trt 34:20 min
July 2009


This "Awakening Joy" course lasts for ten months. Over 2100 people have participated in the previous courses with very positive results.The course is meant to be user-friendly. Its goal is to awaken joy through monthly principles and practices that incline the mind toward well-being, happiness and joy. Participation in the course can be online and/or on-site if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Course Principles

The principles of the course are universal, although much of the material includes Buddhist philosophy drawn from the course leader’s 29 years as a Buddhist meditation teacher. Three of these principles that work together are at the heart of the program:

1. Developing and Increasing Wholesome States: The Buddhist teaching on Wise Effort includes developing and increasing wholesome states (ones that lead to true happiness). We can intentionally invite and cultivate these healthy states.

2. Focusing on Gladness That Arises with Wholesome States: While engaged in a healthy activity we experience an actual positive uplift of energy. The teachings speak of the value of experiencing “gladness connected with the wholesome” and of delight that “gladdens the heart.” By being very present for this gladness we increase its impact on us. This gladness is what I’m calling a joyful heart.

3. Inclining the Mind towards Wholesome States: “Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon will be the inclination of their mind,” taught the Buddha. As we incline the mind toward wholesome states of well-being, such as gratitude or kindness, they are more available to us. Current brain research confirms this. As we practice certain states of mind we actually change our brain structure, deepening the groove towards depression or happiness.


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