Monday, October 26, 2009

Q&A: The Ultimate Truth

Question: I love your non-duality blog. Thanks for the excellent pointers.

Rodney: You're certainly welcome.

Question: I have a question about one of your recent blog posting. You mention to the person who contacted you that there is no person to perform the practice of "resting as awareness." I understand what you are saying here. However, you also say "Responsibly address all concerns."

Rodney: Yes, there needn't be conflict--in the idea or actuality--of being a compassionate and conscientious citizen and being self-realized. Nisargadatta Maharaj certainly was an excellent example of that.

Question: Oh, yes. I whole-heartedly agree. And yet--

Rodney: Right, saying that there is no person
and to responsibly address all concerns appears to be a contradiction. But that contradiction is only from the mind, which struggles to reconcile the two views and can't. Why? Because the bare truth of this cannot be seen conceptually. For the mind's notions about itself include, among other things, that there is a individual thinker present, that thoughts are derived from the mind itself, and that ideas and mathematical formulae are the "highest" that man can go, philosophically speaking.

Question: It's interesting that you mentioned mathematics. I'm a scientist at a major university.

Rodney: The contributions in those fields of science and mathematics have been enormous. But the ultimate truth, which we are concerned with here, is the presence of awareness, which is our natural state. That's one of the great good things about nonduality: You already are that which you are seeking. Recognizing your natural state can essentially be done in two ways:
Apperceiving this presence within you or coming to a mental and intellectual Full Stop (as Sailor Bob Adamson so winningly pulls it) in the presence of a potent pointer, which could be statement, a work of art, a smiling child, some natural setting, a strand of music, some breath-taking constellation, or the sound of a lone temple bell.

Question: So instead of focusing on some ever-looping mental issue, I should just center on what is happening at the moment?

Rodney: Not quite. The attention should be on the simple
presence of presence, not on any events or occurences that may be going on at the time. And with this comes the realization that, among other things, you are being lived, that there is no longer a "you" living a separate and autonomous life. And with this understanding, you naturally and easily continue to live as responsibly as possible, as a citizen in whatever country you choose to live.

Question: I have heard certain teachers advocate "Resting as Awareness." In each case, they clearly point out that at the beginning it will appear that there is an entity resting as awareness, but they explain that this is a fiction. They have found that this is an effective way to get people to quiet the mind and its obsession on phenomena. I know there is legitimate disagreement on whether this is the best approach. It seems you advocate a direct seeing - as opposed to a process that matures over time.

Rodney: Yes, I point to direct-seeing. I'm not really an advocate of anything, nor am I in opposition to any specific teacher. But I see what you are saying. My pointing and teaching is certainly not in sync with most present-day teachers. But that just happens to be the case. I'm not
attempting to be oppositional. I'm merely speaking from the nondual lineage of Nisargadatta Maharaj, Sailor Bob Adamson, and John Wheeler, among others. And these teachers are unassailable. Also, I'm writing from what I have come to know, which is that you are awareness proper, and that you need no time or "maturing" to realize that fact.

Question: I really appreciate your detailed response. It was very helpful. For I really want to get to the bottom of this, so to speak.

Rodney: To ask who or what you truly are is the most vital question you could ever ask yourself. So I applaud your wanting to discover the immediacy of all this. At "bottom" and in plain view is this magnificent ground of Beingness. That's the open secret that is being pointed to here, as well as at other credible Web sites and blogs.

Question: Thanks again. Your sincerity and love are certainly shining through in your blog.

Rodney: All the best, and feel free to keep in touch, if the spirit moves.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Awareness is the only "I" there is.


You have overlooked awareness, giving priority to your body, mind, and senses. So work your way backwards: What is it, right now, that is
not your body, mind, or senses? See that there is a subtle, yet boundless presence that has always been in evidence.


