities:

  • Children’s Program: We are looking for a volunteer or two to help lead the reforming of Common Ground’s children’s group. If you are interested, have been practicing for awhile, and have skill in youth work, please send a letter of interest to Robin.
  • Website volunteer: We are looking for a volunteer to help post upcoming programs to the website. Experience with WordPress preferred.
  • Trailer need: We’re in need of a means to haul a 20ft. steel beam to Common Ground Retreat Center the week of July 11th. It’s only about 250 lbs but quite long. Let us know if you have a long enough trailer we could borrow (16ft. is ideal but maybe 12ft. would work).
  • Truck need: We are looking for a vehicle to transport two donated armchairs to Common Ground Retreat Center in Western WI. If you are planning to head out to the Retreat Center this summer and would be interested in transporting the chairs, please let us know.
  • Wishlist items: Please let us know if you would like to donate any of these items: high quality area wool rugs for the Retreat Center, one bookshelf

Community News 

Upcoming Community Group Meetings:

  • Be Queer Now, weekly on Wednesday, 7:30-9:00pm
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thursday August 4th, 6:30-8:00pm
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, August 7th, 4:00-5:30pm
  • Community Group for Organizers & Social Justice Activists, Thursday August 11th, 6:00-7:30pm
  • Buddhism & Other Religions Book Group, Saturday, August 13th, 9:00 – 10:15am
  • Refirement Community Group for Retirees, Thursday August 18th, 12:00-2:00pm
  • Millenials Sangha, Friday, August 26th, 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

Wanting to speak and not wanting to
speak is the same problem.

Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

The amazing work retreatants (assisted by Mark Nunberg) building
a deck around the tiny house at CG Retreat Center last week

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