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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