A white dove in flight, centered on the cover of Common Ground magazine's February 2017 issue, titled "The Love Issue," with various article headlines around the edges.

February 2017

The Love Issue

Shock and awe in the nation’s capital! Let’s just leave it there, but this is probably as ideal a place as any to initiate 2017, with this Love issue. I think you’re going to like it. We have a poignant pictorial that highlights the many virtues of love. While the tendency is to regard love as intimacy and romance, love’s many virtues are more subtle. We’ve pulled together some quotes that remind us that love is about acceptance, compassion, patience, courage, truth, and justice—and much more.

Coincidentally, as our 45th president was being inaugurated, I was speaking with Noah Levine for the Common Ground interview. We profiled him over a dozen years ago at the publication of his classic spiritual memoir, Dharma Punx. Noah began enjoying pot at 6 and LSD at 10. As an early teen, what started as fun led to crack cocaine and heroin addiction. He identified closely with the rebellious punk rock scene of the eighties, and this trajectory landed him in jail multiple times. The last time he tried to commit suicide, by smashing his head against the jailhouse wall, he found himself in a padded cell the next morning. He was 17 when he took the call from his famous father, Stephen, who taught Buddhist meditation and wrote extensively about death and dying.

Up to that stage Noah had rejected his father’s meditation lifestyle as “hippie bullshit,” but this time the message stuck as he practiced observing his breath and settling his thoughts. This was the turning point that led to sobriety and transformation. Noah has gone on to become a world-class dharma teacher who blends Buddhist philosophy with humanist psychotherapy and his personal brand of punk rock street wisdom. He founded a vast network of charitable programs (Movement And Body Awareness, Against The Stream, Refuge Recovery) to help at-risk youth, prisoners, and anyone else who’s interested in alleviating their own suffering along Buddhist principles. He still listens to punk rock on a daily basis. You’ll enjoy our conversation, which pivots on the vast subject of love.

I am deeply grateful to wisdom teachers such as Llewellyn VaughanLee, Mary O’Malley, and Sobonfu Somé, who respectively provided “Love: Life’s Greatest Gift”; “Love: The Absolute Everything”;

and “Embracing Grief: As We Surrender to Sorrow, We Heal Our Deepest Wounds.”

Gary Chapman teaches about love’s five languages, while Robert Atkinson reminds us how love is the underlying force of evolution. Our gratitude to Daven Lee, who discusses the solo path to sacred sex, while Crystal Johnson harks back to the bygone (pre-texting) era of composing love letters. On a lighter note, you’ll crack up at Lisa Grossman’s “Eat, Pray, Bali Boy.” I sure did.

We look forward to seeing many of you at the various conferences and events happening this month, notably Wisdom 2.0 and Conscious Capitalism.

Please show your appreciation of Common Ground by patronizing our sponsors. And please consider becoming an ad sponsor yourself. Thanks.

Embrace love and walk boldly,


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