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.

Courses

Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation with Mark Nunberg

Six Tuesdays, January 15 – February 19, 7:30-9:00 p.m.

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.

Click here to register

Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation Workshop with Gail Iverson

Saturday, March 30, 9:15 a.m. – 12:45 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.

Next class: Dependent Co-Arising

Eight Mondays, January 14 – March 4, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.; Optional Sitting Period, 7:00 – 7:30 p.m.

This class will study the Buddha’s teachings on the conditional nature of experience. In his teaching on dependent origination, the Buddha offers his insight into the causes behind our experience of suffering and how we can break this repeating stressful cycle. 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.

Click here to register

 

Workshops

Noble Eightfold Path Workshop Series with Ramesh Sairam: Right View (1st in the series)

Saturday, January 12, 1:00 – 5:00 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 is 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.

 

Daylong Workshop with Santikaro: The Wonderful Diversity of Mindfulness

Saturday, January 19, 2019, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Register Here

Mindfulness or sati — in the original Buddhist teachings — is understood to provide essential functions for spiritual life. These can be summarized as Remembering, Recalling, Noting, Guarding, and Holding in Mind. Further, mindfulness has important partnerships with clear comprehension (sampajañña) and mental unification (sam?dhi). Through a series of guided practices followed by discussion, we will explore these functions (skills) and how they support all aspects of spiritual practice. An exercise that clearly involves 1 or 2 of the functions (skills) will be followed by conversation about how that functions works and how it can be strengthened as a skill.

These functions play important roles in cultivating the ennobling eightfold path, whether during meditation sessions or mindful living throughout each day. The aim of this workshop is to provide a more well-rounded understanding of sati so that the full array of skills are more present when needed. Further, this understanding will help you evaluate the various claims being made about mindfulness these days. Lastly, you will have a better chance of cultivating the mindfulness you need for strengthening the path of non-suffering.

 

Noble Eightfold Path Workshop Series with Ramesh Sairam: Right Intention (2nd in the series)

Saturday, March 30th, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Register Here  ** Please note this has been rescheduled from February 16th **

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 is 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.

 


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 gabe@commongroundmeditation.org. We welcome feedback on any aspect of this policy.