Weekly Email 8/25/20

August 25th, 2020

Greetings Friends,

The book, The First Free Women, Poems of the Early Buddhist Nuns, is the latest iteration of the collected voices of awakened women at the time of the Buddha.
In the introduction, Bhikkhuni Anandabodhi writes,
There are so many different kinds of women speaking here – princesses and sex workers, young lovers and wives in arranged marriages, women who were quick to gain insight and women who had to struggle for years, until one day it finally opened. Somehow, they all found the Path. They all realized awakening. For me, these poems have been an invitation to bring light to the hidden corners and the broken parts, to the confused parts and the angry parts, to all the parts that have been pushed aside. Because it’s only when we bring everything onto the Path that the Path can truly transform us. 

Please enjoy this fruit from the book. The author’s name is its title.

Vira – Hero

Truly strong
among those
who think themselves

Truly unafraid
among those
who hide their

A hero
among those who talk of heroes.

Don’t be fooled by outward signs –
lifting heavy things
or picking fights with weaker opponents
and running headfirst into battle.

A real hero
walks the Path
to its end.

Then shows others the way.

May we not forget to reach out for each other.


Upcoming Program Highlights

This week:

  • Today’s Mindful Yoga Level 2 with Nancy Boler is cancelled. It will resume next week.
  • Neesha Patel, Shelly, and friends will lead Dharma Among Us this evening, 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here. This week the topic is Spiritual Friendship.
  • Shelly will offer the Wednesday evening Weekly Practice Group as usual, at 7:30pm. Zoom link here. Chapter Four of the reference text “Listening to the Heart” can be found here.
  • Thursday at 9am: Community Practice Check-In with Shelly Graf, with a focus on Social/Racial Justice. Zoom link here.
  • Thursday from 6:15-8:15pm the EcoSangha Practice Group with Jean Haley meets. Zoom link here.
  • Patrice Koelsch leads this Friday’s Lovingkindness Practice Group, 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here.
  • On Saturday from 10:30am-12:00pm Ramesh Sairam will offer his Dharma Reflections and discussion group, open to anyone. This program is now happening every two weeks. Zoom link here.
  • On Saturday from 1-4pm, Gail Iverson will lead an Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation Workshop. This course includes exploration of the intention behind practice, an introduction to insight (vipassana) meditation techniques, instructions for working with common obstacles, an overview of the practice of lovingkindness, and a discussion on how mindfulness can be part of one’s daily life. Zoom link here.
  • Mark will offer the Sunday morning weekly practice group at 10:30am on Youtube as usual.

Looking ahead:

  • We’re happy to announce that Stacy McClendon will be joining Mark for the Tuesday mid-day Community Practice Check-In starting September 1st! Stacy serves as the Chair of Common Ground’s Board of Directors and is one of our dharma teachers. She is a graduate of Common Ground’s Dharma Leadership Training and leads many mindfulness groups, including the POC sangha at CG which she co-founded, retreats for people of color, community-based offerings, and co-leads our Living the Practice workshops. The Community Practice Check-In happens every Tuesday, from noon to 1pm. Zoom link here.
  • The Labor Day retreat with Mark and Shelly will be conducted online over Zoom this year from Wednesday evening, Sep 2nd, to Monday morning, September 7th. Registration here. There are still 4 spots available.
  • The next 6-week Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation Course with Mark Nunberg is open for registration: 6 Tuesdays, September 8th-October 13th, 7:30-9:00pm. Registration here.
  • Registration is now open for an eight-week Mindful Self-Compassion course with Jean Haley and Jane Rauenhorst. Eight Tuesdays, September 29-November 17th from 1:30-3:00pm.  Retreat on October 24 from 9-12:00.   Offered over Zoom. Registration here.

Please note that all times listed are in Central time. For complete, up-to-date program information, visit the online calendar. I recommend you bookmark it for easy access during the week. You might also want to bookmark our Youtube channel.

Additional non-CG events Taught by Shelly:

  • Shelly is currently leading a four-week course along with Kaira Jewel Lingo on Embodied Sacred Activism through iBme. This course is for people of all ages with a youth focus. More info and registration here. There is one session left: 7:30-9:00pm central time this upcoming Sunday.
  • Shelly, Rebecca Bradshaw, and Roxanne Dault will offer an online retreat through Insight Meditation Society Oct 2-7 (Friday to Wednesday). More info and registration here.

The Practice of Generosity

Continuing in the tradition of Buddhist monasteries in Southeast Asia, all programs at Common Ground, including these online programs, 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.

Prairie Farm News

Anyone have a flat bed trailer?

We need to haul 20′ lengths of steel, about 700lbs from Minneapolis to Prairie Farm (An hour and a half drive). Let us know if you have a flat bed trailer and if you’d be willing to pick up and deliver.

Latest Photos:
Thanks to Laura Molde and her crew, the sandstone steps and patio as well as the new native plants garden are looking great!

Community News 

Antiracism Study and Dialogue Circle
Antiracism Study and Dialogue Circle (ASDIC) is a wonderful local organization Common Ground has partnered with in the past to train our leaders in this vital area. We encourage anyone who’s interested to participate in their upcoming Zoom 10-week circle starting September 14th.
More info in the flyer here: Remote ASDIC Circle full-page flier
They also did some programs online this summer which you can view on their Youtube channel.

Survey for Common Ground Teens and Families
Common Ground’s teen teachers met recently to discuss offering programming for teens this fall. If you are a teen or can pass this on to a teen in your life who may be interested, please fill out this quick survey that will help us guide our programming. Thank you!

Community Survey Still Open for Participation
Thank you to everyone who filled out the community survey we sent out last week. You can still fill it out if you haven’t already, here. Unfortunately, when we initially sent it out two weeks ago, we didn’t include an (optional) field for name and contact info. We’ve added that now. If you filled it out before we added that question and want to make sure we can get in touch with you, contact Gabe by replying to this email.

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