Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Q&A: How Am I Not My Body?

Question: Hello, my friend. Please keep writing. Your blog is a nondual joy.

Rodney: Thank you. Sailor Bob Adamson pointed out the truth to John Wheeler, and John pointed it out to me. So I wanted to keep the ball rolling (after John encouraged me to speak about this) by pointing to our natural state in the blog you're reading. If something here resonates with seekers, that's terrific. If it doesn't, they should simply check out other sites from teachers who have an untainted understanding of who and what they truly are.

Question: I regularly go to three sites. But don't worry, I won't name names!

Rodney: Great! No names are necessary--only your clear seeing is the issue here. Whomever that occurs with is quite secondary.

Question: How is it that we are not the body? The very perception of sentience seems to take place in this body. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

Rodney: You are neither your body nor your thoughts. You are the awareness that is aware of your body and your thinking. If you pause and truly reflect upon this, you can easily perceive that that is the case. Further, you are aware of your consciousness, as well. Thus, awareness is your essence; it's that which never changes. Note that everything around you is in some sort of flux, whether it be quick or slow, dynamic or subtle. But if you look carefully, you will see that there is indeed a presence of awareness within and around you. It's a felt actually with no beginning or end.

Question: Yes, something in me knows that this is true as I read your beautiful words. I don't know what it is. Maybe that's what I need to figure out.

Rodney: It's not a matter of "figuring" out. It's a matter of seeing what is already there. For instance, the pauses between thoughts aren't blank at all. They are alive with peace, radiance, and freedom. They, quite literally, are what you are. But we have been wrongly taught by society that our thoughts, degrees, bank accounts, and professions are our identity. And we have been incorrectly told by spiritual teachers that our visions, experiences, and ecstasies are what we must experience or "achieve" in order to qualify as an "Enlightened Being" (which is yet another falsehood).

Question: I like what you said about the wave and the water in a previous blog entry. I seem to "get" that.

Rodney: Yes, that's a classic nondual analogy, as well as a fine pointer in itself. While every wave in the ocean is marvelously singular, each wave is nothing but the ocean itself. Water is its fundamental nature, as awareness is ours (actually, awareness is the ground of everything). But we, unlike waves, know that we are present.

Question: That's the sentience.

Rodney: That's the sentience. It's an aspect of consciousness that allows us to say that "I know that I am right here, at this very moment." The wave just exists; it can't reflect upon itself. But as sentient body/minds, we are able to utter, "I know that I am present, that I exists." Now, nondual sages and teachers say to take that statement (or the matter of sentience) to its ultimate: Not only do you know that you exist, you are Existence itself!

Question: Okay, I see that now--in my mind. But that's okay, it's clearer.

Rodney: Yes, though it's still a conceptual understanding, the point or issue is clearer. And a "correct" conceptual understanding can easily lead to a deep and living one. All that is needed is a bit of fine tuning, as it were. For Presence is ever-present. Sentient beings are merely waves on the water. There is no separation from awareness at any point or time. We are That...So just stay with the basics of this until your understanding is lucid and unwavering.

Question: Thank you, my friend. Here is my mantra for today: "Presence is ever-present!" I hope you are laughing. Still, it is a reminder that will be with me.

Rodney: I'm chuckling...Let the reminder come naturally, and you will be fine. Or better yet, explore the following: What is it from which the reminder arises?

Question: Ah, I must admit to resonating with the question more. Why is that?

Rodney: Why be concerned? Just go with it.

Question: I love your musical pointers. I would like to offer a few of my own in closing, if I may?

Rodney: Absolutely.

Question: Mozart's Mass in C minor, K.427 - the soprano solo during the kyrie eleison. There is a moment during the solo, as performed by Felicity Lott (on the Amadeus soundtrack), when she hits the highest note of the piece on the word "Christe". Hot dripping FULL STOP, that one! Another great musical pointer - Miles Davis "It's About Time" on In a Silent Way - when Tony Williams comes in full on with the drums after a long, long, long series of rim shots on his snare. FULL STOP. And here is a fine pointer from Miles himself -- "Don't play what's there. Play what's not there."

Rodney: Excellent list. Thank you. That declaration from Miles is particularly potent!

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