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Have again changed the title of my new book - one of the advantages of digital publishing! - and also slashed the price.
In PDF only at this stage, it is now called Healing Our Global Family: Awakening to the Beautiful People We Are.
What I like about this title is that when we do awaken, what we awaken to is the global perspective, or the underlying oneness of humanity, where everyone is seen as, if not our child, then our brother or sister.
Below, excerpted from the new introduction, is an experience I had which is the genesis of this new book:
"In 1982, when I was 36, my then girlfriend, Barbara, who later became my wife and the mother of our son, Adam, and I made a summer’s trip to California’s Yosemite National Park.
"We stopped partway into the valley, parked, and crossed over some rocks to an island in the middle of the stream that ran through the valley. Because of the trees and undergrowth, it was hidden from view by motorists passing by.
"There I stripped down to my undershorts, and we proceeded to ingest some psilocybin mushrooms. This was at a time when I was exploring psychedelic drugs as a path to higher consciousness.
"I wrote about this experience in my first book, The Ultimate Cure. I called it a “vivid and revealing dream” then, because in those days I was concerned about telling the actual truth. Now, I want to tell only the truth.
"I lay back on a patch of sand between two large, smooth boulders, and waited for the mushrooms to come on, to work their magic. After forty minutes, they did, and what follows is as I wrote in The Ultimate Cure:
Then, strangely, the boulders turned into flesh, into the thighs of my mother, and I realized I was experiencing the moment of my birth. I was issuing forth from my mother’s womb, about to begin my life in the world.
I was aware of a lot of blood, sweat, and pain as I struggled for my first breath and looked around. All I could see was a mass of suffering humanity, mirroring my own shock at being so rudely ejected into the world—a world I suddenly wasn’t at all sure I wanted to join.
People were crying and screaming. They were fighting with each other, desperate in their need to find a place where they belonged, where they could be themselves, where they could find peace. They were making a horrible clamor and were locked in a conflict that showed no signs of ceasing.
The more I looked, the worse the noise and distress became. That was enough for me. I staggered to my feet, through the mess of blood and afterbirth.
“Where are you going?” I heard my mother call softly.
“I can’t stand all this pain and confusion!” I cried. “I’ve got to get away!”
“No!” she said, grabbing my arm and pulling me back. “That’s why I brought you here. To help clean it up.”
I stopped, looked up at the ancient cliffs towering above the side of the valley. Something caught my eye. There, high up on a precipice above the pandemonium around me, was the figure of a Zen monk, sitting quietly in serene meditation.
“That’s where I want to be. Up there!”
I pointed to the monk. My mother relaxed her grip. I started to move toward the base of the cliff. Then, as if by magic, the din around me stopped for a moment. The monk seemed to turn my way, and though he was too far off for me to be sure, I swore he smiled. His voice echoed clearly inside my head.
“There’s only room for one of us up here, boy.”
I sat down, buried my head in my hands. An enormous sadness overtook me. I felt hopeless, helpless. Then I felt my mother’s loving arms encircle me…
"Many, many years have passed since that experience, and for much of the time I found myself caught between two worlds—that of the detached Zen monk, and that of the engaged, busy, clamoring marketplace. It resulted in much personal stress and conflict.
"But finally I found what I had been seeking my whole life. I awakened to the truth of my being, and discovered for myself—as so many others have—the key to healing the mental, emotional, and spiritual wounds of our global family…"
Love and blessings,
End Your Story, Begin Your Life
My book, End Your Story, Begin Your Life published by Hampton Roads ($16.95) is in paperback. It has been widely-praised as one of the best and clearest guides to being free while fully engaging in the marketplace of daily life. More details on the Books page. Also available as an audiobook.
An article about Jim and his work, by Joyce Tate Dvoren, is in the December 2011 issue of LA Yoga. Titled ‘Three Steps to Freedom,’ it can be read online at http://www.layoga-digital.com/layoga/201112#pg22
My blog, which I used to call Reflections on Freedom, and is still on the subject I am most passionate about, is now at my Facebook page, link below. I generally make a new entry several times a week, my current musings - including, sometimes, a piece from one of my books - on this timeless and most important subject.
Sign up for the free, monthly Wisdom Mailing, which contains a short excerpt from my current writing, plus other news, go to Contact Us on the menu. Type "Wisdom" for the Message Subject.
The Essence of my Teaching
Nonduality, nondual, spiritual, enlightenment, awakening, self-realization, and liberation are all pointers to the ultimate truth of life, but they aren't truth itself. Meditation, awareness, and mindfulness can help us awaken to the truth, but it is only through direct seeing - "Oh, I am not any thought of or story, and not even this 'I' thought" - that we awaken to who and what we really are. Then we discover the peace, happiness, joy, and love that is our true nature. This is the direct path. the path that leads to the awakening to oneness.
My work is in the tradition of Jean Klein, Ramana Maharshi, and Nisargadatta, Maharaj, but it is very contemporary, addressing the challenges of our time, and has been compared to Eckhart Tolle, author of Power of Now, Adyashanti, and Deepak Chopra.