Weekly Email 8-16-21

Greetings Friends,

I’m happy to be back from 6 weeks away which included both personal retreat and a little teaching both virtually with Kamala Masters and Joseph Goldstein as well as a lovely in person retreat with Keri Pederson and Matthew Hepburn. Retreating (even for a short time), where we can unplug and set down many responsibilities in order to make nurturing the heart a primary responsibility, has been and continues to be rejuvenating and enlivening. Retreating has also helped me to remember that my number one commitment is always to being a student.  But as we know, even all good things come to an end! I am really looking forward to reconnecting to the Common Ground community this week and being in the flow of life together.  Hope to see you on Zoom or perhaps in person soon!



Upcoming Programs: In Person at Common Ground

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

Tuesday, August 17th

  • Community Tea and Dharma with Mark Nunberg, 8:00-9:00am
Saturday, August 21st
  • In-Person/Zoom Daylong Retreat with Mark Nunberg, 9:30am-4:00pm. Register here.

Sunday, August 22nd

  • Livestream of Weekly Practice Group with Mark Nunberg, 10:30-11:45am. The meditation hall is open on Sunday mornings for community members to gather to watch the 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.
  • In Person Weekly Practice Group with Mark Nunberg, 7:00-8:30pm.

Mark is covering the paramis in his Sunday talks. He wrote up some reflections on Wise Effort, the current parami he’s covering, as well as a list of resources on the topic. You can find his blog post here.

Saturday, September 11th

  • In-Person/Zoom Half-Day Retreat with Mark Nunberg, 1:00-5:00pm. Register here.
8 Mondays, September 13 – Nov 1
  • In-Person/Zoom: Buddhist Studies Course: Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness: Mindfulness of Dhammas with Mark Nunberg, 7:30-9:00pm. Register here.
6 Tuesdays, September 14th – October 19th
  • In-Person/Zoom: Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation Course with Mark Nunberg. 7:30-9:00pm. More info and registration here.

Upcoming Programs: In Person at Prairie Farm

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

  • Practice Period at Prairie Farm with Sarah Wilson and Dave Halsey 
    Monday evening, August 23 – Thursday mid-day August 26
  • Daylong Workshop at Prairie Farm for Those Who Identify as Male, Men, or as Embodying Masculinity: The Masks We Wear
    Saturday, September 18th, 9:30am-5:00pm
  • Practice Period at Prairie Farm with Julie Meyer and Tony Fernandez
    Thursday evening, September 23 – Sunday mid-day, September 26
More info and registration for these programs can be found here. Please note that we are currently requiring vaccination and masking for programs there.

Upcoming Programs: Online

Tuesday, August 17th

  • Mark and Stacy lead the weekly Community Practice Check-In, 12:00pm-1:00pm on Zoom.
  • This week the Truth & Justice Vigil hosts Dr. Shanté Paradigm Smalls (They/Them), a teacher and student in Vajrayana/Tantric Buddhism, Shanté is focused on the healing impact of meditation in Black & Indigenous communities, People of Color communities, LGBTQ+ communities, and incarcerated and recovery communities. Shanté is a Teacher on the Liberate App and is a Lead Teacher on Weekly Dharma Gathering, which they co-founded and curate. Shanté identifies as a Black Indigenous person who is queer and genderqueer. 6:00-7:30pm on Zoom.

Wednesday, August 18th

  • Shelly Graf will lead the Weekly Practice Group, a cornerstone for one’s practice by providing ongoing instruction and teachings that will help illuminate the simple but challenging practice of mindfulness, 7:30-9:00pm on Zoom.

Thursday, August 19th

  • Shelly Graf will lead the Community Practice Check-In for a short grounding exercise before we begin a community conversation/Q&A about our practice. 9:00am-10:00am on Zoom.
Friday, August 20th
  • Jean Haley and Jane Rauenhorst will lead the Mindful Self-Compassion Practice Group. The group is open to everyone interested in exploring the benefits of a self-compassion practice. Meets every third Friday of the month, 7:00-8:30pm on Zoom.
Sunday, August 22nd
  • Mark will lead the Weekly Practice Group, a cornerstone for one’s practice by providing ongoing instruction and teachings that will help illuminate the simple but challenging practice of mindfulness, 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.
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

  • Biweekly Sunday Evening Cleaning: Every other Sunday evening there is drop-in Community Cleaning time from 6-7pm, led by community leader Dave Redelman. Upcoming dates: Aug 22.
  • Looking for Teen Practice Group teachers: we are looking for a couple of teachers to join our Teen Practice Group teaching team this fall. Ideally teachers would have residential retreat experience, have been coming to the center for at least a year, and have experience working with youth. Please email shelly@commongroundmeditation.org if interested. A modest stipend is provided.
  • 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.


Community News   

Community Groups Happening This Week

  • Be Queer Now Meditation Sangha, Wed. Aug 18th. On Zoom, 7:30-9:00pm.
  • Refirement Group for Retirees, Thurs. Aug 19th. On Zoom, 12:00-2:00pm.

Article from Ben Connelly on Line 3
Priest and teacher at MN Zen Center and local intersangha leader Ben Connelly has written an article for Lion’s Roar regarding participating in the Stop Line 3 movement. You can read it here.

Arrow River Forest Hermitage in Thunder Bay Looking for Steward
Some of you will be familiar with Arrow River Forest Hermitage, where one of CG’s longtime visiting teachers, Ajahn Punnadhammo is the resident Buddhist monk. The hermitage will be needing someone to act as steward for the fall and/or winter months. The best time to start would be early September. The steward is a volunteer position and is responsible for cooking the one meal a day, managing the kitchen and doing the shopping. It is strongly preferred if you have a driver’s license. For more information check out the Visitor’s Pageson their website. Please send all inquiries to arfh@xplornet.com and CC to akyle@lakeheadu.ca.

Helping Common Ground Purchase Land and Protect the Fields and Woods around our Prairie Farm Retreat Property
Common Ground is moving forward with the purchase of approximately 32 acres just to the east of our retreat property that is a beautiful mix of fields and mature woods. You can see the plot here. Please let Mark know if you are interested in helping make this purchase possible or you can go make a contribution here: Supporting the Center. Please designate the gift “Prairie Farm Land”. Email mark@commongroundmeditation.org if you want additional information.

Print Newsletter
Our Summer 2021 newsletter is available at Common Ground and in our newsletter box outside the front door. You can view the PDF 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
I did a lot of retreats trying to develop
good qualities. But I didn’t really change;
I didn’t become a better person. That’s be-
cause I neglected to look at the bad quali-
ties. The quality of my mind only started
to improve when I began watching the bad
qualities. Watching them really consistent-
ly and continuously enabled me to
understand their nature.

Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

Photo of Common Ground Retreat at Prairie Farm by Ari Lindquist

We now have a photo gallery of Ari’s photos available to view here.

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