Discover a clinically proven way to reduce inflammation, stress, loneliness, and burnout while improving overall well-being
As lifelong meditators and mindfulness teachers, we confess we were almost embarrassed when we stumbled onto a 5–15 second shortcut to transcendence. This idea ran counter to everything we knew about meditation before we began our research. But, yes, it is possible. It only requires accessing the powerful emotion of awe in ordinary, everyday life. The changes in our lives have been profound, and after seeing the results repeated again and again in our thousands of patients, clients, and study participants, we’ve proven that our shortcut, coined the A.W.E. Method, works. —from the Preface
Research has proven that mindfulness improves well-being and reduces stress, anxiety, and pain. But for some, the practice itself feels challenging and inaccessible. That’s where the A.W.E. Method comes in. In The Power of Awe, therapist Jake Eagle and chronic pain specialist Michael Amster, MD, share their extraordinary yet simple mindfulness practice that turns ordinary moments into awe-inducing experiences, helping you effortlessly achieve a heightened state of consciousness usually reserved for seasoned practitioners of mindfulness—all within a matter of seconds.
A.W.E. stands for Attention, Wait, Exhale and Expand, and the method is a five- to fifteen-second, three-step process—a type of “microdosing mindfulness,” or a brief, informal mindfulness practice supported by research conducted at UC Berkeley. The A.W.E. Method quickly transports us into awe, an incredibly powerful emotion that produces wonderment and a heightened state of consciousness along with some remarkable changes in the mind and body that can improve health and wellness.
Experiencing awe does not require any demanding discipline or skills or “awesome” settings. The A.W.E. Method ensures that awe and its many benefits are accessible to you at any time, in any place—sitting at a stoplight, cooking a meal, petting an animal, or listening to a loved one’s laugh.
About the Author
Jake Eagle, LPC, is a psychotherapist, mindfulness instructor, fellow member trainer of the International Association of Neuro‑Linguistic Programming, and cofounder of Live Conscious. After thirty years in private practice, Jake now works part-time as a meta-therapist, working with people who want to go beyond the bounds of traditional therapy. Together, he and his wife, Hannah, lead life-changing small group retreats at awe-inspiring locations around the world.
Michael Amster, MD, is a physician and faculty member at Touro School of Medicine. With twenty years as a pain management specialist, he is currently the founding director of the pain management department at Santa Cruz Community Health. A practitioner of meditation for over thirty years, he is also a certified yoga and meditation teacher. He splits his time between clinical work, research on awe, teaching mindfulness, and leading awe-inspiring retreats around the world.
"Able guides Jake Eagle and Michael Amster empower us to find awe in the ordinary and throughout the day, let go of the filters of naming and categorizing experiences, and open instead to a more receptive state of mind—to reawaken a ‘beginner’s mind’ and take in the breadth of life’s majesty."—Daniel J. Siegel, MD, New York Times bestselling author of IntraConnected: MWe (Me + We) As the Integral of Self, Identity, and Belonging
“I love this book! It’s direct, powerful, heartfelt, and grounded in science. Frankly, I am in awe of the deep practices offered by the authors. A gem.”—Rick Hanson, PhD, senior fellow at UC Berkeley's Great Good Science Center, and New York Times bestselling author
“A powerful, practical, science-backed book that shows us how finding awe everywhere, every day is essential to our health and well-being. In The Power of Awe, the authors generously share their A.W.E. Method, a novel, and refreshing approach to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain by finding awe in the ordinary.”—Judson Brewer, MD, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of Unwinding Anxiety
"The Power of Awe comes to us in the nick of time, when mental and spiritual health has become a global issue that impacts people of all ages in every corner of the world. The co-authors have amassed a comprehensive and impressive body of research, science, and clinical experience, as well as decades of passionate inquiry and lived experience, synthesized in a way that is fully accessible to readers without compromising the scholarship behind it. This simple, yet potent method can be practiced by anyone, anywhere, at any time. I highly recommend this book to the countless readers across the globe, who will be benefitted by the message and practice that not only addresses our individual and collective suffering, but also offers the possibility of greater access to our deeper human possibilities, and more fulfilling, awe-filled lives."—Mariana Caplan, PhD, MFT, psychotherapist and author of Eyes Wide Open and Yoga & Psyche
“In this deeply insightful book, Jake Eagle and Michael Amster introduce their A.W.E. contemplative approach, tested during the stress and trauma of the COVID pandemic, to increase your everyday sense of awe and wonder. This original book offers a new path to enjoying a more meaningful and awe-filled life, inspiring us to open our eyes to the wonders around us.”—Dacher Keltner, PhD, Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley, author, AWE: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How it Can Transform Your Life
“The Power of Awe encapsulates the essence of the healing journey out of chronic mental and physical pain. I have witnessed hundreds of patients break from pain with these concepts. I am in awe of Eagle and Amster’s work and how well it is presented.”—David Hanscom, MD, author of Back in Control: A Surgeon's Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain
“The Power of Awe is an extraordinary book. . . . that helps us cultivate the fuller treasures and lifetime benefits of this gem of an emotion. Through practical methods of accessing awe at any moment, along with keen existential insights, this book takes us a major step toward a revitalized consciousness that is needed now.”—Kirk J. Schneider, PhD, author of Awakening to Awe, The Spirituality of Awe, and The Depolarizing of America: A Guidebook for Social Healing
