Sunday, July 15, 2012

Q&A: To Capacity

Q: Hi, Rodney. This is my first email ever to a spiritual teacher and author!

Rodney: Thank you!

Q: I am really struck by the directness and simplicity and persistence of your pointers.

Rodney: I'm delighted that they resonate with you.

Q: I'm in my sixties and live in [names European country]. When I was nineteen, I had an amazing series of experiences. I'll be happy to share them with you, if you like?

Rodney: I'm all ears.

Q: I awoke one morning with the most wondrous feelings of peace and well-being. Scintillating feelings of joy became my moment to moment experience. There was also deep clarity and fullness. It pervaded every cell in my being. For the first time ever, I felt totally free and alive! I saw myself now as part of the flow of the universe. Deep feelings of love and compassion for all of life filled me to capacity. 

Rodney: It sounds beautiful.

Q: Thoughts seemed to be mechanical and stale--the immediacy of the Now was where life was! There was also the realisation that Everyone and Everything was connected. And Everything had meaning. Prior to this, I hated getting up in the morning. But now, after only a few hours of restful sleep, my energy levels soared, and I couldn't wait to see what the day would bring! Also, wave after wave of insights continued to arise, and I seemed to live in what can only be described an enormous sea of love.

Rodney: Again, very nice.

Q: Alas, after six days, the mind came back in and began dismantling the joy, and that universal "Me" was scattered into thousands of different pieces...I know you had a similar experience when you were twelve or fourteen, that you describe in A Vastness All Around. Can you tell me just what it was that we were experiencing? It would also be nice get it back. (Laughing.)

Rodney: What we both experienced were simply experiences. Yes, they were powerful, intuitive, penetrating, and awe-inspiring. But they were experiences nonetheless. I'm not attempting to totally discount them, but rather, to give an accurate assessment. Some people call them "awakening experiences" and other label them as "awakenings." I only reserved the term "awakening" for a sudden and unwavering recognition of your natural state. It is a recognition that doesn't change in the least. It's unfortunate that many people who have such occurrences promptly pronounce themselves as fully awake or enlightened. But nothing could be further from the truth. But that's their bandwagon, and I wish them nothing but Happy Trails.

Q: I like that.

Rodney: Such experiences, though, can be instrumental in spurring one on to true self-knowledge. I know that that was certainly the case with me. But no experience, however psychic or visionary, was captivating enough to pull me away from this quest for a fundamental understanding of both myself and of life. And I was certainly guilty--all of those years ago--of labeling the intention of my quest as Enlightenment. But in the spring of 2007, I clearly saw that there is no separate individual to be enlightened at all! All there was was my natural state, which was one of enduring peace and spaciousness. And that natural state was pristine awareness, from which one never moves. So you are already what you are seeking. Thus, any notions of practices, methods, or spiritual journeys can be simply be thrown out the window.

Q: I see that so clearly now--how any practice is just a heap of rubbish.

Rodney: And you mentioned wanting to get those transcendental experiences back--

Q: Well, not so much anymore--and that insight occurred in these very few minutes!

Rodney: Excellent. Because any experience--by it's very nature--is transitory. However glorious it may be, it isn't going to be able to help you with knowing who and what you are. For experiences, among other things, have no inherent intelligence. They're insentient, lifeless. But what is that presence of awareness that is witnessing all of these appearances? What is that presence of awareness that is staring you in the face at this very moment? It is right here, right now. Come back to that point and question, throughout your day and afternoon, if you're drawn to so. Because the answer, you see, is you--your very own nature.


News & Info

Fully Present is now available at the excellent Powell's Bookstore, in Portland, Oregon. 


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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