"Awe is the Beginning of Wisdom.”
Rabbi Abraham Heschel wrote this beautiful sentence long ago. It feels like a deep truth for me. I have always believed a culture of wisdom holds up awe as a primary value—awe humbles us and makes us curious about life beyond the ghetto of our ego.
Whether you're watching a baby being born, a whale breaching, or beholding a piece of art that feels divinely inspired, opportunities for awe are everywhere. Even in our lives' quiet and random moments—a short walk with friends, a day at the beach with family, playing with the dog, gardening, stargazing, napping. Awe is everywhere our imagination and wonder take us. All we need to do is open our eyes and see the everyday beauty surrounding us.
During the early months of the pandemic, I scheduled three "spying on the divine" hikes with my dog in the nature-filled desert, tropical forests, and mountains near MEA. I felt a mysterious enchantment when I came back from these three-hour sojourns. Unfortunately, it's easy to lose our sense of awe as we become busy with everyday life or the tranquilization of the trivial. Our mission is to stay in awe. Even in Baja.
Fortunately, UC Berkeley Professor and founder of the Greater Good Science Center Dacher Keltner has been a guest faculty member since MEA opened, and he's coming our way. There are just a couple of full-tuition spaces left for Dacher's workshop in December, "Cultivating Awe: How to Make it Your Superpower." So, better act now.
Dacher also has a new book coming out in January, "Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life."
P.S. I love that the world's leading expert in awe lives part-time in our Baja 'hood part-time. I'd like to believe it's because MEA is in just the right location for his life's work—a place already full of awe.