Monday, May 31, 2010


The mind can raise the question of who and what you are, but it can't answer it.


Awareness is self-existent. Yet, because of its subtlety and clarity, it is easily over-looked. But there is nothing difficult about recognizing your natural state at all. And why should it be, given that you
are that awareness, that limitless-sense of spaciousness?


Insights aren't synonymous with understanding. Self-realization isn't a conceptual issue, nor is it arrived at by intellectual sparring and conclusions. Rather, it is a fundamental understanding that all is Presence. And that understanding is immensely-alive and penetrating. It is not up for debate.


Our essential spaciousness is translucent and knowing. And you
are that Knowingness. This is the understanding to which all of the true sages have pointed. You are that Beingness, that immaculate presence of awareness. Allow yourself to be paused by this simple and doubtless fact.


What is it, right now, that is not coming and going? It is not your body or your sensations or your mind or even your consciousness. What is it, at this very moment, that is
not moving? Look closely, and you will see that there is a bare-presence of awareness from which all thoughts, feelings, and sensations are rising and disappearing. Again, what is it right now that is not changing? Come back to this question, if you so choose. Let it be with you throughout the day or throughout the next few minutes. Allow the answer to present itself. Of course, it is already doing just that. But you must see this for yourself.


In reality, there are only perceptions. There are no distinct and separate objects in existence. All is awareness, however many variations, dimensions, and manifestations awareness may take.


The spiritually-inclined often beam when they declare that they have been meditating for 10, 20, or 30-years or more. But why is that something to be proud of? At what point is there an end to the seeking? Further, meditating your way to enlightenment is simply one of the false and numberless folk tales of spiritual literature.


Some people's central occupation in life is to "save the world." My response to that--which is neither here nor there--is to "save" (understand) yourself, though without willfully neglecting others. Then you will be in a better position to know how to assist the world.


Awareness is always "choiceless." So there is absolutely no need for you to
cultivate or practice choicelessness. Besides, who would be doing the practicing? If you say that you would, that assumed-person is not real. It only comes up occasionally (or often) as an "I" or a "me" or a "mine." It cannot help you to see, cultivate, or practice anything. It is a thought, a response, a piece of information that may be either correct or incorrect. Presence is already there, of course. It the spaciousness within which those concepts and responses are occurring. Again, you are the spaciousness, not the appearances within it. See the beauty, immediacy, and simplicity of this stunning actuality.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Q&A: A Wee Bit of Distraction

Question: Hey, Rodney. I kept seeing your name as I made made my nondual rounds on the Web. And I thought, "Who is this guy?"

Rodney: Good question.

Q: I'm truly enjoying your blog, man. There is lots of great "resonating" here. And lately, there has been some real hope of coming to some resolution with this matter of understanding.

Rodney: Thanks for your compliments. I would be a little cautious, however, using the word "resolution" regarding your natural state. It may incline you to think that there is someone with whom this understanding gets resolved. And that simply isn't the case. There is only the understanding and the spaciousness, i.e., your own unfettered, sky-light nature.

Q: Well, that's what I'm saying. You make this awakening/enlightenment/understanding seem really possible.

R: Yes, but "enlightenment" and "awakening," stripped of their conceptual and spiritual baggage (and there is lots of baggage in those terms) are nothing but awareness. And awareness, of course, is not a possibility: It is a distinct actuality, and you are It. Ironically, awareness is "more" real than any thought or emotion you may be experiencing, or even your own physicality. Why? Because presence is a constant. In fact, it's such a constant that most people look straight beyond it, so to speak. So all we're talking about here is the recognition of something that is already fully present. That point is key, and it is one of the truly supreme revelations of nonduality. It points to the fact that you have never
not been this glorious Self.

Q: But at this moment, it's not real for me.

Rodney: Your natural state appears not to be there because, in large part, your attention is simply (and temporarily) centering on the next thought, sound, or sensation. Awareness is not being blocked or inhibited at all.

Q: I like that about it not being blocked, or that it's something that I don't have to work at to get! So my not seeing it pretty much comes down to--

Rodney: A wee bit of distraction, is all.

Q: Okay, but who is doing the focusing?

Rodney: Awareness, through consciousness, witnesses or recognizes arising thoughts and sentiments. Problems only arise when people think that they are their bodies, their thoughts, or their consciousness. The wise and sagacious, however, know that we are awareness proper.

Q: Well, you see--once again, you've made all this comprehensible!

Rodney: Happy to hear it.

Q: One of the great things about the Internet is that I can make the rounds each week to a whole lot of nondual teachers. I relate to some, and not-so-much to others. It's funny how that is. But as you recently said, you never know how or where that "pause" is going to happen. So I'm just trying to give things a closer read these days, if you know what I mean.

