Friday, June 24, 2011

Q&A: A Kind of Knowing

Question: Hi, Rodney, I hope this message finds you well.

Rodney: Pretty good, thanks. It's 100F, with a 108F heat index right now in Columbia (South Carolina). But that's okay--I am inside!

Q: Things keep unfolding for me. Reading, listening to nondual talks, and reflecting about Truth are settling in as my main activities when I am away from work. I really feel like this has to be sorted out, to be seen, and I find myself having a natural dedication that I have never experienced before. While I am much less intense about these explorations, I also seem to have more resilience, if that makes any sense.

Rodney: It does indeed. When your nondual reflections reach that balance of being earnest but less emotional, you are at a very "good" place. You are naturally seeing things with unaccustomed depth and clarity. There is a direction and dedication there that have a drive of their own. You don't have to do a thing to re-energize them or to help them along.

Q: Right. Lately I have this sense that everything--including my body and my thoughts--is appearing "somewhere," that some sort of canvas is allowing experiences to be painted. It's a very subtle recognition, a kind of knowing. It can't be observed or grasped in any way; but sometimes it can allowed, and its presence seems more obvious.

Rodney: And that "appearing somewhere" is nothing other than awareness, which is a wondrous canvas indeed. But be careful about "allowing" things to happen. This could lead to your thinking that there is this defined "you" parceling out presence, which isn't the case, of course. Simply know that your insights and subtle recognitions are occurring. Then take it one non-step further and see that these lovely clarifications are flourishing in an existing presence of felt-spaciousness, a spaciousness which--because of its nearness (not distance or difficulty)--is so easily overlooked. An apt analogy to all this is that you are trying to master the mechanics of vision, when your eyes are already seeing. Or you are attempting to master the intricacies of mindfulness, when you are already the witness or the knower. So the question becomes not how do I attain--and then maintain--some special state, but what is it that is directly before me that I am not seeing? And the question, in itself, is a superbly absorbing one because, once again, we are talking about something that is directly within and before you. Truly, awareness couldn't be any nearer than it is right now.

Q: Suddenly, I have this urge to be very, very still.

Rodney: Or more precisely, stillness is happening, and you are that stillness. Do you see the subtle but very important difference? In the first, "you" is still given a lead role in the experience. In the second, all is presence.

Q: And that stillness feels--for a short while anyway--so transparent and luminous. At these times, like you said in your last post, it becomes obvious that "you don't have to halt your thinking to discover truth."

Rodney: Precisely, the halting simply happens. It's more of a noticing, rather than a doing. And once you actually discern awareness, it doesn't come and go. What you are experiencing sounds more like an intuiting of awareness, which can indeed be illuminating but short-lived. It's more like a breath of fresh air, whereas presence is pure, perpetual oxygen.

Q: Well, it is becoming clearer and clearer to me that I can't do anything to bring this about. My thinking is useless; it's when it goes to the background that the beauty of life reveals itself.

Rodney: Thoughts and feelings can be beautiful too. It's just that they arise from luminosity itself. The thoughts and sentiments are temporary, whereas presence is everlasting. But your perceptions show that your clarity is resolving itself on its own impetus. Be sure to fully go along with any pausings, deep or small, during your introspections. For it is within those cessations that presence can be readily perceived. You don't bring it about--you just see that it has never been missing. It can (but not necessarily) be a mild and beautiful shock at first. Then it quickly becomes the most natural of things.

Q: Sometimes I feel a great joy, which brings me close to tears. It comes and goes, and doesn't seem to be related to anything particular.

Rodney: I completely understand. Fully allow any tears to emerge. The body and heart are expressing themselves, and they have a wisdom too--eons old.

Q: I continue to enjoy your blog very much. The posts about your trip to Edisto were very good indeed. Thank you for sharing that lovely trip with us.

Rodney: You are certainly welcomed. And feel free to keep in touch.


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:


NEW: "Just wanted to tell you that A Vastness All Around is, hands down, one of the best books on nonduality. Thank you for all of your writing." --Alex Taylor


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


Nonduality Magazine has published a new discussion with Rodney about his work and book. 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.


Kim said...

Thank you so much Rodney.

Speak soon,


Rodney Stevens said...

Thank YOU, Kim. :)