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Awakening Joy: 10 Steps That Will Put You on the Road to Real Happiness

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Joy is not for just the lucky few–it’s a choice anyone can make. In this groundbreaking book, based on his popular course, James Baraz helps you discover a path to the happiness that’s right in front of you, offering a step-by-step program that will reorient your mind away from dissatisfaction and distraction and toward the contentment and delight that is abundantly availa Joy is not for just the lucky few–it’s a choice anyone can make. In this groundbreaking book, based on his popular course, James Baraz helps you discover a path to the happiness that’s right in front of you, offering a step-by-step program that will reorient your mind away from dissatisfaction and distraction and toward the contentment and delight that is abundantly available in our everyday lives. You can decide to be happy. For years, James Baraz’s online Awakening Joy course has offered participants from around the world the benefits of this simple but profoundly radical proposition. Grounded in simple Buddhist principles but accessible to people of all faiths–or no faith at all–this concept provides the jumping-off point for a transformational journey toward a richer, more meaningful, more positive outlook on life. Now readers everywhere can follow the same ten steps Baraz teaches to his program participants. In this practical down-to-earth guide, you will learn how to • make happiness a habit by inclining your mind toward states that lead to well-being • find joy even during difficult times and avoid the pitfalls that prevent you from achieving the contentment you seek • cultivate effective practices for sustaining joyfulness, such as reclaiming your natural sense of wonder and finding joy in the midst of everyday experiences Each chapter of Awakening Joy consists of one step in Baraz’s ten-step program and includes engaging exercises and practical advice to make happiness your natural default setting. For everyone from the cynic despondent over life’s many sorrows to the harried commuter raging at freeway traffic, this book offers up a simple yet powerful message of hope grounded in the realization that joy already exists inside every one of us. Like a precious child, it only needs to be recognized, embraced, and nurtured in order to grow to its full potential. Praise "I've personally taken the Awakening Joy program and can say this unequivocally: It's fabulous and it works!  This book, filled with moving stories and rich teachings, will give you wonderful tools to experience true happiness and well-being.  It's a gem!"— Marci Shimoff, New York Times bestselling author of Happy for No Reason "Opening to joy takes courage and intention. This book will inspire you to discover genuine happiness, and show you how. Drawing on perennial wisdom and accessible meditative practices, James and Shoshana offer teachings that can awaken your love of life."— Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance "Awakening Joy is an important guide to transforming our everyday experience into genuine happiness.  James and Shoshana's insight, kindness, and clear and practical language make this a direct, pragmatic and valuable manual for a better life."—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness "In this beautiful and heartwarming book, James Baraz and Shoshana Alexander take us on a journey that truly awakens joy. There are stories that bring tears to our eyes and practices that transform our lives.  This is a loving, wise, and compassionate testament to what is possible for each one of us.  Highly recommended."—Joseph Goldstein, author of A Heart Full of Peace  "I'm so happy that James Baraz's Awakening Joy class is now available in book form.  His class has been helpful to thousands of people.  I plan to give it to all my clients who are struggling with creating a life of meaning and happiness.  