Weekly Email 9-22-21

Dear Common Ground Friends,

Recently, I have been deeply appreciating the Buddha’s teachings and practices, and this community that I have the privilege to practice with. Without this practice, my life would be unimaginably harder. Because of this practice and the support from my community and teachers, peace, freedom and a skillful engagement with life is a real possibility, one moment at a time. If you haven’t noticed, it isn’t easy being a human being or any kind of living being for that matter. It is this awakening process that provides the necessary resilience needed to uncover the fearlessness needed to live a compassionate life. Please review the programs that the center offers and find the support you need to cultivate the capacity to be present no matter the conditions that are showing up for you. It can be especially useful to connect with experienced teachers from time to time to get questions answered and to better understand this training. The center offers several community practice check-ins with a teacher every week. You can join a small group on zoom on Sunday at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday at 12 noon, Friday at 9 a.m. and every other Saturday at 10:30 a.m.. There is also an in person session at the city center at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays. Check the calendar for more details. There are also opportunities to deepen our practice by retreating together. Common Ground has a retreat center at Prairie Farm, Wisconsin where we offer both teacher led retreats and community led practice periods. We also offer regular half day and daylong retreats at the city center. Shelly Graf is leading our monthly daylong retreat on Saturday, September 25th. On Saturday, October 9th, Cecilia Ramon and I will lead a program on how we can relate to the ungovernable and uncertain circumstances in our lives and world. The practices are designed to build our inner capacity of resilience and balance as a basis for a more flexible and compassionate engagement with life. See the public calendar to register for these programs.

Wishing us all peace and fearless compassion,

Mark


Upcoming Programs: In Person at Common Ground

Silent Open Meditation In Person
Monday-Saturday, 7:30-8:30am,
Sundays 8:30-9:30am, &
Tuesdays from 7:30-9:00pm
more info here
Please note the Wednesday mid-day in-person sit has been cancelled

Sunday, September 26th

  • Livestream of Weekly Practice Group with Shelly Graf, 10:30-11:45am. The meditation hall is open on Sunday mornings for community members to gather to watch the Weekly Practice Group livestream together on a screen. There will be a program host there to facilitate conversation for those who wish to stay afterwards. Mark will be teaching online from the office.
  • In Person Weekly Practice Group with Kyoko Katayama, 7:00-8:30pm.
7 Mondays, September 20 – Nov 1
  • In-Person/Zoom: Buddhist Studies Course: Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness: Mindfulness of Dhammas with Shelly Graf, 7:30-9:00pm. Register here.
Tuesday, September 28th
  • In Person: Community Tea and Dharma with Sharon Sebring, 8:00-9:00am. (every Tuesday)
5 Tuesdays, September 21st – October 19th
  • In-Person/Zoom: Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation Course with Mark Nunberg. 7:30-9:00pm. More info and registration here.
Thursday, October 14th
  • Fall Building Cleaning and Maintenance Day, 9:00am-1:00pm. RSVP here.

Upcoming Programs: In Person at Common Ground Retreat at Prairie Farm

Common Ground Retreat at Prairie Farm is our retreat property in Wisconsin, about an hour-and-fifteen-minute drive from Minneapolis. Registration is now open for the following programs there.

  • Practice Period with Mary Clark and Phillip Cryan, assisted by Zenzele Isoke
    Thursday, Sep 30th-Sunday Oct 3rd
  • Practice Period with Matthew King, assisted by Pietro Ferrero
    Thursday evening, October 7th – October 10th
  • October Zoom/In-Person Retreat with Mark Nunberg and Shelly Graf
    Thursday, October 28th – Sunday, October 31st
More info and registration for these programs can be found here. Please note that we are currently requiring vaccination and masking for programs at the retreat property.

We now have a new photo gallery of the retreat property available to view here. Thanks to Ari Lindquist for these beautiful photos!

