Magazine cover of "Common Ground," December 2012/January 2013 edition featuring a global map with an emphasis on ecological themes, including content summaries like "Holiday Issue Transformation.

December 2012 / January 2013

The Holiday Issue:
Transformation 2013

Unlike the conventional holiday magazines, ours says nothing about arranging mistletoe or preparing eggnog recipes. But if you’re intrigued by world-class thought leaders weighing in on the great transformation of our times, read on.

With great pride, we offer a compelling interview with one of the planet’s most sophisticated change agents—Jean Houston. Hark! At 75, Jean shows barely a trace of having aged beyond 40. And that’s just physically. Intellectually, she’s still a racehorse. No wonder Buckminster Fuller, the renowned American visionary, said, “Jean Houston’s mind should be considered a national treasure.” The theologically precocious child of a comedian, Jean blends philosophy with humor like none other. We think you’ll enjoy our interview with her—even though we had to remove many of her good jokes!

If that weren’t enough, we have pieces from terrific writers, including Marianne Williamson, Sally Kempton, Marc Gafni, Radhanath Swami, Carol Horton, and Penélope Baquero. The common thread of this issue’s topics: the need to wake up and align with love in this age of radical transformation.

Another piece we’re proud of: a pictorial of the contemporary Mayan people done by renowned photographer Macduff Everton. Much has been made of the ancient Mayan prophecies and the end of the great cycle on December 21, 2012, but very little attention has been paid to the living Maya. Everton has spent more than four decades living and working among the Maya, investigating the effects of NAFTA, tourism, the evangelical movement, world trade, racism, sexism, and drugs on their communities. His photos are stunning.

It would be hard to write a publisher’s letter today without mentioning the November elections. Our cause célèbre, as readers know, has been Prop. 37, the initiative to label GMOs in food. Sadly, it was narrowly defeated. The opposition’s unlimited checkbook proved too damaging. Like the tobacco industry of yesteryear, the pro-GMO lobby cannot be underestimated.

Our dear friend Kat Schuett, the crusader who canvassed the state in her orange-and-blue, Prop. 37 banner–enveloped Volkswagen Westfalia, has supplied a keen report from the trenches. Her principal message: this was only round one. Prop. 37 was not a failure, because it brought the dialog about GMOs out of secrecy. And the fight is not over. If more volunteers step up and donate just a little time or money, victory can be ours.

It was great seeing you at the Green Festival. We look forward to seeing you at the Yoga Journal Conference in January. Don’t miss that. Even if you don’t sign up for classes, there is a wonderful yoga marketplace at the Hyatt Embarcadero. Deepak Chopra will speak on the first evening, while Non Stop Bhangra performs on the second. If you recall, Non Stop Bhangra was a headliner at Common Ground’s 35th anniversary party. Totally fun, Bollywood style.

With a pause in January, our next issue is February’s “Love” edition. If there’s anything you think we need to know on the subject, or if you have any other feedback, email CommonGroundSF at In the meantime, thanks so much for supporting our advertisers. They not only provide superb goods and services for our community, they are the basis of this free local magazine. Happiest of holidays.

Onwards and upwards,


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