Rodney: Thank you!
Q: And just so I understand you correctly, you're offering instant enlightenment, right?
Rodney: Oh, absolutely! (Laughing.) But then, "enlightenment" is always instantaneous. It doesn't piecemeal itself out to you. And why would it? Awareness is without any division whatsoever; and you are awareness itself. Right at this moment, you are That. You aren't this defined person who suddenly (or progressively) "becomes" your natural identity. So enlightenment is nothing that I can give or offer because it's your fundamental nature. And you can't get what you already are. Ponder that statement over and over again. It's one of the golden keys to Self-knowledge.
Q: Okay. Thanks for clearing that up.
Rodney: Also, "enlightenment" doesn't work as a word or description when it comes to this understanding. It gives the impression that you are attaining something special and other-worldly, when what we are speaking about is your core existence. Nonduality points to the stuff of this world, to your own, everyday life, which you take to be flat, dimensionless, and ordinary. But it has an extraordinary essence and background to it, and that is your natural and ever-present state.
Q: So I need to "not meditate" more on that background! (Laughing).
Rodney: All that's needed is the recognition of it, of that unchanging presence of peace and spacious that is thoroughly before and within you. Again, we are speaking about your natural state here, and not the thoughts, emotions, and sensations that arise in that state. And one added note about nonduality: It isn't something that I, only, am offering. Rather, it's a timeless teaching that directly points to our fundamental nature. I am merely someone who was fortunate enough to see where the Buddha, Shankara, Lao Tzu, Nisargadatta, Bob Adamson, and John Wheeler were pointing. And what a splendid state it is.
Q: I'm really thrilled for you, Rodney. And I want that for myself, as well.
Rodney: Well, nothing could be simpler. I know I keep saying that, but it's true. For we're talking about something that is both fully present and is what you are at this very moment. Given that, any kind of action, meditation, or practice that would move you "towards" it isn't going to work. You will just be moving away from it, so to speak. For your idea of "enlightenment" is very much like a mirage in the desert: Water appears to be directly ahead. But nothing is actually there, except your concept or notion about enlightenment!
Q: And that concept isn't going to help me much.
Rodney: When you're focused upon a concept or any idea about anything, it's still in the mind. You are merely thinking about awareness rather than noticing or understanding its immediate presence. For awareness is more plentiful than all the seas and stars, and yet we miss it. We give heed and homage to glorious houses, important-sounding titles, problematic relationships (especially those in which the two of you have precious little to laugh or talk about), and shallow spiritual retreats rather than to genuine Self-knowing.
Q: Amen on those problematic relationships!
Rodney: Life, for 99.99 percent of people, is going from one experience to another. Some experiences are pleasurable, and others aren't. And then there is everything in between. But there is far more to living than this! There is the matter, for one thing, of seeing that your life is being lived--and not by this self-important "you" but by Existence itself. You're a wave on the ocean of limitlessness. Why not see that fully for yourself and have a direct sense of who and what you are? You're the ocean, you're the infinitude. Those aren't concepts or fanciful thoughts. They are clear and glorious facts.
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.
"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.'"
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