Joyfulness is our birthright.  This book shows you how to reclaim it."—M.J. Ryan, author of AdaptAbility "This is a life-changing book that not only teaches practical, useful strategies for increasing your awareness, but also illuminates choices about how you can lead your emotional life." —Paul Ekman, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of California, San Francisco, co-author of Emotional Awareness and author of Emotions Revealed   "To awaken joy in oneself and others is one of life's great skills, a skill taught by sages across the centuries, and now distilled in this book."—Roger Walsh M.D., Ph.D., University of California Medical School, author of Essential Spirituality: The Seven Central Practices "This book is an inspiring gift that will open your heart to the presence of love and joy in everyday life."—Frances Vaughan, Ph.D., psychologist, author of Shadows of the Sacred   "Every page of this wonderful book has something that inspires faith or confidence: a new story, a memorable quote, an exercise that invites participation....From beginning to end, it is a joy to read."—Sylvia Boorstein, author of Happiness Is An Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life  "This book should be read by every person who cares about making this a better world. It can enhance the joys of working to develop a wiser and more compassionate society, and help make us both happier and more effective in challenging times."—Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers    "This is an important book—and a great read! With its unique mix of story, philosophy, and practice we can explore our needs, free ourselves from the bonds of suffering, and innovate new ways of being that will last our lifetimes.  And, because James has woven himself and his characteristic smile throughout the book, we can have a lot of fun in the process."—Rick Foster, co-author of How We Choose to Be Happy    "Faith, hope, and love have long been considered the essential virtues of the religious life. James Baraz has done us all a great service by elevating joy to its rightful place alongside the trinity of sacred emotions. What a gift is it, to be surprised by joy, and to awaken, in the midst of a difficult world, the impulse to rejoice."—Patricia E. de Jong, Senior Minister, First Congregational Church of Berkeley "Awakening Joy is an inspirational and practical resource which helps us identify where we are or are not experiencing joy in our lives. This original book addresses the primary obstacles or beliefs that hinder our access to joy, and includes timeless practices and ways in which we can expand, cultivate, express, and experience more joy in our lives and within our own nature. Well-written, informative, and a significant contribution to everyone's well-being."—Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., cultural anthropologist, and author of award-winning Second Half of Life: Opening to the Eight Gates of Wisdom "In our pursuit of happiness, this moving book should be a dog eared, worn out companion....As you work through this elegant material, you will find yourself laughing a little longer, dancing a little more, and awakening to the beauty of what lies inside you and in those nearby."—Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley, and author, Born To Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life "I have been deeply touched and inspired by James Baraz's accessible, practical wisdom.  His genuine caring for people and enthusiasm for life generously pour forth and permeate everything that he teaches--now in the pages of this book."—Rabbi Margie Jacobs, Institute for Jewish Spirituality    "Awakening Joy is a wise treasure house of valuable information, anecdotes, potent quotes, and creative suggestions to step into one's power and live life to the max. This book is a rich, inspiring resource I'm excited to share with my yoga students."—Gabriel Halpern, founder and director of the Yoga Circle [Chicago] 


