There are times in all our lives when we experience a sense of wonder, a moment of awe, when time stops, and the world in and around us opens up in brilliance. We don’t need extraordinary circumstances to experience awe. It is available to us in our everyday lives, as well as when we experience strong emotions like fear or grief. However, we might need help opening to the experience and discovering our personal gateways for connecting with awe. Science now shines a brighter light on the benefits of awe, illuminating timeless methods for accessing it by exploring the mind through meditation, creativity, and the arts.

How does the experience of awe, and inquiry into its nature, help us feel fully alive and able to cultivate kind connections in our global society?

Why awe?

Wonder and awe are known catalysts for cultivating well-being. In freshmind moments of awe, we poke holes into our sense of reality and tune into something bigger. We taste freedom and contentment, and an open heart of compassion, which helps us to better meet both our personal challenges and those of our interconnected world.

At the same time, for a healthy and meaningful engagement, we learn to recognize moments of awe while not developing a habit to grasp after them and, if they arise from difficult conditions, to not push them away. We aim, instead, to cultivate a connection with the continuity that lies beyond the conceptual or momentary — that which is the true basis for our experience of awe.

We do this by stepping onto a path, by beginning a journey where we might encounter awe, predisposing ourselves to that encounter through a contemplative process that includes listening, inquiry, meditation, and the arts. By opening to the wisdom of present moment awareness, a sense of joy and kindness arises that inspires us to lead a wiser and fuller life.

Be part of a journey

The program opened on Thursday, August 3, with a teaching and exploration of awe by Mitra Mark Power, our host for this interconnected series of six conversations with authors, artists, actors, meditation instructors, explorers, storytellers, and more. Each guest will talk about their diverse and personal connection with awe, exposing similarities that might awaken curiosity about our own individual connection.

The series will feature a new talk every two weeks.

Our aspiration is for Be Wise Go Kind 2023: Awaken Awe to be an opportunity to deeply inquire into the nature of awe, going beyond hope and fear, and inviting you to make it a lifelong path. Throughout the series, in conversations with our guests, we will explore the themes of Awe, Creativity, Joy and the Present Moment, Curiosity, and Tender Heart.

To support your inquiry, we will offer contemplations and practices, a chance to create your own Book of Awe, and provide time for your questions.

Awakening Awe leads to a wiser, kinder, more fulfilling life.

Awaken Awe

Series of Talks

TALK 1: The Nature of Awe
with Mitra Mark Power

What is the nature of awe? Mitra Mark Power will open our series with a teaching and exploration of awe, and methods to build a pathway into its nature.

TALK 2: Opening to Awe Through Storytelling
with Laura Simms

Stories have the power to heal and transform. Laura Simms will guide us, with her cutting-edge performance style, as we learn how storytelling can help us open our hearts to awe.

TALK 3: We Don’t Need What’s Awesome
with Chapman To

Learning the formula for finding awe is easy, while doing so is not. With humor and joy, actor and meditation instructor Chapman To will challenge us to question whether we truly need something awesome in life.

TALK 4: The Miraculous Fabric of Life
with Mimi Zhu

Sharing their own journey, Mimi Zhu will explore with us the intersections of love and fear through the healing power of writing and nature, and how to notice the miracles of intimacy and of everyday life. 

TALK 5: Art and Awe: From Astrophysics to Quantum Mechanics
with Seffa Klein

Whether it’s looking at the vast sky or the tiniest of particles, visual artist Seffa Klein will invite us to view the world with wonder and reveal why looking at awe-inspiring art can uplift humanity’s future.

TALK 6: The Peaks and Valleys of Awe
with Matt Fioretti

As an alpine climber of the world’s highest peaks, and as a survivor of the depths of a life-threatening diagnosis, Matt Fioretti’s life story offers us a clear guide on how to turn the experience of awe into a pathway.

Teachings are in English and closed captioning will be available. 
The entire series will be translated live into Spanish.
Please check the individual talk pages for possible additional translations.
Video recordings of the talks will be available until Thursday, December 14. 

Awaken Awe - around the world

The first locally-organized Awaken Awe program is...

Quantum Physics and Buddhism
with Eliane Xavier

Quantum physics offers us a new perspective on the world and our role in it, which, in turn, provides valuable parallels for a deeper understanding of Buddhist teachings and spirituality as a whole. It represents a path towards self-discovery and expanded consciousness, fostering a world infused with greater love and a vision of interdependence, ultimately guiding us towards a culture of peace.

May the teachings and experiences of Be Wise Go Kind 2023: Awaken Awe help us cultivate kind and wise connections in our global community, and feel joyfully, fully alive! 

About Be Wise, Go Kind!

What is Be Wise, Go Kind, Live Fully?

Explore the meaning and purpose of life during our annual program. Get to know yourself and discover deeper insight into reality. Connect with your heart of kindness and learn to live fully. Each annual event focuses on a specific topic, while offering an opportunity to listen, contemplate, meditate and embrace each moment for the benefit of ourselves and others. 

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About freshmind

Rooted in the time-honored wisdom of the Buddha, freshmind is curated for contemporary minds, delivering heart-warming, relevant, and useful teachings through courses, short videos, meditations, articles, and quotes on the freshmind website and app.

 The vision for freshmind — to offer authentic, accessible, and applicable teachings to a 21st century audience — belongs to its founder, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.

 Each moment is a fresh experience that begins a journey full of possibilities.

About Nalandabodhi

Nalandabodhi is an international Buddhist community offering the timeless wisdom and boundless compassion of the Buddha to inspire individuals and to create kind communities in today’s world.

We emphasize working with our minds and hearts through the teachings of the Buddha.

In particular, we approach the dharma, the Buddha’s teachings, as a “science of mind” through the three paths of study, meditation, and mindful activity. In this way, we are invited to ask questions, explore, and experiment with the methods ourselves.

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