Sunday, September 16, 2012

Five Question Interview

This five-question interview was compiled from questions that I have received about Fully Present: Daily Reflections on Nonduality since its publication last year. Enjoy. Or not.

1) Why did you write the book?

I don't think a nondual diary by a self-realized writer has been done before. But I wasn't trying to "pave the way" or be some sort of "first." I just noticed that such a book, to my knowledge, hadn't been written, and I was willing to give it a go. Secondly, I wanted to see what came of it myself. For I had no clue what I would be saying. I quickly saw, though, that I wouldn't be able to write daily entries, because of my job and the blog. And finally, I wanted readers to see me how this life had changed, as well as how it had not changed. For example, feelings and emotions continue to arise, but very little is identified with.

2) What is your favorite entry?

It wasn't written by me. It's the quote from the movie 2010: The Year We Made Contact, at the beginning of the book. And no, I'm not going to repeat it here, because it's much too personal--which is ironic, given that I didn't write it. And yet, it readily and beautifully captures my perspective (or rather, the lack of one) and how life radiates for me these days.

3) Okay, but you have to have some favorite selections.

I really don't. Each entry is, at once, deeply intimate and completely impersonal. Each arises from Beingness itself. So those aforementioned characteristics are aptly present. I was moved by Dr. Colleen Loehr's Preface, of course. That she agreed to write it--despite her busy job (a psychiatrist) and hectic family life--was an immensely generous gesture on her part...But as to your question, remembrances of those 100F-plus degrees of summer, the reflections on Stephen Mitchell's translation of the Tao Te Ching, my girlfriend's leaving just after Thanksgiving, and the subsequent  solitary days and nights of the holidays are coming up, as I type these words. Why they are presenting themselves I have no idea.

4) Do you regret writing anything in Fully Present?

God, yes. And no, I'm not going to list them here. They're done. But for whatever reason, a handful of entries now appear too private. And one or two, fluffy. I knew that that was likely to happen, but I proceeded with the writing. But most of the entries succeed (in some form or fashion) in what I was attempting to do: Reflect upon the personal in a way that points totally beyond it. For though the book appears to be about a defined "me," it would be more accurate to say that it is about this lived life, e.g., about the multitude of things that were coming up and disappearing into the beauty, wholeness, and serenity of Presence. That sounds a tad ethereal and intangible, but it's not. Also, my life is very ordinary, very simple. Anyone looking on would be thoroughly bored by it. And that's the way it should be. Yet, awareness is extraordinary indeed. And that interplay (for the lack of a better word) between the ordinary and extraordinary is one of the hallmarks of this "final understanding."

5) Will there be a Fully Present 2?

I can assure you that there will not be a FP2. This book was nothing but work! "Why or why or why," kept popping into my brain, as I repeatedly tried to capture each day's events. Fortunately, the diary has been of considerable help to some people. And I'm thrilled about that, of course.  And if it assists in ending a life of doubt, confusion, and suffering for just a single person, then the book will have served its purpose well.


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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