Awakening Joy

Books - By James Baraz

James is the author of two books.

Awakening Joy: 10 Steps to Happiness

in partnership with Shoshana Alexander

Paperback Book Cover


Awakening Joy for Kids

in partnership with Michele Lilyanna

Book Cover for Kids


Awakening Joy: 10 Steps to Happiness

By James Baraz and Shoshana Alexander
Foreword by Jack Kornfield
Preface by Ram Dass


Hardcover Paperback Audio and Kindle Editions
Awakening Joy Awakening Joy The Book Awakening Joy The Book

Bantam Books
ISBN-13: 9780553807035

Order from:

Your Independent Bookstore


Barnes and Noble

Parallax Press 

Your Independent Bookstore


Barnes and Noble

Use code AJ25 at Parallax Press
to receive a 25% Discount at checkout


Unabridged Audio Edition

Narrated by James Baraz

Kindle Edition

Original book formatting
is lost in this version

Happiness is not for the lucky few—it’s a choice anyone can make. In his groundbreaking first book, written with Shoshana Alexander, Awakening Joy: 10 Steps to Happiness (A Bantam Books Hardcover). James Baraz, cofounder of Spirit Rock Meditation Center and renowned meditation teacher for more than 30 years, reveals his 10-step program, based on the curriculum of his popular “Awakening Joy” course, for how we can reorient our minds away from dissatisfaction and distraction and toward the contentment and delight that is abundantly available in our everyday lives. 

Bill Gates' Blog Praises Awakening Joy: 10 Steps to Happiness

Bill Gates


"I don't read a lot of self-help or inspirational books, but even if you never read anything in this genre, this book is one you should try. Baraz teaches a very popular course and has an online lecture series on this. Melinda and I actually went to one of his seminars. He's a very nice guy, and Awakening Joy is very good."

More Praise for Awakening Joy: 10 Steps to Happiness

"Opening to joy takes courage and intention. This book will inspire you to discover genuine happiness, and show you how. Drawing on perennial wisdom and accessible meditative practices, James and Shoshana offer teachings that can awaken your love of life."   
Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance

"Every page of this wonderful book has something that inspires faith or confidence: a new story, a memorable quote, an exercise that invites participation....From beginning to end, it is a joy to read."
Sylvia Boorstein, author of Happiness Is An Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life

"This book should be read by every person who cares about making this a better world."
Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers

"Well-written, informative, and a significant contribution to everyone’s well-being.”    
Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., cultural anthropologist, and author of award-winning Second Half of Life: Opening to the Eight Gates of Wisdom

"In our pursuit of happiness, this moving book should be a dog eared, worn out companion....As you work through this elegant material, you will find yourself laughing a little longer, dancing a little more, and awakening to the beauty of what lies inside you and in those nearby."  
Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley, and author, Born To Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life

"I have been deeply touched and inspired by James Baraz’s accessible, practical wisdom."
Rabbi Margie Jacobs, Institute for Jewish Spirituality

"This is a life-changing book that not only teaches practical, useful strategies for increasing your awareness, but also illuminates choices about how you can lead your emotional life."
Paul Ekman, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of California, San Francisco, co-author of Emotional Awareness and author of Emotions Revealed

"To awaken joy in oneself and others is one of life’s great skills, a skill taught by sages across the centuries, and now distilled in this book."
Roger Walsh M.D., Ph.D., University of California Medical School, author of Essential Spirituality: The Seven Central Practices

"Awakening Joy: 10 Steps to Happiness is an important guide to transforming our everyday experience into genuine happiness."
Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

"In this beautiful and heartwarming book, James Baraz and Shoshana Alexander take us on a journey that truly awakens joy. There are stories that bring tears to our eyes and practices that transform our lives.  This is a loving, wise, and compassionate testament to what is possible for each one of us.  Highly recommended."
Joseph Goldstein, author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening

Catherine Ingram Interviews James Baraz about Awakening Joy