“[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
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Q&A: Completely Obvious
Question: Greetings, Rodney. I just wanted to personally thank you for your blog, "Radiance of Being." Your pointers and dialogues have simply proved invaluable.
Rodney: Thank you. And I appreciate your taking the time to write. Question: After a couple years of spiritual searching (including trying TM, like you), I discovered your interview on the "Urban Guru Cafe." This led me to your blog and to John Wheeler's website. After a series of email exchanges with John over the past several months, I am happy to say that I've become aware of the natural state.
Rodney: Congratulations! I'm so happy for you! Q: Thank you...While corresponding with John, I also spent a good deal of time pursuing and enjoying pointers on your website. I think I actually made it all the way back to your posts in late 2009!
Rodney: That's the great thing about a blog--all of the previous posts are there. Of course, the blogger ultimately controls what is saved. But in "Radiance," I certainly want everything available to those who are seriously interested in self-knowledge. Also, the blog is a way of "giving back" (to utilize a somewhat tedious expression), as well as to clarify the topic of self-knowing. Ditto the books.
Q: Well, it was the pointers on your blog that really hit home for me. Much "pausing" occurred while reading them, and I found your overall writing to be direct and concise. Between your pointers and John's direct correspondence, the separate self never had a chance!
Rodney: It's amazing to me (now, at least) that awareness isn't recognized quickly and readily. Yes, it has a subtlety that can appear elusive. But some quiet and direct looking is all that's needed for this discovery to be made. You see, when you are asked, "what is it that you are at this very moment," you are naturally paused by that. After a moment, there may be an automatic response of, say, "I am my body." But if you are aware of something as an object (your physicality, your thoughts, your feelings, etc.), then you can't possibly be that. Therefore, you must be that which is knowing that those things are making an appearance. So what is this knowingness that I am failing to see, though it is directly before and within me? It has to be my true nature. It has to be what I am! What I absolutely never move away from, as you have so beautifully discovered...So how did it occur, if you don't mind providing the details?
Q: Not at all. In my email correspondence with John, he kept pointing again and again to my true nature, encouraging me to actually see what THAT is rather than just giving it a name or using words, which I had been quite prone to do up to that point.
Rodney: Yes, the automatic labeling, and then remaining with that conceptual handle, instead of simply seeing your own immediacy. Q: Right. Before truly looking into the nature of my being, I believed that thoughts would somehow have to die down or lose their intensity for this truth to be realized. I held onto to this notion until John pointed out that "thoughts are not and never have been the problem." This was good news, indeed! But the real death rattle for this assumed separate self came when John asked, "What would be driving the need or interest in identification in the first place?"
Q: This paused me completely. Then, suddenly, it became crystal clear to me that all of "my" seeking and suffering was based on a false premise. There is absolutely no separate entity cut off from life, but rather, just life itself, in all its freedom and functioning through all apparent forms! I found that I had been seeking my very own nature -- this limitless source of peace and spaciousness -- the whole time. It had always been there; I had just been overlooking it! But now, there is just pure seeing, knowing and being -- no more doubts, problems, or mental suffering. This natural state of ours is just indescribable, yet very ordinary. It is present prior to all appearances. Completely obvious. Incredibly simple. And always shining.
Rodney: Beautifully put, and wholly accurate, as well. And again, I could not be happier for you. Stay in touch, if you feel inclined to do so.
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.