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Joy is not for just the lucky few–it’s a choice anyone can make. In this groundbreaking book, based on his popular course, James Baraz helps you discover a path to the happiness that’s right in front of you, offering a step-by-step program that will reorient your mind away from dissatisfaction and distraction and toward the contentment and delight that is abundantly availa Joy is not for just the lucky few–it’s a choice anyone can make. In this groundbreaking book, based on his popular course, James Baraz helps you discover a path to the happiness that’s right in front of you, offering a step-by-step program that will reorient your mind away from dissatisfaction and distraction and toward the contentment and delight that is abundantly available in our everyday lives. You can decide to be happy. For years, James Baraz’s online Awakening Joy course has offered participants from around the world the benefits of this simple but profoundly radical proposition. Grounded in simple Buddhist principles but accessible to people of all faiths–or no faith at all–this concept provides the jumping-off point for a transformational journey toward a richer, more meaningful, more positive outlook on life. Now readers everywhere can follow the same ten steps Baraz teaches to his program participants. In this practical down-to-earth guide, you will learn how to • make happiness a habit by inclining your mind toward states that lead to well-being • find joy even during difficult times and avoid the pitfalls that prevent you from achieving the contentment you seek • cultivate effective practices for sustaining joyfulness, such as reclaiming your natural sense of wonder and finding joy in the midst of everyday experiences Each chapter of Awakening Joy consists of one step in Baraz’s ten-step program and includes engaging exercises and practical advice to make happiness your natural default setting. For everyone from the cynic despondent over life’s many sorrows to the harried commuter raging at freeway traffic, this book offers up a simple yet powerful message of hope grounded in the realization that joy already exists inside every one of us. Like a precious child, it only needs to be recognized, embraced, and nurtured in order to grow to its full potential. Praise "I've personally taken the Awakening Joy program and can say this unequivocally: It's fabulous and it works!  This book, filled with moving stories and rich teachings, will give you wonderful tools to experience true happiness and well-being.  It's a gem!"— Marci Shimoff, New York Times bestselling author of Happy for No Reason "Opening to joy takes courage and intention. This book will inspire you to discover genuine happiness, and show you how. Drawing on perennial wisdom and accessible meditative practices, James and Shoshana offer teachings that can awaken your love of life."— Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance "Awakening Joy is an important guide to transforming our everyday experience into genuine happiness.  James and Shoshana's insight, kindness, and clear and practical language make this a direct, pragmatic and valuable manual for a better life."—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness "In this beautiful and heartwarming book, James Baraz and Shoshana Alexander take us on a journey that truly awakens joy. There are stories that bring tears to our eyes and practices that transform our lives.  This is a loving, wise, and compassionate testament to what is possible for each one of us.  Highly recommended."—Joseph Goldstein, author of A Heart Full of Peace  "I'm so happy that James Baraz's Awakening Joy class is now available in book form.  His class has been helpful to thousands of people.  I plan to give it to all my clients who are struggling with creating a life of meaning and happiness.  Joyfulness is our birthright.  This book shows you how to reclaim it."—M.J. Ryan, author of AdaptAbility "This is a life-changing book that not only teaches practical, useful strategies for increasing your awareness, but also illuminates choices about how you can lead your emotional life." —Paul Ekman, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of California, San Francisco, co-author of Emotional Awareness and author of Emotions Revealed   "To awaken joy in oneself and others is one of life's great skills, a skill taught by sages across the centuries, and now distilled in this book."—Roger Walsh M.D., Ph.D., University of California Medical School, author of Essential Spirituality: The Seven Central Practices "This book is an inspiring gift that will open your heart to the presence of love and joy in everyday life."—Frances Vaughan, Ph.D., psychologist, author of Shadows of the Sacred   "Every page of this wonderful book has something that inspires faith or confidence: a new story, a memorable quote, an exercise that invites participation....From beginning to end, it is a joy to read."—Sylvia Boorstein, author of Happiness Is An Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life  "This book should be read by every person who cares about making this a better world. It can enhance the joys of working to develop a wiser and more compassionate society, and help make us both happier and more effective in challenging times."—Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers    "This is an important book—and a great read! With its unique mix of story, philosophy, and practice we can explore our needs, free ourselves from the bonds of suffering, and innovate new ways of being that will last our lifetimes.  And, because James has woven himself and his characteristic smile throughout the book, we can have a lot of fun in the process."—Rick Foster, co-author of How We Choose to Be Happy    "Faith, hope, and love have long been considered the essential virtues of the religious life. James Baraz has done us all a great service by elevating joy to its rightful place alongside the trinity of sacred emotions. What a gift is it, to be surprised by joy, and to awaken, in the midst of a difficult world, the impulse to rejoice."—Patricia E. de Jong, Senior Minister, First Congregational Church of Berkeley "Awakening Joy is an inspirational and practical resource which helps us identify where we are or are not experiencing joy in our lives. This original book addresses the primary obstacles or beliefs that hinder our access to joy, and includes timeless practices and ways in which we can expand, cultivate, express, and experience more joy in our lives and within our own nature. Well-written, informative, and a significant contribution to everyone's well-being."—Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., cultural anthropologist, and author of award-winning Second Half of Life: Opening to the Eight Gates of Wisdom "In our pursuit of happiness, this moving book should be a dog eared, worn out companion....As you work through this elegant material, you will find yourself laughing a little longer, dancing a little more, and awakening to the beauty of what lies inside you and in those nearby."—Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley, and author, Born To Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life "I have been deeply touched and inspired by James Baraz's accessible, practical wisdom.  His genuine caring for people and enthusiasm for life generously pour forth and permeate everything that he teaches--now in the pages of this book."—Rabbi Margie Jacobs, Institute for Jewish Spirituality    "Awakening Joy is a wise treasure house of valuable information, anecdotes, potent quotes, and creative suggestions to step into one's power and live life to the max. This book is a rich, inspiring resource I'm excited to share with my yoga students."—Gabriel Halpern, founder and director of the Yoga Circle [Chicago] 

