Category: Joy


Would you like to experience more Joy? How about euphoria, inner peace or ecstasy? Let psychotherapist and bestselling author Jonathan Robinson take you on a tour of all the best ways to feel fantastic.

In this book, you’ll discover 101 easy and little known ways to feel more joy. You’ll learn about methods ranging from a $1 gadget for feeling intense pleasure, to a free app that really leads to more depth and peace in your life.

Read about how:
• Some new gadgets can enhance pleasure, deepen relationships, and help you feel gratitude—all at the same time.
• Specific apps that have been shown to make people happier and create more loving relationships.
• Twelve little known supplements that can reliably induce euphoria, elation, and feelings of connection and peacefulness. You’ll learn what these tools can do for you, and how and where to get these happiness hacks.

In addition, you’ll discover how to know which of these tools are most likely to be the best ones for you. Get ready for a quest to experience more of the peace, pleasure, and joy hidden within you…


Jonathan Robinson is a psychotherapist, best-selling author of ten books, and a professional speaker from Northern California. He has reached over 100 million people around the world with his practical methods, and his work has been translated into 47 languages. Mr. Robinson has made numerous appearances on the Oprah show, as well as many other national TV talk shows, and articles about him have appeared in USA Today, Newsweek and The Los Angeles Times. In his public talks and seminars, Jonathan is known for providing people with immediately useful information in a fun and entertaining manner.

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Finding Happiness Now!

Jonathan Robinson will share with you, for FREE, the secrets finding happiness life. Watch this video for your first free tip, then sign up (http://findinghappiness.com/free-happ…) for 45 minutes of FREE Audio to learn how to find happiness now. These techniques take less than 2 minutes a day.

About Jonathan Robinson: Jonathan Robinson, M.A., M.F.T is a psychotherapist, best-selling author of nine books, and a professional speaker.

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With Happiness, Don’t Go for Intensity

By James Baraz, co-founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center and co-author of Awakening Joy

In our competitive culture, we usually think “more is better”. Being Number One, winning at all costs, and “having the most” is deeply ingrained in our psyche as real success. This model of going for the max is often erroneously applied to our own understanding of happiness. People mistakenly think intense delight is a sign that their attempt at true well-being is really successful.

However, when we look for bells and whistles as indications of true happiness, we’re misunderstanding a very important principle: Setting a high bar of intense happiness works against true well-being. Although it’s fine to enjoy peak experiences when they arise, measuring that ideal against a moderate level of “okayness” can easily render this moment as “not good enough”.

One of my favorite Calvin and Hobbes cartoons starts off with a smiling Calvin saying, “Here I am happy and content.” In the next frame, he further reflects: “But not euphoric.” Third frame: “So I’m no longer content. My day is completely ruined.” Last frame: “I should have stopped thinking while I was ahead.”

When people do my online Awakening Joy course, they often come with ideas of what joy is supposed to look like. A complaint I sometimes hear is, “I’m trying really hard to be joyful and it’s not working.” That kind of efforting to be joyful only leads to frustration! Instead, I recommend that one simply begin noticing moments of feeling “okay”. If you tend to have a life filled with intense drama, I often suggest being aware of moments when you’re not miserable. That’s a good start.

We find what we look for. Neuroscience calls this phenomenon the brain’s “confirmation bias”. Your brain tends to see what it believes to be true and misses whatever doesn’t confirm its hypothesis. If you don’t think you experience much true happiness because you’re holding an image that it should be a peak experience of ecstasy, you probably will keep confirming that belief.

However, if you see moments of “okayness”–moments where you’re not suffering–as moments worthy of appreciation, you open the channel to true well-being. And the more you notice and take them in, the stronger that flow of true well-being naturally becomes–not through force but through wise attention. As neuroscience expert Rick Hanson says: “The brain is like Teflon for positive experiences and Velcro for negative ones.”

When you let go of looking for ecstatic states, you can find joy in the most commonplace moments. Edith, a student in Germany, had somehow equated joy with intense positive experiences. But when she stopped looking for those and just opened up to a simple feeling of well-being she started to experience things very differently. She put it this way:

“I noticed how much joy there already is and how I had somehow looked for a kind of super-mundane, “spiritual” joy, more profound and lasting than our ordinary joy, that I would only reach if I practiced hard and in the right way. By having this concept, and by looking for this other kind of joy, I had missed out on a lot of “ordinary joy” moments. As I focused on them, appreciated them and felt them more fully, I was so happy and sometimes almost overwhelmed at all the joy and blessings in my life.”

I remember many years ago hearing a wise teacher give instructions on the Buddhist heart practice called “loving-kindness” or metta meditation. He said that sometimes the word “loving-kindness” can seem so lofty and noble that we imagine it’s beyond our reach. He suggested connecting with the simple feeling of “kindness” or “friendliness” towards oneself or others. That’s so much more accessible and it will start the gentle flow of good-heartedness we’re looking for.

