August 2nd, 2021
As you may know, the CDC recently issued new guidance regarding mask-wearing, even for vaccinated people, in areas of high virus transmission, due to new evidence on the delta variant currently circulating in the United States. Hennepin County (and most of the metro area)’s transmission rate is substantial enough to warrant this extra level of precaution, according to the CDC. Although State and City leaders haven’t issued a mandate, we at Common Ground will follow the CDC recommendations and the recommendations of our doctor advisors. So, starting today, masks are again required for all participants in programs at Common Ground and at Prairie Farm, our retreat property (vaccination is also required at Prairie Farm). Hopefully the surge due to the new variant will pass in the next few weeks or at worst months. As always, we will follow the recommendations from health experts in order to keep our communities safe. Please stay tuned to this weekly email for the latest announcements regarding our COVID policies as we continue monitoring the evolving conditions of the pandemic over the coming months. For now, thank you for wearing a mask when you visit Common Ground.
As a result of this change, Mindful Yoga will go back to being online only for the time being. All other in-person programs will continue, with the mask requirement: the Sunday evening Weekly Practice Group, the Sunday morning in-person option, the Tuesday morning Tea and Dharma Discussion, monthly Half-Day and Daylong retreats, and the Open Meditation times. Masks aren’t required for groups meeting outside in the garden.
This is a good time to check in with the mind. How does this news land? What reactions does the mind have? Can we acknowledge the uncertainty and imperfection of the conditions of our world and keep our hearts open, nimble, and interested? Can we hold the suffering we sense in and around us with compassion? And can we stay open to joy and goodness as they flow within us and around us? The Buddha encouraged us to develop the heart, so that we can rely on it in times good and bad. May we be inspired to cultivate this heart for the benefit of all beings.
Here is the current schedule of public in-person programs:
Silent Open Meditation
Sundays 8:30-9:30am, &
Tuesdays from 7:30-9:00pm
Community Tea and Dharma
Every Tuesday, 8:00-9:00am
Everybody is welcome to join in for this community time with tea, Q&A and Dharma discussion with Mark Nunberg (other teachers will fill in when Mark is unavailable). Everyone is encouraged to join in for the 7:30 – 8 a.m. portion of the morning sit. We will move to the community room at 8 am for this community discussion time. (We will meet either in the community room or outside depending on how many people show up so please dress accordingly.)
Sunday morning in-person option
We have started opening up the meditation hall on Sunday mornings for community members to gather to watch the 10:30am Sunday 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.
Sunday evening Weekly Practice Group with Mark Nunberg, 7:00-8:30pm
Qigong at Matthews Park (1 block north of Common Ground) with Autumn and Steve Compton
New Bike Rack in Basement of CG
If you’d feel more comfortable locking your bike up in the basement, that is now an option! We have a chain affixed to two columns in the room under the Community Room; feel free to lock your bike there during programs. You can bring your bike down the back stairwell to access the room. If the back door is locked, ask a program host to help you unlock it.
Using Fragrance-Free Products
Some members of our community are very sensitive to chemicals, including fragrances, both synthetic and natural. Please refrain from using scented products. Thank you!