Weekly Email 9-7-21

Dear Common Ground Community,

Our lives are characterized by change and uncertainty. This truth doesn’t have to be seen as a personal threat or a problem that we are supposed to fix. Rather it can be simply the way that it is. The summer heat and humidity is waning and Fall is in the air here in Minnesota this morning. We had some recent rain so the grass is green again, and our wider urban community is back to wearing masks as the new normal. There are so many ebbs and flows to our lives, even within one day. Our former community member and now Buddhist nun, Ayya Niyanika has recently checked in from their monastery south of Lake Tahoe where they have suffered some damage and loss of a meditation cabin due to the Caldor fire in California. You can read more here. The Buddha taught that our lives are the natural dynamic of eight worldly winds: gain and loss, pleasure and pain, fame and disrepute, praise and blame. I am guessing that this sounds familiar to most of us. The essential spiritual question is, “How best to show up in this life when things are like this now?” We learn along the way, this way of relating/showing up is skillful, and this way of relating is not. Over time, mindfulness, a stable present moment awareness, becomes our best friend. We learn to put down the heavy burden of trying to create certainty in an uncertain world. Instead, we simply wholeheartedly connect with what is here and now in a wise and kind way.

May the deepest wisdom and love protect us all,

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

Saturday, September 11th
  • In-Person/Zoom Half-Day Retreat with Mark Nunberg, 1:00-5:00pm. Register here.

Sunday, September 12th

  • Livestream of Weekly Practice Group with Mark Nunberg, 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 Mark Nunberg, 7:00-8:30pm.
8 Mondays, September 13 – Nov 1
  • In-Person/Zoom: Buddhist Studies Course: Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness: Mindfulness of Dhammas with Mark Nunberg, 7:30-9:00pm. Register here.
Tuesday, September 14th
  • In Person: Community Tea and Dharma with Mark Nunberg (every Tuesday)
6 Tuesdays, September 14th – 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:

  • Daylong Workshop for Those Who Identify as Male, Men, or as Embodying Masculinity: The Masks We Wear
    Facilitated by Mark Nunberg, Louis Alemayehu, Omkar Sawardekar, and Gabe Keller Flores. Saturday, September 18th, 9:30am-5:00pm
  • Practice Period with Julie Meyer and Tony Fernandez
    Thursday evening, September 23 – Sunday mid-day, September 26
  • Work Retreat: Planting
    Monday, Sep 27th-Thursday, Sep 30th
  • Practice Period with Mary Clark and Phillip Cryan, assisted by Zenzele Isoke
    Thursday, Sep 30th-Sunday Oct 3rd
  • End-Of-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

Tuesday, September 7th

  • Mark Nunberg and Stacy McClendon will lead the weekly Community Practice Check-In, 12:00-1:00pm on Zoom.
  • This week’s Truth & Justice Vigil will be led by Tuere Sala, a Guiding Teacher at Seattle Insight Meditation Society and the founding teacher of the Capitol Hill Meditation Group. Tuere is a retired prosecuting attorney who has practiced Vipassana meditation for over 30 years, and she believes that urban meditation is the foundation for today’s practitioner’s path to liberation, 6:00-7:30pm on Zoom.
  • Please note the Tues night 9:15pm open meditation on Zoom is cancelled going forward. Thanks to Jim B for leading that for the last year!

Wednesday, September 8th

  • 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, 7:30-9:00pm on Zoom.

Thursday, September 9th

  • Shelly Graf will lead the Community Practice Check-In. All are welcome as we explore racism through an inquiry into whiteness and domination, 9:00am-10:00am, on Zoom.
  • Spruce Kraus will lead Interplay, simple, easy to do, incremental forms to promote a playful sense of ease, and an authentic sense of connection – both to yourself and others, 7:00-8:30pm on Zoom.
Friday, September 10th
  • Please note that the regular Friday morning Zoom Yoga class with Nancy Boler is cancelled today.
  • Mark Nunberg will lead the Lovingkindness Practice Group, a practice group for people interested in developing the heart by training in the four beautiful emotions of lovingkindness (metta), compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. 7:00-8:30pm on Zoom.
Saturday, September 11th
  • Ramesh Sairam will lead the Dharma Practice Reflections, an opportunity to explore the practical implications of following the path of dhamma with an emphasis on establishing and sustaining an integrated mindfulness practice in daily life, 10:30am-12:00pm on Zoom.
  • In-Person/Zoom Half-Day Retreat with Mark Nunberg, 1:00-5:00pm. Register here.
Sunday, September 12th
  • Mark Nunberg 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.
8 Mondays, September 13 – Nov 1
  • In-Person/Zoom: Buddhist Studies Course: Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness: Mindfulness of Dhammas with Mark Nunberg, 7:30-9:00pm. Register here.
6 Tuesdays, September 14th – October 19th
  • In-Person/Zoom: Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation Course with Mark Nunberg. 7:30-9:00pm. More info and registration here.
Saturday, September 25th
  • Daylong Retreat with Shelly Graf on Zoom, 9:30am-4:00pm. 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: Sept 19th, Oct 3rd
  • Looking for Teen Practice Group teachers: we are looking for a couple of teachers to join our Teen Practice Group teaching team this fall. Ideally teachers would have residential retreat experience, have been coming to the center for at least a year, and have experience working with youth. Please email shelly@commongroundmeditation.org if interested. A modest stipend is provided.
  • 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 8th. On Zoom, 7:30-9:00pm.
  • Community Group for Organizers and Activists, Thur. Sept 9th. On Zoom, 6:00-7:30pm.
  • Dharma Friends Sit & Discussion, Sun. Sept 12th. 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.


New flowers at CG!

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