“Eagle and Amster’s A.W.E. Method, is an extraordinary technique for synthesizing our panoramic understanding of mindfulness, biochemistry, neuroscience, and psychology, and turning it into a pure and conscious laser focus that resets the way we feel, while it opens up our minds to connectivity with others and clarity of thought within. Supported by a boatload of science, the fundamentals of this approach are easily understood and quickly implemented by anyone wanting to enhance their lives. I recommend it highly.” —Rick Foster, bestselling author of How We Choose to Be Happy
“This unprecedented work introduces readers to the ingenious practice of microdosing on mindfulness. Jake Eagle and Michael Amster are wise and trustworthy guides who explain the science and impact of their research with clarity and confidence. Using relatable examples from clients and their own lives, the authors lead readers through this incredibly simple yet remarkably profound technique. The Power of Awe is a brilliant book that will revolutionize the way we think about mindfulness.”—Sebene Selassie, writer, teacher, author of You Belong: A Call for Connection
“A brilliant and original take on the emotional state of awe that eloquently illustrates what science is showing: Awe is indeed powerful, able to dampen fight-flight responses and activate a parasympathetic state to support calm feelings and relaxation—the only state, we’re learning, in which healing of both mental and physical challenges and disruptions can efficiently occur.”—Stephen Porges, PhD, creator, Polyvagal Theory
“The Power of Awe is my idea of an antianxiety playbook for parents—and their kids. This simple A.W.E. Method can help turn the tide of our anxiety-ridden society in the most natural of ways—by showing us how to access awe, an emotion that is our birthright and that puts us in a state from which we can better access our resources. The A.W.E. Method is must-have addition to our antianxiety toolbox.”—Alison Escalante, MD, FAAP, pediatrician, inventor of the Sigh, See, Start parenting method, adjunct faculty at Rush Medical College of Rush University
“The Power of Awe is a breakthrough that integrates the wisdom of all great religious traditions with the insights of modern psychology to bring healing to anyone who seeks it.”—Jack Riemer, rabbi, author of Finding God in Unexpected Places
“Safer and possibly more effective than psychotropic drugs, AWE also is more approachable for most of us than meditation. I would argue that the A.W.E. Method offers a simple, free and effective way to microdose on the biology of love.”—Sue Carter, distinguished university scientist, The Kinsey Institute, Indiana University
“On every page the authors remind me that I already have a tool inside me to feel better. When I feel awe, even of little things, my perception of circumstances expands, and whatever I am struggling with loses some intensity. The Power of Awe is clear and accessible, moving gracefully from first-hand stories of people feeling better in their lives to masterful explanations of the scientific research of awe experiences. This is a manual for understanding our most primitive emotion and should be given to every teenager as a right of passage into adulthood.”—Sky Nelson-Isaacs, author of Leap to Wholeness
“The Power of Awe from Michael Amster and Jake Eagle guides us to the vast and miraculous moments of awe in each day and shows us how we can learn to access the healing medicine that surrounds us.” —Christopher Hobbs, PhD, LAc, author of Medicinal Mushrooms: the Essential Guide
"In the treasury of diverse meditative disciplines, mindfulness plays an essential role. A.W.E. offers an accessible entry point to begin to explore these realms of extraordinary human potential and reminds us of the transformational potency of small glimpses of well-being accessed many times throughout the day. May reading this book inspire you to continue to explore and discover the vast terrain of profound meditative teachings of which mindful presence is but one core element among many.”—Joel & Michelle Levey, founders, Wisdom at Work, authors, Mindfulness, Meditation, & Mind Fitness, Living in Balance: A Mindful Guide for Thriving in a Complex World
"If you’ve ever been curious about meditation or mindfulness, but not found the time to practice, this book’s for you. Bridging the right and left brain— weaving stories and data seamlessly—The Power of Awe offers simple steps to improve health and create a well of inner peace. Though I’m usually skeptical of ‘3 easy steps to . . .’ solutions I trust the research and authenticity of these authors and the immensely useful stories and science they present. "—Nina Simons, author, speaker & cofounder, Bioneers
"The A.W.E. Method is the secret ingredient to living a radiant life filled with abundant divine joy, love, and miracles. In The Power of Awe, Eagle and Amster share a novel approach—paired with timeless wisdom—to creating your best life now!"—Sherri Nickols, author of Sexy and Sparkling after 40, founder & CEO of The Divine Love Institute
"Diving deep into how we construct the world in our minds, The Power of Awe challenges us to intentionally cultivate the emotion of awe to quiet the mind's 'monkey chatter' and alleviate anxiety, depression, and loneliness."—Tor Wager, Diana L. Taylor Distinguished Professor in Neuroscience at Dartmouth College
"In their book The Power of Awe, Eagle and Amster give readers a simple process to personally experience awe. A treasure we can all share, awe not only feels great, it is also consistent with the values I believe will be foundational to the Next Tier of humanity. It is vital that we all know the power of consciously focused attention on the energetics influencing all experiences and outcomes. Pure Awareness is the rocket fuel for the future of human health and performance. The information contained here illuminates the true power of the miracles within our grasp."—Donny Epstein, founder and developer of EpiEnergetics and the "Network" methods in chiropractic, author of The Seeker's Code, The 12 Stages Of Healing, and Healing Myths Healing Magic