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. Led by James, the course features a range of renowned guest speakers and fosters a supportive community of fellow participants. Over 12,000 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 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. If you prefer to do the course with fellow students, giving ample time for the practice of each bi-monthly theme, we suggest that you enroll prior to the start of the course in February so that you may do so.

Every other week themes such as mindfulness, gratitude and intention are explored with talks by leading experts, accompanying audio, video and written materials, and a series of supporting practices to deepen insight. Participants can access the course at anytime, from anywhere, and engage with fellow participants through online forums, “joy buddies,” local joy groups and interactive conference calls with James.

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. The recording sessions are held the week before each theme's material is made available (the classes are not viewed as a live feed).


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 that work together are at the heart of the program: Developing and Increasing Wholesome States, Focusing on the Gladness That Arises with Wholesome States, Inclining the Mind towards Wholesome States. Read More

Themes, 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. The themes are explored through a curriculum including engaging materials and supporting practices. Some of the themes are: Intention, Mindfulness, Gratitude and Working with Difficult Times.

Guest Presenters:

In addition to the practice themes presented by James, the Awakening Joy course includes an exciting line-up of expert speakers to further explore each theme.

Joy Buddies and Local Joy Groups:

Both Internet and onsite participants are encouraged to do the course with a buddy. 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 many easy ways to find a joy buddy to work with either online or in-person.

Participants are also supported by the creation of 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:

We will have 11 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.

Technical Requirements:

The ability to read PDF files is a technical requirement to access the written materials for the course.
The ability to play video and audio files is also recommended, but not absolutely necessary.

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 a test. The cost is $50. Fill out the Interactive CEU Registration Form (in PDF format) to get started. Read More

Upcoming Course Events

Date Location Information
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