December 17, 2011
There are many paths to enlightenment, all of them seemingly closed to ordinary human beings. And who has time to pursue such a lofty goal, anyway, when bills need paying, diapers need changing, and the roof is leaking?
Jim Dreaver’s new book END YOUR STORY, BEGIN YOUR LIFE carries us right past those obstacles while acknowledging their validity. Dreaver’s process is built on the theory that we create stories and then forget that they are only fabrications. We are trapped in the fiction we’ve created and have lost sight of the consciousness that is our true selves.
“…our personal, cultural, national, religious, and ethnic stories” are just that – stories. We mistake them for truth, but if we can achieve a state of clarity, it becomes obvious that these illusory tales we concoct about who and what we are, about our enemies and our suffering, are both imaginary and the root of our discontent.
In END YOUR STORY, BEGIN YOUR LIFE, Dreaver offers a three-step practice that trains us to recognize our stories for what they are and allows us to live with awareness and in harmony. The process could pass for a typical self-help system with its plain-speech wisdom broken down into bite-sized bits, but the same approach suggested for coping with traffic jams and annoying co-workers is also a signpost that points directly toward enlightenment.
Dreaver promises that anyone who studies and practices the techniques described in this book will “awaken to freedom” and experience inner calm regardless of the stories and their fierce grip. He has a knack for explaining grand concepts without condescending, and he recognizes that awakening must work for us right here in the world where we live. In fact, he dedicates a section of the book to dealing with money worries – perhaps the most-often cited reason for stress and unhappiness.
Maybe you’ve read books that made similar claims but that quickly drifted into esoteric language or required unrealistic actions to achieve the goal. END YOUR STORY, BEGIN YOUR LIFE will not baffle you with impenetrable references nor will it ask you to move into a Tibetan cave; this book comes at the problem from many different angles, in no-frills speech, and shows us how awakening looks from all its sides so that we can see exactly what it is and how to reach it.
Dreaver is the author of such books as THE WAY OF HARMONY and THE ULTIMATE CURE: THE HEALING ENERGY WITHIN YOU, as well as a teacher at the renowned Esalen Institute in California. His experience in the fields of mind/body integration and stress management give him considerable insight into the challenges most of us face daily, and allow him to cut right to the chase in showing us how to live from a calm and awakened center as we navigate the physical world. Drawing from anecdotes, conversations, and his own meditations, Dreaver serves as a compassionate and protective guide as he leads us away from the stories that trap us and toward that place within where peace resides.