Rodney: Excellent. And yes, being able to immediately explore a variety of nondual perspectives on the Web is terrific. And you certainly don't know with whose writings you will be paused. So those careful readings of yours are highly recommended. And, of course, the pause may come from no specific writer at all. You may simply be pondering some general nondual pointer or issue while walking your dog, or having your morning tea or coffee, or doing a load of laundry, or just kicking back in your favorite chair. So, ultimately, you look to yourself in all of this. See what is subtly but undeniably there. Trust me, you don't have to propel yourself into the Ganges for this recognition to occur.

Q: Well, man, it's been a true pleasure. Keep up the great work. I'm sure I'll be checking back with you. I hope that's okay.

Rodney: Absolutely.

Monday, May 17, 2010


When no thought is present, what is present?


Forget any sensation you may be experiencing or any sounds that you may be temporarily hearing. Even forget that you are awake and conscious. See that there is a sheer-like spaciousness immediately within and before you. It begins nowhere, and yet is all-pravading. It is so easy to overlook, and yet, so simple to recognize.


The myths surrounding self-knowledge are legion. They include your needing to be "fit" (morally, temperamentally, and spiritually) for any inquiry into the Self; your needing to enter or "merge with" Presence; and your needing to make a spiritual journey to some remote locale (whether it's the Ganges or the Himalayas). Go to those places because you want to go or because you've long been curious about them, not because of what you hope to "get" out of the journeys.


It is your own, everyday awareness that is the "all embracing Reality" that is pointed to and spoken about by the sages. Don't move from that ordinariness. It is sated with brilliance, nuance, and peace. And don't think that you have to gain it through renunciation, austerities, unnatural silence, or meritorious works. Indeed, why toil and grovel for something that has already been given to you?


You say that you want to wait to focus on self-knowing later in life. But
who is it that will be waiting? And what is it that you don't have now but you will have then?


Retreats and conferences can be very enjoyable and beneficial. Alas, organizers overwhelmingly focus on getting speakers and teachers who aren't self-realized themselves. It appears to be vital to the organizers to get people who are still "on the path" to teach people who are still "on the path." Now how nonsensical is that?


what does your thoughts come and go? It has to be something that, unlike the thought, never changes. Also, it has to be something that is far more subtle than the thought itself, and yet, is undeniably present. Reflect upon this until you see it for yourself.


Self-realization isn't the "extinction" of the mind. Thoughts continue to come up, thank God. It's just that now you understand that you are the spaciousness
from which all thoughts arise, and that the temporary appearance of feelings and ideas is the mind proper. When they aren't there, neither is the mind.


Oh, bright new Love...Your voice is hushed, but never without song. Your kiss is deep and ever-nourishing. Your fragrance is the stars. You have pointed me to what I am--your very own nectar, which floods my mouth. And thus, the occasional and elegant aphony. Oh, sweetness of Light...With one spangled glance, you have shown me--finally--that the wave is always the ocean, and that I am ever the sea.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Why do you need to practice breathing? It's absurd.


Right at this very moment, what is present
in addition to any thoughts, sensations, or seen-objects?


Drop all questions and look at what is directly in front of you. That this natural and timeless state is so easily overlooked is as amazing as the state itself. No chants, silence, or asanas are required for its recognition (though those activities, in themselves, can be beautiful, celebratory, and physically beneficial).


When I'm talking to you, I am talking to Self. That is why you are feeling something hushed and far-reaching as you are perusing these words. There is something in me that is touching something in you. That "something" is the same in each of us. Its loveliness far surpasses any clarity in the words that you are reading right now. For after the words have stopped, you and I will still be there.


Jesus pointed to your very own supremeness when he said, "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden."


You can only know something when you already transcend it. You are that presence that knows or registers a thought or emotion. And because you are transcendence itself, there is nothing that you have to "reach" or work-toward. This understanding is not evolutionary at all. The great sages from Shankara and Sri Atmananda Menon to Nisargadatta Maharaj and Sailor Bob Adamson all say that you absolutely are already That. There is nothing you need to do except see or understand what is already before you. The loveliness of this fact points to your very own radiance. Pause a moment and see what is forever shining.


Be wary of anyone who proclaims that you need to concentrate harder, you need to sit longer, or you need to commit to this. In actuality, you need none of those.


You say that you want "peace of mind." But you can never have that. The thoughts, sensations, and feelings of the so-called mind are, by turns, calming, exciting, ludicrous, resentful, sexual, sacred, acrimonious, and loving. This is a natural part of your functioning. This is what the mind is: The arisings of all of those previously-mentioned things. So when you meditate in an attempt to either stop your mind or to watch it long enough to where it appears to be stopped, you will inevitably fail. But you most certainly can have peace. Just take note that you are actually not your thoughts.
You are that eternally spacious and cognizant peace that knows that an idea or a feeling is present. And with the seeing of this, the importance of any arising concept or sentiment is quickly given its proper due.


