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.