Magazine cover with a sculpture of a large hand and sphere, featuring a man with a rooster on his shoulder, highlighting the August 2014 "common ground" issue.

July / August 2014

Summer Issue

Ihate to start this letter on a morose note, but earlier this week, Jeff Klein, a dear friend of Common Ground, died unexpectedly and painlessly in his sleep in Marin County, apparently of a heart attack. He was fit as a fiddle, a regular surfer. He leaves behind a young daughter and many shell-shocked well-wishers, including me. Jeff was active in bridging corporate life and conscious community, which is not easy. He was key in launching the Conscious Capitalism movement, as well as the Being Human events. I have been friends with his brother Steven since 1983.

I bring this up as a reminder about the gift of life—not something to take for granted. The point of this message: live life fully, deeply, and with aliveness. While alive, be ALIVE. Safe journey, Jeff. Thanks for your valuable inspiration. You will be missed.

Otherwise, this issue is bristling with interesting articles that I hope you’ll enjoy. For starters, we’ve our popular Burning Man preview, the theme of which is Caravansary. It’s a word derived from the 4,000-mile Silk Route that connected Europe and Asia. Along the route, hubs of cultural exchange emerged, informing our collective culture. In this spirit of fellowship and inclusiveness, the artwork promises to be spectacular, drawing from all over the globe.

We’ve a commemorative pictorial of previously unpublished Woodstock photos from that era-defining August weekend 45 years ago. Baron Wolman, a terrific photographer, began with Rolling Stone with its first issue in 1967. We think you’ll enjoy his time capsule, and we are grateful to Baron for sharing his insights with us.

Our People in Your Neighborhood interview is with Josh Skenes, the 34-year-old culinary prodigy who opened the much-acclaimed Saison restaurant in 2009. Josh has received every recognition (including two Michelin stars) that a chef would ever hope to receive in a lifetime, yet he’s just beginning. I was bowled over by my experience at Saison—startled by the sheer creativity and originality. Since my meal there, Josh got married and honeymooned in Japan. I can handily recommend Saison, except that it costs over $700 per person with wine pairings. There’s no menu; you’re just in for the ride.

Finally, we’ve a summer hodgepodge of stories ranging from ho’oponopono to Biodynamics, to communal living, the feng shui of purging clutter, and effortless Chi Running. Patrick Mahaney advises us on the benefits of holistic pet health care, while Julia Whitelaw advises on the yoga of divorce, and Kate Bratskeir provides a well-researched essay on the habits of supremely happy people.

We want to thank Ales Prikryl for his cover image contribution. He’s an amazing photographer whose work has graced Common Ground previously. A special shout out to sculptor Marco Cochrane for creating Truth is Beauty, the magnificent statue that towered over Burning Man last year and now provides the backdrop to our lover cover, and to Katy Boynton, for her lovely sculpture, Heartfullness.

We look forward to seeing you at the various events coming up this summer—California Worldfest, Wanderlust, Burning Man, and Bhakti Fest, just to name a few. As ever, thank you for showing your support for Common Ground by patronizing our advertisers, the best.

See you in September, with our Yoga issue, followed in October by our Women issue and our 40th anniversary issue in November.

To being ALIVE,


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