You are the pause and you are the clarity. You are that spaciousness which is prior to even consciousness! See, as you are reading these words, that there is a subtle and knowing presence in clear evidence.


Though there are no levels to the natural state, there is much to be said for having some experience with this understanding. That is why the talks from sages can be so valuable. I wince a bit at my early prose and replies to seekers' questions. It's not that these writings and responses were necessarily incorrect; it's only that there was a kind of spouting forth, with little regard for directness and clarity. I just wanted to speak and write about this as much as humanly possible, as if--alas--to spread the "the good news." I say "alas" because my correspondence was out of some curious compulsion that simply isn't there any longer. It has been replaced, if that is the right word, by a clear and natural kind of pouring outward. A question is asked, and a response given. I have not a clue what that reply will be. Still, it somehow remains "good news."

Monday, May 3, 2010

Q&A: Good Morning, Ms. Nottingham

Rodney: Good morning, Ms. Nottingham. And how are you today?

Question: Super, thank you. I'm sitting at my cozy desk, looking out onto the softly falling rain, and listening to podcasts. It has gone colder and darker here again, but the plants in my tiny front garden--which include a newly-planted apple tree--are looking quite fine.

Rodney: It all sounds very nice.

Question: It certainly would be if you were here, so that we could have a proper discussion about all of this.

Rodney: I'm on the next flight.

Question: You're such a love...I'm continuing to read and thoroughly enjoy John Wheeler's Awakening to the Natural State. I know the answer is there (this is my 2nd re-reading), but nothing has come of it yet, so to speak. Still, I continue to be brought to tears, at times, by both your writing and John's, as well as by my own intuitive "feel" for all this.

Rodney: Again, your tears are lovely.

Question: You're the only person that "gets" the tears.

Rodney: Oh, I "get" them completely.

Question: And that makes our friendship such a treasured one.

Rodney: Thank you!...Just a slight clarification on your statement, "I know the answer is there": The "answer"--or rather, the seeing or understanding--is not directly in the book, of course. It is the spaciousness that is within you. This is what John is pointing to. What happens is that you read some potent (or ordinary) phrase or pointer, and it halts your mental churning--i.e., thinking--in such a way that you directly perceive your immaculate and fundamental state.

Question: Yes, I see what you mean.

Rodney: Indeed, the best books, teachings, and teachers always point "away" from the ideas and concepts they are utilizing, however beautiful or dazzling those expressions may be.

Question: Well, as you once suggested, I'm continuing to explore other "credible" nonduality teachers. I still have my favourites, of course, though I rather suspect that everyone does. I'm currently enjoying Stephen Wingate and Suzanne Foxton, whom I believe you know.

Rodney: Yes, most people have teachers with whom they strongly resonate. There are numerous reasons for this: The teacher and seeker may have similar personalities, they may have a similar love for words, they may be in similar fields (art, science, business, health, medicine, etc), or they may simply have a gender kinship. So, as I have often said here, exploring other nondual writers and teachers is perfectly fine. Respected teachers don't demand your allegiance. And the persons you mentioned are certainly commendable. In fact, Suzanne and I exchange emails occasionally. I tease her about her being so hot, and how it's about time that nonduality had its own resident "Babe." She hates it and just wants to strangle me.

Question: [Laughing]: Well, as a woman, I can tell you that she may indeed want to give you a proper throttling, but only with a deeply appreciative inner smile.

Rodney: In all honesty, Suzanne is this adoring wife and mother, as well as a splendid artist and nondual writer. It's a wonder she has time to see to all of that; but she does, and we are all the better for it.

Question: As are we for "Radiance of Being."

Rodney: That's very kind of you. But the quality of a blog's readers, comments, and questions contribute, in no small measure, to the quality of the blog itself.

Question: Well, I'm just going to continue to follow through with this, pretty much as you did with John's book. Also like yourself, there is this complete absence of any kind of impatience or frustration. There is just this knowing, really, that this non-path is the right path, so to speak. I also see the total absurdity of trying to change ourselves, as well as how we cannot "meditate" our way to who and what we already are.

Rodney: Those are all resplendent points and a testimony to the depth and richness of your insights. There is not much more that needs to be added. Your earnestness, in combination with your lack of impatience and frustration, are especially winning. For self-exploration should be the most natural thing you can do. Any kind of stress and strain hints of there being a ghost in the machine, a seeker in some fantastical background, scurrying about in hopes of "attaining" his or her advaitic laurel. But it's all so much simpler than that. For your radiance is already shinning. And you are that radiance.

Question: Thank you so much, Rodney. Your words, explanations, and clarity have such a profound effect upon me. It's amazing, really, and such a gift.