I want to recommend a book to you that I absolutely love. Certainly it corresponds with our theme this month of Peace and Joy! It is Awakening Joy by James Baraz. I have read it over a few times. Last year I offered a retreat and an online class based on the material in the book.

I’ve also taken his online class and in 2019 I will be taking his Teacher Training class. 

I will be offering the class starting in March at my studio here in Madison. If there are enough interested people, I can also offer a class online. Or, as an alternative, I can work with you in coaching sessions for 10 weeks corresponding with the 10 chapters in the book.

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

Here’s the description of the book on Amazon:

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.


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