In the Buddhist model of happiness, refined states of well-being are ultimately more sustainable and more satisfying. As wonderful as it is, rapture is considered a coarser level of happiness that, after a while, becomes jarring jangling to the system. Gladness, then happiness, followed by contentment are considered states that are much more developed and fulfilling. Ultimately, deep peace is the most satisfying state of all, and is said to be the precursor to true enlightenment.

So, if you’re trying to cultivate genuine happiness within yourself, you might consider letting go of attempting to experience a geyser gusher of intensity. Awakening joy comes naturally from truly appreciating the simple moments of well-being in our lives.

James Baraz
is a co-founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center, co-author of Awakening Joy and has led his popular Awakening Joy online course since 2003. This year he will be offering a new 5-month Awakening Joy 2.0 curriculum starting in February focusing on loving-kindness and compassion with an outstanding line-up of guest speakers including IONS President and CEO Cassandra Vieten.

Awakening Joy is more than just another book about happiness. More than simply offering suggested strategies to change our behavior, it uses time-tested practices to train the mind to learn new ways of thinking. The principles of the course are universal, although much of the material includes Buddhist philosophy drawn from the author’s thirty years as a Buddhist meditation teacher and spiritual counselor.

In these times of economic uncertainty Awakening Joy shows we can get through hard times and use our experience to keep the our heart open while moving from discouragement to well-being, regardless of the external circumstances. Genuine well-being is not expensive. True happiness is not about acquiring anything, but rather about opening to the natural joy and aliveness right inside you.

In this practical down-to-earth guide, readers will learn how to

• make happiness a habit by inclining your mind toward states that lead to well-being
• find joy, even during difficult times, and avoid the pitfalls that prevent you from achieving the contentment you seek
• cultivate effective practices for sustaining joyfulness, such as reclaiming your natural sense of wonder and finding joy in the midst of everyday experiences.

Each chapter of Awakening Joy consists of one of the steps in Baraz’s ten-step program and includes engaging exercises and practical advice to make happiness your natural default setting. For everyone from the cynic who is despondent over life’s many sorrows, to the harried commuter raging at freeway traffic, this book offers up a simple yet powerful message of hope grounded in the realization that joy already exists inside every one of us. Like a precious child, it only needs to be recognized, embraced, and nurtured in order to grow to its full potential

James Baraz has been teaching meditation for more than thirty years and the Awakening Joy course, both on-site and online, since 2003. He is a co—founding teacher of the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California, and is on the international advisory board of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. He lives with his wife, Jane, in the San Francisco Bay area.

Shoshana Tembeck Alexander has studied Buddhism since the early 1970s and is the author of In Praise of Single Parents and Women’s Ventures, Women’s Visions. She has guided the work of several prominent Buddhist authors, including Tara Brach, Sharon Salzberg, and Wes Nisker. She lives in Ashland, Oregon. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Awakening Joy 2.0 Trailer

A 5-month course in loving-kindness and compassion for anyone who wants to experience a deeper connection to themselves and to life.

Awakening Joy: James Baraz and Anam Thupten in Conversation

Discover why all suffering, illness, and unhappiness are cries from your soul and subconscious mind asking you to fulfill your life’s purpose, realize your greatest potential, and ultimately, love, honor, and value yourself in every moment, situation, and relationship.

Born out of Blake D. Bauer’s personal healing and spiritual journey, as well as his professional counseling, coaching, and healing success with thousands of people internationally, You Were Not Born to Suffer offers a unique combination of deep insight and practical guidance that will empower you to transform your suffering in the present and move forward immediately in creating what you want and need most in your life right now.

Written in heart-centered, easy-to-read language, You Were Not Born to Suffer will guide you through the most challenging obstacles and lessons you’ll face in your quest for healing, purpose, success, and overall freedom. Above all else, this book will enable you to relate to yourself with unconditional love, kindness, and compassion so you can transform the core psychological, emotional, and physical blocks that are sabotaging your health, happiness, and overall wellbeing.

You Were Not Born to Suffer offers a refreshing integration of ancient and timeless wisdom, synthesized from various spiritual and medical traditions, that goes straight to the heart of our deepest wounds, needs, desires, and dreams as human beings. Once there, it inspires unconditional love, respect, acceptance, and forgiveness in the places that are universally the most difficult for us to embrace. At the same time, it also clarifies how to effectively direct your thoughts, words, and actions toward creating the “best” in every aspect of your personal and professional life.

If you are serious about healing yourself, fulfilling your life’s purpose, and awakening spiritually, then this book will support you to take your life, your power, and your destiny back into your own hands so you can live your life to the fullest—without regret.