30 review for Awakening Joy: 10 Steps That Will Put You on the Road to Real Happiness

  1. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    This book really got "in there" for me. Here's an example, from p.199 .... As Catherine recognized, being kind to ourselves includes not condemning ourselves for the feelings that arise. It doesn't make sense to say, "I shouldn't be feeling what I'm feeling." Feelings arise in response to a complex of conditions. You don't say, "I could go for some fear right now" or, "How about a little self-hatred for a minute?" It's not like you have a choice about what pops into your mind. But you do have a This book really got "in there" for me. Here's an example, from p.199 .... As Catherine recognized, being kind to ourselves includes not condemning ourselves for the feelings that arise. It doesn't make sense to say, "I shouldn't be feeling what I'm feeling." Feelings arise in response to a complex of conditions. You don't say, "I could go for some fear right now" or, "How about a little self-hatred for a minute?" It's not like you have a choice about what pops into your mind. But you do have a choice as to how you respond to the fear or self-hatred when they're present. And that's where you can either deepen your suffering with self-criticism or hold the suffering kindly......

  2. 4 out of 5

    Experience Life

    Who knew that remembering a positive experience could actually change your brain? Research shows that our gray matter is entirely susceptible to being rewired by pleasing thoughts. Better yet, the more we dwell on them, the more the brain begins to develop a habit or “inclination” to joy. Authors James Baraz and Shoshana Alexander proffer a wealth of such facts to underscore the value of a happiness practice; they also help to show that real joyfulness is an easier state to maintain than you migh Who knew that remembering a positive experience could actually change your brain? Research shows that our gray matter is entirely susceptible to being rewired by pleasing thoughts. Better yet, the more we dwell on them, the more the brain begins to develop a habit or “inclination” to joy. Authors James Baraz and Shoshana Alexander proffer a wealth of such facts to underscore the value of a happiness practice; they also help to show that real joyfulness is an easier state to maintain than you might think. Their book is based on the 10-step course by the same name, in which participants learn the basic skills they need to foster a greater sense of pleasure in their lives — from establishing a gratitude practice to learning to deal more thoughtfully with disappointments. Built on a Buddhist framework (though one need not be interested in the philosophy to benefit), the steps are coupled with easy exercises, like practicing well-wishing for an unfamiliar neighbor or taking pleasure in doing the dishes. The research-centered approach will appeal to interested realists. The program’s spiritual dimension helps anchor the research in a bigger picture. A handy set of tools for amping up your enjoyment of everyday life.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    This book covers the basics of Buddhist meditation practice with an emphasis on cultivating joy. It is good but not spectacular, although it does contain some gems. It probably works better for beginning students as opposed to advanced practitioners. It has almost no technical Buddhist terminology in it. What lowers the rating for me is that I don't really like the format--it has a lot of inserts and sidebars. And, it is written by two people. Each of these makes it jarring to read--the flow is This book covers the basics of Buddhist meditation practice with an emphasis on cultivating joy. It is good but not spectacular, although it does contain some gems. It probably works better for beginning students as opposed to advanced practitioners. It has almost no technical Buddhist terminology in it. What lowers the rating for me is that I don't really like the format--it has a lot of inserts and sidebars. And, it is written by two people. Each of these makes it jarring to read--the flow is often interrupted. I'm not a fan of books that share information in the format of a personal story of someone the author knows. I find that hokey. If that doesn't bother you, you might enjoy the book more than I did.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Happyreader

