Sunday, May 6, 2012

Q&A: Stunningly Obvious

Question: Hi Rodney. I'm continuing to resonate with and enjoy your pointers.

Rodney: Thank you.

Q: In your recent blog entry, I was particularly moved by your, "Even to say 'Just be' is a directive towards some fruitless action." 

Rodney: Yes, this subtly implies that there is someone who can move closer to some imagined state. But Beingness is what we are. Therefore, it cannot be grasped or acquired. 

Q: And it can never be lost either, I gather.

Rodney: Exactly. Nothing is missing except your recognition of something that is categorically present all the time. And this fact tends to cause a double reaction in seekers: First, there is a kind of subtle (or deep) relaxation, because the person is told (by a credible source) that meditating, mantras, mindfulness, and New-Age maxims to "Just be" aren't going to help you. Indeed, they will simply cloud the issue. And second, there is a sudden curiosity about what it is, precisely, that has always been in place.

Q: For some years, back in the 70's and early 80s I was involved with a group that laid extraordinary significance on the experience gained in meditation, but never questioned who was having the experience. You go and sit on your special cushion, in your special room where your special incense is burning and your special piece of music is playing: it's all "mind stuff'!" It's all experiencing. 

Rodney: It's all experiencing and "mind stuff." And no thought, action, or intellectual activity is in direct relation to awareness, which is totally beyond all physical and mental activities. And yet, presence is nothing more than your ordinary, everyday awareness, which is what you are right now. That's one of the keys to the non-puzzle: That presence is simply the whatness or knowingness that is existing within and as you at this very moment. But people take themselves to be their bodies, minds, consciousness, and even personalities. So when most of these individuals become interested in spirituality, they will use their physicality, minds, and levels of consciousness to "acquire" something that they supposedly don't currently possess. And self-realization just doesn't happen that way.

Q: That's one of the reasons I like your blog. You hone in on the non-relationship between practices and awareness.

Rodney: And the same applies to experiences, of course. Grander experiences doesn't equate to a deeper or more solid understanding of your essential nature. Indeed, there is no understanding at all in such cases. It's just the experiencing of experiences!

Q: Again and again.

Rodney: As for the 70's and 80's, I think I was doing some of the same things you were in this fervent attempt to "acquire" enlightenment. But it was all for naught, of course. For what we were seeking is fully and magnificently present. It always has been, and it always will be. But because we thought of self-knowing in terms of "enlightenment" (i.e., that it is something for which we have to strive, and it's going to take a certain amount of time to "get" it), we bypass the stunningly obvious.

Q: Thank you, Rodney. I hope this finds you well. And I'll be in touch at a later date, if that's okay?

Rodney: No problem. Take care.


News & Info

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


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 WestPhilip'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.


agoraéagora said...

Dear Rodney,

your notes are pearls
that ...
tranquilize the mind,
warm the heart,
relax the meanings

very thankful and
much enlarged
by our virtual friendship


Rodney Stevens said...

My Dearest Rejane,

Warm kisses and thanks for your sumptuous poem. :)