Saturday, April 14, 2012

Q&A: Or So It Seems

Question: Hi Rodney. I'm really enjoying "Fully Present: Daily Reflections on Nonduality." It's like I'm right there with you, from day to day.

Rodney: You poor woman.

Q: Oh, no! The way you weave nonduality into your daily entries is really beautiful. I was able to get these great new insights into awareness from your everyday settings. And your detailed food descriptions kept making me hungry!

Rodney: Thanks. I'm happy to hear that you're enjoying it.

Q: There has been no "final understanding" yet. But that's okay. I'm prepared for the long haul. Didn't you read one of John Wheeler's books a dozen times before you got it?

Rodney: Yes, but that's just the way it happened. Everyone comes to this seeing differently. It may occur on your very next re-read. Or it may come while you're working at your desk, blowing your nose, gardening, or having a cup of tea or coffee. There is really no predicting it. Further, time isn't a factor in this. It just isn't. So preparing for "the long haul" is a projection that you can forget about. Also, any talk of time is a way for the ego--that temporary sense of individuality--to sneak into the mix of things. And neither it nor years of some practice can help you to witness your abiding clarity.

Q: Okay. I already know that efforts and practices are not the way to approach this.

Rodney: Precisely. Because awakening--or whatever term you prefer to use--is simply a matter of seeing something that has always been one-hundred percent present. Any practice or goal-oriented action toward it is a move away from it. So when you're told this by a reputable source, you are paused by the enormity of three things: That the source has perceived this fundamental clarity in him or herself, that awareness is immediately present, and that no progressive steps are necessary to recognize it. So go with the pause. What is it revealing to you? What is present when no thought is present?

Q: Well, nothing. Or so it seems. Then another thought rises, and I curse myself for missing awareness.

Rodney: That "so it seems" is apropos. For awareness is abundantly there. However, when it's overlooked, a thought comes up afterwards, in which you are "cursing" yourself. But if you get swept up with such castigation, you're going with the thought or the feeling rather than with that momentary respite between the thoughts. Also, awareness never disappears, even when your attention is on a thought or emotion. So there is nothing to wait for and nothing to get. And there is certainly nothing to curse yourself about. For you are what you are at this very moment. Awakening is comparable to suddenly seeing the Mona Lisa in one of those 3D pictures of squiggly lines and circles. You were told that the face was always present. But now you are seeing it for yourself. And nothing could be more beautiful.

Q: Oh, Rodney, I can't tell you how I look forward to seeing that smile.

Rodney: The smile is happening right now. And you are it! See the immediate reality of this, or reflect upon any of the above during the day, when you feel an inclination to do so. Remember too that we are talking about something that is clear, immediate, and effortless. You don't have to "reach" or "attain" one single thing.


News & Info

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Fiona Robertson interviews Rodney on Nic Higham's NONDUALITY NETWORK!

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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 Present is 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 Present is an elegant addition to the growing literature on nonduality as it is being uncovered, lived and understood in the modern West."

--Philip Goldberg, author of the best-selling American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation--How Indian Spirituality Changed the West. Philip's Web site can be found at


"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


Rodney is also the author of A 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.


For the book's Press Release, click Here.


Check out Rodney on YouTube
talking 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


This blog is generally updated every Sunday afternoon, Eastern Standard Time.


Karuna said...

I like how you say that awareness is something that we don't need to grasp at. We simply need to remember....
Thank you!

Rodney Stevens said...

And thank you for taking the time to write!