Forget all methods and concepts. Simply understand what
you are at this very moment. I say "what" because there is no who. I say "this very moment" because no time is needed to recognize what you already are. All of your conjectures, entertainments, and philosophizing amount to nothing more than a kind of excuse-making--which is perfectly fine if you only want an academic understanding of Self, rather than a living one.


Don't bother with trying to "let go of thoughts." How is that going to help you? Thoughts are just temporary appearances in your bare and unchanging spaciousness. Thoughts certainly have their purpose, but they are not what you are. Bring your attention to that which is
between each thought. There you will find your ever-present treasure.


"I thought" really means "There was the
awareness of a thought." That awareness is you. It is the expansiveness in which that particular thought appeared. Bring your attention that presence and you may immediately perceive that there has never been a moment when you weren't Knowingness itself.


Unity Consciousness is just another name for your natural state.


See that the personal pronoun "I" does not stand for any individual entity. It is the cognitizing spaciousness that is within you and around you. Indeed, it is nothing
but you. Its recognition annihilates all doubts, questions, and seeking. And you will wonder how you could have missed for all of this time.


Awareness radiates through all states and experiences. Ironically, it is so easily overlooked because it is so vividly apparent. Just a moment of attentive seeing or understanding is all that is needed to clarify what is already present.


The ego is no defined thing or entity. It is only your temporary
sense of an individual self.


Close your eyes. You will immediately note that there is a definite presence of boundlessness and freedom. Now slowly open your eyes, continuing to
feel what was there in the darkness. See that that sheerness and presence unwaveringly remain. That is it. That is what you are!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Q&A: You Are Lived

Question: Hi, Rodney. A friend recommended your blog, and I happily checked it out last night. I immediately resonated with your lovely words and clear pointers.

Rodney: Thank you. The writing comes naturally and quickly, though never without revision!

Question: One of the things I like about your message (though that probably is not the correct word) is that you don't say that it is all just a dream.

Rodney: Yes, I have problems with the dream analogy--though this classic, Advaitic angle is not without merit. It's just that it tends to confuse sincere seekers when the "it's all a dream" speech is tossed about so casually by meditators and teachers who have no inkling about what they are saying. As I type these words, the traffic-sounds are certainly there, and the dark, morning rain is beautifully falling. But they are all appearances
in awareness, in what you are. Events, people, and occurrences (whether they are labeled tender, noisy, passionate, annoying, loving, terrible, astonishing, etc.) are dreams in the sense that they only appear to be wholly separate things and activities. In truth, all is awareness. There is no separation anywhere. When water--for whatever reason--becomes a wave, it is still water. That simple little fact pretty much says it all. An added point: Some people try to skirt a society's laws and customs by saying "it's all an illusion--do want you want to do." My take is: Responsibly address all concerns, and see that your body/mind is being lived, that there is no individual person there. In this way, your life will automatically be filled with compassion and understanding.

Question: Thank you for clearing that up!...I've desperately been trying to gear my life towards seeing who and what I am. I am currently doing the practice of "resting as awareness" with [the name of the organization].

Rodney: How is that going?

Question: Well, I have been practicing this for over a year, and more and more there is pervading sense of immense peace. However, suffering still does come up for me. From your and John Wheeler's sites (and even others that I recently perused), it seems to be what you are saying is that this self-realization can happen pretty quick and there are no real practices needed. If this is so, I would like some help with this.

Rodney: Quickly is only the way that it can happen. There is nothing to work towards or gradually develop at all. It is sudden seeing or understanding that not only is awareness fully present, but that you are It. You
are that awareness. As I have often said, your natural state is simply being overlooked. Indeed, its immediacy cannot be overstated. It is closer to you than your thoughts, body, breathing, and consciousness. Though you may have periods of calm and apparent peace, those periods, by your own admission, are quite temporary. Ironically, it is your practice that is keeping you from seeing what is already vividly present. Spiritual methods--however elegant, powerful, and well-intentioned--bring with them a clear host of problems. The central one, of course, is who exactly is attempting to practice? Can a thought, belief, conviction, personality, or body/mind rest as awareness? No, none of them can rest as anything! They are inert, temporary appearances in presence, in what you already are.

