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"Even if you never read anything in this genre, this book is one you should try." - Bill Gates
Baraz turned Awakening Joy into a six-month class and found that participants maintained a positive attitude even after it ended (as long as they practiced the exercises; as with diets or working out, continuity is essential). Baraz was thrilled to receive messages from strangers in Europe, Africa, and New Zealand. "It works!" they wrote. Apparently, you didn't have to be there to get the joy. - O, The Oprah Magazine, January 2008
Awakening Joy can lead each of us to live with dignity, compassion, and gracious freedom. Read these words slowly. Savor them and practice the exercises in this book. Use them to open your heart and transform your life. Your days on Earth will be full of blessings. - Jack Kornfield author of the best-selling A Path with Heart
I believe finding more joy in your life will also have rippling effects that can touch everyone you know and make a real difference in the world. And it begins with making the choice to be happy. - From the Book
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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. He lives with his wife, Jane, in the San Francisco Bay area.
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.
This is an easy interesting read. It opens some doors into a way to view the world with more generosity and compassion for others- and for yourself. It is largely based on Buddist philosophy, cognitive science from the positive psychology movement and anecdotal illustrations from the author's teaching experience. There is nothing here that is incompatible with Christian or Jewish thinking. But, though it is a spiritual and philosophical pilgrimage from the author's perspective, it is practical for those who are without a religious commitment too. Having said all of that, I enjoyed the book as a straight throug read but don't expect my life to change much unless I decide to use the book as it was intended: Taking time to do the exercises, keep a journal, and connect to a support person or group. The practices are mind and spirit healthy. Wholesome is the description the Budda might have used. I read the kindle version and found the anecdotes and commentary obtrusive in that format. The material was good but it was in the way of the main ideas and broke my concentration. I haven't seen a printed version.
This is a book that serves as a course to finding joy in your daily life. Since being gifted the paperback version, I have bought the kindle version for portability and easy reference. Awakening Joy is a wonderful daily read and serves as a guide to living a more fulfilling life full of joy and great perspective. I have underlined and made notations on several pages, it is that good!!
This book is based on a 10-month course Buddhist teacher Baraz has taught in live classes, online, and through video and audio recordings. Alexander is a writer/editor and also Buddhist teacher, and the book is a collaborative effort. It is designed for the general public; so the Buddhist teachings are in everyday language. For example, the truth of impermanence: "If we forget that everything changes, we may start thinking, Wow! I finally have gotten my life together! I've worked really hard to get to this point and now I have arrived. Then when things change, we wonder, What happened? How did I blow it? Knowing that change is an inherent part of life allows us to fully appreciate the good times when they come, without thinking that life has been unfair to us when they go."
I like Baraz's approach to social action and burnout. He says, "When taking action comes from your heart rather than from the desire to see results, you can continue working without getting depleted, and you can derive joy rather than disappointment from the part you are playing."
Baraz freely shares stories of his own immaturities, inviting the reader to honestly face the struggles we all have and must deal with in order to awaken to joy.
I found the format of this book to be so self serving that it has been hard to finish. Some good ideas and tasks that could be helpful.But on almost every page there are two or three boxes containing endorsements by people who have read it. Enough already! I know people have benefited from the book, but an edition without the commercials would undoubtedly save paper! Clean it up and let us find our own benefits!
I have read 12 books on the subjects of joy and happiness for a book project. This is the best one on the methods of cultivating happiness and joy. Baraz is a very good writer. I highly recommend this book. (The very best book on the subject is Matthieu Ricard's "Happiness," but that book is light on the how to of happiness.)
I bought the book because I am taking the awakening Joy course on line. The course is much better and has much more information. The book is okay. It is a good start but the course provides much more useful information that the book lacks.
I just spent the last three months reading this book to my significant other. the concepts are not new to anyone who has delved into books on self awareness and mindfulness. Yet I found myself profoundly affected by the content and have witnessed the impact in my own life as I strive to incorporate these steps in my day to day living. The examples from course participants and the quotes from others mystics and professionals are instructive and inspiring. It is a book I would read again