Weekly Email 7-6-2021

Greetings Friends,

This week marks the beginning of Phase 2 of our reopening! It’s been a joy to reconnect with some of you in person, and I look forward to continuing to run into many of you over the weeks and months ahead, as we embark on this transition. Of course, we will continue to offer many online/hybrid programs, and are committed to continuing to make our programs available in this way to community members who live outside of Minnesota and to those who prefer to tune in from home for whatever reason. Our hope during this transition is that everyone who is interested in attending programs at CG, whether in-person or online, will be able to do so in a way that is accessible and comfortable to them. This is an experimental time, and we look forward to hearing from you as we try different ways of gathering together in this new, hybrid world. Your feedback is always welcome, so that we can better meet the evolving needs of our community.

That being said, there are many new in-person program offerings, both at Common Ground in Minneapolis and at Prairie Farm, our retreat property in Wisconsin, about an hour and fifteen minute drive away. You can see below for all the details on upcoming programs. We want to encourage you to join us for some of these in-person programs if you’re able, so that we can begin rediscovering together how to be an in-person community as well as an online one.




Upcoming Programs: In Person at Common Ground

We have now entered Phase 2 of our reopening!

COVID Safety Protocol
There are no universal masking or social distancing requirements at Common Ground, though of course people may choose to wear masks if that makes them feel more at ease. The CDC and Minnesota Department of Health recommend that folks who are unvaccinated continue to wear masks and practice social distancing. We don’t have a vaccination requirement, but we continue to strongly encourage all community members who are able to get vaccinated to do so, out of compassion for our community. You can read more about the values guiding our reopening here.

Security at CG
As we begin reinhabiting our physical building, we want to strongly encourage participants to keep cars clear of anything that might appear to be valuable, as we have had break-ins in the past. Please bring your valuables into the building with you or leave them locked out of sight in your car. In addition, keep any backpacks, purses or valuables with you when you enter the meditation hall. Finally, there have been many bike thefts in the neighborhood these past months including one stolen from CG this past Sunday morning even though it was locked to the center’s bike rack with a heavy steel bike lock.

Hybrid (In Person and on Zoom): Half-Day Retreat with Mark Nunberg
Saturday, July 10th, 1:00-5:00pm; More info and registration here

Sunday morning in-person option
We have started opening up the meditation hall on Sunday mornings for community members to gather to watch the 10:30am Sunday Weekly Practice Group livestream together on a screen. There will be a program host there to facilitate conversation for those who wish to stay afterwards. Mark will be teaching online from the office.

Sunday evening Weekly Practice Group with Mark Nunberg
Begins this Sunday July 11th, 7:00-8:30pm
(The talk will cover the same material as the Sunday morning program.)

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

Silent Open Meditation In Person
Monday-Saturday, 7:30-8:30am,
Sundays 8:30-9:30am,
Wednesdays, 11:00am-12:00pm, &
starting tonight, July 6th, Tuesdays from 7:30-9:00pm
more info here

Hybrid (In Person and Zoom): Mindful Yoga Level 1 with Nancy Boler
Tuesdays, 9:30-10:45am
Fridays, 9:30-10:45am

Hybrid: Dharma Talk with Ajahn Chandako: American Pie: Dhamma Reflections on a Nation
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 live-streamed on Youtube. No registration needed for the talk. There will also be an opportunity to offer him a meal that morning at 10:45am. Please RSVP for the potluck-style meal here.


Upcoming Programs: In Person at Prairie Farm

Prairie Farm is our retreat property in Wisconsin, about an hour and fifteen minute drive from Minneapolis. Registration is now open for the following programs there:

  • Metta Retreat at Prairie Farm with Patrice Koelsch, assisted by Tim Harlan-Marks
    Thursday, July 15 –  Sunday, July 18.
  • Hybrid: Daylong In-Person and Online Retreat at Prairie Farm with Mark Nunberg & Wynn Fricke: Saturday, July 24th, 9:30am-4:30pm. We are looking for a volunteer cook for this retreat, please let gabe@commongroundmeditation.orgknow if you’re interested.
  • Practice Period at Prairie Farm with Dave Redelman and Nancy Boler
    Thursday evening, July 29 – Sunday morning, August 1.
  • Work Retreat, Aug 9-13. There will be tasks for people of all skill levels. Register here.
More info and registration for these programs can be found here. Please note that we are requiring vaccination for programs there this summer.

