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.