Neuroscience of Awe

Did you know that when you experience the emotion of awe that your default mode network quiets? What is the default mode network? The running theory is that the DMN is linked to our sense of self, and when our sense of self quiets we turn our focus toward social collectives and more altruistic goals.

According to psychology professor Dacher Keltner, research tells us that “awe experienced through nature, contemplation, mindfulness, and even psychedelics reduces activation in the default mode network, meaning that the sense of self starts to be diminished.”

Why does that matter? It seems that when this ‘ego’ network gets quieter in the brain, pro-social attitudes are increased. People become more cooperative, group minded and kind.

What’s even cooler is that inspiring acts of kindness that are witnessed by other humans is one of the most reliable forms of invoking awe in others! So far this may be my favorite type of feedback loop I’ve come across in learning about the brain and nervous system. Kindness feeds awe, which feeds more kindness.

What are some things that inspire the feeling of awe in you? For me, long walks through a quiet forest, taking in the warmth of the sun, noticing the beauty of the mountains, or watching humans be kind to each other are all reliable ways to access it. I’d love to hear about yours!


Workshop Details

Dates: December 10th 2023


Sunday: 10:00 am to 1pm (mountain)

Self Study Content: 6 hours self paced video, audio and other self study & practice guides are unlocked upon registration for each module.

Platform: zoom

Phone: 403-701-9567 (text messages are welcome)

Investment: Sliding scale fee $99 – $333*

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*Workshops during the pandemic are being offered at a sliding scale fee. Please feel free to pay what you can afford.


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