Weekly Email 9-8-23

Dear Common Ground Friends,

In his book The First Free Women, Poems of the Early Buddhist Nuns, Matty Weingast gives new life to the stories of the first awakened women at the time of the Buddha that we first encountered in the Therigatha.  Here is one of my favorites.

Another Uttara–Crossing Over
I asked Patachara,

What is the Path?

Patachara said,

Just see all thoughts, words, and actions 
arising all by themselves–
not from some imaginary point within.

I only partly understood.
But I took a seat.

As the sun was setting,
I saw the endless line.
of one thing leading to another
that had brought me
to the cushion
that night.

Wishing us all the inspiration we can find to keep our feet on the path and to learn to see the dhamma everywhere.

Shelly Graf
Co-Guiding Teacher

Youth Programs Begin Sunday!
Please see the calendar page for more info

Children’s Program: Kindergarten- 3rd grade
Every other Sunday 10:30am – 11:45am

Pre-teen Program: 4th grade- 7th grade
Every other Sunday 10:30am – 11:45am

Teen Practice Group Begins Sunday, September 24

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

  • With Mark Nunberg September 13

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

Half-Day and Daylong Retreats with Shelly Graf

  • Daylong: Saturday, Oct 21 | In-person and on Zoom | Register here

Skillful Means: Using Buddhist and Western Psychology in the Service of Liberation from Suffering–A Workshop with Shelly Graf and Gabe Keller Flores
Saturday, September 16th | 9:30am – 4:00pm
In-person only
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, Sep 9th | In-person and on Zoom | Register here
  • Half-Day: Saturday, Oct 7th  | In-person and on Zoom | Register here
Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation with Mark Nunberg & Gabe Keller Flores
Six Tuesdays: September 5th – October 10th | In-person and on Zoom
Register hereBuddhist Studies: Mindfulness of Breathing 
Eight Mondays: September 11th- October 30th | In-person and on Zoom
Register here

Upcoming Teacher-Led Programs

Mindfulness-Centered Men’s Yoga with Robb Reed
Nine Wednesdays: Sep. 13th – Nov. 8th | 5:30 – 6:45 PM
In-person only
Register here

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

Radical Dharma, Radical Belonging: Talk & Discussion with the BIPOC Community with Dr. Femi Akinnagbe
Friday, September 29th | 6:30 AM – 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 23rd | 1:30 AM – 4:30 PM
In-person and on Zoom
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

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

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
Mindfulness Self-Compassion with Jane Rauenhorst & Jean Haley
Friday, September 15th, 7:00-8:30 PM
On Zoom only

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 Needs

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

  • Graphic design: We are looking for 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.
  • Grounds teams at the city center:  Please let us know if you are interested in joining the garden crew, lawnmowing, or snow-blowing team.
Wishlists: If you want to donate a specific item, check out the Retreat Center Wishlist and the City Center Wishlist.

Community News 

Couples Group Opening
A Mindful Couples Group is open for new members. They will meet monthly on the first Saturday, beginning October 7th. Click here for more info.

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, September 9th, 9:00 – 10:30 AM
  • Learning to Approach Social and Political Conflict with Skill and Kindness, Sunday, September 17th, 1:30-3:00 PM
  • Mindfulness Centered Men’s Yoga, Wednesday, September 13th, 5:30 PM – 6:45 PM
  • Mindfulness & Depression, Sunday, September 17th, 4:00-5:30 PM
  • Refirement Group, Thursday, September 21st, 12:00 – 2:00 PM
  • To see the complete list of community groups, click here.

Keep Delight Alive
It is important to keep alive
the delight we get from uncovering
our inherent wisdom,
our delight in the Dhamma.
Nothing comes close to the satisfaction
we can gain from this.

 Thanks to The Daily Tejaniya for this quote

A monarch feeding on a Blazing Star flower
at Common Ground Retreat Center last week
Photo by Libby Frost

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