Upcoming Programs: Online

Tuesday, July 6th

  • Mark and Stacy lead the weekly Community Practice Check-In, 12:00pm-1:00pm on Zoom.
  • This week the Truth & Justice Vigil hosts Tuere Sala, a guiding teacher of Seattle Insight Meditation Society and recent graduate from the IMS Teacher Training Program, 6:00-7:00pm on Zoom.

Wednesday, July 7th
Mark will lead the Weekly Practice Group, 7:30-9:00pm on Zoom.

Thursday, July 8th

  • The weekly Community Practice Check-In will be led by Cecilia Ramon this week. 9:00am-10:00am on Zoom.
  • Spruce Krause will offer Interplay, 6:30-8:00pm on Zoom. Read more about Interplay here.
Sunday, July 11th
  • Mark will lead the Weekly Practice Group, 10:30-11:45am on Zoom and Youtube.
  • Wynn Fricke & Mark Nunberg will lead the weekly Community Practice Check-In, 4:30-5:30pm on Zoom.
Next Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation Course
Wynn and Mark, Common Ground’s co-founders, are offering a 6-week Intro to Mindfulness course on Tuesday evenings, 7:30-9:00pm, July 13th-August 17th, on Zoom. More info and registration here.

These are program highlights. To see a complete list of all our programs and access Zoom links to participate, please visit the online calendar. Also, please note all times listed are in central time.

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

  • Cooking for Practice Periods at Prairie Farm: There is a tradition in Buddhism of supporting people doing intensive retreat practice. We are always looking for volunteers interested in cooking and freezing meals ahead of time for retreatants at Prairie Farm. You can see a list of recipes here. Common Ground has pots and tupperware you can borrow for cooking and freezing. Contact gabe@commongroundmeditation.org if you wish to offer a meal. Or to donate in support of groceries for the retreatants, you can designate a gift for “PF Operating Expenses” here.
  • Program Hosts for Sunday evening Weekly Practice Group with Mark Nunberg starting July 11th: if you have been coming to the center for a year or more and are interested in the program hosting role, please email Gabe@commongroundmeditation.org.  Program hosting involves opening and closing the building, greeting people, and generally being available to answer questions, etc. People usually have a monthly slot.
  • Open meditation practice leaders: if you’ve been coming to the center for 6 months or more and would like to volunteer to lead open meditation in the mornings at the center, (6:30am-8:30am) please email Gabe@commongroundmeditation.org. Practice leading involves ringing the bell for the meditation, and, depending on the time slot, opening and closing the building. People can commit to one half-hour slot a week or more.

Community News

Community Groups Meeting this Week
Find Zoom links at the public calendar.

  • Zoom: Be Queer Now Meditation Sangha, Wed. July 7th, 7:30-9:00pm.
  • Zoom: Organizers and Social Justice Activists, Thur. July 8th, 6:00-7:30pm.
  • Zoom: Buddhism-Christianity Group, Sat. July 10th, 9:00-10:15am.

See the calendar for more info about these community groups.

Opportunity to Purchase Land Near Prairie Farm
There is some acreage just to the east of Common Ground’s retreat property that is quite a beautiful mix of fields and mature woods. You can see the plot here. It is not clear whether Common Ground will be making an offer on some of this land to protect it as mostly wild space but we wanted to let everyone know in case you are interested in purchasing some land in a quiet corner of Western Wisconsin or if you are interested in contributing to help Common Ground purchase some of the land. Email mark@commongroundmeditation.org if you want additional information.

Metta for Myanmar with Kamala Masters
Wisdom Streams, an organization that promotes the teachings of Sayadaw U Tejaniya in North America, has organized an event on July 10th to offer mett? for the people of Myanmar and express gratitude for Burmese Buddhism. More info here.

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

Weekly Tejaniya
Pain is not the problem.
Your negative mental reac-
tion to it is the problem.

Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

Thanks to the garden team for keeping the flowers happy and watered!

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