MEA = AWE.
This image above may look like the scary part of a kidnapper’s ransom note. In reality, it’s the MEA logo (thanks, Michael Martin), reconfigured to spell a word that is deeply part of the MEA lexicon. Special shout out and thanks to our guest faculty member, Dr. Dacher Keltner, whose new book “Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life” has become a foundational part of our curriculum.
Recently, Milena Regos wrote a guest blog post about Finding Awe at MEA in which she outlined the eight most common ways we experience awe in the world and how she experienced these in Baja. Since Dacher’s book came out in January, people have expressed surprise that “nature” is not cited as the #1 way people experience awe (it’s 3rd place and in ample supply in Baja). Number one is “moral beauty,” and number two is “collective effervescence.”
What a revelation it’s been to learn that these two qualities top the list, which are in such abundance in an MEA workshop. During the arc of a typical workshop, we see judgment and caution at the start of a week with an unfolding of deep humanity—courage, kindness, virtue—as the week progresses. Ultimately, the week closes with a profound sense that the world is full of good people with deep gifts and character. And, of course, this experience is amplified by the fact that you’re discovering all of this in a crucible of 24 people (give or take a few), forming a collective effervescence such that our sense of ego separation dissolves and a communal joy emerges. It’s magical and almost impossible to describe.
Dacher is teaching at MEA in December, but you can have this experience virtually every week in Baja and, as of early next year, at our horse ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico.