Doug McGill founded the Rochester Meditation Center in 2004 and is the main teacher there. He gives weekly dharma talks, teaches introductory meditation, and has practiced insight meditation since the late 1980s. He publishes a daily email practice reminder called The Daily Tejaniya, and is a student of the Non-Dual teacher, Rupert Spira. He is a former reporter for The New York Times; bureau chief for Bloomberg News in Tokyo, London and Hong Kong; and in 2006 published “Here: A Global Citizen’s Journey,” a book about immigrants living in Southeast Minnesota.
Until 2015, Emil enjoyed careers advocating for unions as a labor law attorney and counseling in the field of substance abuse, including several years for Hazelden Foundation. Emil also taught as an adjunct associate professor at the Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies. He began attending Common Ground and his meditation practice in 2004 as part of his ongoing recovery from addiction. Since then he has attended numerous residential retreats in the Midwest and a month long retreat at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Emil regularly teaches at Common Ground’s Mindfulness, Recovery and the 12 Steps Group and is one of the facilitators of a mindfulness meditation group at Stillwater Correctional Facility. Emil has also been a guest teacher and led workshops at Common Ground.
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 approaches teaching as an opportunity to practice honest and compassionate reflection on current inquiries, insights, and challenges in his practice.
Gail has been practicing mindfulness meditation since 1987. For eight years she worked at the Vipassana Support Institute with Shinzen Young, the author of "Break Through Pain: A Step-by-Step Mindfulness Meditation Program for Transforming Chronic and Acute Pain". Since coming to Common Ground in 2002, she has been an integral member of our community and served in many important roles, including as one of our main teachers. She has led the Intro to Mindfulness Meditation workshop for many years.
Gregory has been teaching meditation since 1980. He developed the practice of Insight Dialogue, offering retreats worldwide and authoring books including Insight Dialogue: The Interpersonal Path to Freedom and Dharma Contemplation: Meditating Together with Wisdom Texts.
Spiritual Ecologist Heather Lyn Mann is a practitioner of Buddhism, sailing, and mindful advocacy. Mann founded and led the not-for-profit Center for Resilient Cities--an organization mobilizing inner-city residents to restore natural beauty and function in damaged neighborhood landscapes. She also co-edits Touching the Earth: A Newsletter of Earth Holding Actions in the Plum Village Tradition. In 2007, together with her husband and cat, Mann set sail on a 15,000-nautical-mile, six-year voyage.