    I really enjoyed James Baraz's 4-part talk on Happiness so I was happy to see that he just published a book based on his happiness workshops. You would think a book about joy would be an easy read. The writing style is accessible yet the content is hardcore in a helpful way. The book offers practical methods for facing what's difficult in life so that you can clear a path to a more fulfilling life - and that includes stories that will bring tears to your eyes. For instance, the story of the moth I really enjoyed James Baraz's 4-part talk on Happiness so I was happy to see that he just published a book based on his happiness workshops. You would think a book about joy would be an easy read. The writing style is accessible yet the content is hardcore in a helpful way. The book offers practical methods for facing what's difficult in life so that you can clear a path to a more fulfilling life - and that includes stories that will bring tears to your eyes. For instance, the story of the mother whose 14 year-old daughter committed suicide and how she healed. The chapter on integrity and his own heartfelt story about making amends. The integrity chapter, for instance, does an excellent job of discussing the emotional benefits of living a truthful life, of "acting with integrity in the moment of choice" and considering how you want to feel and how you need to conduct yourself to create the conditions for those feelings. The book is an emotional roller coaster and yet in ends in a place of peace, just like the practice itself. The last chapter on finding peace in just being was the perfect endnote. A lovely, practical guide to awakening joy by facing what's difficult.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    A great introduction to mindfulness, but it's long-winded as hell. Every point gets hammered home and then hammered again and again. Then you meet lots of happy people who suddenly develop cancer. Seriously, everyone gets cancer. I know these are real stories, but christ. Kind of a downer. A great introduction to mindfulness, but it's long-winded as hell. Every point gets hammered home and then hammered again and again. Then you meet lots of happy people who suddenly develop cancer. Seriously, everyone gets cancer. I know these are real stories, but christ. Kind of a downer.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Meh. I read with a few friends while taking the Awakening Joy class online. The course was also meh. Baraz talked about why you might want to meditate but didn't assume that the reader was a meditator. I have been meditating for some time, and the focus of this complemented my practice, but didn't much enhance it. If I wasn't reading it for my group, I wouldn't have finished it. Meh. I read with a few friends while taking the Awakening Joy class online. The course was also meh. Baraz talked about why you might want to meditate but didn't assume that the reader was a meditator. I have been meditating for some time, and the focus of this complemented my practice, but didn't much enhance it. If I wasn't reading it for my group, I wouldn't have finished it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Meg Nalezny

    Really interesting. A little more self-help-y than I had anticipated, since I have heard the authors speak and they were quite different in their presentation. But I think they were trying to reach a wide range of people with the book, which I appreciate. Worth reading, for sure!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Allan Feldt

    So insightful and such a different approach that it was like a breath of fresh air.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    This book took 6 months to complete but worth it if you dive into it fully. I went to a day retreat in January at Spirit Rock on 10k joys and 10k sorrows and met James. I also had, separately, put this book on my to read list after hearing Melinda Gates speak about it on a podcast. I was surprised to find that retreat leader, James, was the author! As my Awakening Joy Group says, that is a wink from the universe. After that coincidence, I signed up for the 5 month class and joined a joy group. T This book took 6 months to complete but worth it if you dive into it fully. I went to a day retreat in January at Spirit Rock on 10k joys and 10k sorrows and met James. I also had, separately, put this book on my to read list after hearing Melinda Gates speak about it on a podcast. I was surprised to find that retreat leader, James, was the author! As my Awakening Joy Group says, that is a wink from the universe. After that coincidence, I signed up for the 5 month class and joined a joy group. The joy group made this book come alive. Without that weekly meeting to review the material, I don’t think I would have gotten as much out of this book. It’s truly a book to work with, slowly and with support. It’s not something you should read in a couple of days or a month. Very glad this book led me to joining the course, meeting new people, and jumping in to exploring the path to joy. If you want a review on the book alone — good content, a mix of different religions and spiritualities supporting each chapter. The format of the book is one that did not bring me joy— very hard to follow along with all of the side notes and stories.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Beckie

