Sunday, August 12, 2012

Q&A: Wholly Impersonal

Question: Hi, Rodney. Just a quick message to say that I hope the operation to remove your wisdom tooth went ok! I had to have a couple removed two of years ago. I remember my cheeks swelling up so much afterwards that I resembled a hamster! :)

Rodney: Great to hear from you! Hope things in the U.K. are going well. It turns out that no dental surgery was necessary. They were able to do a straight exaction. And there was no swelling! I'm still taking Ibuprofen a couple of times a day and using the prescription dental rinse. But I seem to be recovering okay, knock wood.

Q: Terrific...And thank you, as ever, for the latest pointers on your blog. They are so clear and clean and beautiful, especially "What is it that does not know your name?" That paused me powerfully. There was just this luminous, aware, empty presence that was registering the question.

Rodney: Just remain with that empty, aware, luminousity. Or rather, see that you actually never move from it, that it is always there, whether your attention goes to your coffee cup or to the clarity.

Q: Yes, that's it. It doesn't appear to remain. But when it's there, it is at once wholly impersonal and wholly intimate. I can sense it as these words flow across the screen. It is not localised to a body, not separate from anything, but equally, not affected by anything. I'll just to keep coming back to this, and noticing it until the realisation is clear.

Rodney: That's certainly one way of going about it. Whatever you feel drawn to do, do. Just stay mindful of the fact that awareness doesn't move or change in least. And that it is merely being overlooked. We've all been taught that we are this and that. The list is endless: Man, woman, Englishman, Christian, Buddhist, Alaskan, my personality, consciousness, reincarnating soul, etc. 

Q: Nondualist.  :)  (Laughing)

Rodney: Particularly nondualist!...But fundamentally, you are none of those things. Fundamentally, you are simply your nature--pure awareness. This is your abiding reality, this is what never changes. Everything else is just transitionally appearances, from your body and personality to your brain and consciousness. If you were just any of those things, you wouldn't have the ability to know it. No self-reflection would be possible.

Q: I find that whenever the mind is looked to as any kind of authority, there is apparent suffering. This is also the case when I get caught up in questions about karma, reincarnation, different paths and practices etc. Whenever any of this is given any weight, presence (seemingly) fades, or is obscured. The mind is hungry for confusion, for clutter; it will feed on anything.

Rodney: Good points, all. So you are clearly seeing how the mind and practices can't possibly bring you lasting peace. The mind and certain yoga practices, for instance, certainly have their place. And I don't want to sound as if I am totally discounting them, because I am not. I'm merely saying that true peace and clarity comes with the recognition of your immediate presence awareness. 

Q: Thanks, Rodney. And I thoroughly enjoyed our phone consultation!

Rodney: As did I! Take care.


News & Info

Fully Present is now available at the superb 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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