Blake D. Bauer is an internationally recognized author, spiritual teacher, and alternative medicine practitioner. His pioneering work centers on loving yourself unconditionally as the key to healing yourself, fulfilling your life’s purpose, and realizing your full potential both personally and professionally. Based on his training with spiritual teachers, healers, and masters from all over the world, Blake practices and teaches various forms of meditation, qi gong, qi gong energy medicine, and dao yin (a health and longevity yoga). Blake’s formal education also includes traditional Chinese medicine, five-element Chinese medicine, nutritional medicine, herbal healing, psychology, past life regression therapy-hypnosis, and various other forms of traditional healing and alternative medicine. Bringing together the most effective spiritual practices and holistic approaches to health and wellbeing, Blake’s work and teachings have successfully guided thousands of people internationally toward greater psychological, emotional, physical, financial, and spiritual freedom.

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Inner-Views with Dr Leslie and Blake Bauer Author of YOU WERE NOT BORN TO SUFFER
Diane Wilkins


Inner-Views with Dr Leslie and Blake Bauer Author of YOU WERE NOT BORN TO SUFFER


Published on Dec 22, 2015

Richard sends a message of hope and optimism for celebrating this holiday season. Despite the emphasis on conflict and violence so prevalent in the media, there is a steady and inevitable self-transcending aspect to our consciousness that is steadily, albeit gradually, overcoming our old survival based psychology.


For millennia humanity has struggled to understand
one simple truth. There is ONLY God.

The Creator and Its Creations are one and the same.
There is no line of separation. No beginning, no end.
The illusion of separation is the veil of which we speak.

As the very nature of Creation is infinite possibility,
everything seen and unseen is possible.

Belief in separation has allowed mankind to create
imagined opposition such as war, evil, judgment.
We create it all.

Perfection lies in ALL Creation, even that which we
do not understand and judge to be imperfect.
Destruction is part of the creative process.

There are no victims, there are no chosen ones.
Failure does not exist. There is only that which we
create to lead us back to who we really are.
It is all PERFECT.

We have given ourselves no greater gift than our
desire for the truth; to know who we are and
our purpose. In your desire to understand, you have
returned to the Source, that which is in YOU!

There are those who have tried to keep the Truth
from you, but even that was an illusion, for you
created it for the joy and delight of discovery.

Evolution is Creation in process. Your purpose
is to evolve to the Truth of who you really are;
to EXPERIENCE WHO YOU REALLY ARE.

There is nothing you need to do. Just be…
LOVE. Joy. Peace. Freedom. Prosperity.

Spread the Word. Set others free. Give The Gift.

That’s what love would do!

Source: WhatWouldLoveDoIntl

Connecting with the divine is crucial for spiritual advancement, but choosing a spiritual path is anything but easy.

Amy Elizabeth Garcia simplifies the journey to enlightenment into thirty-three spiritual goals, such as finding your life purpose, developing trust in the universe, relinquishing the need to control, recognizing synchronicity, and fostering peace. Focusing on a specific spiritual lesson, each chapter begins with a divine message from the author’s spiritual master that includes stories from his human incarnations. Garcia goes a step further in bringing these concepts to life by sharing her own life experiences. Every chapter includes a prayer inspired by angels and exercises for spiritual growth-the perfect complement to this beginner’s guide to enlightenment.


Amy Elizabeth Garcia is a Reiki Master and Angel Therapy Practitioner who receives guidance from her spirit guides and angels. She teaches workshops and conducts intuitive counseling and healing sessions. Amy is the founder of the Spiritual Awareness Network, an organization that provides information about the Southern California metaphysical community. Her websites feature a practitioner directory, web links, an events calendar, weekly e-mail newsletters and more. Amy also works as a parent advocate, assisting families in crisis by providing them with parenting techniques, life skills and personal growth tools.
Visit her on the web at http://www.AmyGarcia.org

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Interview with Amy Elizabeth Cutler-Garcia,
by Cindra Ranier for the Awaken program

Please tell us about your background.
I have always had a passion for spirituality and personal growth. I have spent many years in study and I love to find new ways to connect with Spirit and increase my empowerment. I became ordained as a minister of Spiritual Peacemaking. Creating peace is the main focus of my work. I take the ideas that I have learned on my spiritual path and utilize them in my work as a peace advocate.

How did you come to write your book, Real Steps To Enlightenment? Was it a “calling”?
I believe it was a calling because when I was writing it I felt elevated and connected to Spirit. I had been exploring spirituality for many years when my husband suggested that I write about my experiences. I really enjoyed the writing process and I believe that I grew spiritually as I implemented the book’s tools into my own life.

What does enlightenment mean to you? How would you describe it?
I think a person is enlightened when he or she realizes their divine connection to God. They have let go of attachments of the ego and the belief in separation.

What tools does your book offer?
My book contains 33 chapters that discuss qualities of Spirit that people aspire to create in their lives such as peace, joy, trust and prosperity. Each chapter contains a four-step format that helps the reader to align their thoughts, beliefs, emotions and behaviors. I call the four steps “Information” and “Inspiration” to help you set your “Intention” and take “Action.” The book encourages readers to tap into their own spiritual guidance and gifts to create the life they really want.

