Curated Roots of Wisdoms

Braiding common threads of secular and sacred wisdoms, from the Earth, Earth-based peoples, religious and human traditions*

At UpEnd, we draw from many sources of wisdom with the focus on the cross-cultural learnings that re-occur since time immemorial. 
We highlight perennial wisdoms that have withstood the test of time for hundreds or thousands of years,rooted deeply in:

Earth Wisdoms

Earth is our greatest teacher.  It holds deep medicine and instructions, if we are willing and skilled in listening. Living in ecology of body, heart, mind, and spriit with all our Earth relations is perhaps our highest learning and purpose. World's great traditions each embrace it.

Ancient Wisdoms

We focus on wisdoms 10,000+ BCE, when our peoples were closer to the Earth, when there seemed a deeper understanding of the sacred, ceremony, prayer, and belonging. World's great traditions and religions each teach many common lessons, with divine or human guidance.

Indigenous Wisdoms

A few peoples, including some of ours at UpEnd, have kept their deep ancestral wisdoms alive.  Some hold it close and some are willing to share parts with others.  We only mention any such learnings with deep respect & sourcing, and only if self-disclosed or with consent.*

Academic Wisdoms

Some wisdom research academics, anthropologists, ethnographers and others have made thoughtful and respectful contributions to organizing and expanding the world's library of wisdoms.  Scientists also work to uncover mysteries, adding to our limited body of knowledge.

Before we include a wisdom teaching in our curriculum, we ask it to meet the following criteria:


Does it independently arise across a number of different cultures, traditions, religions and societies?  


Has it been around for centuries or millennia, surviving the test of time?

Profound Depth

Does it trigger in people deep introspection, reflection, contemplation, insight, lesson, and a call to action?

Open, Generative & Good

Does its nature and its keepers want to share with others?  If so, is it used to promote wellbeing for all, in a good way?

*For some, these are really sensitive topics. We've worked hard to be inclusive and respectful, never appropriating - guided by many elders in a good way.  We can't obviously include all our thinking, heartfelt care and deep respect to roots and sources on a website. We are happy to share more about our process, criteria, homework and diligence.  We are always ready to listen, learn, apologize and adapt - please contact us at

Ways of Wisdom:
Virtues Embodied in Ancient Archetypes

Ancient and indigenous wisdoms alike pass along core virtues and ways of being through archetypes.  It's a good place to start the discussion.

Way of the Warrior

Beyond today’s profane view of warrior as “tough one”, ancient wisdom teaches us that warrior is the master of the art of presence, deeply aware of their surroundings, sensitive to all that is there in a space - people, energies, moods, and where things are headed.  They are wise in channeling whatever shows up in a desired direction.  Drawing from across cultures, a cross-section of warrior skills includes deep listening, artful conversation, and impactful action directly and through others, with discipline and grit.
Warriors get things done, in a good way, efficiently, and for the benefit of all.  Their results withstand the test of time, cementing their legacy as someone revered by all.

Way of the Lover

Lovers teach us how to love all of life, whatever comes our way, and how to project love out - as a core organizing principle.  In stark contrast to the “survival” worldview of limited resources where “I need to get mine before you”, lovers see and propagate abundance, interdependence and deep reciprocity rooted in a belief that we all belong here and can make it work for all. 

Lovers tap into creative energies, listen to nature, and show us ways of being with each other in committed relationships, friendships, communities, at work and within our whole web of life.  There is a lot to learn, far beyond the cheap romance and commercialized libido that is often sold as “love” today.

Way of the Mystic

At times misused and often misunderstood, mystics, healers, shamans, teachers and philosophers can serve a critical role for humanity.  Stripped from the religious, historical, and sometimes unflattering connotations, at its simplest, mystics are explorers, seekers of worlds beyond what is readily seen and perceived.  Whether it’s just from their deeply developed intuition about how the sacred, nature and humans work, or their actual connection across spiritual worlds, the insights of mystics can provide powerful guideposts on our own journey.  
We cannot teach you to become a mystic.  But we can each strengthen our listening skills and seek our own guidance.  Perhaps we may learn to create a space to receive it and trust it.

Way of the LightHeart

What if the whole thing is just a game, a massive theater, a dance or a dream, for our own (or our Creator’s) entertainment, as Alan Watts used to joke?  Whether it is or isn’t, remembering to laugh at ourselves and finding ways to surprise ourselves and others makes life so much more beautiful.  People who survived wars and terrible ordeals often share that what got them through is the ability to see the paradox of it all, and finding a way to laugh despite the horror of it.  
Finding that inner jokester, the coyote, the trickster, elevates the energy, gives strength, provides perspective and creates room for joy, pleasure and fun in all.

Who is behind UpEnd?

We are creating a hybrid: a non-profit, called Open Wisdom Learning Community, and its related social- enterprise school, 
The non-profit is envisioned as an institution dedicated to honoring wisdom gatherers, curating open ancient wisdoms, and making wisdoms live in everyday life.
The Open Wisdom Learning Community is an initiative by a committed group of people who care about wisdom, and whose hearts, souls and minds are aligned to gently assist the process of re-building the chains of humanity’s wisdoms.  Wisdoms used to be passed from generation to generation, and wisdom keepers and gatherers used to be honored by their communities and respected for their work.  They would carefully select apprentices, and make sure their life’s work in wisdom is passed on, enriched, and adapted to current conditions, while keeping the roots given by nature and the sacred at the core.  Today, this state of respect is rare, maybe best within Indigenous communities.  Most wisdom keepers and elders are today expected to “earn their living,” often in a harsh commercial economy, and are not afforded the time, space, or resources for their sacred work.  It's hard to find and train apprentices, teach or share their work, if they so choose.  We aim to upend that, and mindfully assist in restoring the ancient chains of wisdom.  UpEnd's Teachers and Elders are the initial team at Open Wisdom Learning Community.
We will publish more information about Open Wisdom Learning Community as it becomes available, in the mean time please email us at

Would you like to join us in building UpEnd?

We are always eager to meet elders (of any age), wisdom gatherers & keepers,  and the curious fellow travelers who care about keeping and re-establishing the chains of humanity's wisdoms.  We are looking for teachers, coaches, staff and skilled hands from all walks of life.  Please your email in the box below:
Thank you!