Sunday, October 7, 2012

Q&A: Utterly Unchanging

Question: I really enjoyed your last pointers. The clarity of your writing shines through so beautifully.

Rodney: Thank you!

Question: And I'm looking forward to our next phone consultation. They have been enormously helpful.

Rodney: Happy to hear it. Such conversations can be appear very ordinary, one level; and yet, any number of quiet and significant insights can happen if the person you are speaking with has a living understanding of his or her fundamental reality. There is also the distinct possibility that seeds will be planted (so to speak), and that some point or issue will flourish with clarity at some later time, if the central issues are focused upon. 

Question: Right.

Rodney: I mean, you can talk about advaitic/nondual theory all day long—anyone can do that. But how are you helped by it? You are simply left with more questions--even when you are given the conceptual answers! And what you want is the opposite of that, where you have no questions whatsoever. And the only thing that leaves you without a single doubt is the recognition of your natural state.

Q: Recently, I have been less and less drawn to the latest nonduality publications. There is really no urge here any more to seek out new books or new authors. Once upon a time, I would have
purchased anything and everything, greedily devouring whatever I could!

Rodney: That's great. It shows that you sensing that the answer is more in you, rather than in any book. Still, books can be fine pointers, if the writing is direct and clear.

Q: I am happy just to keep coming back—naturally and lovingly—to your own work and [names a trio of other teachers]. Each relaxed re-reading feels fresh, and yields many new insights. There is a subtle and different resonance each time.

Rodney: If you gravitate towards a certain person, teacher, or writer, it's probably worth following that feeling. Again, it all comes back to your resonating with someone, and the manner in which he or she speaks or writes directly about nonduality.

Q: I have been reflecting, too, on this marvelous pointer of yours: "Stay with that which Does Not Move. What is it, right now, that Is Not Changing?" 

Rodney: Yes, there is something that isn't moving in the least. Yet, it is immeasurable and fully present. What is that something?...Well, you are that something. And if you are that something (i.e., awareness) at this very moment, your not recognizing it must mean that you are merely overlooking it. It is that simple.

Q: Yes. Exploring direct experience right now, it is clear that thought is energy in spontaneous motion, as are feelings, and perceptions. Even the body—which the mind might consider "static"—is really not that at all. If attention is placed on any part of "my" body, what I find is a subtle flux of sensation. Nothing—no object—in experience is still. And yet it is all appearing to something that is utterly unchanging; that does not move at all. Movement is known only against stillness. And ultimately it is not separate from that stillness, either. It is all one.

Rodney: It's all one. There is just this singularity here. And even that isn't quite right, because when we think of a singularity, we tend to think of dimensions, however small, large, or unitary. But awareness is beyond even the notion of oneness. It's more of a "this-ness." And that's all there is, despite any apparent multiplicity.

Q: So if none of that multiplicity (thoughts, feelings, physicalness, etc) is invested with signifiance, it is so simple! It is the bare presence of aware knowing—that is undeniable, and yet unfindable as any kind of object. It is beyond objects, and yet intimately one with them, inseparable from them. If thought is paused, it is so obvious! And so naturally known.

Rodney: Beautifully put. But just a couple of clarifications: There is no relationship between objects and awareness, however "intimate" that relationship may be. For all things are awareness, even the appearances. And we want to give those appearances due significance, rather than no significance at all. For we want to be able to go to the grocery store and interact with others as smoothly and as safely as possible, while understanding that, fundamentally, there is nothing that is not awareness.

Q: Right now, the sound of my cat crunching his biscuits is no less "me" than the itch on my arm! There is clear and impersonal awareness of both. One is not "closer" to awareness than the other. And although awareness is the intimate substance of sensation/ perception, it also cannot be reduced to them. It is there, with or without objects.

Rodney: Yes, with or without objects. And when there is a pause in thought, no object is present. These pauses are naturally occurring all during day, as well as when you are paused by a nondual pointer. So you don't have to try to stop thought or watch thoughts in order to snatch/gain/merged with awareness. Just see that awareness is never not present. Stay with that fact: Awareness is never not present! And you are It, awareness itself.

Q: As always, thank you, Rodney. I find it so helpful to share insights with you, and to reflect upon your excellent pointers. 


News & Info

JUST IN: This blog will now be appearing every other Sunday.


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 other Sunday afternoon, Eastern Standard Time.

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