Weekly Email 8-31-22

Dear Common Ground Friends,
If you have ever been on a retreat of any length, you know this particular form can help us connect with our inner experiences. What if we expanded the definition of retreat to include every moment of sincerity or wholeheartedness? Perhaps our whole lives become a retreat. Perhaps our lives become sacred opportunities to listen and attune to what’s real for each of us. The movement of our hearts with the vibrations of life might not always be pleasant but the movement of our hearts can always be our teacher. In a wonderful article titled Renunciation, published in Tricycle magazine, Pema Chödrön tells a story of a group of people climbing up a very steep mountain. Some made it to the top and some, frozen in fear, stopped along the way.  She says, “Life is a whole journey of meeting your edge again and again. That’s where you’re challenged; that’s where, if you’re a person who wants to live, you start to ask yourself questions like, “Now, why am I so scared? What is it that I don’t want to see? Why can’t I go any further than this?” The happy people who got to the top were not the heroes of the day. They just weren’t afraid of heights; they are going to meet their edge somewhere else. The ones who froze at the bottom were not losers. They simply stopped first and so their lesson came earlier than the others. However, sooner or later, everybody meets their own edge.” May we all learn to appreciate the many forms in which our teachers appear as they help us see our edges and discover our strength.

With Care,

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

Come celebrate our community 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).

Click here if you’d like to volunteer during the event.

Online lunch for the Zoom community will run from 12:00pm – 1:00pm.

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
    • September 4th with Jean Haley
  • Wednesday evenings, 7:30-9:00pm on Zoom with Shelly Graf
Monthly Practice Groups
  • First Fridays, 7-8:30pm on Zoom, Lovingkindness with Mark Nunberg and Stacy McClendon
    • Starting in September Stacy will alternate with Mark in leading the group on the first Friday of the month. See calendar for details. 

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


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, Robb Reed, and Jean Fagerstrom
Mondays, 12:00 -1:00pm

InterPlay with Spruce Krause
Thursday, September 8th | 7:00 -8:30pm

Mindful Self-Compassion Practice Group with Jean Haley and Jane Rauenhorst
Friday, September 23rd | 7:00 -8:30pm

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

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

Bringing our Practice into the World with Hugh Byrne
Friday, September 30th | 7:00pm – 8:30pm
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

Qigong Workshop with Autumn & Steve Compton
October 8th | 9:00am – 4:00pm
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


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, set-up or clean-up, enter your name and email here.
  • Audio Editing: We are looking for a couple volunteers to help with audio editing. Comfortability with tech is helpful, no previous audio editing experience needed.
  • Children’s Program: We are looking for a couple folks to help lead the revitalization of the children’s program. Please email a letter of interest to Robin.
  • Wishlist items: large pot (for over 20 servings), one bookshelf

Community News 

Engaged Buddhist Gathering
September 10th, 3pm – 5pm
Are you interested in taking action to make our world a more just, equitable and peaceful place for all beings? Join Buddhist practitioners and organizers in a conversation about spiritual values and activism work. Click here for location and more info.

Buddhist Justice Reporter
Please take a moment to read an article recently published under the auspices of the Buddhist Justice Reporter. Common Ground is a fiscal sponsor for BJR.

Stop Woke: The War Against Awakening and Belonging by Ann Gleig

Upcoming Community Group Meetings:

  • Be Queer Now, weekly on Wednesday, 7:30-9:00pm
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thursday September 1st, 6:30-8:00pm
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, September 4th, 4:00-5:30pm
  • 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
  • Retirement Community Group for Retirees, Thursday September 15th, 12:00-2:00pm
  • Millennials Sangha, Friday, September 23rd, 7:00-8:30pm

View public calendar for Zoom links and more information.
To see the complete list of community groups, click here.

Weekly Tejaniya

Never try to locate the mind;
place is a concept. You recognize the
mind by the work it is doing.

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

Eastern Black Swallowtail butterfly on flowers

The rare Eastern Black Swallowtail butterfly visits Common Ground Meditation Center’s garden this week. Photo by Mark Mirick

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