Weekly Email 8-16-22

Dear Common Ground Friends,

Five months ago this week I began my position at Common Ground as Office Manager. A major task those first few weeks, was to get to know the building. In the cabinets and drawers I found layers of Common Ground’s history: the toys tucked in the community room, sign-up sheets for the children’s program, Shelly’s emergency snack jar, a cheat sheet for how to pronounce teachers’ names. The building holds decades of care for the Dhamma, for community.

The day I began was also the day Common Ground lifted our mask and vaccine mandate. As the center welcomed people again, many approached me to share the ways they had volunteered over the years: cooking for a retreat, answering emails, as program hosts, fixing the dishwasher. I continue to be struck by the lineage of d?na (the p?li word for generosity) embedded here. Thank you for welcoming me, in spoken and unspoken ways, into this powerful space of shared practice, in service of awakening.

On Sunday, September 11th from 12:00pm – 2:00pm, we will be hosting the first Community Potluck in two and a half years. Please join us in a celebration of being in person together again. We will hold space to share what we dream of for Common Ground’s future, and to grieve what is not present today. There will be childcare. Everyone is welcome. For more information on the event and opportunities to volunteer, please see below.

I look forward to seeing many of you soon!

With gratitude,

Robin Major
Office Manager

Community Potluck!
Sunday, September 11th
12:00pm – 2:00pm

Come celebrate together! Bring a dish to share and perhaps a folding chair or blanket to sit on in the garden. Childcare will be offered from 10:30am – 2:00pm (including childcare during Mark Nunberg’s Sunday Morning Practice Group before the potluck begins at noon).

If you’d like to volunteer during the event, please click here.

There will be music, games, and a bubble machine! Board Chair Arleta Little and board members will facilitate a reflection and engagement exercise for the community.

We are also hoping to host an online lunch for the Zoom community- more information on this next week.

And.. a shout out to our hosts! Thank you to long-time Common Ground youth teacher and organizer Leah Dunbar and Board Chair Arleta Little for helping to bring us together.

Leah Dunbar


Arleta Little


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, August 24th with Stacy McClendon
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
  • 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 Friday, 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 26th | 7:00 -8:30pm

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

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

Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation
with Mark Nunberg & Meski Mebatasion

Four Tuesdays: September 6th -27th | 7:00 – 8:30pm
In-person and on Zoom
Info and registration here

Buddhist Studies: Relating Wisely with the Hindrances
with Shelly Graf & Mark Nunberg

Six Mondays, September 12 – October 17th
7:30 – 9:00 p.m
In-person and on Zoom
Info and registration here

Half-Day Retreat with Shelly Graf
Saturday, September 17th | 9:00am – 12:00pm
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

Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation for the BIPOC Community
with Stacy McClendon, Jen Racho, & Meski Mebatsion

4 Tuesdays: October 4th – 25th | 7:30pm – 9:00pm
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
*Short waitlist for in-person spots at the retreat center*
6:15pm Sunday, August 28th – 10:30am Monday, September 5th

Tranquility & Insight with Nils Heymann
Assisted by Gabe Keller Flores
5:30pm Thursday, September 22nd – 2:00pm Sunday, September 25th

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

Practice Period with Tracey Ghilardi & Kerry Dunn
5:00pm Thursday, October 27th – 2:00pm Sunday, October 30th

For more upcoming Practice Periods, click 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.

Current Volunteer Needs 
Please contact Robin Major at robin@commongroundmeditation.org if you are interested in any of these volunteer opportunities:

  • Community Potluck on Sunday, September 11th: If you would like to volunteer for childcare or set-up or clean-up, please enter your name and email here.
  • 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).
  • 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 (this Wednesday, August 17th, is canceled)
  • Refirement Community Group for Retirees, Thursday August 18th, 12:00-2:00pm
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thursday August 18th, 6:30-8:00pm
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, August 21st, 4:00-5:30pm
  • Millenials Sangha, Friday, August 26th, 7:00-8:30pm
  • Community Group for Organizers & Social Justice Activists, Thursday September 8th, 6:00-7:30pm
  • Buddhism & Other Religions Book Group, Saturday, September 10th, 9:00 – 10:15am

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

We can read a thousand words about
balancing the mind, and coming to under-
standing. But ultimately we must do the
work, to create the conditions for this to
happen. The meditating mind is beyond
words, beyond reason, beyond self.
It is stillness and silence. 

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

Morning fog outside Common Ground Retreat Center in Prairie Farm, Wisconsin

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