Finally, as you celebrate Passover, enjoy these Wellsprings of Wisdom posts with Inspiration from Nature for Passover. As you can see, this entire site has a brand new look, thanks to talented web designer Sean Leber-Fennessy. (Still working on a few of the technicalities but really excited about it!) I hope that this virtual retreat center will be an oasis of calm away from the news and social media, and God willing I hope to add to it for your benefit. Be well and may this Passover bring hope and redemption to our world! Featured Image: Daffodil Hill at the New York Botanical Garden, Julie DananView this post on Instagram
Postcard from summer! ???? If you feel stressed, try this: breathe in for a count of four, hold for seven, breathe out through your mouth for eight. Repeat until calmer. (Based on @drweil ) ????????If you are the more spiritual type, join with the Shechinah/divine presence, breathing in the suffering and sadness all ground us, holding it briefly in the divine eternal love/ahavat olam of your inner temple, then breathe out light, healing and wholeness/ Shalom to all, together with Ruach HaKodesh/the Holy Spirit. Repeat until your world feels calmer.
I learned “Ocean Breath” from a wonderful yoga teacher, Marcia (Me-esha) Albert, at the original Elat Chayyim retreat center in Accord New York (now incorporated into Isabella Freedman retreat center). Based on yogic foundations, this breathing technique takes a little practice, but I find that it can have a very calming effect. I think of it like a portable beach that I can carry around when I need to relax or re-energize. (more…)
Our breath, our inner wind, keeps us alive. I learned from Reb Zalman and from Rabbi Arthur Waskow, that the divine name YHWH represents the breath of life. The sounds of our breath are the very sounds of that sacred unpronounceable name. God is as close as our breath. Although there are many powerful breathing exercises, we don’t really need to be fancy. Breathing is itself a moment-to-moment miracle. Just to stop and breathe with awareness can instantly center us, reduce stress, and connect us to our souls.
This is a guided meditation on the Sephirotic energy in our bodies, based on the teachings of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi.
We are experiencing tumultuous times, but that very turmoil calls more people to take personal action for service, healing, and bettering the world. To avoid burnout and bitterness, it’s important to stay centered and nurture our inner lives. Wellsprings of Wisdom strives to integrate the timeless and the timely, Tikkun HaLev (healing our hearts) with Tikkun Olam (repairing our world).
What’s New on the Site
New Gateway (Content Page), the Gateway of Seasons, which explores the beauty of changing seasons and the meaning of life cycles and timeliness, from earliest Jewish sources to our own lives. This Gateway is “in development” and I continue to add pathways (posts) for you to explore.
As the site relaunched, the Gateway of Darkness was added, exploring the beauty and wisdom of night.
New pathways (posts) on existing Gateways:
- a poem about water conservation by a Lutheran colleague, Pastor Peg Schultz-Akerson, in the Gateway of Flowing Water. It is my hope to continue to reach out and include material that shows our spiritual connections with people of many faiths and cultures.
- Breathing Meditation in the Gateway of Wind
- Community Gardens: Edible Towns and Gangsta Gardeners, in the Gateway of Gardens
- Amazing photo of whales spouting rainbows to remind us of the wonder of creation
- Light a Candle; Don’t Curse the Darkness, in the Gateway of Light, has been updated and expanded
- For the first time, I have a post that appears in two Gateways. Yield to the Moment and the Moment Yields to You seemed appropriate for both “Seasons” and “Flowing Water,” so I cross-posted it, and I plan to do that with some upcoming posts.
It is my joy to share Wellsprings of Wisdom with you. If you benefit from the site, the most helpful things you can do are to comment, especially in the Sharing Circles, so that we can have more interaction on the site, and also to share the site with your friends by word of mouth and by sharing posts on social media. You can also find us on Facebook and share with your friends.
Thank you so much for being a friend and fellow-traveler on Wellsprings of Wisdom. I look forward to continuing the journey together.
January 1, 2017
8th Day of Hanukkah 5777
Welcome to the NEW Wellsprings of Wisdom!
The confluence of the solar New Year with the Hanukkah festival of re-dedication brings an auspicious time to relaunch this site.
Thanks to our talented and dedicated web designer Rivkah Walton, and after many months of work moving all the material, Wellsprings has moved to this new WordPress Platform. Our new format will make it easier to update regularly. I look forward to sharing more frequent teachings, images, videos and music, and to showcasing the work of many rabbis, teachers and creative artists. Wellsprings aims to be a truly alternative online experience, a place where you can nurture your soul and learn about retreat centers, outdoor adventures, and worthwhile organizations that help the environment and society.
If you are new to the site, you can start here for a full explanation of how it works.
If you are a past reader of Wellsprings of Wisdom, you will find the four Portals of Earth/Water/Air/Fire, and your favorite original Gateways. Explore them anew to discover some updates and new pathways (posts), including videos, images, and meditations.
In honor of our relaunch, at this season of the Winter Solstice, a new Gateway has been added: Darkness, where you can learn about the night side of nature, tradition, and spirituality. Thank you to Rabbis Fern Feldman, David Evan Markus, and David Seidenberg for sharing your wisdom, and to Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael for sharing music.
Wellsprings of Wisdom will continue to add new pathways (posts) to existing Gateways (content pages), and to add whole new Gateways, so be sure to subscribe to this “What’s New” blog to know what’s been added each week!
The Hidden Light: It seems an oxymoron. Light shines and reveals what is hidden. How can a light be hidden, and where might we find it again? (more…)
Jewish folklore portrays Elijah the Prophet (Eliyahu HaNavi) as a kindly old man who visits our Passover Seder to drink his cup of wine. In the Tanakh/Hebrew Bible, Elijah was known as a zealous champion of monotheism and opponent of idolatry. Since Elijah ascended to heaven without dying, he was viewed as an immortal. In Rabbinic tradition, Elijah was the most popular character, in a new guise of a folk hero who often appeared in disguise to help the poor, rescue people, and convey messages between heaven and earth.
Long ago I learned to love the desert. I never saw myself as a desert person, much prefering the verdant trees and rivers of the Texas Hill Country or the piney slopes of the Rocky Mountains to what I saw as the dry ugly plains of West Texas.