Weekly Email 11/18/20
Dear Common Ground Friends,
As the virus surges and our politics seem endlessly stuck in divisiveness, it seems a good time for me, (and you too), to reflect with gratitude for this ancient path and practice that is alive in my heart. I am now at Common Ground’s Retreat Property at Prairie Farm Wisconsin. I will continue teaching online through November but will then be on a silent retreat for the first 19 days of December. I feel privileged to be able to retreat at this time and I am hoping that many of you will also have a chance to come out for some retreat time after the pandemic ends.
Cory Clemetson has been our Construction Manager for these past 2-3 years of renovation. He has poured his creativity, craftsmanship, hard work, and good heart into this place. He is almost finished with the final touches before we invite the building inspector back for the final inspection so it seems the right time to offer our wholehearted thanks. May Cory’s hard work, and the tremendous generosity of so many volunteers and contributors set much good in motion, in our hearts and in the world. Wynn and I have offered to pay for Cory and his partner Lisa to fly somewhere for a vacation. If you are interested in helping to fund a “Community Thank You Vacation Trip” for Cory and Lisa please let me know or send in a contribution to the center designating it for “Cory’s thank you”. These funds will help cover the costs of a rental car and accommodations.
No need to wait to deepen your practice. There will be a Daylong Retreat with Mark Nunberg Saturday November 28th, the twice annual Community Practice Intensive with Shelly Graf and Gabe Keller-Flores is scheduled December 7-19, and finally we will have our 28th Annual Year End Retreat with Wynn Fricke Shelly Graf, Mark Nunberg and Stacy McClendon from Sunday evening December 27 until Thursday, the 31st at noon. Registration for the year end retreat will be sent next week.
Upcoming Program Highlights
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19TH
BIPOC Practitioners looking for support in their practice are invited to join this group on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. This meeting will be offered over Zoom. For more information, contact Stacy at email@example.com.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20TH
JEAN HALEY and JANE RAUENHORST will offer a monthly Mindful Self Compassion practice group from , 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21ST
RAMESH SAIRAM will offer a practice check in from 10:30am-12:00pm, including a guided meditation, brief talk on a specific topic and ample time for reflections, comments and Q&A. All are welcome. Zoom link here.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24TH
Join us for the Dharma Among Us, each Tuesday, 7:00-8:30pm. This week, Kyoko Katayama, Ellen Huffschmidt and friends discuss how ritual and ceremony support us during intense times. Zoom link here.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25TH
SHELLY GRAF will lead the Wednesday evening Weekly Practice Group as usual, 7:30-9:00pm. Zoom link here. Feel free to join early for virtual Tea Time, 7:00-7:20pm, for some time to connect with others over Zoom before the program.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27TH
STACY MCCLENDON will offer the weekly Lovingkindness Practice Group from, 7:00-8:30pm. Zoom link here.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28TH
MARK NUNBERG will offer a daylong retreat for the community, 9:30am-4:30pm. Register here.
DECEMBER 7TH – 19TH
Led by Shelly Graf and Gabe Keller Flores, Please register here. This intensive emphasizes the integration of daily life duties and responsibilities with elements of retreat practice. Past participants have found these intensives to be a powerful time to experiment living in a more mindful way and noticing the wholesome effects arising throughout one’s daily life.
DECEMBER 8TH and 9TH
Our dear friend and teacher PAMELA AYO YETUNDE has co-edited a new book: Black and Buddhist: What Buddhism Can Teach Us About Race, Resilience, Transformation and Freedom. We’re happy to be co-sponsoring two events celebrating the release of the book and offering a chance to hear from some of the authors and editors. Harvard Divinity School will be hosting an author discussion on Tuesday, December 8th, 4 – 5:30pm (central time), (more info and registration here) and Center of the Heart will be hosting a release party on Wednesday, December 9th, 6:00-7:00pm central time (more info and registration here).
Mark Nunberg will offer the next Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation course January 12-Feburary 16, Six Tuesdays, 7:30-9:00pm. More info and registration here.
Please note that all times listed are in Central time. For complete, up-to-date program information, visit the online calendar. We recommend you bookmark it for easy access during the week. You might also want to bookmark our Youtube channel.
The Practice of Generosity
Continuing in the tradition of Buddhist monasteries in Southeast Asia, all programs at Common Ground, including these online programs, are offered free of charge in the spirit of generosity. This offering is possible because of the generosity of people like you—from the Buddha on down to all the people in our community—who contribute their practice, time, and financial resources to support the continuation of the center.
To learn how to support the center and our teachers, visit this page. Let us know if you have any questions.
Preparing Meals for Retreatants at Prairie Farm
One way you can offer support is by preparing a meal for retreatants at Prairie Farm. Mark Nunberg will be on retreat at Prairie Farm for the second half of November and most of December and will be training in other practice leaders during his stay. If you’re interested in preparing and freezing a meal, let firstname.lastname@example.org know. You can view possible recipes here.
Sleight of Mouth Trainings offered through ASDIC
Antiracism Study and Dialogue Circle (ASDIC) is a wonderful local organization Common Ground has partnered with in the past. We wanted to let the community know about an upcoming workshop series they will be offering in December called Addressing Race-Based Beliefs with Sleight of Mouth Patterns & Practice – December 3, 10 & 17, 2020 – 6-8pm CST on Zoom. More info here.
Community Love Letter to Minneapolis & America Video
Recently a group of community members wrote a love letter to Minneapolis & America. You can watch a video of some of the authors reading the letter here and read the letter on our blog here.
Community Survey Still Open for Participation
Thank you to everyone who filled out the community survey we sent out recently. You can still fill it out if you haven’t already, here.
Belonging is our capacity to feel joy, freedom, and love in any moment. As the late Zen teacher Charlotte joko Beck said: Joy is exactly what’s happening, minus our opinion of it. She made a distinction between joy and happiness–Happiness has an opposite: unhappiness. Joy is not about happy or unhappy, liking or disliking. Joy is accepting each moment for what it is without contention. We belong to any moment simply by meeting it with joy. This is freedom. Love is the ultimate expression of joy and freedom. Joy, freedom, and love could be considered synonyms for each other, and for belonging. – Sebene Selassie