Donald Altman is a practicing psychotherapist, an award-winning writer, former Buddhist monk, and author of many books including The Mindfulness Code and Living Kindness. In this brief practice-oriented paperback, he lays out mindfulness paths to the high spiritual summit of joy. The book is divided into three parts:

1. Developing Attention and Intention
2. Mindfulness Pathways to Joy & Positive Moods
3. Resources for Continuing Your Journey to Joy

Altman has high regard for the gift of focusing attention on what matters and using intention as a basic tool for overcoming bad habits and addictive behaviors. He points out that we all need practice in "training the puppy mind" — especially when "people spend an average of 46.9 percent of their waking hours in fantasy, or mind wandering."

The second section of The Joy Compass presents a gold mine of ideas and exercises on eight pathways leading to happiness:

• Laughter as a Powerful Medicine
• Getting an Attitude of Gratitude
• Finding Forgiveness
• Music as a Magical Mood Maker
• Contemplation and Meditation
• Mobilizing Resources through Affirmation
• Getting Grounded in the Here and Now
• Thriving Through Love and Social Connections