“[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
Question: Sorry I haven't been in touch for a while. Teaching has been quite tough, and I have managed to catch a stomach virus and the flu in consecutive weeks, which meant that I was off for a few days, and had to catch up when I got back.
Rodney: The flu and a stomach virus!? My God, man! You've got to stay away from those "draughty" English castles and all of that cold morning toast, which should be properly slathered with butter and heated before consumption.
Question: Got it! (Laughter). The upside is that it has been a time for reading and walking. The autumnal colours are exquisite here, as well as the light on the turning leaves; it's misty today, too ... "season of mist and mellow fruitfulness" indeed!
Rodney: Sounds lovely.
Q: I quite understand about your updating your blog once a fortnight now, rather than every week. It must have been exhausting, having to keep going to the hot-spot room in the next building.
Rodney: It was. But you know, I'm still going back-and-forth each day, just to keep up with the correspondence and the phone consultations. So it continues to be tiring. But I'm no longer having to go over at such a fever pitch.
Q: I loved the dialogue you posted a couple of weeks ago: "Right now, what is it about yourself that isn't moving or changing in the least?" That is such a potent and beautiful pointer! Every time I go back to it, it is fresh and vibrant.
Rodney: That's means you're alive to its depth and significance. I'm not praising my own words here. I'm merely saying that your seeing and sensitivity are such that you are likely to be paused any excellent pointer, no matter who is it from. And the source, of course, is quite secondary here. The primary issue is your recognizing that you are the pause, that you really don't have to go any further than that to come to this understanding. For the answer is right there, in your own natural and mental halting. There is nothing to process or "work with"--only to identify or to pinpoint.
Q: Actually, all of your pointers appear "new" every time I read them, which is wonderful. That hushed spaciousness is fairly clear now, even with the click-clacking of a train going by, the tapping of my fingers on the keyboard, and the flux of sensations in my body and the chair. This is something that the mind will never get!
Rodney: Precisely, because thoughts have no inherent intelligence.They arise and fall in a kind of supreme intelligence (awareness). But thoughts have no cognitizing power of their own. They are mental appearances, though they can be memory-like, musical-like, and picture-like. Some neuroscientists say that thoughts are merely separate, neuro-chemical reactions. That's fine too. However you label them, they are vital to our living responsibly and communicating effectively. There can also be pointers to our natural state, which is synonymous with that all-prevading "intelligence" that I was speaking about earlier. And we are That. We are not our thoughts. Sometimes I feel like saying this again and again to folks, but you've gotten it clearly. And all that's needed now is a final seeing--
Q: -- of that clear and enduring spaciousness.
Rodney: Precisely. When the spaciousness is present and unwavering, that is the recognition of your natural state. And once that seen, it's seen. Things begin to fall into place after that, in terms of any spiritual and conceptual questions you might have had. Your inner peace is totally beyond any blissful or visionary experience that you might have had. For now, you are that living understanding to which Sankara, Gaudapada, Nisargadatta Maharaj, and U.G. Krishnamurti so brilliantly pointed.
Q: Rodney, once again, thank you so much. Take good care...We are off in a few days to the Peak District, which is just down in Derbyshire. We are staying quite close to where this photo was taken.
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 every other Sunday afternoon, Eastern Standard Time.