Questioner: A friend of a friend recommended your blog. I've really been moved by what I've read so far.
Rodney: Thanks for stopping by. But feel free to move on if the writing doesn't work for you. The real issue here is your own self-knowing, which may not necessarily come with my pointers. But if it does, that's fine too!
Questioner: I'm a Mahayana Buddhist, and I've been at an impasse for some months now. It has become very frustrating.
Rodney: What do you mean by "impasse." I know what it means, of course. I'm just interested in hearing your version of this.
Questioner: For several weeks, my meditation was going along really well, with lots of deep peace and calmness. I was able to carry it over into my life very easily. Now, I seem to be struggling after even five minutes of sitting! So I'm off to buying another book or following another precept.
Rodney: All for naught.
Questioner: All for naught. There is just no getting around the fact that something isn't working.
Rodney: Great observation. Something isn't working. And were you to ask your teacher (and I'm not at all singling out anyone or any religion here), he or she might say to just continue to plow ahead, observe the breadth, deepen your compassion, watch whatever comes up and "let" it all go--
Questioner: So you've met her!
Rodney: Yes, many times, in some form or the other, though I have never "practiced" Buddhism.
Questioner: So where do I go from here?
Rodney: Start with what you are, which is this sheer, knowing presence of awareness. If you begin with that, you end with that. For that is all there is. It's a sudden and penetrating seeing or understanding that there is no journey to be made, and that there is nothing to attain. Your everyday awareness is what you are. Feel the reality of that truth at this very moment. Don't move from it. Witness the beauty and enormity of your own radiance.
Questioner: Why am I not seeing this? It's almost enough to make me want to just chuck it all.
Rodney: Whatever doubts, questions, and hesitations you have are actually beside the point, if you want to know the bare truth of it. Awareness is fully present. You are already that. So any concept, precept, or practice seemingly moves your away from this. There is, of course, no moving away at all. One of the concepts you have is what you think self-realization entails or means or "appears" like. As I said in a previous blog entry, your Buddha-mind is just another name for the natural state. You could label it Brahman, the Absolute, Absoluteness, nonconceptual truth, Supreme Identity, etc. Those are just words and expressions pointing to the obvious. So stick with the basics. Your spaciousness is your essence, not your body, thoughts, and feelings. Simply pause and see the reality of this. Your completeness is already present. You have only to see it for yourself.