Who was your inspiration?
I think that the people we encounter in our daily lives can be our greatest teachers. In my book, I relate stories of simple lessons I learned from my children, relatives, colleagues and friends. We are all given many opportunities in these relationships to choose love instead of fear. This is a teaching from A Course In Miracles, a book that greatly transformed my life and worldview.

What does it mean to you to find your purpose?
I believe that an important reason we are here is to “know ourselves”. As we strengthen our connection to God, who we are as powerful spirits becomes more apparent. I think that each person who is born has a contribution to make to humanity. We can be of service in many ways. It could be a vocation, a career or a labor of love such as parenting a child. It might be as simple as offering those we meet a smile or a kind word. It could be as complex as finding a cure for disease or solutions to global challenges.

Where were you on 9/11? How did that impact your life?
I was at home. My husband called me on the phone and filled me in on what was happening that morning. Something clicked on inside of me and I received the strong message, “It’s time to get to work.” I went straight to the corner church and began praying. I knew that it was important for me to do my spiritual work with a new vigor because the world was in need of healing on so many levels. Now, every time I see 9:11 on a clock or sign, I receive reminders to move forward with my work.

Why do you think “Gratitude” is so important?
I think gratitude creates a cycle of positive energy. I believe that what we put out into the world is returned to us. Gratitude keeps the flow of abundance moving. So does sharing what we receive. It is easy to be grateful for the good things in our lives, but I think it is also important to be grateful for the challenges. They have lessons to teach us as we grow and evolve.

Amy, do you have any stories to share where having trust has proven true for you?
I wrote about many real life “miracle” stories in my book. They demonstrate how aligning with Spirit can help us move through anything – from loss of employment to healing from cancer. In my life, I was led to a lovely home. I think God put me in the right place at the right time. This really renewed my trust that I will always have my needs met by the Universe.

How about Healing? So many folks are going through a need for healing.
I think it is important to learn more about how healing energy works. Quantum physics shows us that everything is energy. At a subatomic level, energy will move in accordance to our expectations. As a healer, I teach my clients techniques to remove blocks and increase well-being by consciously directing energy.

How would you encourage people to deal with stress and anxiety.
Most stresses can be helped by behavioral or cognitive restructuring. In simple terms, that means acting to change the situation you are in or changing the way you think about it. Stress is ultimately eliminated when we awaken to our I Am presence. It is in this place that we experience “the peace that is beyond understanding.” If you become anxious, shift your focus to God’s love – this is the only true constant force in the Universe.

Any closing thoughts, Amy?
A scripture comes to mind. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” I think that the entire world will be healed when we embrace that teaching. When we do this, there will be peace on earth.

Joy is not for just the lucky few–it’s a choice anyone can make. In this groundbreaking book, based on his popular course, James Baraz helps you discover a path to the happiness that’s right in front of you, offering a step-by-step program that will reorient your mind away from dissatisfaction and distraction and toward the contentment and delight that is abundantly available in our everyday lives.

You can decide to be happy. For years, James Baraz’s online Awakening Joy course has offered participants from around the world the benefits of this simple but profoundly radical proposition. Grounded in simple Buddhist principles but accessible to people of all faiths–or no faith at all–this concept provides the jumping-off point for a transformational journey toward a richer, more meaningful, more positive outlook on life. Now readers everywhere can follow the same ten steps Baraz teaches to his program participants. In this practical down-to-earth guide, you will learn how to

• make happiness a habit by inclining your mind toward states that lead to well-being
• find joy even during difficult times and avoid the pitfalls that prevent you from achieving the contentment you seek
• cultivate effective practices for sustaining joyfulness, such as reclaiming your natural sense of wonder and finding joy in the midst of everyday experiences

Each chapter of Awakening Joy consists of one step in Baraz’s ten-step program and includes engaging exercises and practical advice to make happiness your natural default setting. For everyone from the cynic despondent over life’s many sorrows to the harried commuter raging at freeway traffic, this book offers up a simple yet powerful message of hope grounded in the realization that joy already exists inside every one of us. Like a precious child, it only needs to be recognized, embraced, and nurtured in order to grow to its full potential.

James Baraz has been teaching meditation for more than thirty years and the Awakening Joy course, both on-site and online, since 2003. He is a co—founding teacher of the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California, and is on the international advisory board of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. He lives with his wife, Jane, in the San Francisco Bay area.

Shoshana Tembeck Alexander has studied Buddhism since the early 1970s and is the author of In Praise of Single Parents and Women’s Ventures, Women’s Visions. She has guided the work of several prominent Buddhist authors, including Tara Brach, Sharon Salzberg, and Wes Nisker. She lives in Ashland, Oregon.

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Awakening Joy Course and Book Video

Discover a path to the happiness that’s right in front of you. True well-being is a choice you can make.

