Saturday, June 22, 2013

Pointers & Essay

Why do you have to practice to be yourself?


When you chant OM for self-realization, you are going outside of yourself. OM is fully present within you. But even it—the un-struck sound, the universal vibration, the essence of all resonances, etc—is an appearance in presence.


There is something that is never absent. What is that something?


There is no pure consciousness. I don't know what teachers and writers are talking about when they use that expression. Consciousness, by its very nature, is variable. And anything that is changeable cannot be "pure," whole, or nondual.


You say that you need to "create a space" for presence to occur, but that simply is not true. You are awareness already; so the "space" would be something extra. The space would be a divisor between your natural state and this imagined creator of the space. And self-knowing cannot occur under those circumstances.


The Lacebark Elms

What is it that draws me to these trees: The Lacebark Elms (Ulmus parvifolia) in the rear of the shopping mall? Arborist are quick to note that they have the poise of a Nothofagus; or they point to their toughness—for they can be planted and cultivated next to patios or in parking lots. And New Zealanders have found that they flourish even on their Zephyr-swept coastlines, which vary from sweeping sounds to staggering fiords.

But I am enthralled by the Lacebark's verdant canopy, which brims with leaf-weigh and symmetry atop its 40-plus-foot height. Its lustrous, dark green leaves turn yellow or carroty in the fall. "Not ornamentally interesting," landscape designers dismissively pronounce, due—in part—to the smallness of its leaves. But the awe, for me, is in the coloration of the bark, which exfoliates, revealing subtle shades of green, slate, cinnamon, and olive. And the hues themselves are baroquely outlined by delicate, orange lenticels—raised pores along the bark that permit gas exchange between the atmosphere and the internal tissues, which allow the tree to breath, as it were.

It is astonishing that these Lacebarks survive at all with the deciduous on-slaught of the southern summer, as well as their polluted water-source from a nearby stream, with its amalgam of septic, bacteric, mercuric, and benthic toxins (which are those deep in the sediment). But the Lacebarks thrive!—their happiness is apparent in every leaf and gesture. Even their naturally drooping branches speak of elation.  

And now, I sit under those leaves, in the green light, remembering nothing. And when a thought appears, it speaks of the softness of things, of the near-wonder of this verdant hushness. Any rustle of these leaves is a mere muted whispering. All of this can only be pointed to. One of the things that quickly became apparent to me after this understanding occurred was how little that I could actually share with others, that there was no way that they could know what I felt, recognized, and lived except through their own realizations. Yes, we could remain seated in our stillness; or one of us could reach, unconstrained, for the other's hand, while allowing the quietude to continue. But that would be the end of it. So I sit in my aloneness. And yet, there is no loneliness here—just the silence of this oneness in the soft, emerald gleaming.

News & Info

State of Wonder: Awakening to Presence can be purchased from Amazon by clicking on the above link.

And for the Amazon Kindle version, click HERE!

To buy the book directly from the publisher, go to Lulu Press

"I am really enjoying your new book, Rodney—and I'm being paused by many happy tears!"—Rejane Luthemaier, Brazil.


Feel free to check out Jimmy Dabrowski's beautiful and downloadable MixTape. Jimmy's a great guy, and I am honored to be one of the nondual authors in his collection.


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 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.


Check out Rodney on YouTube talking about "The Fundamental Thing."


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 time. 


Anonymous said...

I search...I give up...I search...I give up...

I read a couple of your posts here, and just watched your Youtube. Your presentation is clear and simple and you seem genuine, like you mean what you say.

I can't afford to go see a teacher, so I'll ask you:

The unconscious is full of thoughts, eons of conditioning. How do you know that "presence" is not just a projection from the deeper, earlier parts of the brain?
I "feel" it - presence, that is - but clearly I'm just not clear on what it really is.

Rodney Stevens said...

Thanks for your kind words!

Presence is not a projection because it never changes. And its attributes of enduring peace and spaciousness are clearly not the stuff of thoughts, projections, and conditioning. Still, your question is an excellent one because it hints at your seriously wanting to discern the Real from the unreal.