“[Awaking to awareness] gives you everything that is beautiful, everything that is fragrant. Your existence is all-pervading. All the four Vedas do not know how to praise you.” ~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Q&A: Categorically Present
Question: "You are seeking something that is always present" is a powerful pointer, and this is what I've been asking myself over the past few days. In the waking state, experiencing is happening all the time. And for experiencing to occur, awareness must be present.
Q: So all of this seems very natural--experiencing is happening, thoughts arise, and sensations come and go, as do perceptions. What's reallyamusing is to watch the coming up of the thought, "I'm getting closer to understanding this," because awareness is no closer or any more distant thanit has ever been!
Rodney: Precisely. Self-inquiry isn't progressive. You can't make any step-by-step approaches to Reality, despite what 99% of the world's spiritual teachers say. Awareness never varies from being absolutely present. Your ego or sense-of-self can't "move" toward awareness because they are temporary appearances in it. Upon recognizing or understanding that, you immediately begin to see that your life is being lived from this state of unchanging Beingness. Feelings and emotions continue to arise, but they no longer define you.
Q: It's really starting to dawn on me now how awareness is obviously present, but it's not somethingthat can be grasped as an object. That has been a source of frustration for me in the past.
Rodney: You were trying to lasso it, instead of saying, "Wait a minute. Enough is enough. This isn't working." So the question then becomes, "What is it--right here and now--that I don't have to attain"? The answer to that question has to be something that never alters in any manner. So your body, mind, thoughts, personality, senses, and consciousness are automatically out of the picture. They can't possibly be who and what you are because all of those things change. But what doesn't? What is it, at this very moment, that Is Not Moving? It is awareness. And it never varies from being fully and categorically present. So it has to be your essence. Thus, your body, mind, thoughts, personality, senses, and consciousness are automatically out of the picture. They can't possibly be who and what you are because all of those things change. But what doesn't? What is it, at this very moment, that Is...Not...Moving? It is awareness. And it never varies from being fully and categorically present.
Q: So instead of trying to grasp it, I've been simply living with those potent pointers of yours, precisely like the question above--"What is it--right here and now--that I don't have to attain"?
Rodney: Excellent. Mull it over, allow it to naturally halt your thinking and conceptualizing. And within that pause is a presence of awareness that--by its utter obviousness--you have easily overlooked. I'm not pointing you out particularly. I'm merely addressing the fact that there is nothing to grasp. Awareness is never not been present. See the truth and obviousness of this, and there won't be anything to ponder or contemplate. Awareness will simply be there, as it always has been.
Rodney's new book, Fully Present: Daily Reflections on Nonduality, is now out. It is $18.95 for the paperback (excluding postage). You can order it directly from the publisher right HERE.
Fully Presentis now on AMAZON! It can also be purchased at Barnes & Noble, and is available through bookstores nationwide.
And go HERE for the press release for Fully Present.
For Tami Brady's review of Fully Present in TCM Reviews, go HERE.
"Fully Presentis an elegant addition to the growing literature on nonduality as it is being uncovered, lived and understood in the modern West."
--Philip Goldberg, author ofthe best-sellingAmerican Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation--How Indian Spirituality Changed the West. Philip's Web site can be found at www.philipgoldberg.com.
"Rodney Stevens opens his daily life and thoughts to us in these immensely natural and pleasant ramblings of one who is fully engaged in life, love, nonduality, and cinnamon muffins."
--Catherine Ann Jones, award-winning screenwriter, spiritual workshop leader, and author of The Way of the Story: The Craft and Soul of Writing. Her Web site is www.wayofstory.com
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NEW EVENT: Skype Conference Call Meeting With Rodney Stevens -- March 27, 2012 at 6:30pm. Register with Julianne at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click HERE for details!
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Rodney is also the author ofA Vastness All Around: Awakening to Your Natural State, a powerful and elegant collection of essays, discussions, interviews, and powerful pointers. It can be ordered directly from the publisher at Lulu Press.
Check out Rodney on YouTubetalking about "The Fundamental Thing."
Feel free to read a review of the Kindle Edition of Vastness on Amazon.
Nonduality Magazine has published a discussion with Rodney about his work and book. The extensive and wide-ranging interview was done by John LeKay, the magazine's editor.
"I like your approach in A Vastness All Around. The stories, thoughts and vignettes of your life seem wonderful ways to make people stop and pay attention to where they actually are right now, rather than in some imagined past or future. They show that you don't have to be some specially qualified person, preferably with a title and a name in Sanskrit, to pursue the spiritual quest. Your message comes across particularly well in such pieces as 'Sheerness of Being.'"
--Valerie J. Roebuck, Ph.D., Honorary Research Fellow, University of Manchester (England)
I am now doing phone consultations via Skype! Each conversation will take about an hour, and a $25 donation will be greatly appreciated.
I am also scheduling teaching events at this time. If you would like to arrange something in your area, you may email me at: writerguy (at) fastmail (dot) fm
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