Awakening Joy: The Book

Catherine Ingram interviews author and spiritual teacher, James Baraz, about his new book Awakening Joy. The book can be ordered via your local, independent bookstore or online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. For more information about Awakening Joy, the book and the online course, as taught by James Baraz. please visit http://www.awakeningjoy.info

Some say that the twilight hours are the best time to enjoy a garden; a time when the spirit of the place really comes alive. It is also the time when many people pass front gardens on their return home, have a few spare minutes for garden maintenance, or want to enjoy the garden for entertaining. Full of easy maintenance advice, planting ideas for evening fragrance, colour, lighting, design, and attracting wildlife, this is a book for how people garden now. Front gardens, terraces, larger plots and containers will all be covered in an attempt to inspire everyone to transform their outdoor space into a twilight paradise.

Lia is a freelance garden writer who shares an allotment with several friends near her home in Bristol. A regular contributor to The Guardian and The Telegraph, she is a long-time advocate of organic and community growing, and has written many books on the subject. She has an award-winning blog, Midnight Brambling.

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Plot 22 – Ep1 – Digging Back In Time

Published on Mar 21, 2014
Plot 22 is a ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ for allotments. Garden writer Lia Leendertz wants to find out who has dug and planted in, played and worked on the very piece of soil she has thought of as her own for the past ten years. We’re going to journey back in time to reveal the past life of much loved plot in Bristol.

There will be wars and land grabs, waves of migration and changes of fashion, with this humble plot of land and the people who worked it telling these stories.

Lia is an award-winning garden writer who writes for The Guardian, The Telegraph, Gardens Illustrated, The Garden and more, and her north Bristol plot is well used as inspiration and location for her features. She and her husband Michael do the work, while their two young children climb trees, eat cake and dig ‘photographer traps’.

Why do we suffer? Is there a purpose to our pain? Noting that human beings have wrestled with such questions for thousands of years, Phillip Moffitt has found answers for his own life in Buddhist philosophy and meditation. Reflecting on his own journey from Esquire magazine editor-in-chief to Buddhist meditation teacher, Moffitt provides a fresh perspective on the Buddha’s ancient wisdom, showing how to move from suffering to new awareness and unanticipated joy.

In this deeply spiritual book that is sure to become a Buddhist classic, Moffitt explores the twelve insights that underlie the Buddha’s core teaching–the Four Noble Truths–and uses these often neglected ideas to guide readers to a more meaningful relationship to suffering. Moffitt write: “These twelve insights teach you to dance with both the joy and pain, finding peace in a balanced mind and calm spirit. As the most specific, practical life instructions I have ever encountered, they serve as an invaluable tool for anyone who seeks a life filled with meaning and well-being.” Practicing these twelve insights, as Moffitt suggests, will help readers experience life’s difficulties without being filled with stress and anguish, and they will enhance their moments of happiness.
With engaging writing and a strong message of self-empowerment, Dancing with Life offers a prescriptive path for finding joy and peace that will appeal to meditation students and readers of “Dharma Wisdom,” Moffitt’s column in Yoga Journal, as well as anyone searching for a more authentic life.


In 1987 Phillip Moffitt walked away from his highly successful post as chief executive and editor-in-chief of “Esquire” magazine to focus on his inner life. After leaving “Esquire,” Phillip spent most of his time studying Theravada Buddhism and practicing vipassana (insight meditation). He also became interested in the mind-body connection and studied yoga, Jungian psychology, aikido, and somatic healing techniques. After he had been practicing vipassana for seven years, Phillip was invited by Jack Kornfield, the founder of Spirit Rock Meditation Center, to participate in Spirit Rock’s three-year teacher training. In 1998 after completing his teacher training, Phillip established the Marin Sangha in San Rafael, Calif. In addition to teaching the Marin Sangha, Phillip travels throughout the U.S. and Canada leading silent meditation retreats and is co-guiding teacher at Spirit Rock. Phillip’s primary teachers are Ajahn Sumedho and Sri Swami Balyogi Premvarni.

Between 1999 and 2006, Phillip wrote a regular column for “Yoga Journal” called “Dharma Wisdom.” And in 2008 he published his first book about living the dharma in daily life, “Dancing with Life: Buddhist Insights for Finding Meaning and Joy in the Face of Suffering.”

In addition to devoting himself to teaching the dharma, Phillip also does what he calls “Life Balance” work, a process he developed for helping others find more meaning and a greater sense of well-being in their lives. In 1991 he founded the Life Balance Institute (www.lifebalanceinstitute.com).

You can access Phillip’s teachings at http://www.dharmawisdom.org.

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Working with Difficult Emotions by Phillip Moffitt / Spirit Rock Meditation Center

Uploaded on May 4, 2011

Phillip Moffitt, Co-Guiding Teacher at Spirit Rock and author of “Dancing with Life,” talks about how to use mindfulness practice to work with difficult or strong emotions such as anger. (Filmed on May 3, 2011 at Spirit Rock by Walt Opie, Communications Editor.)

