Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life…and the world.John Milton
The impromptu standing ovation at the concert’s closing notes, our collective silence during an eclipse, cradling a newborn, even our brief astonishment at the morning’s sideways light through a window — all experiences of awe that seem to thin the veil between our daily lives and the profound beauty and mystery of life.
Br. David Steindl-Rast writes: “Remember a night when you stood outdoors looking up at the stars, countless in the high, silent dome of the sky, and saw them as if for the first time…For a second you see — For a second there is meaning!” Such peak experiences often arrive unexpectedly and shake us out of the daily into a kind of momentary transcendence. We are, as Br. David says, grabbed by life!
Grateful living offers a guided pathway for the intentional cultivation of awe. It invites us to slow down, to appreciate the extraordinary in both the everyday and the cosmic, to be open to being surprised, to hold joy and sorrow simultaneously — all practices that increase and enhance our experience of awe. According to new research by Dacher Keltner at the Greater Good Science Center, the benefits of awe extend far beyond the experience itself, including reduced stress, a greater sense of belonging, increased generosity, and even a boost to our immune systems.
Awakening to Awe will explore the following questions:
- What is awe, and why is it important?
- How can a gratefulness practice help you awaken to awe in your daily life?
- How does gratefulness beckon you to create more time for peak experiences that result in awe?
- In what ways does grateful living ask you to notice and tend the awe-inducing ways you are connected to all of life?
Please join us Monday, August 21 – Friday, August 25 for this 5-day gratefulness practice that will expand and deepen your experience of awe. Each day of the practice, we will send you a collection of resources to guide your individual journey. These will include:
- Reflection questions, poetry, videos, and short essays
- A guided practice that builds on the day’s focus and resources
- An invitation to share your reflections with our team and others on the 5-day journey
You will have continued access to the resources beyond the week.
What are all the ways your daily life could be enriched by more moments of awe? Please join us for the exploration. Registration closes Friday, August 18, 11:00 p.m., EDT.
Feature image by Kumiko Shimizu