Weekly Email 8-2-22

Dear Common Ground Friends,

On Saturday August 13th, we have invited our friend and former Common Ground leader and teacher Dr. Femi Akinnagbe from Los Angeles to join Shelly Graf and me in leading our summer Living the Practice Workshop: Healing and Awakening. Everyone is welcome to sign up and attend in person or on Zoom. As you all have probably sensed, there can be quite a bit of overlap between the various helpful healing modalities we have been drawn to over the years, and the Buddhist practices we teach at Common Ground Meditation Center. What exactly are the similarities, the differences and the ways these two sets of practices can support each other? First, it is important to keep in mind that the Buddha’s teachings and practices are skillful means that specifically aim the heart in the direction of an unconditional release–a freedom of mind and heart that is not dependent on favorable circumstances. The goal of most therapeutic modalities might be more modest and therefore accessible, for example: to feel better by acknowledging and healing our emotional and psychological wounds and therefore live with less stress and anxiety. All of this is a good thing. But as long as our ease and wellbeing remains dependent on particular conditions, then the heart remains vulnerable to change and uncertainty. Please join in for this day of introspection, sharing and learning.

Mark Nunberg
Co-Guiding Teacher

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, & Mark Nunberg

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


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 3rd with Nils Heymann
    • 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 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.

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 Shelly Graf
Saturday, September 17th | 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
*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 – 10:30am Saturday, September 24th

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:

  • Website volunteer: We are looking for a volunteer or two 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).
  • 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 

Give-Away Books, DVD’s, and CD’s
We will be clearing out the give-away section of the library on September 10th. If you would like to peruse and take home any books, CD’s or DVD’s please come within the next month. The give-away section is in the basement of the city center, on the south side of the library

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

We have a strange misconcep-
tion that we need to keep the mind
on one object for it to be calm, stable,
and still. That’s not really true. If we
are doing it right, awareness expands
and we can know both the main ob-
ject and other objects, as if seeing
from a birds-eye view.

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote


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