Weekly Email 9-22-23

Dear Common Ground Friends,
In their book, Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation, Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield grapple with the question of how to be engaged and active in the world while also being committed to deep spiritual practice. They pose this: “Are the values we hold that lead us to giving and serving and caring for one another different from the values that lead us deep within ourselves on the journey of liberation and awakening?”

This question is undoubtedly important to each of us today and worthy of our ongoing consideration. There are many wise responses to the pain we feel in our hearts and to the pain that gets reflected in our relationships and in our wider social world. Mindfulness practice not only allows us to be brave in the face of pain, but brings into focus our habitual responses to pain. This takes practice and patience! When we feel into the many ways we move and respond to pain, we have a wonderful opportunity to develop more intentional habits. We can do this by simply asking if our spiritual practice is guiding our response in this moment. We might be called to appreciate the resounding yes to this inquiry! Or, we might be called to make an adjustment. Either way, our inquiry gets to be a moment where we return to an alignment with our deepest values and learn to live through them more often.

Glad to be on the path with you.

The Practice of Generosity

Programs with our Co-Guiding Teachers
Visiting our online calendar is the best way to find the correct times and Zoom links. 

Fall Retreat with Mark Nunberg & Shelly Graf, Assisted by Stacy McClendon
Thursday afternoon, October 12th – Sunday midday October 15th
Zoom spots open
More info and registration here

With Shelly Graf

Weekly Practice Group with Shelly
Wednesday evenings, 7:30-9:00 PM, in-person and on Zoom

Community Practice Check-ins
Wednesdays, 8:30-9:30 AM, in-person only, assisted by Robin Major
Fridays, 9:00-10:00 AM, Zoom only, every other Friday with Jen Racho

  • 9/29 with Jen Racho

Half-Day and Daylong Retreats with Shelly Graf

  • Daylong: Saturday, Oct 21 | 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM | In-person and on Zoom | Register here

With Mark Nunberg

Weekly Practice Groups with Mark:
Sundays, 10:30 – 11:45 AM,  in-person, on Zoom, and live-streamed to YouTube
Sundays, 7:00 – 8:30 PM, in-person only

Lovingkindness Practice Group
First Fridays, 7:00-8:30 PM, with Stacy McClendon, in-person and on Zoom

Community Practice Check-ins
Sundays, 4:30-5:30 PM, on Zoom with Wynn Fricke, Zoom only
Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM, on Zoom with Stacy McClendon, Zoom only, Mark joins on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month.

Half-Day and Daylong Retreats with Mark Nunberg

  • Half-Day: Saturday, Oct 7th  | In-person and on Zoom | Register here
Daylong Masculinity Workshop: Fluency with Feelings and Needs
With Malik Watkins, Mark Nunberg, Omkar Sawardekar, Robb Reed, and Gabe Keller Flores
At Common Ground Retreat Center in Prairie Farm, WI
Saturday, October 21 | 9:30am-5:00pm | In-person only
More info and registration here

Upcoming Teacher-Led Programs

Daylong Retreat for the BIPOC Community with Stacy McClendon & Jen Racho
Saturday, September 23rd | 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM
In-person only
Register here

Our Common Values: A Listening Session with Patrice Koelsch
Sunday, September 24th | 1:00 – 2:30 PM
In-person only
No registration needed

Radical Dharma, Radical Belonging: Talk & Discussion with the BIPOC Community with Dr. Femi Akinnagbe
Friday, September 29th | 6:30 – 8:30 PM
No registration needed

Savoring the Simplicity of the Body: a Mindful Yoga Workshop with Dr. Femi Akinnagbe
Saturday, September 30th | 9:30 – 11:00 AM
In-person only
Register here

The Life-Changing Magic of Simplicity with Dr. Femi Akinnagbe
Saturday, September 30th | 2:30 – 4:30 PM
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Self-Compassion Practices for Trying Times with Jean Haley and Jane Rauenhorst
Six Thursdays: November 2nd – December 14th | 6:30 – 8:00 PM
In-person only
Register here

Half-Day Retreat with Jean Haley
Saturday, November 4 | 1:00 – 5:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Ongoing Teacher-Led Programs
As always, our online calendar is the best way to find the correct times and Zoom links. 

