Leaving behind our homes, family and friends, and our duties and responsibilities can be a powerful support for deepening insight. In a quiet setting, with a simple schedule of sitting and walking meditation, practicing noble silence, the mind naturally begins to quiet down. A quiet, serene mind is capable of seeing clearly in a way that is often not available during our busy lives. Clear seeing or insight uproots the confusion behind the cycles of stress and suffering. Those who are new to meditation should attend the intro class or several weekly practice groups before their first retreat. Please register for these retreats through the online calendar via the following link: http://commongroundmeditation.org/currentevents/calendar/
Usually scheduled for the first Saturday of the month:
Saturday, November 3rd, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. with Ramesh Sairam. Register here
Saturday, December 1st, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. with Mark Nunberg. Register here
Saturday, December 8th, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. for People of Color with Stacy McClendon and Meski Mebatsion. Register here
Daylong Retreats (Please bring a bag lunch.)
Usually scheduled for the fourth Saturday of the Month:
Saturday, November 10, 9 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. with Mark Nunberg. Register here
Please join us for a day of retreat practice. The day will include guided meditation, walking meditation, lovingkindness meditation, and Dharma talk and discussion on refuge. Please bring a bag lunch.
A native of El Salvador, Nils started meditating at the age of 16. He studied major religions at Lancaster University in England and did research on gurus in Pune, India. He stayed in Hindu and Benedictine monasteries until he went to Thailand to ordain in Ajahn Chah’s Forest tradition. He made a commitment to be a monk for seven years and lived in monasteries in England, New Zealand and Italy. After leaving monastic life, he lived in Minnesota and founded Common Ground’s Gay Men’s Community Group. Although he now lives in Oakland, CA, he continues to teach several times a year at CG, including as part of our teaching team for the Dharma Leadership Training. He has helped translate talks by Ajahn Chah into Spanish and has given talks in a variety of venues including The East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland. The first discourse of the Buddha is the framework by which he lives his life. He currently teaches art to a bunch of beautiful urban high schoolers. Nils is a member of the Alphabet Brothers of Color Deep Refuge Group. His teachers continue to be Ajahn Viradhammo and Ajahn Sumedho.
Femi Akinnagbe is a native of the Washington, DC area and has been practicing yoga and meditation since 2004. An active member of the Common Ground community, he is a member of Common Ground’s Inclusivity Advisory Council, as well as the People of Color (POC) sangha steering committee. Of particular interest to him is how an embodied dharma practice can be utilized to meet the challenging needs and deep wounds of our modern society.