Weekly Email 9-7-22

Dear Common Ground Friends,

The Buddha discovered two things in his practice. He discovered the unshakeable release of the heart and he uncovered the path that leads to this release. Both the means and the end of practice are characterized by an openness of mind and heart. Albert Einstein once said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”. Understanding this, the Buddha discovered the healing power of mindful awareness doesn’t depend on force but rather on its ability to revolutionize the mind’s understanding of the way things are. It is precisely because of the non-judging nature of mindfulness that the mind sees clearly the changing and impersonal nature of the present moment.

The soft power of mindfulness arises when the mind is willing to connect to things as they are, not as “I” wish them to be. It is possible to sustain a stable and clear present-moment awareness that is no longer confused by any interpretation the mind might construct regarding what is coming and going in one’s experience. “Just this” is the aspiration of our practice, to be able to be undefended and responsive to the ten thousand joys and sorrows that keep touching the sensitive heart.


Mark Nunberg
Co-Guiding Teacher

Community Potluck!
Sunday, September 11th
12:00pm – 2:00pm

Come celebrate our community together! Bring a dish to share and perhaps a folding chair or blanket to sit on in the garden. Childcare will be offered during Mark Nunberg’s Sunday Morning Practice Group before the potluck begins at noon.

Click here if you’d like to volunteer during the event.

From 12:00-1:00pm an online lunch for the Zoom community will be led by community members Yenkuei Chuang and Lucie Dupont. See the calendar and registration page for the Zoom link.

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
  • Sunday evenings, 7:00-8:30pm in-person with Mark Nunberg
  • Wednesday evenings, 7:30-9:00pm on Zoom with Shelly Graf
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
  • Canceled: Every first Tuesday of the month, 8:00-9:00am, with Mark Nunberg, in-person
    • Mark will be teaching and on retreat for much of the fall and early winter. This in-person practice group will return in February.
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, Robb Reed, and Jean Fagerstrom
Mondays, 12:00 -1:00pm

InterPlay with Spruce Krause
Thursday, September 8th | 7:00 -8:30pm

Mindful Self-Compassion Practice Group with Jean Haley and Jane Rauenhorst
Friday, September 23rd | 7:00 -8:30pm

Inner Self-Compassion Practices for Trying Times with Jean Haley & Jane Rauenhorst
Six Thursdays between September 29 – November 10th | 3:00-  5:00pm
A Half-Day Retreat will be held on Saturday, October 22nd

Upcoming Programs: In Person/Hybrid at Common Ground
To see full list of programs visit our calendar

Buddhist Studies: Relating Wisely with the Hindrances
with Shelly Graf & Mark Nunberg

Six Mondays, September 12 – October 17th
7:30 – 9:00 p.m
In-person and on Zoom
Info and registration here

Half-Day Retreat with Shelly Graf
Saturday, September 17th | 9:00am – 12:00pm
In-person and on Zoom
Info and registration here

Daylong Retreat with Kevin Griffin: 
Wrestling with the Buddha: Reflections on the Anapanasati Sutta

Saturday, September 24th | 10:00am – 5:00pm
Info and registration here

Half-Day Retreat with Kevin Griffin:
Dharma & Recovery

Sunday, September 25th | 1:00pm – 5:00pm
For Recovery Community Only
Info and registration here

Bringing our Practice into the World with Hugh Byrne
Friday, September 30th | 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Info and registration here

Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation for the BIPOC Community
with Stacy McClendon, Jen Racho, & Meski Mebatsion

4 Tuesdays: October 4th – 25th | 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Info and registration here

Qigong Workshop with Autumn & Steve Compton
October 8th | 9:00am – 4:00pm
Info and registration here

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


Tranquility & Insight with Nils Heymann
Assisted by Gabe Keller Flores
5:30pm Thursday, September 22nd – 2:00pm Sunday, September 25th

Upcoming Residential Retreats:
We will be releasing dates and registration for upcoming residential retreats  later this week. Stay tuned!

Practice Periods:

Practice Period with Louise Delagran & Jen Stewart
5:00pm Thursday, September 29th – 2:00pm Sunday, October 2nd.

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

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

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:

  • Community Potluck on Sunday, September 11th: If you would like to volunteer for childcare, set-up or clean-up, enter your name and email here.
  • Audio Editing: We are looking for a couple volunteers to help with audio editing. Comfortability with tech is helpful, no previous audio editing experience needed.
  • Children’s Program: We are looking for a couple folks to help lead the revitalization of the children’s program. Please email a letter of interest to Robin.
  • 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 

Engaged Buddhist Gathering
September 10th, 3pm – 5pm
Are you interested in taking action to make our world a more just, equitable and peaceful place for all beings? Join Buddhist practitioners and organizers in a conversation about spiritual values and activism work. Click here for location and more info.

Upcoming Community Group Meetings:

  • Be Queer Now, weekly on Wednesday, 7:30-9:00pm
  • Community Group for Organizers & Social Justice Activists, Thursday September 8th, 6:00-7:30pm
  • Buddhism & Other Religions Book Group, Saturday, September 10th, 9:00 – 10:15am
  • Refirement Community Group for Retirees, Thursday September 15th, 12:00-2:00pm
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color Community Group, Thursday September 15th, 6:30-8:00pm
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, September 18th, 4:00-5:30pm
  • Millenials Sangha, Friday, September 23rd, 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

The sense of “I” arises continuously.
You can learn to be aware
of its presence or absence, just
like any other object.*

Such as a sensation, a thought,
a perception or an emotion. 

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote


A big thank you to Garden Team lead Kathleen Schuler and all Garden Team volunteers for bringing such beauty and care to the pollinators, the rain and flower gardens, the trees, and the Common Ground community!

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