Finding Joy in Difficult Times

Dr. Rick and Forrest Hanson are joined by James Baraz, a meditation teacher for over 40 years and cofounder of Spirit Rock Meditation Center, to explore how we can find still find joy during 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 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.

Watch the Episode: Prefer watching video? You can watch this episode on YouTube.

Key Topics:

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

Awakening Joy: 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. It's a 5-month course taught online by James, check it out and learn more here. 

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