Community Practice Intensive

Community Practice Intensive (Zoom/In-Person)

Monday, November 29th – Saturday, December 18th

Led by Shelly Graf & Gabe Keller Flores

Register here.

The Community Practice Intensive is an opportunity to increase the amount of time we spend doing formal meditation practice, as well as commit to being mindful throughout our day, for a period of just under three weeks. The increased commitment to mindfulness is supported by coming together in community throughout the three weeks, every Monday night and ending with a Daylong Retreat on the last Saturday. Past participants have found these intensives to be a powerful time to experiment with living in a more mindful way and noticing the wholesome effects arising throughout one’s daily life. These Community Practice Intensives are also a good time to deepen relationships with others in the community.

Overview of Meeting Schedule:

The intensive will start with a group meeting on Monday, November 29th, 7:00-8:30pm, and the group will meet again at the same time on Mondays December 6th and 13th. The Daylong Retreat will be on Saturday, December 18th, from 9:30am-4:00pm. It is expected that people will attend as much of the retreat day as possible given their other responsibilities (schedule TBD). All meetings will be offered in a hybrid fashion: you can choose to attend virtually on Zoom or in person at the city center: 2700 E 26th St. Minneapolis, MN 55406.

Practice Guidelines

Please carefully reflect on the practice guidelines below. Most participants will have to creatively adapt and adjust these guidelines so that each person can commit to a schedule that makes sense given one’s other duties and responsibilities. 

Morning Practice: Participants are expected to do 1 – 2 hours of sitting or walking practice every morning during the practice period. 

Evening Practice: Everyone is expected to join in for our 3 Monday gatherings on Nov 29th, Dec 6th, and Dec 13th. We’ll begin with sitting time, followed by a dharma reflection by Shelly and/or Gabe, followed by large group sharing. In addition to our Monday evening gatherings, participants are asked to attend one of the regularly scheduled Practice Groups each week: Sunday morning, Sunday evening, or Wednesday evening. Finally, on the evenings we are not gathering on Zoom, we commit to doing some formal sitting or walking practice at home on our own.

Mid-Day Practice: Everyone is encouraged to do at least 15 minutes of walking, sitting or lying down practice sometime during the middle of the day. There is a mid-day in-person sit at Common Ground on Wednesdays from 11:00am-12:00pm that everyone is welcome to join. Depending on the state of the pandemic, we may add additional mid-day practice opportunities.

Pracice Check Ins: People participating in the practice period are encouraged to attend one of the Community Practice Check-Ins the center offers several times a week:

  • 4:30-5:30pm on Sundays with Wynn Fricke and Gabe (while Mark is away). On Zoom.
  • 8:00-9:00am on Tuesdays, peer-led by Mark Mirick and Joan Stockinger while Mark is away. In-Person.
  • 12:00-1:00pm on Tuesdays with Stacy McClendon. On Zoom.
  • Dharma Reflections and Discussion with Ramesh Sairam, every other Saturday, 10:30am-12:00pm. On Zoom.

See our public calendar for Zoom links.

 Shelly and Gabe are also available for one-on-one practice meetings. You can sign up for meetings with Shelly here and send Gabe an email if you’d like to schedule a time with him.

The theme for our Community Practice Intensive will be Wise Relating. 

Freely Giving and Receiving at Common Ground

All Common Ground programs are offered freely in the spirit of generosity. If you’d like to learn more about how we operate or want to volunteer or donate to support the teachers’ livelihoods and the center’s operating costs, visit If you donate, be sure to enter “Community Practice Intensive” in the Teacher/Fund box. 2/3 of the donation supports the teacher(s) and 1/3 supports the general operations of the center.

Common Ground Meditation Center