Monday, May 30, 2011

Q&A: Point Taken

Question: Rodney, I'm new to your blog, which was recommended by a friend. I started with just a quick scan, and then I slowed w-a-y down.

Rodney: Very good.

Q: And it wasn't so much that I slowed down, as it was the fact that "I" was slowed down.

Rodney: Excellent distinction. Yes, the movement of the conceptual "I" was naturally reduced. There was no "you" attempting to do it. In fact, the mind had to catch up and respond to the occurrence, which is pretty much its standard operating procedure.

Q: Exactly, and that's very evident to me now...Your blog, by the way, is like some nondual oasis!

Rodney: Thank you. But don't just stop at "Radiance." There are a number of nondual jewels out there. But as you said, if there is natural halting here (or at any place), then just go with it and see how it turns out. And you can get a sense of the site or blog fairly quickly. One of the things to watch for is just what happened with you: A natural "decelerating" to what is on the screen before you. Look too for the occasional "Yes!" to some pointer, image, or paragraph. And finally, be alert for those defined and all-important pauses--for they will likely occur on truly exceptional sites and blogs.

Q: Well, I'm going with it all right--I've already bought a copy of your book! It's in the mail and should arrive any day now.

Rodney: Thanks again! I hope it resonates with you.

Q: I love the title. Could you tell me how that came about? You probably cover that on Page 1 or something, but I'm curious to know right away, if you don't mind?

Rodney: Not at all. A short time after this understanding occurred (spring 2007), I wanted to be able to describe clearly how I was feeling. That's a natural inclination for us writers--wanting to accurately phrase various things. Also, seekers were curious to know what I was feeling, which was a legitimate interest on their part. They wanted to know exactly how things were different. (Though in nonduality, it is more a matter of how things remain the same!) Well, the words didn't immediately come. Then, some days or weeks later, as I was sitting down at the computer one morning with my coffee, the phrase was simply there. I immediately smiled, because the description was spot-on. For it beautifully pointed to the natural state itself, as well as to precisely what I was feeling--which was, a vastness all around.

Q: And is it still the same today?

Rodney: Absolutely. And that's the way it should be. And to elaborate a little further on this: There should always be a "felt" presence with self-knowing. It's not enough to say, "There are no more questions." That could mean that you have resolved (or at least seemingly so) certain conceptual or philosophical issues, when actually, nothing significant has taken place.

Q: Got it.

Rodney: For some people, presence manifests as a subtle yet penetrating sense of peace and serenity; to others, it is incomparable spaciousness. Various body/minds will naturally articulate this differently.

Q: At this point, I'd be satisfied with just a taste of it!

Rodney: And that's all you need. Because once you recognize that it is directly within or before you, it is forever yours. And why shouldn't it be? You are That, awareness itself. You are finally seeing something that was always there. And that's one of the great beauties of nonduality--the supremeness of its pointing. Another is its highlighting of the fact that there is nothing that you have to "re-enter" or "stand as", or stabilize. Awareness is self-luminous and fully present, and it is what you are at this very moment.

Q: I don't have to "merge" myself into it in some way.

Rodney: Precisely. After you have the thought "I have to merge myself into awareness," where is the thought? It's no longer there. It has disappeared, but awareness hasn't. And even when the next thought appears, it won't be able to take/merge/unite you with presence--because you already are presence. You have never left being what you are. Not for a single second.

Q: I have a better feel for that now, but I was certainly guilty of the "merging" approach earlier on, when the whole so-called "journey" started.

Rodney: Those were the lines we were fed by fake gurus and erroneous spiritual books. And because the books were mega-sellers and the gurus got prodigious press, we thought that there must be, at the very least, a sliver of truth to what they were saying. But it wasn't. Self-knowing isn't time-laden or work-laden. You are already what you are seeking. So just find a comfortable seat, reflect carefully on what is said here, and see the wonder of your very own existence.

Q: Point taken, Rodney. I will do just that!


News & Info

John Wheeler's Web site is no longer up. But earnest and serious seekers (and that's the only kind we have here at "Radiance") can reach him at:


JUST IN: A review of the Kindle Edition of A Vastness All Around on Amazon.


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: 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 Sunday afternoon, Eastern Standard Time.


No One In Particular said...

Rodney Sweetheart could you give me your address so I can send you the book? Great stuff as usual and LOVE your new profile pic!

Rodney Stevens said...

Suzanne, great to hear from you, darling. Thanks for your perfectly lovely comments. My mailing address is on the way. You'll be stopping by, right????