Courses & Workshops

To register for all courses and workshops, please visit the calendar

Common Ground offers both multiple-week courses and one-time workshops. Topics vary by quarter. All Common Ground programs are offered freely in the spirit of generosity. To learn more about supporting the center and our teachers, click here.


Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation with Mark Nunberg

Five Tuesdays: May 28th – June 25th, 7:30 -9:00 p.m.  Register Here

Mindfulness meditation leads to insight into the nature of our hearts and minds, revealing an inherent clarity, openness, and ease. This course includes exploration of the intention behind practice, an introduction to insight (vipassana) meditation techniques, instructions for working with common obstacles, an overview of the practice of lovingkindness, and a discussion on how mindfulness can be part of one’s daily life.

Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation Workshop with Gail Iverson

Saturday, July 6, 1:30 – 5:00 p.m.  Register Here


Buddhist Studies Program

The Buddhist Studies Program is designed for people who have attended three or more mindfulness meditation retreats and have a commitment to daily meditation practice. The course includes dharma talks, small and large group discussions, and guided sitting time. Participants will be expected to use the teachings as a focus of their meditation and daily life practice. Led by Mark Nunberg.  Find current class information including handouts and articles here.


UNDERSTANDING IMPERMANENCE with Mark Nunberg and Visiting Teachers.

This eight-week course will explore the Buddha’s teachings on impermanence, the first of the three characteristics that are said to mark all of existence. Insight into the changing and insubstantial nature of all phenomena is essential in freeing the mind of its deep habit of clinging. Each class will include a short talk, small-group discussions, and guided sitting time. Participants will be expected to use the teachings as a focus of their daily practice.

Eight Mondays, June 24 – August 12, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.  Optional sitting period, 7:00 – 7:30 p.m.  Register Here


Mindful Self-Compassion with Jean Fagerstrom and Mary Clark

8 Thursdays: June 13 – August 8, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. (no class July 4); Half-Day Retreat on Sunday, July 21, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.  Register Here  **WAITLIST ONLY**

This eight-week class is designed to help participants cultivate self-compassion skills for daily life. Based on the program developed by Christopher Germer and Kristen Neff, Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) builds on a foundation of mindfulness, kindness, and a sense of our shared humanity to help us meet the difficulties in our lives with compassion.




Noble Eightfold Path Workshop Series with Ramesh Sairam: Wise Effort

Saturday, August 24th, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.  Register Here 

This series of 8 workshops will be an opportunity to study the components of the Noble Eightfold Path in some detail, with a focus on their application in our daily lives. The workshops will be spread through the calendar year 2019, with one held every 6-7 weeks. We will follow the traditional sequence of the teachings, starting with Right view, followed by Right intention, Right speech, Right conduct, Right livelihood, Right effort, Right mindfulness, and Right concentration.

These workshops will be suitable for those who have engaged in Vipassana meditation practice for at least 6 – 12 months and have done some reading of the core teachings, such as the 4 Noble Truths and Noble Eightfold path (detailed study in not a requisite). While it may be helpful to attend all the workshops as part of a comprehensive study of the Eightfold Path, this is not mandatory and practitioners may attend the workshops selectively.

Each workshop will include guided meditation, brief talks on the main topic, Q&A sessions and group discussions.

Ramesh has been part of the Common Ground sangha since 2006 and joined the Board of Directors in 2016. He is a Geriatric psychiatrist and has a deep professional interest in understanding the complex and dynamic interplay between our minds and bodies that often underlie many physical and mental health illnesses. His spiritual practice too is guided by the Buddha’s advice about the deep wisdom inherent in our bodies – “within this very fathom-long body, with its perceptions and inner sense, lies the world, the cause of the world, the cessation of the world and the path that leads to the cessation of the world.” He shares some of his experiences through workshops at Common Ground on mindfulness and chronic pain, and finding wisdom in our bodies.


White People Building Anti-White Supremacy Culture – A Workshop with Rebecca Gilgen and Christy Mulligan

Sunday, August 18, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.  Register Here

In this workshop people who identify as white will explore how whiteness shows up in their lives, how white supremacy shapes their identity, and build consensus on what a white identity without white supremacy would be. This workshop was developed based on the work of Resmaa Menakem, MSW LICSW, in which he suggests that to heal racial trauma white people need to re-create, re-imagine white culture that does not include white supremacy. He goes on further to say that “If America is to grow out of white-body supremacy, the transformation must largely be held by white American’s. This transformation cannot primarily rely on new laws, policies, procedures, standards, and strategies. We’ve already seen how these are no match for our culture.” (My Grandmothers Hands, p262-263).
Space is limited to 10 individuals.

Rebecca Gilgen MSW has been a part of the common ground community since 2015. She is a social worker engaged in systems disruption, healing and transformation. She humbly approaches this work not as a skilled trainer, or racial equity expert, but rather as a member of the white community, skilled in Technology of Participation facilitation methods, curious and eager to explore with other members of the white community “Can we play a role in re-naming white culture?

Participants must agree to the following:

  • We all identify racially as “white”
  • We recognize and own that in our white supremacist society we are positioned to be at the top of the racial hierarchy because of slavery, genocide and institutionalized oppression that results in our privilege
  • We realize we benefit from injustice and that this evokes guilt, shame and isolation
  • We agree that we can no longer be complicit in the oppression of others based on race
  • We agree that we will use the results of this culture conversation to shift our actions, behaving in a way that seeks justice for every person
  • We agree that to begin we need to re-define the social construct of “white”to include the truths we have just named
  • We agree that today, we will embark on a creative process to develop a new “answer” to the question, ‘what is white racial identity? An answer that, in this moment, attempts to free itself from white supremacy.


Registration Priority Policy

Common Ground is committed to giving registration priority to members of some communities that have experienced historical oppression: people of color, transgender, and genderqueer folks. We hope this increases the likelihood of a sense of safety and belonging for all members of our community. 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 We welcome feedback on any aspect of this policy.