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Awakening Joy


Online Happiness Course

I have discovered a wonderful “happiness course” that is available online. The course is called “Awakening Joy” and it is offered both online (for anyone, anytime) and on-site (for folks living in San Francisco). The course is taught by James Baraz, a mediation instructor and founder of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California.

Where and When

The course is a 10 month long experience with lectures, exercise, and meditations. The goal of the course is to “awaken joy through monthly principles and practices that incline the mind toward well-being, happiness and joy.” The course seeks to guide you towards natural happiness states by becoming aware of them and by adopting an intention to experience them.

About Awakening Joy

Much of the teachings stems from Buddhist principles such as Buddha’s saying “Go for the highest happiness” and “You become what you think about most.” Each month there is a different theme and corresponding exercises to incorporate into your life.

The exercises include things that naturally bring joy such as singing. Noticing what makes you happy and being present with those feelings is another. Active expression of gratitude is another exercise that has profound effects on students of this class.

The course highly recommends establishing a “joy buddy” as you journey through the course. This is someone with whom you can discuss your experiences and share mutual support.

How Much Does It Cost?

Pricing for the course is a suggest donation of $250, but scholarships are available. And the website claims that no one is ever turned away from the class for financial reasons. If you can’t afford the $250 you can pay whatever price you are able to pay.


There have been more than 2000 people who have completed this course and loved it. This is something you will hear more about in the future for sure. If you’d like to read feedback from others who have taken the course, click here and here. I’m looking forward to starting the class myself and will post about my experience here on Life Learning Today.

How Do I Sign Up?

Baraz doesn’t have a book out yet, but it is in the works. As soon as I hear about it, I will review it here on Life Learning Today. In the meantime if you want to look into taking this course, here is where you can find more information on Awakening Joy. (I have no affiliation with Awakening Joy and receive no compensation if you sign up.)

Please Share!

How do you awaken joy in your life? Have you taken this course? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

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18 Responses to Awakening Joy

  1. TigerTom February 13, 2008 at 6:51 pm #

    It’s a good idea to find out who’s behind generic ‘self empowerment’ or ‘positive thinking’ courses.

    The Christian Churches, for example, are open about what they do. This course is Buddhist, so one knows where one is also.

    If they’re coy, it’s a good idea to back away.

  2. etavitom February 14, 2008 at 11:51 am #

    Sounds Great!

  3. agentsully February 16, 2008 at 12:06 am #

    Thanks etavitom!

  4. agentsully February 16, 2008 at 12:08 am #

    @tigertom – true. good point.

  5. recep ivedik February 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm #

    thank you for this article.

    i added your blog to my bookmarks. you use very interesting images and photos on your articles. most of bloggers don’t care this. but according to me, an image is so important for an article.

  6. SD February 19, 2008 at 2:18 pm #

    Interesting course. I love finding new gems online, so I’m going to go check it out. I love that they say they will turn no one away, I’m sure there are many people who could use this course but never afford the price tag.

  7. Sarasota Realtor February 23, 2008 at 7:45 am #

    This is great.Thanks for this.Keep posting.

  8. meg February 28, 2008 at 12:55 am #

    “you become what you think about most”…i like that. I’m checking this out and sharing it to my friends. Thank you for the info.

  9. Diamond Jewelry Girl February 29, 2008 at 4:33 pm #

    That sounds great! A little proper attitude can go a very, very long way. I definitely agree with the “You become what you think about most.” part. It’s like, when people complain about stuff, it vents them in the short term, but the complaining becomes a part of who they are and they become suited to complain more, not to be happier.

  10. agentsully March 3, 2008 at 8:35 pm #

    @Diamond Girl – thanks! Glad you liked the info.

  11. New Age Books March 20, 2008 at 8:20 pm #

    Thank you for the insightful article. I highly recommend The Scripture of the Golden Eternity by Jack Kerouac.

    one of my favorites: Sutra # 30
    “Sociability is a big smile, and a big smile is nothing but teeth. Rest and be kind.”

  12. Loskas June 4, 2008 at 7:33 am #

    Thanks for the article! It was really an enjoyable read!
    Will surely also take a look at the course!

  13. Jeennee June 7, 2008 at 5:24 am #

    Do they really accept any donation? I don’t think that I could afford $250, but something around $50-$150 is something I think I could pay.

  14. agentsully June 7, 2008 at 5:10 pm #

    @Jeennee – yes they really do and the program is really amazing. I love it! Do you plan to take the course?

  15. One Year Millionaire June 25, 2008 at 10:23 am #

    Online happiness is just a few steps away.. but it has nothing to do with taking courses… its all about the experience you make it to be!

  16. Dr. Lowell Worthington, Ph.D. July 23, 2008 at 1:13 pm #

    I’ve recommended mediation such as this course provides to many of my patients.

    Many find it enables them to gain ‘space’ from their issues and se things more dispassionately. Of course this makes counseling more effective.

    Thanks for providing the link to this resource.

  17. Iyana Witte September 6, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    Really informative article post.Thanks Again. Really Great.

    • AgentSully September 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

      @Iyana – glad you like it and wrote to tell me!

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