Open Meditation
Check our online calendar for times and details. There are many opportunities for silent meditation, 7 days a week, in-person and on Zoom.

Monthly Practice Groups
  • First Thursdays, 7:00-8:30 PM, Developing the Art of Spiritual Inquiry with Ramesh Sairam. On Zoom only.
Community Practice Check-Ins
  • Every other Saturday, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM, on Zoom with Ramesh Sairam
  • Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM, on Zoom with Stacy McClendon, on Zoom, joined by Mark Nunberg on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month.
Yoga & Qigong
We offer Yoga and Qigong several times weekly, both in person and online.
Mindfulness, Recovery, and the Twelve Steps
Meets every Friday, 7:00-8:30 PM.
In-person and on Zoom
Youth Programs 
View the calendar page for more info
  • Children’s Program: Kindergarten- 3rd grade, every other Sunday 10:30am – 11:45am
  • Preteen Program: 4th grade- 7th grade, every other Sunday 10:30am – 11:45am
  • Teen Practice Group begins Sunday, September 24

Programs at Our Retreat Center
Common Ground Retreat Center is located in Wisconsin, about an hour-and-fifteen-minute drive from Minneapolis.

CLICK HERE for more info and registration for retreat center programs. We have many upcoming practice periods and retreats. 

Volunteer Opportunities

Fall Maintenance Day!
October 28, 9:30am – 12:45pm
Join us for a morning of fixing, cleaning and maintenance at the city center. We will end with a meal together.

Please contact Robin Major, at robin@commongroundmeditation.org if you are interested in any of these volunteer opportunities:

  • Audio Editing: For talks uploaded to dharmaseed. The audio editing is easy to learn, no previous experience required. 1-2 hours per week, or every other.
  • Graphic design: One or two graphic designers to support the buildout for a new website. Experience with mobile-friendly graphic design preferred.
  • Bell ringing: For a community member who is interested in training to be a practice leader at one of the morning in-person silent sits.
  • Tree trimming: A community member with skill and experience trimming trees; for a tree at the city center.
Wishlists: If you want to donate a specific item, check out the Retreat Center Wishlist and the City Center Wishlist.

Community News 

Community Potluck!
Sunday, October 8 | 12:00 – 1:30pm
Please join for the Common Ground quarterly potluck! Bring a vegetarian dish to share. All are welcome. Please email Robin at robin@commongroundmeditation.org if you are interested in coming early to help with set up or clean up.

Prison Volunteer Opportunities:

  • The Shakopee women correctional facility volunteer group is looking for a female volunteer who can lead groups of 10-22 inmates in mindful meditation and mindful movements such as free style stretches, interplay, yoga or Qigong. Please email info@commongroundmeditation.org if you are interested and we will connect you with the organizer.
  • Volunteer needed leading Buddhist group at Sandstone prison, ability to speak Spanish a plus. Contact Jeff; 952-474-4209, jeffroehl@outlook.com.
Upcoming Community Group Meetings
To view a complete list of our regular program offerings, visit our upcoming programs page on our website. As always, our online calendar is the best way to find the correct times and Zoom links. 
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, First and Third Thursdays, 6:30-8:00 PM
  • Zoom: Buddhism and Other Religions Book Group, Saturday, October 14th, 9:00 – 10:30 AM
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, October 15th, 4:00-5:30 PM
  • Refirement Group, Thursday, October 19th, 12:00 – 2:00 PM
  • Learning to Approach Social and Political Conflict with Skill and Kindness, Sunday, November 19th, 1:30-3:00 PM
  • To see the complete list of community groups, click here.

You See It, You Know It, It’s Gone

My teacher taught me: “If you know it,
be happy.” That really stuck with me.
I could be angry, or do something unskillful,
but when I became aware of it, I was happy.
When something unskillful came up
in the mind, with awareness it didn’t stay.
Right view is so powerful:
You see it, you know it, it’s gone.

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

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