    This took me a ridiculously long time to finish - over 6 months. It's not that I didn't enjoy it, but it was hard to get through for me. It was all good information and now I wonder how to keep it top of mind. 1. I'm going to allow more joy into my life 2. The path may not always be as simple and smooth as we would like, but if we're facing in the right direction, in time will find what we are looking for 3. There's only one of you and if you let yourself be the best of of yourself possible you This took me a ridiculously long time to finish - over 6 months. It's not that I didn't enjoy it, but it was hard to get through for me. It was all good information and now I wonder how to keep it top of mind. 1. I'm going to allow more joy into my life 2. The path may not always be as simple and smooth as we would like, but if we're facing in the right direction, in time will find what we are looking for 3. There's only one of you and if you let yourself be the best of of yourself possible you may also like what you see, in time you may even love yourself. 4. May my happiness lead to the happiness of others 5.Your happiness or unhappiness depends on your actions, not only on my wishes for you. I read this based on some celebrity recommendations, including Melinda Gates.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Goddard

    I listened to the audio version of this book and that impacted my experience of it. I'm not convinced it works well as an audio. Partly that's because it includes number of meditations, which were impossible for me to do since I listened to the book on a long car trip. But I also think this book would work better as a workshop or group exercise. Simply reading the book makes his suggestions seem obvious (and a few weeks after listening, I had forgotten most of them). I don't think I implemented I listened to the audio version of this book and that impacted my experience of it. I'm not convinced it works well as an audio. Partly that's because it includes number of meditations, which were impossible for me to do since I listened to the book on a long car trip. But I also think this book would work better as a workshop or group exercise. Simply reading the book makes his suggestions seem obvious (and a few weeks after listening, I had forgotten most of them). I don't think I implemented any of the ideas, although at the time I was thinking about what good ideas they were.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jack Castillo

    I heard about Awakening Joy while listening to Books of Your Life with Elizabeth. She was interviewing Melissa Gates and when they got around to the five most influential books of her she couldn't stop raving about. I meditate on a daily basis and like to think I practice mindfulness but I have not had a lot of luck with books about meditating or Buddhism. This book is different; somehow Baratz manages to come across as authentic and sincere and I could really relate to his message. Not only did I heard about Awakening Joy while listening to Books of Your Life with Elizabeth. She was interviewing Melissa Gates and when they got around to the five most influential books of her she couldn't stop raving about. I meditate on a daily basis and like to think I practice mindfulness but I have not had a lot of luck with books about meditating or Buddhism. This book is different; somehow Baratz manages to come across as authentic and sincere and I could really relate to his message. Not only did I enjoy the book but I will be looking up his seminars and explore further.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Roberto Castro

    Baraz is co-founder of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA. What started as a 6 month course is now a 10 week course offered live and on-line on how to find joy. Each chapter covers topics ranging from mindfulness, having a grateful heart, accepting oneself and loving others. The book is part of his course. It is fast read and whether you are agnostic or a member of a faith, you will find good guidance.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eve Dangerfield

    I really enjoyed listening to this over a period of a few weeks. James Baraz has such a warm, peaceful tone and the steps and advice on how to achieve them was solid. I will say I'm having trouble REMEMBERING anything I heard outside of individual stories but that's on me. I'm going to give this a re-listen and hopefully retain more. I really enjoyed listening to this over a period of a few weeks. James Baraz has such a warm, peaceful tone and the steps and advice on how to achieve them was solid. I will say I'm having trouble REMEMBERING anything I heard outside of individual stories but that's on me. I'm going to give this a re-listen and hopefully retain more.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Maria Bell

    l listened to an interview by James before l read this book, he is such a kind and compassionate person and his calm manner all shine throughout the book. There are many things to learn from this book and practice.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    I think this is a book I'll come back to and reread different chapters from time to time as a reminder of how to reframe challenging experiences, be compassionate toward myself and others, and generally practice a mindful approach to and awareness of life. I think this is a book I'll come back to and reread different chapters from time to time as a reminder of how to reframe challenging experiences, be compassionate toward myself and others, and generally practice a mindful approach to and awareness of life.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brendan Brooks

    There is some good stuff here, but a bit too fluffy, religious, and spiritual for my liking at the moment. I'm ok with meditation, mindfulness, finding joy in the everyday, and being conscious and aware of things i need to acknowledge gratefulness for. My problem is time. There is some good stuff here, but a bit too fluffy, religious, and spiritual for my liking at the moment. I'm ok with meditation, mindfulness, finding joy in the everyday, and being conscious and aware of things i need to acknowledge gratefulness for. My problem is time.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Easy reading and great tips for a joyful life.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ameya Mandlik

