Awakening Joy: 10 Steps to True Happiness

Awakening Joy: 10 Steps to True Happiness


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Awakening Joy is more than just another book about happiness. More than simply offering suggested strategies to change our behavior, it uses time-tested practices to train the mind to learn new ways of thinking. The principles of the course are universal, although much of the material includes Buddhist philosophy drawn from the author’s thirty years as a Buddhist meditation teacher and spiritual counselor.

In these times of economic uncertainty Awakening Joy shows we can get through hard times and use our experience to keep the our heart open while moving from discouragement to well-being, regardless of the external circumstances. Genuine well-being is not expensive. True happiness is not about acquiring anything, but rather about opening to the natural joy and aliveness right inside you.

In this practical down-to-earth guide, readers 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 of the steps 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 who is 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937006228
Publisher: Parallax Press
Publication date: 11/15/2012
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 191,840
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

James Baraz has been teaching meditation for more than thirty years and the Awakening Joy course, both on-site and online, since 2003. He is a co-founding teacher of the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California, and is on the international advisory board of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship.

Shoshana Tembeck Alexander has studied Buddhism since the early 1970s and is the author of In Praise of Single Parents and Women’s Ventures, Women’s Visions. She has guided the work of several prominent Buddhist authors, including Tara Brach, Sharon Salzberg, and Wes Nisker. She lives in Ashland, Oregon.

Table of Contents

Note on the Paperback Edition xi

Foreword Jack Kornfield xiii

Preface Ram Dass xv

Introduction xvii

Step 1 Inclining the Mind Toward Joy 3

Step 2 Mindfulness: Being Present for Your Life 30

Step 3 Grateful Heart, Joyful Heart 60

Step 4 Finding Joy in Difficult Times 85

Step 5 The Bliss of Blamelessness 121

Step 6 The Joy of Letting Go 150

Step 7 The Sweetness of Loving Ourselves 178

Step 8 The Joy of Loving Others 203

Step 9 Compassion: The Natural Expression of a Joyful Heart 236

Step 10 The Joy of Simply Being 268

Acknowledgments 289

Bibliography 295

James Baraz's Reading List 298

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