Welcome to The Virtual Retreat Center at Wellsprings of Wisdom
Wellsprings of Wisdom is a site for your soul, an island of quiet contemplation in a sea of noisy information. Pause here to refresh your soul, re-enchant your world, and renew your inner life.
At this virtual retreat center, ancient symbols from nature become gateways to personal growth and action. It’s created by a rabbi for visitors of all backgrounds and faiths. You are invited to immerse yourself in the Torah of mother earth through creative experiences, shared stories, and ancient wisdom.
“Let everyone who thirsts come to the waters,” (Isaiah 55:1). This site, rooted in teachings from the Bible and Jewish tradition, welcomes all spiritual seekers. Torah was given in the wilderness to demonstrate that its wisdom is freely available to all.
Wellsprings of Wisdom is created, written, and tended as a labor of love by Rabbi Julie Hilton Danan, also known as The Nature Rabbi. It is free to use and is not tied to one institution or denomination, while expressing the inclusive spirit of Jewish Renewal. Guest contributors (“fellow travelers”) from many backgrounds have generously shared their teachings, music, photography and more.
You are invited to use the introductory pages as a guide to this virtual retreat center and to enrich your experience.
1. Start with a Portal from the home page images or in the top menu – Earth, Water, Air, or Fire.
These four Portals parallel the Four Worlds of Jewish mysticism:
- Earth – Physical
- Water – Emotional
- Air – Intellectual
- Fire – Spiritual
2. Choose a Gateway & Explore.
Within each Portal, you will be guided to choose a Gateway (a content page) that explores a symbol from nature. New Gateways will be added regularly and existing ones can grow.
Each Gateway page will offer you many paths (individual posts), in many modalities, to explore at your own pace. You can proceed straight through the catalog of posts, discovering cumulative patterns of meaning, or meander through the paths serendipitously, exploring whatever interests you today.
Pathways will include:
- Overview of the symbol as a spiritual and psychological archetype
- Visual images including photographs and video
- Recordings of nature sounds, songs, chants, and guided meditations
- Sacred Study from the Torah, Sages, and Jewish mysticism
- Sacred practices, including traditional rituals as well as personal spiritual practices
- Questions to consider and comment
- Personal reminiscences from a variety of contributers
- Tikkun Olam and Tzedakah (Social Action and Justice/Charity)
3. Share Your Own Reflections
You are encouraged to make your virtual retreat into an interactive experience by responding in the comments sections on each path and also by commenting in the Sharing Circle near the bottom of each Gateway
Wishing you many wonderful journeys.
Start exploring now or take a few minutes to get centered.