Weekly Email 9-21-22

Dear Common Ground Friends,

Recently I used an article titled “Is Unselfish Joy Practical?” for one of my talks and it reminded me of how much I appreciate the practicality of the Buddha’s teachings. The Buddha offered a set of integrated teachings and practices designed specifically to address the actual mental torments that we experience as human beings. I used to imagine creating a tee shirt for Common Ground and I thought a good tagline to put under our name would be, “Skillful Means for Deluded People”. Because, of course, it is only us deluded beings that need the skillful means that the Buddha’s teachings provide. So in answering the question, “is unselfish joy practical?”, we first have to check it out. What actually happens when we cultivate moments of appreciating the happiness and success of another? What seeds get planted in our hearts and how are we changed going forward? Appreciative joy practice is one of the four divine abodes along with metta or lovingkindness, compassion and equanimity. All four of these qualities are practical, functional ways to transform our mental conditioning. It comes down to the simple fact that it really matters what we pay attention to, and with what attitude we pay attention. For example, if we train ourselves to pay attention to the happiness of others with an attitude of appreciative joy, we will be weakening our habits to be jealous, envious and judgmental, and this will be for everyone’s benefit. Please check this out in your actual experience and see if healing joy can have a more regular presence in your life.

Wishing you Joy,

Mark Nunberg
Co-Guiding Teacher

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
    • October 2nd with Shelly Graf
  • Wednesday evenings, 7:30-9:00pm on Zoom with Shelly Graf
    • September 28th with Patrice Koelsch
    • October 5th will be held at a different time, 5:30 – 7:45 CT instead of 7:30 – 9:00pm CT in order to include the community at Cambridge Insight Meditation Center.
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

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

Half-Day Retreat with Wynn Fricke
Saturday, October 1st |1:00pm – 5:00pm

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

Daylong Retreat with Shelly Graf
Saturday, October 15th | 9:30am – 4:00pm

Annual Day of Remembrance with Kyoko Katayama and Patrice Koelsch
Sunday, October 30th | 1:30pm – 4:00pm

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

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

Untangling Karma; Intimate Zen Stories on Healing Trauma
A Book Launch with Judith Ragir

November 6th | 2:00 – 3:30pm
No registration necessary

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


Fall Retreat with Mark Nunberg & Shelly Graf, Assisted by Gabe Keller Flores
Thursday evening, November 3rd – mid-day Sunday, November 6th
In-Person at our retreat center and on Zoom
More info and registration here

Year End Retreat with Shelly Graf & Mark Nunberg
Monday evening, December 26th – mid-day Saturday, December 31st
In-person at Common Ground in Minneapolis, on Zoom, and live-streamed from Common Ground Retreat Center
More info and registration here

Save the Date:
Mindful Yoga Retreat with Nancy Boler
November 17 -20th. Registration coming 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:

  • Adopt a Cleaning Task for the Common Ground building! Our meditation home is welcoming more traffic these days. If it would feel good for you to pick up a work task and care for the community in this way, please let Robin know a specific time you would like to come in and we can identify a weekly 15 minute cleaning task for you to do.
  • 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 Program with Brian Young and Liz Reynolds
Common Ground Board Treasurer and Be Queer Now facilitator Brian Young is leading a daylong program with Liz Reynolds on October 22nd, from 10:00 – 5:00 pm CT. Please email Brian if you are interested in more info bri.p.young@gmail.com. All dana will go to the social justice organization.

Upcoming Community Group Meetings:

  • Be Queer Now, weekly on Wednesday, 7:30-9:00pm
  • Millenials Sangha, Friday, September 23rd, 7:00-8:30pm
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, October 2nd, 4:00-5:30pm
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thursday October 6th, 6:30-8:00pm
  • 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
  • Refirement Community Group for Retirees, Thursday October 20th, 12:00-2:00pm

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

Weekly Tejaniya

It is said that among all
tastes, the best is the taste of
Dhamma. The taste of Dhamma
is not just a feeling of peace—it
is the supreme taste of knowing
and understanding.

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

Angel Trumpets outside Common Ground in Minneapolis


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