Move Over Gideon

 “Move Over Gideon” – refers not only to making physical space next to the Gideon Bible in hotels, hospitals, and retreat and spirituality centers for The World Wisdom Bible, but more importantly, “Move Over Gideon” reflects our mission to “move over” the parochial thinking exemplified by the Gideon Bible and similar texts, to make room for spacious mind thinking, and spiritual insight of the world’s Perennial Wisdom and the ethic of interdependence it reveals as contained in The World Wisdom Bible.

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World Wisdom Bible Mission

To foster a global spirituality rooted in Perennial Wisdom through the dissemination of the World Wisdom Bible.


This book is more than a collection of wise words; it is the song of the human heart.  It is the cry of the despairing for solace and of the outraged for justice, and it is a gasp of holy awe.  These words lead us beyond language to the place from which all wisdom arises and to the wholeness that is our birthright.

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And who are we, the guests at this great feast?  We come from everywhere, and we find the One wherever we are: inside the sacred spaces of each of the world’s faiths and out in the wild places of the earth; shoulder to shoulder in the mosque, bending to press our hearts to the ground in surrender; in the haunting melodies of our ancestors as we call on the Shekinah to infuse us with her indwelling feminine spirit on Shabbat; in the communion bread and wine, which we take in remembrance of the Prince of Peace. We hear the voice of the One joining with ours when we chant the Divine Names in Sanskrit and Tibetan, Hebrew and Latin and Arabic.  We feel the breath of the One against our face in the luminous silence of Zen meditation halls and coursing through our bodies when we pray for healing. We notice that there is nowhere the One is not–even in utter formlessness, where we recognize we are not separate from that which we long for, and that we are fundamentally interdependent with all that is.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro and his team have taken great care to comb the scriptures of the world’s religions for the most potent and relevant teachings for our times.  Taoism offers context for the entire spiritual enterprise in the opening lines of the Tao Te Ching: The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao; Buddhism affirms that there is only one of us, and therefore we are each responsible for every link in the web of being.  Christianity offers us the unconditional mercy of an incarnational God who permeates the whole of creation with love.  Judaism urges us to demonstrate our love for God in the way we treat each other and care for creation. Hinduism kindles the fire of devotion for reunification with the Beloved who is no other than our own true Self.  Islam shares the peace that comes with complete submission to the One.

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I had the good fortune to come of age in a time and a place where I was exposed to the heart of diverse wisdom traditions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Sufism, mystical Judaism, Christian mysticism, Native American spirituality–and encouraged to yes to them all.  I was also taught to wrestle, like our ancestor Jacob-who-became-Israel, with every angel I encountered.  This continual dance of inquiry honed my faculty of discrimination and protected me against the temptation to build a cage of beliefs and go to sleep there.  I learned that to open my heart to the presence of the sacred wherever I caught a whiff of its fragrance meant cultivating ferocious courage.  Saying yes to love meant saying no to hatred, to racism and sexism, to the oppression of the marginalized and the comfort of the privileged.  It also rendered me incapable of picking one religion to the exclusion of the others.  Becoming a “something” felt like a violation of my pact to follow the Beloved wherever the Beloved led me.

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And the Beloved has taken me to the holy houses of every one of the world’s major religions and to a few of its more hidden ones.  As a professor of religious studies and a translator of the mystics, I have spent countless hours reading the sacred texts of all faiths and the ecstatic poetry that came through its mystics.  I have glimpsed the same shining thread running throughout the tapestry of our perennial wisdom legacy and appreciated the diverse ways in which we sing the one song of the human heart.  It has become clear to me that while the world’s religions cannot and must not be reduced to one truth, their core teachings are unifying; they are all calling us to the truth of our essential oneness.  This unity in diversity is a cause for celebration.

The World Wisdom Bible is an invitation to that celebration.  It is a joyful noise, a fertile silence, a prophetic call, a beautiful fever and a blessed remedy and the promise of hope for our troubled times.  No single tradition will draw us a map to guide us through the wilderness of the human condition.  But together, all the world’s wisdom ways weave a path of light to lead us home.

Mirabai Starr, From the forward to World Wisdom Bible, Rami Shapiro, ed. Nashville: Turner Publishing, 2017.

The World Wisdom Bible

Mirabai Starr writes, speaks and leads retreats on the inter-spiritual teachings of the mystics. You can reach her at mirabaistarr.com


World Wisdom Bible Retreats provide attendees with an enriching, and inspiring program of study, discussion, and spiritual practice guided by the One River Foundation faculty. Topics include Perennial Wisdom, the sacred art of lovingkindness, and other spiritual practices for moving humanity past the narrative of “us against them” toward a new story of “all of us together.”

World Wisdom Bible Retreats can be weekend or one day in length

If you would like to bring a WWB retreat to your community contact us.

We hope you will join us for the very first World Wisdom Bible Retreat as we introduce The World Wisdom Bible for the first time.

World Wisdom Bible Biennial Gatherings 

World Wisdom Bible Biennial Gatherings bring together people from around the world, in one of the world’s great sacred or spiritual cities, to strengthen our shared sense of community, deepen our understanding of Perennial Wisdom, expand our knowledge of and respect for the world’s religions, and explore what’s next for the World Wisdom Bible.


Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Partners of The World Wisdom Bible

Partners of The World Wisdom Bible are hotels, hospitals, retreat centers and other facilities that make space available for the display and free distribution of The World Wisdom Bible in their facility.

To become a World Wisdom Bible Partner CLICK HERE


Friends of the World Wisdom Bible

Friends of the World Wisdom Bible help us further our mission to move from religiously inspired ignorance, fear, tribalism, and violence toward the spiritual insights of Perennial Wisdom and the ethic of interdependence it reveals.

Friends of the World Wisdom Bible help in three ways: by raising funds to purchase copies of The World Wisdom Bible to be placed next to Gideon Bibles wherever they are found, by disseminating copies of The World Wisdom Bible in their local communities, and extending our global outreach through word of mouth and social media. 

To become Friend of The World Wisdom Bible and to make a tax deductible donation CLICK HERE



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