Intimately and without jargon, How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow describes the path to peace amid all of life’s ups and downs. Using step by step instructions, the author illustrates how to be fully present in the moment without clinging to joy or resisting sorrow. This opens the door to a kind of wellness that goes beyond circumstances. Actively engaging life as it is in this fashion holds the potential for awakening to a peace and well-being that are not dependent on whether a particular experience is joyful or sorrowful. This is a practical book, containing dozens of exercises and practices, all of which are illustrated with easy-to-relate to personal stories from the author’s experience.

I’ve been a practicing Buddhist for over 20 years. Until forced to retire due to illness, I was a professor at the University of California–Davis School of Law, serving six years as the dean of students. I’m the author of the award-winning “How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers,” and the newly released “How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for Navigating Joy and Sorrow.” Both “How to Be Sick” and “How to Wake Up” are practical books. They are intended to help all of us find peace and well-being regardless of our particular circumstances. To this end, each of the books contains dozens of exercises and practices, all of which are illustrated with easy-to-relate-to personal stories. I live in Davis, California with my husband (also named Tony!) and our hound dog, Rusty. I hope you’ll visit my website at http://www.tonibernhard.com

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How to Wake Up – Toni Bernhard – Interview View Here


Published on Feb 13, 2014

In this Question and Answer preview, Eckhart advises to focus on your inner state—but not as a means to an end.

Mark Nepo is emerging as one of the truly significant writers and thinkers of today. Nepo has a singular way of distilling great truths down to their essence. Moreover, during his cancer journey, Nepo relied on the power of expression and the writing process to keep him tethered to life. In Reduced to Joy, Mark Nepo explores the places where pain and joy are stitched to resilience, uncovering them with deep wisdom, poetic passages and personal revelations. Nepo reminds us all of the secret and sacred places within, forgotten in the noise and chatter of our busy distracted 21st Century lives. Reduced to Joy is a lesson in stillness, in standing in the mystery and, above all, in the work of love.

POEMS FROM THE BOOK

SO MUCH IS CARRIED
(for Saba)

When just a pup, I took her into winter.
While Paul photographed the heavy snow,
she, having never run free, circled wildly,
her little nose caked with white.

She slipped and broke the ice. I can still
see her puppy face underwater, looking
for a way out, her tiny paws swatting
at the thick clear deep.

With no thought, I was waist high and
wet, sweeping her into the air. She flew
a good twelve feet and landed with a thud.
She shook and started to shiver. We rubbed
her down for two hours, blowing her with
an old hair dryer. I held her in my shirt,
near my heart, the whole way home.

I’m fourteen years and seven states away
and she has died. My first dog. I close
my eyes and there she is, grown,
sniffing the air in an open field,
smelling things I couldn’t even sense.

How many times I’ve played that day
in the pond: her struggle underwater,
her drying on my chest.

How much that day has shaped my art:
always jumping in and sweeping what
has been baptized in the deep back
into the world, always holding it
near my heart. As if my life
depends on it.

THE SUBLIME DISTURBANCE

As the wind makes a different song
through the same tree as its branches
break, God makes finer and finer music
through the wearing down of our will.

WHERE IS GOD?

It’s as if what is unbreakable—
the very pulse of life—waits for
everything else to be torn away,
and then in the bareness that
only silence and suffering and
great love can expose, it dares
to speak through us and to us.

It seems to say, if you want to last,
hold on to nothing. If you want
to know love, let in everything.
If you want to feel the presence
of everything, stop counting the
things that break along the way.

Mark Nepo is a poet and philosopher who has taught in the fields of poetry, health, and spirituality for forty years. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, he has published fourteen books and recorded eight audio projects. Mark has appeared with Oprah Winfrey on her Super Soul Sunday program on OWN TV, and has also been interviewed by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. Mark keynotes regularly for conferences and corporations, works with healing and medical communities, including chaplains and therapists, speaks and offers workshops for colleges and universities, and leads spiritual retreats.

In 1987, Mark was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. The heart of that journey and its aftermath has greatly informed his work. Ever since, he has been a student of all paths and his work has explored the common center and unity of all spiritual traditions, focusing on how we can experience that unity when we can lean into life and hold nothing back. Ultimately, he explores with others how to live wholeheartedly, so we can inhabit the gifts we are born with and find the language of our own wisdom.

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A CONVERSATION WITH MARK ABOUT HIS NEW BOOK OF POEMS, REDUCED TO JOY

QUESTION: What inspired you to write this book?

MN: Poems come slowly. They break surface like dolphin after long stretches of going under. So writing a book of poems for me is different than writing my other books. I have to sit when I’m able and try to make heart-sense of what life has been doing to me and with me. Like wringing out a sponge, I squeeze what matters onto the page, let it dry, and see what’s there the next day. One by one, they gather into an instructive whole. All this to say, that by trying to make sense of my own experience, I’ve discovered a theme to the journey, that we are all reduced to joy, worn away of all excess. To survive this, we often need to hold each other up in order to discover and return to what matters. This book explores these essential relationships, which keep shaping me.

