Rodney: That's great. Thanks for letting me know.
Q: But I can't yet say that there is a clear seeing of my true nature, or that the illusion of the person has vanished.
Rodney: Don't be overly concerned about it. It will happen when it happens. The important thing is that you are doing some clear-headed exploration on the matter.
Q: But there does seem to be a deep relaxation that's starting to happen.
Rodney: Increased calm and less effort are nearly always good things when it comes to this understanding. Indeed, stress and struggling are totally counterproductive to self-knowing. Such tension comes about when people concentrate, meditate, and/or attempt to be mindful of something because they assume that there is this deep divide between them and awareness. And, of course, there is no divide whatsoever.
Q: Well, the sense of "me being in charge" appears to be loosing its grip also. There really does seem to be some kind of presence behind all appearances. But what it is and how it fits in with the appearances are still unclear.
Rodney: Don't worry about how presence fits into the scheme of things right now. It would just be conjecture on your part anyway, which would only lead to further conceptualization. Focus, instead, on your immediate sense of presence, and not the appearances within it. Awareness is your treasure. All else are peripherals.
Q: Yes, I see what you mean. Right now, the concepts are still going on, but they are just a part of the current experience, with no more intrinsic value than their functionality, in the occasions when they have one. The tingling of my toes is just as vibrant, as enjoyable, and as "valid" as any thought.
Rodney: Precisely. Any sensations--however blissful--are still just arisings in your ultimate Self. If some brief self-identification occurs with those sensations or feelings, that's okay. Just see that it is happening and know that the contents and experiences--however beautiful--are not at all your natural and unbounded state.
Q: The usual projections on the world and on people (this house is ugly, this guy is fat, this girl is beautiful, etc) come up less and less; and when they do, they seem to evaporate pretty quickly. The previous years of complete identification with thinking seem like some long sick joke!
Rodney: Good analogy. And just to be clear: Your identification with a so-called good thought (the "beautiful" girl) is just as much an issue as with a not-so-good one (the "fat" guy). It's the identification that needs to be seen clearly, and not the quality of the thoughts themselves. Of course, if you're having nothing but troublesome thoughts, that needs to be looked by a health professional!
Q: And how do I stop the identification with thought?
Rodney: "You" don't. The identification stops or eases on its own when you see--clearly and undeniably--who and what you truly are, which is awareness itself, and not the things that arise and disappear within it. So continue to ponder this in the sincere and earnest ways that you are doing. And clarity, no doubt, will someday be yours.
Q: Rodney, thank you for your time and responses. Both are deeply appreciated.
News & Info
"Loved the book, Rodney. Enjoyed it as much as John Wheeler's first book, Awakening to the Natural State. My favourite quote of yours was "you are no more your personal history than you are your toothbrush." I like the fact that you included little tidbits of your life and surrounds. It felt more like reading a book on travel or history than some of the other textbook style books on nonduality. I think for anyone serious about a direct approach, your book and John Wheeler's are the two to have." -- Ian
"I found A Vastness All Around to be a nice presentation of the essence of awakening from within a modern nondual perspective. I found it particularly accessible due both to your refreshingly relaxed perspective, and the format of the great variety of types of presentations; short essays, dialogues, poems, interviews, even book reviews. A very nice multi-pronged approach, easy to dip into without having to necessarily wade through a more involved and convoluted presentation. I wish you good fortune in its popularization. It ought to be of benefit to many people."
A Vastness All Around: Awakening to Your Natural State is Rodney's first collection of essays, discussions, interviews, and powerful pointers. It can be ordered directly from the publisher at Lulu Press.
Vastness is now available for the Amazon Kindle! Order Here.
And for the book's Press Release, click Here.
If you would like to meet Rodney, have him to discuss nonduality, sign books, or read, you can email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Such events are self-organized, so funding is key, with groups and universities that can cover travel expenses getting priority. And much appreciation!
This blog is generally updated every Monday afternoon, Eastern Standard Time.