Once a month Jim puts out a free Wisdom newsletter, which contains a piece of his writing on awakening, along with an announcement of his schedule, etc.

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A New Novella in eBook Form

Alice’s Awakening

In the runaway nonfiction bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, a book to which, in both content and length, bears some similarities Alice’s Awakening, Morrie says to Mitch, near the end of the book:

“Mitch,” he said, returning to the subject of forgiveness. “There is no point in keeping vengeance or stubbornness. These things”—he sighed—“these things I so regret in my life. Pride. Vanity. Why do we do the things we do?”  

Alice’s Awakening
answers the dying Morrie’s question.  In doing so, this “sweet, charming, and at times magical story” (as one reader described it) addresses all the important themes in life: health and disease, the challenge of human relationships, money, God, violence and war, the need for forgiveness, meaning and purpose, and the real cause of human suffering and angst.

In the novella, Alice, a fictional twelve year old girl, tells the story of how she meets the real Jim Dreaver (!), spiritual teacher and author of the nonfiction book, End Your Story, Begin Your Life in Douglas Park in Santa Monica, California.

At their second meeting he gives her his book and they embark on a series of weekly conversations, resulting eventually in Alice’s awakening to her true nature, to the wisdom, love, and joy inside her. Then, just after her awakening, Alice’s Mom reveals she has Stage Two endometrial cancer. Her whole family goes into extreme upset at this news—except for Alice who, in her newly-realized state of freedom, is able to be a “solid pillar of support” for them.

My Earlier eNovel

Falling into Light is a magical, heart-warming story about the meaning of love, death, and reincarnation. Jake Bennett, fifteen years old, is still devastated by the tragic loss of his parents a year ago. When the novel begins, we find him running through a redwood forest near the northern California town of Occidental, where he lives, literally trying to outrun his pain.

Then he stumbles upon an unusual cat named Maya, who leads him down a mysterious path to a clearing, where an old woman named Bertie is quietly working in her garden. Bertie sees Jake’s pain and opens her heart to him. She takes him into her arms, and together they embark on a healing journey filled with light and magic.

Bertie introduces Jake to the spiritual wisdom of her late husband, an African-American named Meriweather. As the story unfolds, we see the heaviness in Jake’s heart fall away as he reconnects with the source of love and wholeness within him. At the same time, he is given a dramatically new perspective on where we come from, why we are here, and what happens when we die.

Just at the point where it seems Bertie has helped him find the answers to all his questions, their journey comes to an unexpected end. At first, the shock of this turn of events seems to threaten everything Jake learned from Bertie.

But the novel ends with a surprise twist reinforcing what Bertie showed him. There is a divine power, mystery, and grace to life which, when we open to it and trust it, lights the path before us and guides us every step of the way.

A reader, Howard Urbinas, said this of it:

"Just finished reading Falling into Light and it blew me away.  I am just sitting here in amazement, it was so good. I really liked the ending about reincarnation.That was helpful for me. You are an amazing writer Jim. I love reading your teachings, and the way you incorporate them into a gripping story."
Both books are available in PDF form for $9.95 each.


Archived Wisdom Mailing

Tripped up by Ego

Dear Friend,

It has been a pretty busy month or so. First off, End your Story Begin your Life has been picked up by Hampton Roads, the publishers of the best-selling Conversations with God series. It will come out in soft cover in fall of 2011. The book is also currently being distributed to bookstores, so you can go to your local bookstore and ask for it. If they don’t have it in stock, they will order it. It is also available from www.amazon.com for about $18.

I am doing more workshops, including a private retreat on “Being your Authentic Self” for a group of 60 chiropractors at the Enota mountain retreat center in Georgia in October, followed by a workshop at Plum Tree Yoga an hour north of Atlanta. www.plumtreeyoga.com

Where I continue to learn the most though is in the private sessions I do with individuals. Working one-on-one is extraordinarily intimate. It requires me to be very, very present without any story or agenda whatsoever. That part is actually easy. Once you have found the inner freedom that does not depend on circumstances—“the natural state,” as it is sometimes called—you are always, essentially, present. You honor the past, the stories you tell, and you keep an eye on the future, setting goals and making plans, but you live right here, right now, in this very moment.

Where the learning comes in for me is with my humanity. Although I currently wear a sacred thread on my wrist which has been blessed by the Dalai Lama, I do not possess the Dalai Lama’s “purity of heart and mind,” as someone once put it. The Dalai Lama is celibate. I am not. The Dalai Lama’s spends hours each day in meditation and his ego is very much in the background, with his humility being evident. I choose to live in the very busy marketplace of Los Angeles, where you need your ego and your competitive spirit just to survive, let alone succeed.

So, I continue to dance with my ego. As I write in end your story., when we awaken to freedom we still have an ego, but now we know we are not our ego, just as we know we are not our mind, body, or personality. What we are, or course, is the ever-present, unchanging awareness or consciousness behind our ever-changing experience of these phenomena. But so long as we continue to dance with the ego, we will always be subject to its traps, flaws, and foibles.

And this is what I continue to learn. How easy it is, for example, to get seduced back into the duality that is the very nature of ego, to be tripped up by it. In my case, I had the egoic thought, “All’s fair in love and war,” and used it to justify my pursuit of a potential romantic relationship. But then another man, feeling betrayed or threatened by me, went to war with me (see how duality works?), and proceeded to judge and attack me. While I did not take his attacks personally, he nevertheless made my life difficult for awhile.

So I have learned yet deeper lessons about trust, honor, and integrity... and the ego’s cunning ways, such that it can kick back in and re-assert itself even years after we have awakened to the truth. As someone reminded me recently, the price of freedom is indeed eternal vigilance.

Love and blessings,