QUESTION: Can you speak about the nature of joy and what keeps us from it?
MN: For me, joy is different than happiness. While happiness is a fleeting mood, joy is larger and more lasting than any one feeling. If each feeling is a wave of emotion, then joy is the ocean that holds all feelings. As I get older, I’m coming to realize that joy is central to our knowing peace. It’s one deep way that we access Oneness. I’m also beginning to see that joy is the hum of Oneness. It’s the sensation of being connected to life itself. Another way to speak of joy is to say that it’s the reward for facing our experience. Often, what keeps us from joy is the menacing assumption that life is happening other than where we are. So we are always leaving, running from or running to. What keeps us from joy, then, is often not being where we are and not valuing what is before us.

QUESTION: These poems are gathered from the last thirteen years of your life. How would you describe your journey over these years and how you’ve changed or grown during this time?

MN: With each hardship and loss, friendships matter more and not just with people, but with nature and time and with life itself. This last decade has made me more vulnerable and stronger at the same time. I feel there is less between me and what I experience. I think I’ve been reduced more and more to what is essential, less able to pretend or look away. I still get tripped up by fear and worry and at times forget where I’ve been and who I am. But this is all part of the endless journey. I’ve become a student of things as they are and this has led me to the astonishing guidance that all things are true. I simply have to keep my heart open long enough to discover how.

QUESTION: You talk a lot about “working with what we’re given” as a way to discover a meaningful life. Can you talk more about this?

MN: Try as we do to resist what we’re given, this is only doorway to truth. Not all that we’re given is difficult. There are many blessings and gentle surprises along the way. But we all waste too much time and energy either denying where we find ourselves or fighting where we find ourselves. When what’s before us is always a shy teacher insisting on our attention. I love the great Czech poet Vaclav Havel’s definition of hope as “not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” Working with what we’re given is the mirror to uncovering our true nature.

QUESTION: The final section of the book is called “Falling in Love with the World.” What does this mean and how do we go about living this way?

MN: When we can find the courage and support to be where we are, completely, when we can find the wherewithal to meet what we’re given honestly, when we can see our feelings all the way through, then we open ourselves to an inner form of gravity that has us lean into life rather than pull away. This leaning into life with a fragile bareness awakens us to the tender irreplaceable side of life. It is here that we can’t help but fall in love with the world, in spite of its harshness and unpredictability.

QUESTION: In one of your poems, you refer to “the messy art of facing things” and how we sometimes hurt those closest to us. Why is facing things necessary and how can we go about doing it?

MN: The art of facing things is necessary because without it, we replay our struggles on everything around us. So if you want to lessen the amount of violence in the world, the first thing you can do is to commit to facing what is yours to face. When we don’t own what life brings us, we project our pain onto others. I’ve found over time that the first way for me to gather the courage to face my life is to renew my foundational belief that I will survive the discomfort of psychological and emotional pain. In fact, avoiding inner pain only intensifies it. Somehow I need to risk being reshaped by what I face. And the art of facing things isn’t just difficult and messy. It’s also beautiful and tender. Without facing things and each other, intimacy is not possible. No one knows the secret path to all this. Another reason we need each other.

QUESTION: In another poem, you look at what it means to know something by heart. Can you explain this and why it’s important?

MN:[Excerpt from poem]: To graduate into the world, we are
required to memorize practical and odd things: the number
of feet in a mile, the year Henry VIII beheaded Anne Boleyn,
the degree at which clouds will freeze their rain. But since
death is the mirror we eventually move through, let’s stop
carrying the things we repeat and start holding things
with our eyes.

I’ve been struck by how we’re trained away from direct, unscripted living. It’s interesting, as I mention in the poem, that “to know by heart” has been reduced to memorization. When the original sense of knowing something by heart is to be touched by what we meet so completely that our compassion is awakened. When we memorize things, we live in our heads and tend to track life rather than enter it. To truly know something or someone by heart means we will, no doubt, be changed for the experience. And ultimately, as prepared as we try to be, the goal of life is to be surprised into a greater depth of connection and being. Ironically, to be touched by life, we often have to put down what we know in order to be refreshed and re-vitalized by what we don’t know.

QUESTION: Finally, what do you hope readers will take with them from REDUCED TO JOY?

MN: My hope is that the poems in this book will serve as a threshold to an underlying connection to the greater life we are all a part of. I hope the book will be a resource for the reader when faced with the difficulties of living. I hope the poems will confirm that, no matter the struggle you find yourself in, you are not alone. May these poems be honest companions on the journey to joy.

An Evening with Mark Nepo

Published on Apr 22, 2013

Poetry readings by Mark Nepo at All Saints Church, Pasadena, at 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 21, 2013. For more about All Saints Church visit htt;://www.allsaints-pas.org.

