Off the shelf courses

Awakening Joy

Joy is not for just the lucky few—it’s a choice anyone can make.

Awakening Joy is an internationally recognized Internet course created by noted teacher and author, James Baraz. The course is designed to awaken joy through an exciting curriculum of principles and practices that incline the mind toward well-being, happiness and ease. Over 20,000 people worldwide have experienced the power of Awakening Joy, and the course has been celebrated in media publications such as O Magazine. Bill Gates has recommended Awakening Joy on his Summer Reading List.

The 2020 course starts annually in February and finishes after 5 months at the end of June, but you can (Sign Up) for the course at any time during the year and work the course at your own pace. All of the material is available and will be left on the website until the end of each year.

Every other week themes such as mindfulness, gratitude, and intention are explored. Participants can access the course at anytime, from anywhere, and engage with fellow participants through online forums, practice partners, and support groups.

Everyone taking the course is enrolled as an Internet participant, but there is also an add-on option to attend the onsite recording sessions in Berkeley, California. The live classes are video and audio recorded so they are available to both Internet and onsite participants whenever they choose.


Course Principles:

The principles of the course are non-denominational and universal, although much of the material includes Buddhist philosophy drawn from the course leader’s 30 years as a Buddhist meditation teacher. Three of these principles work together at the heart of the program:

  1. Understand what healthy activities support wholesome states in you.
  2. Intentionally cultivate wholesome states and be fully present for them.
  3. Research confirms that brain structure changes with what we focus on, deepening the groove towards depression or happiness.

"Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon will be the inclination of their mind" - The Buddah

Themes and Materials and Practices:

Every 2 weeks, there is a new theme, which will incline the mind towards a specific wholesome state, bringing awareness to the gladness that accompanies it.

  1. Intention
  2. Mindfulness
  3. Gratitude
  4. Joy in Difficult Times
  5. Integrity
  6. The Joy of Letting Go
  7. Loving Ourselves
  8. Connection with Others
  9. Compassion
  10. The Joy of Being

Materials Include:

  • In-Depth letters describing the themes and practices
  • Audio and Video recordings of each theme by James
  • Recorded Guided Meditations for each theme
  • Joy Reminder Cards for each theme

Read about the practices here.

Practice Partners and Support Groups:

Both Internet and onsite participants are encouraged to do the course with a practice partner. The support of a partner with whom to check in regarding the themes and practices helps keep the course in one's awareness. The course provides an online Forum to find a practice partner with whom to work the course.

Participants are also supported by the creation of online or local joy groups, whereby you may sign up either to lead or to join with others taking the course in your area.

Course Schedule and Logistics:

The course covers 10 sessions over the course of 5 months. Internet participation starts in early February. All participants will receive access to all themes and practices, including email notification of their availability on the website.

Read More

Continuing Education Units (CEU):

Awakening Joy is offering Continuing Education Units to California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists and Licensed Clinical Social Workers starting in 2015. (For out-of-state participants, it is your responsibility to confirm that your state's licensing board has reciprocity with California.)

You can obtain 22 Continuing Education credits upon completion of the course, passing the course post-test, and returning a completed course evaluation form. The cost for CEUs is $50. Please fill out the Interactive CEU Registration Form (in PDF format) to get started. Register for the Awakening Joy course here.

Registration Cost

• The course fee for the 5-month course is $280, but there are December and January early enrollment discounts. • James doesn’t want finances to keep anyone from participating in the course. If you want to communicate with us about other alternatives, email [email protected].

Upcoming Course Events

Date Location Information
TBD Brochure Event Details

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