Cover of "common ground" magazine, October 2014 issue, featuring an abstract painting of a woman, with headlines about women's issues and personal growth.

October 2014

The October Women Issue

There was plenty of interesting feedback on September’s interview with Bikram Chodhury. Thanks for weighing in. I think you’ll enjoy this issue’s interview with Eve Ensler. She came to notoriety for writing and performing The Vagina Monologues. I remember seeing the play about 15 years ago and being struck, like everyone, by its raw candor. I’ve re-watched it, and I now can empathize with its deeper, sadder truths—that so many women (one in three)—are victims of violence and sexual abuse. In preparing for the interview and knowing that she was molested by her own father, I became despondent imagining the scarred lives of so many women. The harrowing stories of sexual violence inflicted by African militias are as chilling as the date rape epidemic (300,000 per year) on US college campuses.

While I can relate to most human behaviors, I can’t understand the impulse to rape. Read my interview with Eve; we explore that question and much more. She is a striking balance between artist and activist, having used her success as a playwright to launch V-Day and One Billion Rising, successful global efforts to raise money and awareness around sexual violence.

I must thank Carrie Grossman, our senior editor, not only for offering an amazingly intimate poem called “For Want of Blood”—one she wrote over 15 years ago—but also for taking the lead on this Women issue and doing an astounding job. She’s brave to agree to publish her poem.

Thank you, SD Holman, for Butch, Not Like Other Girls—a stark and unapologetic pictorial celebrating the beauty, power, and diversity of women who transgress the gender binary. We’re proud to publish your photos.

The issue is packed with wisdom, starting with Jean Shinoda Bolen and Valerie Andrews’ piece “Crones Don’t Whine—They Shine: The Wisdom of Artemis.” We’re grateful to Elizabeth Rabia Roberts for contributing “The Feminine Principle: Honoring Women’s Capacities,” and to Aninha Esperanza Livingstone for giving us “A Feminine Approach to Calling: How the Underworld Can Support Purposeful Living.”

Thank you, Natalia Schotte, for “Commitment to Self: The Sacred Marriage” and to Claudia Six for “Setting Boundaries: Honoring Your Truth in Romantic Relationship.” Michaela Boehm has penned “A Woman’s Pleasure Body: Relaxing into Openness,” while Arjuna Ardagh contributes the male perspective in “How to Find and Keep a Conscious Man.”

October is filled with terrific events around the Bay Area. In Golden Gate Park, we look forward to seeing you at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass as well as at Yoga Tree’s 15th anniversary festivities and the SF Vegetarian Society’s 15th anniversary commemoration of World Vegetarian Day. Snatam Kaur performs with the GuruGanesha Band in SF, while Bella Gaia provides a multimedia extravaganza premiere in San Rafael.

Find us at Bioneers with Eve Ensler, Paul Stamets, Naomi Klein, and other heavy hitters as well as at the Science and Nonduality Conference with hundreds of wisdom teachers. These are powerful, inspiring gatherings. We’re lucky to live in the Bay Area. At the end of the month, we’re planning to spend Halloween in Sonoma to experience the debut of Sonoma Yoga Fest.

As ever, please show your appreciation of this free community magazine by patronizing our advertisers—the best. November is our 40th anniversary issue.

In honor of women, keepers of the earth,


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