Online, April 13 – June 15, 2021

Joy is not for just the lucky few – it’s a choice anyone can make.
Awakening Joy is an internationally recognized course designed to awaken joy through exciting themes and practices that incline the mind toward well-being and deeper insight. 

The Awakening Joy course features James as the sole presenter with a strong emphasis on experiential practice. He'll take you deeper into the ten themes than ever before as you make the firm commitment to bring about real and lasting change in your level of happiness and well-being.

1. Intention
2. Mindfulness
3. Gratitude
4. Joy in Difficult Times
5. Integrity
6. The Joy of Letting Go
7. Loving Ourselves
8. Connection with Others
9. Compassion
10. The Joy of Being

Each theme inclines the mind towards a specific wholesome state, bringing awareness to the gladness that accompanies it.

Course language is Englisch with translation into German.

What Makes Awakening Joy Unique?

What Makes Awakening Joy Unique?

Awakening Joy Offers More Than Just Useful Information on Happiness
Based on time-tested principles drawn from Buddhist philosophy and wisdom, the course presents actual practices that open the heart as well as access aliveness and well-being.

Awakening Joy is Not Just a Feel-Good Program—It’s a Feel-Everything Program
The goal isn’t to just put a smile on your face, think positively and look on the bright side of life. True well-being needs skillful opening to all of experience including life’s difficulties.

Time-tested Awareness Practices Build Healthier Habits and Beliefs
Awakening Joy consciously cultivates different qualities that directly lead to opening the heart and mind.

Sense of Community through Support Groups and Practice Partners
You are part of a large support group of participants from around the world. Practice partners and small group support are also available, guided by a robust manual.

Mindfulness Meditations
The teacher is an expert at developing meditations which enhance the 10 course themes.

Leads to Transformed Understanding and Compassion for the Human Condition
The larger vision of Awakening Joy is that cultivating personal joy benefits everyone in our lives and produces a rippling effect of bringing more consciousness and well-being to the planet.


The Course is Non-Denominational and Universal. The material includes some Buddhist philosophy, drawn from the course leader’s 30 years as a meditation teacher.

3 Principles Work Together at the Heart of the Program

1. Understand what healthy activities support wholesome states in you.
2. Intentionally cultivate wholesome states and be fully present for them.
3. Research confirms that brain structure changes with what we focus on, deepening the groove towards depression or happiness.

"Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon will be the inclination of their mind" – The Buddha 

Supportive Practices 

1. Take Quiet Time Regularly

  • If you have a daily meditation practice that’s great. However meditation practice experience is not a prerequisite.
  • If you do not meditate, then take a five minute coffee or tea break to relax and stop the momentum of busy-ness

2. Reading

  • The book, Awakening Joy, is the course text, but the course will expand upon it considerably
  • An audio version of the book, read by James, is also available

Addtional recommended reading:

  • Buddha's Brain by Rick Hanson, which gives a neuroscience explanation as to why Awakening Joy practices are so effective
  • How We Choose to Be Happy by Rick Foster and Greg Hicks, a great adjunct to the course, although not absolutely necessary

3. Other Supportive Practices

  • regular body exercise or movement (yoga, exercise, walking)
  • regular creative expression (singing, drawing, writing, dancing, etc.)
  • keeping a journal

These are all suggestions. No guilt. No pressure to do everything or anything. Just do what you do in a way that works for you. The more you do the more you will get out of it. However, it’s completely up to you.

Dates and Themes

10 Wochen lang, immer dienstags von 18:30 – 20:45 Uhr, jeweils mit einer Viertelstunde Pause
Es gibt zwei Ausnahmen: 1 x Donnerstag (22.4.2021), 1 x Samstag (5.6.2021)

1. Tuesday, April13 Intention
2. Thursday, April 22  Mindfulness
3. Tuesday, April 27 Gratitude
4. Tuesday, May 4 Joy in Difficult Times 
5. Tuesday, May 11 Integrity
6. Tuesday, May 18 The Joy of Letting Go 
7. Tuesday, May 25 Loving Ourselves
8. Tuesday, June 1 Connection with Others 
9. Saturday, June 5  Compassion 
10. Tuesday, June 15  The Joy of Being 

James Baraz has been teaching meditation since 1978 and the Awakening Joy course since 2003. He leads retreats, workshops and classes in the U.S. and abroad and is co-founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California.
He lives with his wife in the Bay Area, has two sons and three grandchildren.

Venue – online via Zoom

The online class takes place via Zoom.

The link to log in will be sent to you by e-mail in good time before the start of the course.

Technical requirements
  • an undisturbed place at home to be able to fully engage in the course
  • a computer with webcam and microphone (better than Ipad, tablet or cell phone)
  • a stable internet access 
  • the necessary Zoom program

Zoom is free and we recommend that you download it before the first session and familiarize yourself with how it works.

Course fee

390 Euro Early bird price until March 3, 2021
420 Euro from March 4, 2021

We try to plan our events to be as affordable as possible.
Nevertheless, we always keep a contingent of discounted places available. We therefore ask people who cannot afford the participation fee to contact us directly. A low income should not be an obstacle to participation in an event.

Cancellation Conditions
  • For cancellations up to one month prior to the beginning of the course, an administration fee of 20 Euro will be charged.
  • Between 30 and 10 days prior to the beginning of the course, 50% of the course fee will be charged.
  • Should the booking be cancelled less than 10 days prior to the beginning of the course, the entire course fee will be charged.
  • If there is a waiting list and the place can be assigned again, only an administration fee of 20 Euro will be charged.
  • In case of non-appearance or early departure from the event, the full course fee must be paid.
Notice of Liability

Participation in this workshop is at your own risk. The leader of the course and the organizer don’t assume liability of personal or material damage.