Weekly Email 8-2-23

Dear Common Ground Friends,
The Buddha, through his own practice, saw clearly the conditional and impersonal nature of all experience, including the mental activities arising and passing in his mind. We practice to realize this same insight because it powerfully undermines the tendency to identify and struggle with experience. Both wisdom and ignorance arise lawfully due to whatever supporting causes are present. The process is not personal in the ways we often imagine. We support the arising of wisdom by doing our best to discern, in a non judging way, the skillfulness or unskillfulness of the impulses arising in the heart. This clarity allows for better choices – a natural uncontrived care for our thoughts, words and actions and what they might set in motion in our hearts and in our world. The Buddha recommends an ongoing reflectiveness, “What is this process of thinking, speaking, or acting setting in motion for myself or others?” This compassionate concern becomes a protecting and liberating force in our hearts.  With deeper insight we realize that although our intentions and actions have consequences, it is not helpful to cling to any fixed ideas of being skillful or unskillful. The Buddha taught that everything is a natural process, “When this is, that is. With the arising of this, comes the arising of that. When this isn’t, that isn’t. From the stopping of this comes the stopping of that.” Our dharma practice is all about aligning with this simple truth. Wise and compassionate action depends on a clear and balanced comprehension of cause and effect. It doesn’t require the self-centered heaviness of guilt or shame.

Wishing us all deep insight,

Mark Nunberg
Co-Guiding Teacher

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

  • Graphic Design: We are looking for one or two graphic designers to support the buildout for a new website. Experience with mobile friendly graphic design preferred.
  • Audio Editing: Help edit and upload dharma talks to dharmaseed! It is fun and easy to learn. Previous audio editing experience is not necessary.
  • Electrical Work: Please let us know if you are interested and have the skills to help reroute the electrical wiring for the installation of a new monitor in the dharma hall at the city center.
  • Wishlists: If you would like to donate a specific item, check out the Retreat Center Wishlist and the City Center Wishlist.

The Practice of Generosity

Programs with our Co-Guiding Teachers
Visiting our online calendar is the best way to find the correct times and Zoom links. 

Labor Day Retreat with Mark Nunberg and Shelly Graf, assisted by Gabe Keller Flores and Stacy McClendon
In-person at the city center, in-person at the retreat center and on Zoom
Saturday evening, August 26th – midday Monday, September 4th
More info and registration here

With Shelly Graf

Weekly Practice Group with Shelly
Wednesday evenings, 7:30-9:00 PM, in-person and on Zoom

  • August 2nd with Mark Nunberg

Community Practice Check-ins
Wednesdays, 8:30-9:30 AM, in-person only, assisted by Robin Major
Fridays, 9:00-10:00 AM, Zoom only, every other Friday with Jen Racho

Half-Day and Daylong Retreats with Shelly Graf

  • Half-Day: Saturday, Aug 5th | In-person and on Zoom Register here
  • Daylong: Saturday, Sep 30th | In-person and on Zoom | Register here


With Mark Nunberg

Weekly Practice Groups with Mark:
Sundays, 10:30 – 11:45 AM,  in-person, on Zoom, and live-streamed to YouTube

  • August 6th with Ramesh Sairam
  • August 13th with Shelly Graf
Sundays, 7:00 – 8:30 PM, in-person only
  • August 6th with Shelly Graf
  • August 13th with Stacy McClendon

Lovingkindness Practice Group
First Fridays, 7:00-8:30 PM, with Stacy McClendon, in-person and on Zoom

Community Practice Check-ins
Sundays, 4:30-5:30 PM, on Zoom with Wynn Fricke, Zoom only
Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM, on Zoom with Stacy McClendon, Zoom only, Mark joins on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month.

Half-Day and Daylong Retreats with Mark Nunberg

  • Daylong: Saturday, Aug 19th with Ramesh Sairam | In-person and on Zoom | Register here
  • Half-Day: Saturday, Sep 9th | In-person and on Zoom | Register here
Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation with Mark Nunberg & Gabe Keller Flores
Six Tuesdays: September 5th – October 10th | In-person and on Zoom
Register hereBuddhist Studies: Mindfulness of Breathing 
Eight Mondays: September 11th- October 30th | In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Upcoming Teacher-Led Programs

Waking Up with the Heavenly Messengers:
a Workshop with Meg Brandeland and Sandra Shallcross

Saturday, August 12th | 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM
In-person and on Zoom
More info and registration here

Mindfulness & Physical Pain: a Workshop with Ramesh Sairam
Saturday, August 26th | 1:00 – 4:00 PM
In-person only
More info and registration here

Ongoing Teacher-Led Programs
As always, our online calendar is the best way to find the correct times and Zoom links. 

Open Meditation
Check our online calendar for times and details. There are many opportunities for silent meditation, 7 days a week, in-person and on Zoom.

Monthly Practice Groups
  • First Thursdays, 7:00-8:30 PM, Developing the Art of Spiritual Inquiry with Ramesh Sairam. On Zoom only.
Community Practice Check-Ins
  • Every other Saturday, 10:30 am-12:00 PM, on Zoom with Ramesh Sairam
  • Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM, on Zoom with Stacy McClendon, on Zoom, joined by Mark Nunberg on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month.
Yoga & Qigong
We offer Yoga and Qigong several times weekly, both in person and online.
Mindfulness, Recovery, and the Twelve Steps
Meets every Friday, 7:00-8:30 PM.
In-person and on Zoom
MBSR, Mindfulness-Based Practice with Nancy Boros
Mondays, 12:00 – 1:00 PM
On Zoom onlyMindfulness Self-Compassion with Jane Rauenhorst & Jean Haley
Friday, August 18th, 7:00-8:30 PM
On Zoom only
Youth Programs
The Children’s Program and Teen Group are on pause for the summer


Programs at Our Retreat Center
Common Ground Retreat Center is located in Wisconsin, about an hour-and-fifteen-minute drive from Minneapolis.

CLICK HERE for more info and registration for retreat center programs. We have many upcoming practice periods and retreats. 

Community News 

Upcoming Community Group Meetings
To view a complete list of our regular program offerings, visit our upcoming programs page on our website. As always, our online calendar is the best way to find the correct times and Zoom links. 

  • Be Queer Now Sangha is on Summer Break, returning in September
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, First and Third Thursdays, 6:30-8:00 PM
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, August 6th, 4:00-5:30 PM
  • Zoom: Buddhism and Other Religions Book Group, Saturday, August 12th, 9:00 – 10:30 AM
  • Refirement Group, Thursday, August 17th, 12:00-2:00 PM
  • Learning to Approach Social and Political Conflict with Skill and Kindness, Sunday, August 20th, 1:30-3:00 PM
  • To see the complete list of community groups, click here.

Losing Our Attachment to Ideas
We see that our behavior and our thinking
are governed by ideas and values we blindly accepted,
usually when we were young.
Becoming aware of these ideas and values
gives us a chance to bring in some wisdom
which will allow us to reevaluate them,
to become less attached to them
and, if necessary, to replace them
with more useful ideas and values.

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

Flowers reaching for the hot sun outside the dharma hall in Minneapolis

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