Weekly Email 7-5-22

Dear Common Ground Friends,

The Buddha encouraged us to reflect on our sila. Sila is the pali word for the liberating training in harmlessness– a moral sensitivity and integrity that leads to freedom from regret and remorse. This is a real happiness! The point of this practice isn’t to increase our guilt or shame, but rather to increase our interest in this relational part of life and to discover a very accessible and healing happiness.

The Buddha instructs us to strengthen our moral sensitivity by reflecting before, during and after every thought, word or deed, “Is this for my own well-being, the well-being of others, the well-being of both?” Obviously, this is asking a lot from us. But, once we sense the value of this sensitivity and the danger when it is absent, the wholesome desire to be sensitive to the skillfulness of our thoughts, speech and action increases little by little until it becomes more continuous and natural.

The Buddha describes this training in sila as one of the most beautiful and impactful gifts we can offer ourselves and the world. It is a gift of non-fear. This heart is committed to non-harming and has cultivated an ongoing deep sensitivity as the active expression of this commitment. People who have cultivated sila are metaphorically described as having a beautiful scent that travels far and wide, a cause for happiness all around.

Common Ground’s Refuge and Precept Recitation Ceremony


Mark Nunberg
Co-Guiding Teacher

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
    • Wednesday, July 6th with Mark Nunberg
    • Wednesday, July 13th with Wynn Fricke

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 8th with teacher TBD
    • Friday, July 15th, 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

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, July 14th | 7:00 -8:30pm

Mindful Self-Compassion Practice Group with Jean Haley and Jane Rauenhorst
Friday, July 15th | 7:00 -8:30pm

Meditation and Attachment Disturbances with Amma Thanasanti
Sunday, July 17th | 2:00-3:30pm
For more info about Amma’s work click here

Upcoming Programs: In Person/Hybrid at Common Ground

To see full list of programs visit our calendar

Buddhist Studies Summer Course
Sila: Moral Integrity, Non-Harming, and the Bliss of Blamelessness

8 Mondays, June 27th – August 15th | 7:30pm – 9:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Info and registration here.

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

Masculinity Circle
July 9th, 2022 | 1:30pm – 4:00pm
In-person only
Info and registration here.

Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation with Jen Racho & Mark Nunberg
Five Tuesdays: July 12th- August 9th | 7:30pm – 9:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Info and registration here.

Daylong Retreat with Meski Mebatsion & Mark Nunberg
Saturday, July 23rd | 9:30am – 4:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Info and registration here.

Half-Day Retreat with Shelly Graf
Saturday, August 6th | 1:00pm-5:00pm
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

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


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

Practice Periods:

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

Work Retreat with Cory Clemetson
Sunday, July 17th – Friday, July 29th
More info and registration here

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.

Mindful Service: Cleaning Afternoon at the City Center
Sunday, July 24th | 3:30pm – 6:15pm
Join Robin Major and Dave Redelman for an afternoon of deep cleaning. Refreshments will be provided before Mark Nunberg’s Practice Group begins at 7:00pm

Current Volunteer Needs 

  • 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. Please contact robin@commongroundmeditation.org if you have a long enough trailer we could borrow (16ft. is ideal but maybe 12ft. would work).
  • Website Design: We are looking into re-designing the Common Ground website in the coming months. If you have tech or website skills and are interested in helping to make this happen, please email robin@commongroundmeditation.org
  • 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.


Community News

 Upcoming Community Group Meetings:

  • Be Queer Now, weekly on Wednesday, 7:30-9:00pm
  • Christianity-Buddhism Book Group, July 9th, 9:00 – 10:15am
  • Community Group for Organizers & Social Justice Activists, Thursday July 14th, 6:00-7:30pm
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, July 17th, 4:00-5:30pm
  • Refirement Community Group for Retirees, Thursday July 21st, 12:00-2:00pm
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thursday July 21st, 6:30-8:00pm
  • Millenials Sangha, Friday, July 22nd, 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

Having a desire to truly un-
derstand what is going on is much
more important than just trying to be
aware. We practice being aware because
we want to understand. Wanting to un-
derstand, desiring to understand, is a
wholesome and positive desire.

Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

A blooming rain garden at Common Ground

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