For Children and Teens

Youth programs are on break for the summer.

There will be no registration this year for the youth programs; you can just drop in.

Children’s Practice Group

The Children’s Practice Group is for ages 3 – 3rd grade. Instruction revolves around mindful words, thoughts, and actions. Mindful movement, relaxation, songs, stories, and crafts are part of the experience. It is held in the community room during Sunday morning weekly practice group. Parents should plan on staying with their children until they feel comfortable. Parents are expected to join other community members for the adult practice group in the meditation hall when not helping in class.

Sundays, 10:30-11:40 a.m.

Teachers for the children’s program: Leah Dunbar, Joe Fuemmeler, Tim Johnson
(meet in community room)


Pre-teen Practice

The preteen group is for youth in 4th – 7th grades who want to explore meditation and mindfulness in daily life. We emphasize a safe, respectful, and fun community where we can all learn from each other. The practice is held during the Sunday morning weekly practice group; parents are expected to join other community members in the meditation hall when their kids are participating in the preteen practice group. The group meets in the workshop in the basement and then walks to a yoga studio in the Ivy Arts Building across the street from Common Ground.

Sundays, 10:30-11:40 a.m.  Upcoming dates:

December 2, 9, 16; January 6, 13, 20, 27; February 3, 10, 17, 24; March 3, 10, 17, 24; April 7, 14, 21, 28; May 5, 12, 19

Teachers for the preteen program:  Tina Lee, Omkar Sawardekar, Carrie Hatcher
(meet in workshop in basement)

Teen Practice 

Hello teens and parents of teens,

Claire, Molly, Omkar, and I have been collecting email addresses from interested teens and we now have 7! So we thought we would restart the teen meditation group at Common Ground for a 5-week period: April 28-May 26. We will cover the five spiritual faculties of: faith/confidence, effort, mindfulness, stability, and wisdom. The course is open to experienced and new meditators. No registration required; feel free to drop in to any session.

Please let know if you’re interested in participating. We’ll meet at the same time as usual, on Sunday mornings, 10:30-11:45am. Here’s some more background info on the teen group and those of us leading. Feel free to spread the word to friends and other interested parties! And let me (Gabe) know if you have any questions.

The teen group is for youth in 8th grade and up. The Teen Meditation Group at Common Ground Meditation Center is a space for teens to connect with others and explore meditation and mindfulness in daily life. Queer, trans, and POC teens are especially welcome. In a typical Teen Group meeting, we do a guided meditation (no experience required!), learn strategies for becoming more mindful, and talk about how meditation and mindfulness can help reduce stress and bring compassion and wisdom into our lives. The Teen Group provides a safe environment where participants are invited to raise any topic or question that interests them. New participants are welcome to join at any time.

Teacher bios:

Molly Quinn has been practicing mindfulness meditation since 2010. She has taught meditation to youth in homeless shelters and the Minneapolis juvenile detention center. Her fiction has been published in numerous literary journals including The Iowa Review and Prairie Schooner. Currently she’s working on a collection of short stories set in a psychiatric hospital, which draws on her experience as a registered nurse.

Omkar Sawardekar, MSW, LICSW has been formally practicing mindfulness for over ten years and is especially committed to bringing this approach to mental health and crisis work. Omkar is passionate about working at the intersections of mental health, social identity, and culture through a mindful approach and is dedicated to using mindfulness practices to support individual and collective healing.

Claire Leslie Johnson has been practicing mindfulness meditation since 2015. Meditation and yoga practices have transformed the way she experiences the world and are of huge support to her personal wellbeing. She has been practicing yoga since 2009 and for work runs a non-profit yoga studio in South Minneapolis called One Yoga. Prior to leading the Teen Meditation Group at Common Ground she volunteered for Tools for Peace, a camp that teaches mindfulness meditation in California. Her goal as a leader of this group is to create a warm and welcoming environment where participants feel respected, comfortable, and supported.

Gabe Keller-Flores is Common Ground’s Office Manager and serves on the Board of Directors, as well as the Advisory Committee on matters of equity and accessibility. He is a dedicated dharma practitioner, having spent about one year of his life doing intensive retreat practice. He’s been practicing at Common Ground since 2008, and his appreciation for the dharma continues to deepen. He has led the preteen and teen groups at Common Ground, and enjoys exploring these healing practices in collaboration with his co-teachers and the youth.

(meet in library in basement)


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

Mindfulness Resources for Parents/Guardians

Registration Policy

Common Ground is committed to giving priority for registration to members of some communities that have experienced historical oppression: people of color, trans, and non-binary. We hope this increases the likelihood of a sense of safety and belonging for members of these communities who often don’t see themselves represented in the community or in teaching roles. We recognize this policy benefits us all as we practice the Buddha’s teachings in an increasingly multicultural community and engage in the ongoing work needed to create a more equitable world.  To learn more, contact Gabe Keller-Flores: 612-722-8260 or