I am writing to share the sad news that our good friend Denny Johnson passed away recently in a tractor accident. Words can not convey the depth of feeling and mystery of losing someone who was such a good friend and leader in our community. Denny has been part of the Common Ground Community for over ten years For years he was the main maintenance person for our old center and then more recently for our new building. Denny was instrumental in the search, purchase and running of our new retreat property in Western Wisconsin. His sweat and blood and especially his good heart has been infused in this place. We will all benefit for years and years from all of Denny’s good work. Denny lived the principles of our practice. He lived simply, mindfully and engaged life fully. Since his retirement, he served the Dharma, this is what he cared about, this is what brought him real joy. The warmth of Denny’s presence will be missed. May we all relate wisely to the truth and pain of loss. May all the love and wisdom protect and guide Denny to whatever is next.
There’s a tentative plan for a memorial service to celebrate Denny’s life at Common Ground’s city center on October 3rd. We’ll share more definite plans in these emails as they surface. In the meantime, if you have any reflections or memories you wish to share with the wider community, please write them down. We’ll be posting photos and stories on the table in the lobby for several weeks.
Additionally, we will be dedicating the merit of our practice to our good friend, Denny, at the monthly daylong retreat this Saturday at Common Ground. The community is invited to drop into the retreat and sit with the retreatants any time during the day but some good times to consider are 9:15 or 10:35 a.m. or 2 p.m. Keep in mind that the retreat is silent so come in as quietly as possible enter the meditation hall at the beginning of the sitting periods with the retreatants. If you arrive while a sitting period is in process, please find a place to do walking practice until the beginning of the next sitting period.