Jim, a native of New Zealand, served in the Royal New Zealand Artillery, did a tour of duty in Vietnam from June 67 – July 68, and retired in the rank of captain. After working in sales for two years, he then attended Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, and after graduation, opened his first office in Santa Rosa, California.
He practiced as a chiropractor for 25 years. However his real passion, sparked by a health crisis when we was just 29, was awakening to the truth of his being—to the freedom and joy that do not depend on outer circumstances, and that he knew was his true nature.
He was initially inspired on his quest for freedom by the teachings of J. Krishnamurti, and then in 1984 met European nondual master, Jean Klein, who became his teacher. With Jean’s guidance, he finally realized freedom from the “I,” the “me,” and all its stories in the spring of 1995. Ever since then, he has been dedicated to sharing his message of awakening—of creating a new, more empowering life experience and story—with others.
His own awakening was severely tested by another health challenge, when he suffered three strokes over a period of five months, the third, which put him in the intensive care ward at UCSF Hospital, happening in January, 2004. He was forced to quit his practice, and it took him several years to recover, but throughout the whole process, he just flowed harmoniously with whatever was happening.
As he writes in his book, End Your Story, Begin Your Life (Hampton Roads, 2011) regarding the experience of his strokes:
“As I see it, this is the litmus test of our freedom: how we deal with life’s changes and challenges. The more unconscious and unaware we are, the more such challenges will cause us to spiral down into fear, unhappiness, depression, despair, suffering, and misery. The more conscious and aware we are, the more we discern the difference between real and imaginary challenges.
“From this place of clarity and present-time awareness, we deal with whatever actual challenge may be confronting us, meeting it calmly and confidently, with wisdom and love.”
End Your Story, Begin Your Life contains the essence of his teaching: that while we are a story-telling people, the great freedom or liberation is realizing that we are not our thoughts or stories which, like the emotional reactions they trigger, come and go, but rather the clear, ever-present consciousness that is always here. In this book, he maintains that most people can realize freedom within a much shorter time than it took him, providing they commit to doing the three-step practice of freedom, which is at the heart of the book and of his teaching work, whenever they experience conflict, upset, or suffering.
He has also published The Ultimate Cure: The Healing Energy Within You (Llewellyn, 1995), his first book on spiritual transformation, which was translated into 4 languages, and The Way of Harmony (Avon, 1999), a guide to dealing with relationships, work, and daily life in a conscious way, written just after his awakening. His novel. Falling into Light, about a young boy’s spiritual journey, is available at www.fallingintolight.com.
A textbook, Somatic Technique, was written when he was a chiropractor. This book, which is a manual for how to release chronically tight muscles and enhance mind/body awareness, was originally published in 1991, is available as an eBook at www.somatictechnique.com
His yet-to-be-published works include, in the nonfiction category: The Simple Truth of Happiness: Realizing, Living, and Sharing the Awakening Experience, a short, concise book which guides readers toward the discovery of the happiness that is their true, abiding nature; and, Extraordinary Realization: How Your Awakening Helps Heal Our World, a book which consists of give simple perceptual tools for awakening, and an old meditation journal the author kept over a few months when the author was aged thirty-six and still struggling to realize his true nature.
Yet-to-be-published works of fiction include a novella, Alice’s Awakening, in which a fictional 12 year old girl meets the real Jim Dreaver in a park in Santa Monica. They begin a series of weekly meetings during which Alice wakes up to the truth within her, to whom and what she is behind her name. Then, after her awakening, she learns that her Mom has Stage 2 endometrial cancer. The family is devastated by this, but not Alice, who is able to be there as a solid pillar of support.
He has also written The Unexpected Goddess, a spiritual-erotic novel which tells the story of a how the narrator, Steven Bergman, a successful writer and teacher of the art of awakening to spiritual freedom, met and fell in love with the beautiful Annie Morgan.
As Bergman writes in Chapter One: “Like any good story, it has elements of drama to it, because Annie was in the last stages of recovering from a broken heart and shattered trust when we met. So, in many ways, this is a story of healing and redemption, but it is also a story of self-discovery and self-realization, of sexual awakening and spiritual liberation, because Annie, who had been raised as a dyed-in-the-wool Mormon was living out of a very confining story when I met her…”
He has taught his work at Esalen Institute for many years (www.esalen.org), as well as in San Francisco; Boulder; Chicago; Taupo, New Zealand; Perth, Australia: and Los Angeles, where he lives. He also offers private sessions, usually via Skype, for those seriously committed to inner freedom.
There are a number of videos of him talking about his work on www.youtube.com. Just type ‘jim dreaver’ into the search box.