Sunday, May 20, 2012

Q&A: Subtle But Obvious

Question: Rodney, I just finished reading John Wheeler's words in The Light Behind Consciousness, where he says, "All you can say about yourself is 'I am' and 'I know' and 'I am nothing perceivable or conceivable'." I'm not exactly sure why, but those sentences were very calming to me.

Rodney: Well, there could be any number of reasons for that, aside from the words' clarity and truthfulness. The things that are perceivable are constantly changing. But the "I am-ness" that is recognizing those changes isn't altering in the least. So "I am" or "I know" is pretty much all that you can realistically utter about yourself, with the former being particularly on the mark. Everything else is just an add-on, e.g., "I am  man/woman," "I am a banker," "I am my body," "I am a wretched soul," "I am an American/Canadian--

Q: I am unenlightened.

Rodney: I am unenlightened. I am my ego, and on and on. But something is knowing that those thoughts and assumptions are temporarily there. What is that something? That is the question that should be centered upon, if you truly want to discover the answer to what you are. It's a magnificent question because it naturally pauses you. You feel the beauty of its significance, even if the answer to the question remains unclear. The pause is pointing you to your essence, to your own innate clarity and spaciousness. And given that it is innate, it is nothing that you can practice your way to. You are what you are at very moment, and you never move from that, despite any notions otherwise.

Q: Right. I read John's statements about two hours ago, and the tranquilness is still there. Also, the truth of the words has become clearer. It was subtle at first, but then, by itself, a stillness grew and it became far more obvious. Still subtle, but obvious. 

Rodney: Sounds nice.

Q: Well, that's what I'm getting at, I suppose. I'm sitting here before the computer and all is peace and gentleness, like the quiet gladness of a young child at home, surrounded by an unseen love that is fully known and cherished without words. Is this just another in a long, long line of experiences? Or is this Presence? Anything is possible, I suppose. 

Rodney: Indeed it is. But I'm fairly certain that what is occurring is an experience, though a deeply calming and reflective one. And such occasions, while temporary, can point you to an even deeper stillness, that is right there for the seeing. And this, of course, is a stillness from which you never move. That "peace" is what you are, and that you are articulating and feeling some semblance of it can easily lead you towards a final seeing and understanding of the matter. No sustained or concentrated efforts are needed for this. You neither have to close your eyes nor move into any kind of special position. For awareness is perfectly present before any of those things are done. So why bother? Why waste a millisecond (or a lifetime!) to indulge in any action that is on the mental or physical level? Awareness is neither waiting nor hiding. And there is absolutely nothing to cultivate or to "bring out." All of that stuff is just false, spiritual lore. And no matter how tantalizing the stories and anecdotes, they are just experiences, every single one of them.

Q: Well, now that I've been properly thrashed--

Rodney: Oh, no! That wasn't my intent at all!

Q: Just kidding. Thanks, Rodney. I'd love to set up a phone consultation, if I may? Hearing your voice seems to help me to get a better handle on all of this.

Rodney: Sure thing. No problem at all.


News & Info

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


Click HERE to buy Rodney's Fully Present: Daily Reflections on Nonduality from Amazon.


And click HERE to purchase Fully Present at Barnes & Noble.


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.

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