Weekly Email 9-30-22

Dear Common Ground Friends,

Dear Friends,
Not long ago I came across some photos from the first family program at Common Ground more than 2 decades ago. It was sweet to see such happy faces of parents and kids…who are now grown ups by the way! It was also sweet to reflect on the center’s longstanding commitment to supporting kids and families through many iterations of programming and how so many people over the years have volunteered to make it happen. Maybe you remember pre-pandemic Sunday mornings and so much joy in the building, with children, preteen, and teens all gathering with their respective group, and parents joining the adult practice group meeting in the meditation hall. Especially joyful were those final 10 minutes when the littlest kids filed into the meditation hall to lead the community in song. Such sweet memories really gladden the heart.

We’ve heard from many parents over the past months, hoping that Common Ground is able to find a way to restart programming for children. Gratefully, Joe Fuemmeler and Madeline Gardner have stepped forward to begin an effort, leading a program for children ages kindergarten – 3rd grade. Younger children are welcome if accompanied by parents. If you know Joe and Madeline, you know that the children will be in good hands with them! We are still looking for volunteers assistants to support Joe and Madeline too, so please let us know if you are interested. We’ll be able to have only as many kids as the adults can safely care for each week, so more volunteer assistants means more capacity. As always, parents are asked to remain on-sight, joining the adult program when their kids are participating in the children’s group in the adjacent community room. We’ll begin modestly and run the children’s program every first and 3rd Sunday in October, starting this Sunday, November, and December concurrently with the Sunday morning program from 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.. We’ll evaluate how things are going at the end of December. We ask everyone to follow CDC guidelines about how and when to take precautions in order to support a sense of ease in the physical space.

We know too that our covid protocols are imperfect but we’re grateful to be wading through the muddy waters of science, risk, collective well being, autonomy, and so much more with our doctor team. Mark, Robin and I had a meeting with the doctors last week that ended with a collective acknowledgement that arriving at protocols that work for a community is hard and uncertain. Yet, we keep doing the best we can, keeping compassion in mind. Please continue to share your feedback with us and we’ll keep listening to you, to our hearts and to our team of doctors guiding us. Thankfully, there has been no known transmission at any Common Ground programs. Let’s all keep following the Buddha’s example, listen to our hearts, and keep our collective well being in mind at all times.

Warmest Wishes,

p.s. We are very close also to restarting our teen practice group so please stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for more information about that!

Half-Day Retreat with Wynn Fricke
Saturday, October 1st |1:00pm – 5:00pm
Zoom only
More info and registration here

Fall Maintenance Day!
Sunday, October 9th 2:00 – 6:00pm
Come join the Building and Garden Committees for an afternoon of joyful cleaning, fixing, and garden work. Refreshments will be provided before the Weekly Practice Group begins at 7:00pm

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
    • October 2nd and 9th Mark will be teaching virtually and live-streamed in the dharma hall
    • October 16th taught by Shelly Graf
  • Sunday evenings, 7:00-8:30pm in-person with Mark Nunberg
    • October 2nd with Shelly Graf
    • October 9th with Shelly Graf
  • Wednesday evenings, 7:30-9:00pm on Zoom with Shelly Graf
    • October 5th will be held from 5:30 – 7:45 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
Mondays, 12:00 -1:00pm

Mindful Self-Compassion Practice Group with Jean Haley and Jane Rauenhorst
Friday, October 21st | 7:00 -8:30pm

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

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

Annual Day of Remembrance with Kyoko Katayama and Patrice Koelsch
Sunday, October 30th | 1:30pm – 4:00pm
No registration necessary.

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 and on Zoom.
More info and registration here

Save the Date:
Mindful Yoga Retreat with Nancy Boler at our Retreat Center
November 17 – 20th. Registration coming soon!

Practice Periods:

Practice Period for BIPOC Practitioners with Jen Racho & Arleta Little
5:00pm Thursday, October 13th – 2:00pm Sunday, October 16th

BIPOC Community Day of Mindfulness Practice
October 15th | 9:30am – 4:00pm

Practice Period with Tracey Ghilardi & Kerry Dunn
5:00pm Thursday, October 27th – 2:00pm Sunday, October 30th

Year End Practice Period for Millennials and Gen Z’s with Robin Major & Jack Arpin
December 26th – December 31st
Robin and Jack will be livestreaming the Year-End Retreat taught by Shelly Graf & Mark Nunberg

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.
  • Mid-week flower watering needed. Please contact Karen Heegaard at Kfheeg@yahoo.com if you would like to water or know more.
  • 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 Secretary 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 a social justice organization.

Upcoming Community Group Meetings:

  • Be Queer Now, weekly on Wednesday, 7:30-9:00pm
  • 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
  • Millenials Sangha, Friday, October 28th, 7:00-8:30pm

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

Weekly Tejaniya

When the mind finds some-
thing interesting, acknowledge
that interest is present in the mind.
Then ask: Is the interest in the object,
or in the awareness of the object? Re-
member always to direct interest
towards the awareness.

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

Happy retreatants at the closing brunch for the Tranquility & Insight Retreat last weekend


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