Encouraged by Eckhart Tolle, Awake Joy is a unique and comprehensive guide to awakening to the new state of consciousness that is currently emerging on our planet. It points to the discovery of the radiant joy that is beyond the thinking mind, the separate sense of self, its idea of separation and identification with form.

Katie Davis takes the mind-identified reader through their personal growth strategies to awakening. She then deepens to Self-discovery or what we might call the realization of the Heart. The book encourages full embodiment of this truth and then shifts to awake living by embracing humanity’s diversity, the earth, its environment and its creatures as none other than the Essence. Katie shares that when the human being is consciously fulfilled, we live the natural way of the Heart in a profoundly human manner.

It used to be that awakening was extremely rare, but today this is not so and people are opening to Self-discovery. It requires presence and not practices, although the book offers experiments and meditations to reveal ego’s delusion. There is nothing unique, or for that matter peculiar, about realizing who you already are beyond your given name and form. It is a normal maturing process of the human being and is available right now to everyone.

Awake Joy is meant to be your companion throughout your life’s journey to true and lasting fulfillment. It will be a trusted resource again and again throughout the years. This A-Z handbook stands free of concepts, philosophy and eastern jargon to point clearly and pragmatically for those who are ready to surrender suffering for themselves, their relationships, their families, the schools, the workplace, the world’s religions and the world.

KATIE DAVIS is a graduate of the University of Washington and spontaneously awakened over 20 years ago, without spiritual practices or teachers. A former secondary school educator, businesswoman and mother of two, she simply radically fell into the reality of who we really are. After years of integrating, she began teaching and now travels worldwide to share her message of freedom and joy with her husband, Sundance Burke, author of Free Spirit. Click here to view

Click here to browse inside.

Katie Davis 1 – ‘Awake Joy’ – Interview by Renate McNay

Katie Davis – ‘Awake Joy’ – Interview by Renate McNay

In 1986, Katie Davis, author of “Awake Joy”, had a spontaneous awakening that radically transformed her life. At the time, she had never heard of awakening and enlightenment. The integration took twelve years. Katie’s husband is Sundance Burke, author of “Free Spirit“, who awakened in 1982 with Satoshi (Osho/Nisargadatta influence) and Shunyata, named the Rare Born Mystic by his friend Ramana Maharshi.

In 1998, Sundance and Katie became close friends with Eckhart Tolle, who encouraged them to share the teachings and write their books. They travel worldwide to share the message of conscious freedom and causeless joy in the form of talks in spiritual gatherings, satsang, intensives, silent retreats and private appointments. In this interview she talks about her life and her work.

Katie Davis – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Katie Davis is a spiritual teacher and author who offers satsang worldwide. She is a graduate of the University of Washington, a former secondary school educator, a former owner of aerobics studios in the Pacific Northwest and mother of two.

She is author of Awake Joy: The Essence of Enlightenment and since 1999, she has been traveling to share with people the radical possibility of Self-realization that is the end of all suffering, separation and the key to world transformation.

Katie Davis was a Keynote Presenter at the Vancouver BC Convention Centre in Canada. She offers spiritual talks at church services or spiritual gatherings, corporations, hospitals, professional communities and organizations, schools, television and radio shows, as well as for community organizers worldwide that are offering talks in the form of satsang in public meetings, intensives and silent retreats.

In 1986, Katie Davis radically and spontaneously awakened to the ultimate reality of who we really are without practices or teachers. She had never meditated or even heard of enlightenment, Advaita Vedanta, Non-duality or Self-realization. Katie had no intellectual reference whatsoever for what had occurred.

In 1988, Katie met her future husband, Sundance Burke, author of Free Spirit: A Guide to Enlightened Being, who had similarly awakened in 1982 with Satoshi (Osho) and Shunyata, named the Rare Born Mystic by his friend, Ramana Maharshi, one of the most cherished sages of modern day India.

Katie Davis is a world spiritual teacher and a current resident of Seattle, Washington, USA.

Katie’s website: katiedavis.org

Katie’s book, Awake Joy: The Essence of Enlightenment

Interview recorded 4/29/2012

Is your life path lit by your inner candle flame, or are you stumbling along in the dark? In Dr. Wayne Dyer’s new book, he reminds us of what so many people easily forget in the day-to-day grind of life-that material success isn’t what we’re ultimately trying to achieve, and therefore it shouldn’t be our driving force. Within each of us lies success and inner peace, which can be found once we understand that a deeper, richer life experience is characterized by a burning desire, or as Dr. Dyer describes it, an ‘inner candle flame.’

In this thought-provoking book, Dr. Dyer offers simple ways to change your life-and your outlook on life. The ten principles presented here apply to people who are just beginning their journey of discovery, as well as those who have already embarked on life’s winding path. Dr. Dyer urges us to listen with an open heart, and to apply the secrets that resonate with them and discard the rest. By doing so, we’ll learn to feel the peace of God that truly defines success.

Click here to browse inside.

10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace by Dr Wayne Dyer

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