Weekly Email 9/29/20

Dear Common Ground Community,

Greetings Friends,

In her new book, You Belong, A Call for Connection, Sebene Selassie reminds us of a simple wisdom. She says, “Never underestimate the power of a deep inhale and a deep exhale.” I take deep breaths often during the day. Each is a reminder to reconnect with my heart and to feel what’s moving here, to invite frantic energy to settle and to return to feeling. It doesn’t take long to take a deep breath and doesn’t require special equipment, a strong internet signal or different living conditions. No, taking a deep breath doesn’t solve any of the world’s problems either. It simply brings us back to the present moment, our point of power, the only place life unfolds from. Each deep breath, a reminder of life. Each deep breath a reminder that our inhale and our exhale connects all life. It’s so easy these days to forget that we belong to each other yet so many opportunities to remember.   “Can we aspire together? Can we conspire together? Actually, we must. We need to breathe together in a conspiracy of consciousness.” – Sebene Selassie.

In Solidarity,


Upcoming Program Highlights

This week:

  • Mark Nunberg and Stacy McClendon offer the Tuesday mid-day Community Practice Check-In every Tuesday, at 12:00-1:00pm. Zoom link here.
  • Shelly will lead the Wednesday evening Weekly Practice Group as usual, 7:30-9:00pm. Zoom link here. Feel free to join in for virtual Tea Time every Wednesday, 7:00-7:20pm, for some time to connect with others over Zoom before the program. You can use the same Zoom link as for the Weekly Practice Group; it’s just as though you’re “arriving” a bit early to chat! :) A community member will be hosting and facilitating the social time each week.
  • Shelly will offer their weekly Community Practice Check-In on Thursday, from 9:00-10:00am. All are welcome. Zoom link here.
  • The Practitioners of Color Practice Group meets Thursday, 6:30-8:00pm. Contact Stacy at bipoc_council@commongroundmeditation.org for the link.
  • Mark will lead the Lovingkindness Practice Group on Friday, 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here.
  • On Saturday, Mark will offer a half-day retreat over Zoom from 1:00-5:00pm. More info and registration here.
  • On Sunday, Mark will lead the Sunday morning Weekly Practice Group over Youtube, as usual, 10:30-11:45am. Join us after the Weekly Practice Group for discussion and connection over Zoom. The Zoom link will be shared in the Youtube description on Sunday.
  • The Teen Practice Group is now meeting weekly in the CG Garden (Minneapolis) on Sunday mornings. For more info click here.

Looking ahead:

  • Sharon Sebring will start a book club on October 10th to study Sharon Salzberg’s new book Real Change. More info and registration here. Meets monthly on the second Saturday, 10:00-11:30am over Zoom.

Please note that all times listed are in Central time. For complete, up-to-date program information, visit the online calendar. I recommend you bookmark it for easy access during the week. You might also want to bookmark our Youtube channel.

Additional non-CG Retreat with Shelly:

  • Shelly, Rebecca Bradshaw, and Roxanne Dault will offer an online retreat through Insight Meditation Society Oct 2-7 (Friday to Wednesday). More info and registration here.

The Practice of Generosity

Continuing in the tradition of Buddhist monasteries in Southeast Asia, all programs at Common Ground, including these online programs, 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.

Volunteer Request

Our volunteer audio team leader, Kevin Bjorklund, is looking for audio processing volunteers to help him continue to keep our Dharmaseed page updated. If you have experience with audio editing and are interested, please contact kbjork63@gmail.com.

Community News 

Looking for Furniture Floor Dolly

We are looking for a furniture floor dolly to use during the PF Work Week next week Oct 4-11. If you have one we could borrow, please email info@commongroundmeditation.org. Thanks!

Common Ground Forums
We’ve created a new medium for online connection for the CG community: forums! We envision the forums as a place for community announcements, mutual aid offers/requests, dharma discussions, and more. Check them out here!

Aloka Vihara Kathina
Aloka Vihara is a monastic community in California where former Common Ground community member Niyyanika Bhikkhuni currently lives and practices as a Buddhist nun. They are having a online kathina event (day of celebration and alms-giving) on October 25th. More information here.

New Racial Affinity Group for Male Buddhist-Jews
Paul Sackaroff and Kevin Freidberg are starting a community group for white- male- Buddhist-Jews who are interested in understanding the intersection of race, ethnicity, and privilege.  Specifically, we will engage in the inner work of waking up to our collective privilege as white Jews, examine the role of historical trauma, and commit to “Tikkun Olam” (repairing the world) by engaging in civic responsibility. Read more here.

Community Survey Still Open for Participation
Thank you to everyone who filled out the community survey we sent out recently. You can still fill it out if you haven’t already, here.

Weekly Tejaniya
Our minds are used to focusing. We are
very skillful at it because we do it all the
time. The problem is that we don’t recog-
nize that we are focusing. We are trying to
meditate but we don’t really under-
stand what meditation is.Fall Quan Yin

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