Weekly Email 9-15-22

Dear Common Ground Friends,

It was so good to see those of you who were able to make it to our potluck celebration last Sunday (pictures below) following the Sunday morning practice group. The center was filled with aliveness on such a joyful occasion. The warm reverberations in my heart from the memory of our time together has been welcomed this week. Even if you weren’t able to make it, perhaps the idea of the event warms your heart too.

One of the great blessings of a spiritual community such as Common Ground, is the opportunity we have to learn the art of spiritual friendship, keeping the teachings in mind in our interactions with each other so that we’re compelled to be decent and kind to each other, leading with love and wisdom. The Buddha had a lot to say about spiritual friendship, the kind of friendship that broadens us and supports good, healthy living. In fact he regarded himself as a spiritual friend in one of the most popularly quoted scriptures, in which he proclaims that spiritual friendship is not just part of but the whole of the holy life. The Buddha was a wonderful model for us too, showing us again and again how to not throw each other out of our hearts. Perhaps we can all get interested in the power of this path as relational practice that we all need.

Monk, a friend endowed with 7 qualities is worth associating with.
Which 7?
They give what is hard to give
They do what is hard to do
They endure what is hard to endure.
They reveal their secrets to you.
They keep your secrets.
When misfortunes strike, they don’t abandon you.
When you’re down and out, they don’t look down on you.
A friend endowed with these 7 qualities is worth associating with.
-Mitta Sutta

Warm Wishes,

Shelly Graf
Co-Guiding Teacher

Lisa Milan with baby Iris

One of our hosts, Leah Dunbar, preparing the table.

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
    • September 18th with Shelly Graf
  • Sunday evenings, 7:00-8:30pm in-person with Mark Nunberg
    • September 18th with Heymann
  • 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

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
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

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

InterPlay with Spruce Krause
Thursday, October 13th | 7:00 -8:30pm

Inner Self-Compassion Practices for Trying Times with Jean Haley & Jane Rauenhorst
Six Thursdays between September 29 – November 10th | 3:00-  5:00pm
A Half-Day Retreat will be held on Saturday, October 22nd

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

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

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

Daylong Retreat with Shelly Graf
Saturday, October 15th | 9:30am – 4:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
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

Fall Retreat with Mark & Shelly, assisted by Gabe Keller Flores
November 3rd – November 6th. Registration will be released soon!

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:

  • 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 volunteers 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, large high quality wool rugs for the dharma hall at the retreat center, large indoor trees with nice pots.

Community News 

Upcoming Community Group Meetings:

  • Be Queer Now, weekly on Wednesday, 7:30-9:00pm
  • Refirement Community Group for Retirees, Thursday September 15th, 12:00-2:00pm
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thursday September 15th, 6:30-8:00pm
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, September 18th, 4:00-5:30pm
  • Millenials Sangha, Friday, September 23rd, 7:00-8:30pm
  • Buddhism & Other Religions Book Group, Saturday, October 8th, 9:00 – 10:15am
  • Community Group for Organizers & Social Justice Activists, Thursday October 13th, 6:00-7:30pm

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

Weekly Tejaniya

There are three ways to see
the Buddha: 1) With our eyes;
2) By imagining him in our minds;
and 3) By understanding the Bud-
dha with wisdom. That’s why the
Buddha said: “Those who see
the Dhamma see me.”

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

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