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August 11th, 2020

Dear Common Ground Friends

Ajahn Chah said, Looking for peace is like looking for a turtle with a moustache: you won’t be able to find it. But when your heart is ready, peace will come looking for you. This collective moment of our lives is asking a lot of us. Taking care of our heart so that we are prepared to respond in all the ways we are being asked to, it a tall order, but also necessary and doable. We can learn through the courageous example of others throughout history and many who are walking among us right now. Our teachers and friends even in moments of pain, remind us how to relate wisely, with both care and skill. Lets make it part of our practice to look around and notice people being generous, kind, or patient and remind ourselves that our hearts are just as capable. In our willingness to reach out when we need support or to respond to the call when someone else does, we are granted a beautiful opportunity to see the good in each other. We prepare the heart for peace in part by nurturing the good that is already there.

Warm Wishes,

Shelly Graf
Associate Director


Upcoming Program Highlights

Visit our online calendar for complete program information and registration. At this time, all our programs are offered online via Zoom or Youtube.  Please note that all times listed below are in Central time.

This week:

  • Shelly will offer the Wednesday evening Weekly Practice Group as usual, over Zoom, at 7:30pm. Link here.
  • Thursday at 9am: Community Practice Check-In with Shelly Graf, this week with a focus on Racial/Social Justice. All are welcome. Zoom link here.
  • Stacy McClendon will offer the Lovingkindness group on Friday at 7:00pm. Zoom link here.
  • On Saturday, August 15th, 10:30am-12:00pm, Ramesh Sairam will offer his monthly Dharma Reflections and Discussion time. More info and RSVP here.
  • Mark will offer the Sunday morning weekly practice group at 10:30am on Youtube as usual.

Looking ahead:

  • On Saturday, August 22nd, from 9:00am-4:00pm, Mark will offer a Daylong retreat over Zoom. More info and registration here.
  • On Sunday, August 23rd, Mark Nunberg, Louis Alemayehu, Omkar Sawardekar, Malik Watkins, Robb Reed, and Gabe Keller Flores will facilitate a Community Conversation for folks who identify as male or men or embody masculinity. Registration here.
  • On Saturday, August 29th, from 1:00-4:00pm, Gail Iverson will offer an Introduction to Mindfulness Workshop over Zoom. More info and registration here.
  • The Labor Day retreat with Mark and Shelly will be conducted online over Zoom this year from Wednesday evening, Sep 2nd, to Monday morning, September 7th. Registration here. There are still 13 spots available.
  • Registration is now open for an eight-week Mindful Self-Compassion course with Jean Haley and Jane Rauenhorst. Eight Tuesdays, September 29-November 17th from 12-1:30.  Retreat on October 24 from 9-12:00.   Offered over Zoom. Registration here.

Please note that all times listed are in Central time.  For details on these programs and more, visit the online calendar. I recommend you bookmark it for easy access during the week. You might also want to bookmark our Youtube channel.

Additional non-CG events Taught by Shelly:

  • This Tuesday evening, 9:00-10:30pm central time, Shelly will join Rachel Lewis in leading a program through British Columbia Insight Meditation Society on the power of practicing in community. More info and registration here.
  • Shelly is currently leading a four-week course along with Kaira Jewel Lingo on Embodied Sacred Activism through iBme. This course is for people of all ages with a youth focus. More info and registration here. 7:30-9:00pm central time for the next three Sundays.
  • This Friday evening, 6:00-7:30pm central time, Shelly will offer a talk through Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley. More info and registration here.
  • Shelly, Rebecca Bradshaw, and Roxanne Dault will offer an online retreat through Insight Meditation Society Oct 2-7 (Friday to Wednesday). More info and registration here.

Gabe Keller Flores, Office Manager


The Practice of Generosity

Continuing in the tradition of Buddhist monasteries in Southeast Asia, all programs at Common Ground, including these online programs, 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.


Other News and Resources

Community Survey Still Open for Participation
Thank you to everyone who filled out the community survey we sent out last week. You can still fill it out if you haven’t already, here. Unfortunately, when we initially sent it out last week, we didn’t include an (optional) field for name and contact info. We’ve added that now. If you filled it out before we added that question and want to make sure we can get in touch with you, contact Gabe by replying to this email.

Common Ground Participating in ‘Relay for Our Water’
Common Ground has been invited by Interfaith Power and Light to participate in the Relay for Our Water, a statewide, interfaith effort to express commitment to and gratitude for the indigenous peoples of Minnesota and the water that is sacred to their traditional way of life. Read more here.



Prairie Farm News

Anyone have a flat bed trailer?

We need to haul 20′ lengths of steel, about 700lbs from Minneapolis to Prairie Farm. Let me know if someone has a flat bed trailer who’d be willing to pick up and deliver. -Cory.


Weekly Tejaniya

Never make a decision because
you like or dislike something.


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.

Common Ground Meditation Center