Being Well Podcast: Joy in Difficult Times with James Baraz
January 10, 2022

On today’s episode of Being Well, Forrest and I are joined by James Baraz. We explore step four of James’ 10 steps to awakening joy: how to find joy in difficult times. We discuss how to balance a sense of equanimity with compassion for the suffering of the world, and how cultivating joy at an individual level can support healing at the collective level.

About our Guest: James has been a meditation teacher for over 40 years, and is the cofounder of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. He is the coauthor of Awakening Joy: 10 Steps to True Happiness, and leads the popular online course of the same name. He is also the guiding teacher of One Earth Sangha, a website devoted to expressing a Buddhist response to climate change.

  • 0:00: Introduction
  • 1:45: Why joy is important in Buddhism
  • 5:05: James’ journey to prioritizing joy
  • 11:40: How to practice awakening joy without turning away from suffering
  • 17:20: Putting yourself back together after cultivating awareness of suffering
  • 24:10: The 10 Steps of Awakening Joy
  • 28:45: How people can use emotionally positive states in contemplative practice
  • 32:00: Positivity in relation to the climate crisis and other collective challenges
  • 38:05: Equanimity, compassion, including both sides of the river
  • 43:35: The great perfection
  • 47:10: James’ realistic hope for the next 25 years 
  • 49:30: Recap

From Dr. Hanson: The Foundations of Well-Being brings together the lessons of a lifetime of practice into one year-long online program. Podcast listeners can use the code BEINGWELL25 at checkout for an additional 25% off! Please don’t hesitate to apply for a scholarship if you’re in need.

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