Question: Okay, I understand that much better now. No "I" or ego can rest as awareness. But where do I go from there?

Rodney: Where does
who go from there? Permit yourself to be truly paused by that question. It is not at all a rhetorical one. It is clear and accurate pointer to your natural and every-present state. Further, the next time you find yourself paused by anything (whether it be a sentence, a work of art, a piece of music, or some gorgeous natural setting), allow that pause to go deeper--or rather, see that it actually (and timelessly) deepens itself into felt-awareness without end.

Question: And it is then when suffering stops?

Rodney: How could it not? You have discovered that you are Existence itself, rather than a mere body and mind. Suffering occurs when you have a certain image about yourself, which includes the "I am now enlightened" self-image! One additional point: Even when one's understanding is radiant and unwavering, events and issues (including physical pain and discomfort) still come up. But they are dealt with far more effectively: Responses tend to be swift, full, and accurate because there is no "one" doing them. Emotions are still there, but they are no longer a weight or a problem. For now you see, as Buddha so beautifully stated, that "it is our very search for perfection outside ourselves that causes our suffering."

Question: Thank you, Rodney. I'm deeply grateful! I am sure that I will be writing you again soon. I hope that's okay. I would so love to meet you for coffee, but I live in Toronto!

Rodney: Feel free to write anytime. And I love Canada. So I'll definitely take a rain-c
heck on the coffee!

Monday, October 5, 2009


You are awareness proper. How can you possibly practice to be yourself?


Waking, sleeping, dreaming, and even deep sleep are states of consciousness that come and go. What is the background from which consciousness emerges? It is Beingness itself. It is what you are as you peruse these words at this very moment.


Witnessing is not something that you practice. It is your very nature. You are the seeing.


Right now, there is a presence within you that is completely untouched. It is vivid, formless, and free. There is nothing you need to renounce, and there is nothing you need to attain. It is directly before you, as well as within you. It is simply being overlook.


Back up! Back up! There is an unwavering sheerness beneath and throughout your various states of consciousness.


To whom can this understanding occur? It can't be your body or thoughts because they have no self-reflective qualities. Thus, the recognition happens to no discrete or separate entity. You are that. You are the understanding. There is no "enlightenment" of absolutely anyone.


Seekers are quick to follow popular and/or dynamic teachers because the teachers' words all too often support their sense of a self, e.g., they will be able to achieve something (liberation) with something (their minds, bodies, beliefs, convictions, practices, etc).


Behind all prescribed practices is a conceptual "me." That is why methods can't help you. Yet, you persist in your endeavors. The years and decades go by, as you sit, chant, meditate, and observe your thoughts and sensations. It's all for naught, of course. On the other hand, your ultimate state is your natural state. It is right here, right now. It brims with peace and radiance. Take a moment to see this for yourself. And all seeking will be over.


When no thoughts are present, You are present.


Where is the who? Look carefully, and all you will find is spaciousness. Any thoughts or sensations that come up are not only temporary, they are constantly changing. Your essence, then, has be something that Does Not Move. So look again: Where is the who? There is no who--only sheer, naked awareness. It is so quiet and so ordinary. And yet, its magnificence can never be put into words. So go ahead, see it for yourself: Utter Beingness without end.


Enlightenment/Liberation/Self-Abidance are simply loaded terms for your natural state. Thus, it isn't something for which you have strive. Nor is it anything that needs to be integrated or maintained. Those who would tell you otherwise are simply not self-realized themselves. Some of these so-called teachers are even attempting to appropriate nondual terms and language in a desperate effort to hold on their "disciples," who are slowly wising up to the game that is being played upon them. But such "gurus" and teachers quickly reveal their almost comic shallowness after a few, tepid utterances or responses about self-knowing. When you've had your fill of their facades, know that you only need to ask yourself one simple question: Where is the who?