    The book could try to tell you about a thousand ways to find joy but ultimately it is about you who step up and find a way to be happy!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    Point of personal preference...I am not a big fan of the anecdotes and personal stories from course participants. Just not interested in their experiences. Would rather focus on more content.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nick Piper

    Awakening Joy I had to stop after the preface. The author lives in Maui!, Of course he's full of joy! Move to Detroit for a couple of years, then we'll talk. Maholo & goodnight. Awakening Joy I had to stop after the preface. The author lives in Maui!, Of course he's full of joy! Move to Detroit for a couple of years, then we'll talk. Maholo & goodnight.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robyn Whitcomb

    Life changing. Could read yearly.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sukanya Kuruganti

    Awakening Joy is a great reminder that we experience life in our mind. James Baraz lays out a 10 step checklist to help train ourselves to live in the moment, be grateful and positive no matter the circumstance we are going through. Treat this book as a work out for mindfulness.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sortal

    Overwhelmingly positive, as the cover suggests. Stretches credulity at times.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dee Cook

    I read this in conjunction with my meditation practice. Very beneficial!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne

    So much good info in this book!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jillian

    Very good. My first self-help book. Just read the book- I did not participate in the online course. Loved the stories from actual course participants. I also loved how it drew from various teachings and teachers. Learned a lot from the exercises and I have a bunch of pages bookmarked for when I need them! A lot of valuable lessons in this book. I recommend :)

  28. 4 out of 5

    L8start

    Fun, easy read: James Baraz includes lots of anecdotes and testimonials throughout the book. Of course it all comes back to meditation and awareness. He is a cofounder of Spirit Rock, so mindfulness is the foundation of his work. A couple of things that hit home for me: "...and now I get to..." as I move from activity to activity, and "...and my life is really quite blessed" as dose of reality in the midst of it all. The $5 advice he got from a psychic rings true: "Fear blocks any movement on yo Fun, easy read: James Baraz includes lots of anecdotes and testimonials throughout the book. Of course it all comes back to meditation and awareness. He is a cofounder of Spirit Rock, so mindfulness is the foundation of his work. A couple of things that hit home for me: "...and now I get to..." as I move from activity to activity, and "...and my life is really quite blessed" as dose of reality in the midst of it all. The $5 advice he got from a psychic rings true: "Fear blocks any movement on your journey, but once you get past that and take the first step, life opens up and shows you what to do next." Or from Ram Dass, "Whenever you're ready, you'll hear the next message." I will look at the online course.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I thought this book was going to be new age-hokey but it actually was pretty good, with some research to back it up. Basically, it is a primer on using mindfulness meditation techniques to find greater happines in one's life. Someone who has a ton of mindfulness meditation experience would probably find it too basic but as a beginner, I liked it and have been recommending it. The only thing I didn't like is that there are tons of quotes from historical figures, people who took his seminars, etc. I thought this book was going to be new age-hokey but it actually was pretty good, with some research to back it up. Basically, it is a primer on using mindfulness meditation techniques to find greater happines in one's life. Someone who has a ton of mindfulness meditation experience would probably find it too basic but as a beginner, I liked it and have been recommending it. The only thing I didn't like is that there are tons of quotes from historical figures, people who took his seminars, etc. scattered throughout the text, as well as mindfulness exercises to try, and I found them really annoying as I wanted to read them but they interrupted the flow of the text.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Louise Silk

    This book is also an on-line ten-step course to develop and use joy in everyday living. It is living proof that real joy is available everywhere in everything. Readers and/or participants learn ideas built on a spiritual framework and coupled with techniques and skills that make this a very doable hands-on self-help practice, perfect for a wide range of readers if you are sincere about releasing the sorrow and fostering a greater sense of joy in your life.

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