“[Awaking to awareness] gives you everything that is beautiful, everything that is fragrant. Your existence is all-pervading. All the four Vedas do not know how to praise you.” ~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
Sunday, September 2, 2012
Relaxing Your Vision
Question: Hi, Rodney. I have just been re-reading sections of A Vastness All Around, and I'm finding each reading is totally fresh and vibrant.
Rodney: Happy to hear it. Additional readings of nondual books, blogs, and Web sights can be immensely helpful in getting on handle on your true nature--especially if those works are pointing beyond the page and computer screen. For one of the many glories of this teaching is that it is directing you to what you are at this very moment, and not to some mystical experience or "attainable" state. You are awareness. So there is nothing to attain. So as you continue to read, keep in mind that answer is within you and not within the words. What you're looking for is a hushed and undeniable presence of peace and spaciousness. That's it.
Q: I keep finding new gems in the book! This sentence in "Slow the Boat" really stopped me this time:
"Relaxing your vision, you see that because of the light's refraction through the water, the bay is not at all shallow, but remarkably deep."
This is such a beautiful and resonant metaphor. It reminded me that this understanding has nothing to do with effort, straining or mental contortion--all of which come inevitably with the mind's involvement.
Rodney: Precisely. It's the mind in operation. And the mind isn't going to get it. The close as the mind is going to come is when, for example, you are told (by a realized source) that consciousness can't possibly be who and what you are because consciousness changes. And you're further told that your true nature has to be something that never varies in the least. Reflecting upon that truth, you may be significantly paused. The mind stops. Then awareness--in the form of serenity and expansiveness--is recognized, and is immediately understood as having always been present.
Q: Exactly. In the past, I tried very hard to "see" or "get" this, which has left me frustrated. But the moment I "relax my vision" -- lovely phrase! -- it is so radiantly, naturally clear. It is already here, and just needs re-acquaintance. And it doesn't even need this!
Rodney: No, it doesn't. Just see that those moments of clarity are always present. You don't need to get re-acquainted at all. It may seem that way right now. But with a little clear seeing, you will be able to recognize that this natural state of yours is--as the words indicate--naturally and fully present.
Q: When my "vision" is "relaxed", there is that subtle, undeniable sense of knowing--in which thoughts, sensations and perceptions arise. These are all known -- by what? I find myself naturally asking, "What is it that knows these thoughts?", and pausing with that question, noticing the changeless space.
Rodney: Let go of the question and bring your attention to the pause. As long as you are centered on the question, you are immersed in thought. You are remaining on a conceptual level. But you are the pause, you see. You Are the Pause. That "changeless space" is you. And that changeless space is no void. It only appears so at first glance. But it's depth is immeasurable, and it is replete with peace and plenitude. Just a slight conceptual "relaxation" is all that needed. And then all will be made clear.
Q: Thank you again, Rodney! And take good care. Your writing, and that of John Wheeler's, are really helping clarify this so much. It keeps bringing me back to the fact that our natural state is always there for the seeing -- always.
Click HERE to buy Rodney's Fully Present: Daily Reflections on Nonduality from Amazon.
And click HEREto purchase Fully Presentat 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 Presentis an elegant addition to the growing literature on nonduality as it is being uncovered, lived and understood in the modern West."
--Philip Goldberg, author ofthe best-sellingAmerican Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation--How Indian Spirituality Changed the West. Philip's Web site can be found at www.philipgoldberg.com.
"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 www.wayofstory.com
Rodney is also the author ofA 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.
Check out Rodney on YouTubetalking 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 everySunday afternoon, Eastern Standard Time.