Awakening Joy

About the Course - FAQs

Here are Frequently Asked Questions about the course.

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The word "joy" may be a stretch for some. Perhaps you can’t imagine yourself skipping through a meadow with childlike exuberance. Don’t worry. Truly happy people are not happy all the time. They feel sad and angry and have the whole range of human emotions. We’re not talking about having a syrupy facade or being in denial. What we’re calling joy is a general feeling of aliveness and well-being that is characterized by engagement with life, meeting its ups and downs with authenticity and perspective. It can look very different from person to person, from a quiet sense of contentment to bubbly enthusiasm. That will be one of your discoveries—identifying how joy expresses itself uniquely through you.


James believes that, more than ever, at this time we need to stay in touch with all the good inside and around us. Our own joy and inner peace becomes a reminder to others to appreciate all the good in life and, by doing so, to bring more consciousness and caring into the world.


When we’re feeling anxious or fearful about how things are going, practicing the 10 steps together will help create a container to hold all the challenging emotions and circumstances we face. Whether you’re enjoying life to the fullest or going through a difficult period, the practices will help you be more connected to yourself, allowing you to go through life’s ups and downs with greater appreciation, resilience, and aliveness.


We post video and audio recordings of the live class about a week after it takes place. We also post a practice letter with suggestions for at-home study for each theme.

Every time we post materials you will be notified. Then you can sign on and watch/listen/read at your leisure until the end of December. We also have an online forum where people can find a practice partner for the course.


The course schedule and logistics section of our website has this information.


This is a five-month course with ten themes, one presented every two weeks. Once we post the materials on our site you may download the written and audio materials, and you can watch the classes anytime you want through the end of December.


Although the idea of cultivating more joy is meant to be an uplifting experience, it takes genuine intention to develop new habits that begin to naturally incline the mind that way. The more you put into the course, the more you will get out of it. However, you can do it to whatever extent you are able. We have enough responsibilities to make us feel guilty as it is. Joy does not follow from guilt. You will be encouraged to do whatever practices we are focusing on in a way that works for you.

People's time commitment varies tremendously in this class. There’s no guilt or pressure; it should be done as a nourishing experience. There are some people who attend or watch a class recording and do little else. Others may read a chapter, attend a class, read the letters and engage in the practices, which could mean taking some time each day for meditation/relaxation, singing, exercising, etc. Fully utilizing the program in this way supports participants in getting the most out of class because they are learning and practicing new ways to live. Even for busy folks who only dip into the material, the methods can still be quite powerful and effective.

Yes, we have scholarships available for people who are taking the course. We don't want finances to get in the way. Please see the Enrollment Options page for tuition options, and email us if they don’t work for you.

Sign up for the course as the person you’re giving it to, using their name, address, email etc. You’ll also need to create a username and password for them. Then, when you get to the payment part, you can pay from your own credit card or PayPal account, but in the comments section write, “This is a gift for X.” Once you have done this, email us at and we’ll make sure everything is properly attributed.

If you would like this gift to be a surprise, please put your own email address in when you register so that you receive the confirmation emails directly. Once you are ready to share your gift, just send us the proper email address for your gift recipient and we’ll switch it in their file.

The course brings the book to life. People are given the opportunity to work through the book, relating it to their own life situations and to real time world situations with the author himself. The course gives tremendous support by creating a community (joy groups, practice partners, online material), so that the participant can experience Awakening Joy fully. Also, since the course is 5 months long, it slows down the experiential practice of Awakening Joy, allowing a deepening of understanding and a development of ongoing happiness practices.

Yes! Please contact

Written Materials - In PDF Format

Mac computers come with a PDF viewer called "Preview", but also accommodate Adobe's Acrobat Reader.

Get the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Get Acrobat Reader

The ability to play video and audio files is also recommended, but not absolutely necessary, since the core of the course is contained in the richly detailed written practice letters.

Audio Materials - Work with Standard Browser Plug-Ins

Video Materials - Use Modern Web Browsers

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Internet Explorer (version 8 or above)
  • Opera and OmniWeb should work, but Awakening Joy does not officially support either of them.
Video - Also Necessary
  • Adobe Flash browser plug-in
  • A reasonably modern computer for watching HD video

13. What's the Course Schedule?

14. Where Do the Classes Meet?

Come to class and stop at the table in the entryway. They will have a record of payment and can give you a ticket.