Awaking into that which is eternally Awake, I slowly open my eyes to see a red, smallish sun just over the littoral horizon. I get up, stand at the window, and gaze at the vast and empty marsh. A group of Brown Pelicans soar slowly over, squawking, as if to mock my nakedness.
I shower, shave, dress, and make my way downstairs. My hosts aren't up yet, but the California couple are on a small, second-level porch outside of the living room, talking and having their morning coffee. I go to the kitchen and pour a cup of the delicious Kona brew that the couple brought with them. Then I go to the larger porch (with its odd trapezoidal-shape) outside of the dining room and sit on the salt-weathered swing.
The immenseness of the marsh is directly before me. I'm always paused when I gaze at its beauty and expanse. A marsh is a lowland area that is often inundated by water. Marsh grasses--mostly Spartina, Cattails, and Salt Meadow Rush--grow in brown and yellow abundance here. Swarthy tidal creeks snake through grasses. When the tide rises (as it is now), the creeks fill with crabs, clams, and small fish. When the tide goes out, Stygian pluff mud remains. This pungent muck is what forms when rotting plant and animal life mix with the mud from the topsoil. If you were unfortunate enough to actually step into some of it, you will feel as if you are dropping into quicksand--or Hell itself, given that the hydrogen sulfide (that rotten egg smell)--would be generously emitted as your foot, leg, and/or waist go ever deeper into the odorous mix.
I sit there, in timeless wonder, for over 45 minutes. The creek swells and plods past me, and the marsh grasses sway in the merest of breezes. But something Does Not Move. It is in addition to the pristine loveliness that is occurring at this very moment. It is a presence that is both palpable and all-pervasive. How could I have missed it for all of those years--decades, really? Well, quite easily, in fact. For I followed the spiritual bandwagon and was searching an ecstatic state that could be repeatedly attained by some form of intense concentration or mindfulness. And those were three massive errors right there! But that is what the "spiritual bandwagon"--which has been rolling along for centuries--was preaching. Indeed, it still is, and with massive popularity. But the "attainment" of enlightenment is the Great Untruth. For you are already That which you are seeking--always have been and always will be. See what it is that you are not seeing, and liberation will be your very nature!
I finally get up and go inside for another cup of the Kona ambrosia, whereupon I discover that everyone is in the kitchen and that breakfast is fully under way. And it includes vegetable omelets, toasted bagels, re-heated corn muffins, jams, sliced oranges, "Antebellum" coarse grits (which are incredibly creamy and take 25 minutes to cook), and more coffee and hot tea, of course.
I work the rest of morning, replying to emails, scheduling phone consultations, and writing the coming week’s blog. Then I get in my rental car and drive to the beach at nearby Jeremy Cay. The beach--which runs for six uninterrupted miles around Edisto--is solitary, expansive, and shell-ladened. There is only one other person there: A beautiful, bikini-clad woman who is sunbathing, while reading some thick best-seller in her expensive beach chair. Her perfectly polished, pedicured toes are the color of coral. She pretends not to see me, and I briskly go in the opposite direction, not wanting to intrude on her solitude or to raise any "alarm" bells.
The beach at Edisto is a dynamic one, with brawny waves constantly pounding the crushed quartz, shattered seashells, and wayward marine debris. I walk and walk on the wide and uniformly sloping shoreline, my body buffeted by sea breezes. The sun is intense, and I can barely make out the horizon. Spaciousness within Spaciousness. There is no putting it into words, but the failed poet in me strives--again and again. But rarely am I left with any semblance of satisfaction. After a while, I realized that my skin--which I lathered with sunblock before I left this morning--is now stinging and sweaty. Reluctantly, I head back to the car.
I drive to the SeaCow Eatery on Jungle Road for lunch. I could easily have all of my meals here, if needed. For not only is the food that good and affordable, the cozy, aquamarine-shingled restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The waitresses are pleasant, and they take care to get your order right. I get my usual Egg salad sandwich with spinach and tomatoes. It comes with succulent beer-battered fries and Minnesota coleslaw. I also order iced-tea, and a side of mayo in which to dip my fries. Weird, I know--but I love it. And the waitresses always remember the side of mayo!
The next morning, after an enormously restful sleep, I give hugs and deep thanks to my hosts and new friends from California. I put my bags into the Grand Marquis and head gingerly out--deer are prevalent in this area. After crossing the elegant McKinley Washington, Jr. Bridge (which means that I am officially off the island), I crank up the car's CD player and listen to Moby all the way back to Columbia. I particularly smile when "The Great Escape" is blasting away. The mighty "Mo" could just as easily be talking about many of today's seekers and meditators when he succinctly croons, "Aren't you in chains/That no one else can see?"
News & Info
RECENTLY IN: The beautiful and informative Nonduality Magazine has published a new discussion with Rodney about his book, A Vastness All Around. The extensive and wide-ranging interview was done by John LeKay, the magazine's editor.
"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
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.