Upcoming Programs: Online

Wednesday, September 22nd

  • Shelly Graf will lead the Weekly Practice Group, a cornerstone for one’s practice by providing ongoing instruction and teachings that will help illuminate the simple but challenging practice of mindfulness, 7:30pm-9:00pm on Zoom.
Friday, September 24th
  • Shelly Graf will lead the weekly Community Practice Check-In, an exploration of racism through an inquiry into whiteness and domination 9:00am-10:00am on Zoom.
  • Stacy McClendon will lead the Lovingkindness Practice Group, come and develop the heart by training in the four beautiful emotions of lovingkindness (metta), compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. 7:00pm-8:30pm on Zoom.
Saturday, September 25th
  • Shelly Graf will lead the Daylong Retreat on Zoom, 9:30am-4:00pm. More info and registration here.
  • Ramesh Sairam will lead the Dharma Practice Reflections, an opportunity to explore the practical implications of following the path of dhamma, 10:30am-12:00pm on Zoom.
Sunday, September 26th
  • Shelly Graf will lead the Weekly Practice Group, a cornerstone for one’s practice by providing ongoing instruction and teachings that will help illuminate the simple but challenging practice of mindfulness, 10:30-11:45am on Zoom and Youtube.
  • Wynn Fricke & Mark Nunberg will lead the weekly Community Practice Check-In, 4:30-5:30pm on Zoom.
  • Kyoko Katayama will lead the Weekly Practice Group, 7:00pm-8:30pm on Zoom.
Tuesday, September 28th
  • Zoom: Truth and Justice Vigil with Zoom: Truth & Justice Vigil with Dr. Kamilah Majied, 6:00-7:30pm.
7 Mondays, September 20 – Nov 1
  • In-Person/Zoom: Buddhist Studies Course: Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness: Mindfulness of Dhammas with Mark Nunberg, 7:30-9:00pm. Register here.
5 Tuesdays, September 21th – October 19th
  • In-Person/Zoom: Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation Course with Mark Nunberg. 7:30-9:00pm. More info and registration here.
Saturday, October 9th
  • Daylong Retreat with Mark Nunberg and Cecilia Ramon: Cultivating a Wise and Kind Resilience, 9:30am-4:00pm. More info and registration here.
These are program highlights. To see a complete list of all our programs and access Zoom links to participate, please visit the online calendar. Also, please note all times listed are in central time.

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

  • Biweekly Sunday Evening Cleaning: Every other Sunday evening there is drop-in Community Cleaning time from 6-7pm, led by community leader Dave Redelman. Upcoming dates: Oct 3rd
  • Cooking for Practice Periods at Prairie Farm: There is a tradition in Buddhism of supporting people doing intensive retreat practice. We are always looking for volunteers interested in cooking and freezing meals ahead of time for retreatants at Prairie Farm. You can see a list of recipes here. Common Ground has pots and tupperware you can borrow for cooking and freezing. Contact retreatproperty@commongroundmeditation.org if you wish to offer a meal. Or to donate in support of groceries for the retreatants, you can designate a gift for “Prairie Farm” here.

 


Community News

   Community Groups Happening This Week

  • Be Queer Now Meditation Sangha, Wed. Sept 22nd. On Zoom, 7:30-9:00pm.
  • Millennials Sangha, Fri. Sept 24th. On Zoom, 7:00-8:30pm.
  • Buddhism Christianity Group, Sun. Sept 26th. On Zoom, 9:00-10:15am.
  • Dharma Friends Sit & Discuss, Sun. Sept 26th. On Zoom, 7:00-8:00pm.

Metta Meditation Center is Hiring
Our friends at Metta Meditation Center in Janesville are hiring a Marketing Manager and a Caretaker. Metta Meditation Center is the location where we’ve done our residential retreats over the years, previously known as Holy Spirit Retreat Center. For more info on the positions click the hyperlinks above.

Arrow River Forest Hermitage in Thunder Bay Looking for Steward
Some of you will be familiar with Arrow River Forest Hermitage, where one of CG’s longtime visiting teachers, Ajahn Punnadhammo is the resident Buddhist monk. The hermitage will be needing someone to act as steward for the fall and/or winter months. The best time to start would be early September. The steward is a volunteer position and is responsible for cooking the one meal a day, managing the kitchen and doing the shopping. It is strongly preferred if you have a driver’s license. For more information check out the Visitor’s Pageson their website. Please send all inquiries to arfh@xplornet.com and CC to akyle@lakeheadu.ca.

Weekly Tejaniya
Once you know how to relax,
you become sensitive to your own
needs. You will then know when you
are using energy unnecessarily, and
also learn to conserve your energy.


Beautiful photo from last weekend’s masculinity conversation at Common Ground’s retreat property

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