Guest Teacher Dharma Talks

Please join us for these special evenings of dharma (spiritual teachings) and connection with the Common Ground community. These drop-in programs are an opportunity to hear guest teachers and experienced community members speak about their practice. The evening begins with a 30-minute meditation period followed by a talk and discussion.

Guest Teacher Talk with Anushka Fernandopulle: Finding True Refuge

Friday, September 27th, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Anushka Fernandopulle has trained for over 30 years in the Theravada Buddhist tradition in the U.S., India and Sri Lanka and teaches retreats and workshops around the globe. Anushka also works as a leadership coach and management consultant, influenced by a BA in anthropology and religion from Harvard and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. Anushka is on the Teacher’s Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center on California. Her teaching is informed by nature, creative arts, political engagement, innovation and modern urban life. For more information, visit


Guest Teacher Talk with Bhikkhu Cintita: How did mindfulness become “bare, non-judgmental, present-moment awareness”?

Friday, October 11th, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Many are surprised to find that Pali sati (mindfulness) nowhere means “bare, non-judgmental, present-moment awareness” in the early Buddhist texts. Contrasting the early definition with its modern interpretation provides critical insights about the direction modern Buddhism has been developing.

Bhikkhu Cintita is an American-born Burmese-ordained Theravada monk who winters in monastery in Austin, TX, and summers in Chisago City, MN. He received a Ph.D. In linguistics from the University of California at San Diego, and was in his younger days in turn a scholar of linguistics, cognitive science and artificial intelligence, a professor, an inept businessman and a corporate researcher and developer. He dropped out of professional life to become a Soto Zen priest for some years, before entering fully into Theravada monastic life in 2009. He posts writings on-line at


Guest Teacher Visit with Ajahn Punnadhammo: Understanding and Transforming our Heart & Mind: How the Early Buddhist World View Informs the Buddha’s Path of Awakening today

Friday, October 18th, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Ajahn Punadhammo is the abbot of Arrow River Forest Hermitage near Thunder Bay. He has been a monk in the Thai Forest Tradition of Theravada Buddhism since 1991.



All Common Ground programs are offered freely in the spirit of generosity. To learn more about supporting the center and our teachers, click here.