Sunday, October 6, 2013

Q&A: A Fundamental Clarity

Question: I am so glad to have come across your blog and other writings. I have been reading your new book, State of Wonder, and I am enjoying it very much. I've also been listening to your Urban Guru Cafe interviews, over and over again.

Rodney: Oh, my. There is no need to do that!

Q: Your words and books seem to very clearly point to what I am trying to see or recognize; and your points regarding spaciousness really resonate with me. I've been wanting to contact you for a while, but I still don't know exactly what I should say or ask. 

Rodney: One of the most important things to do is what you are doing now: Framing your questions, and then taking the initiative to send the email, make the call, or personally sit with someone who is self-realized him or herself. Also, allow your heart to lead the way. When that happens, questions tend not to be wasted or willy-nilly. They have significance and are apropos. With that said, by the time that people have gotten to nonduality, a great many questions have naturally fallen by the wayside. Such seekers are looking for fundamental clarity, rather than metaphysical discussions or conceptually laden responses. 

Q: I like reading your responses to other people's questions, and those responses seem to have made the issue of what I am much clearer. But it hasn't been recognized yet. I'm not sure of any particular "blockages" I might have. I have mainly been trying to notice the spaciousness that I seem to overlook. 

Rodney: You've hit the nail on the head. Noticing that neglected spaciousness is key. There are no sustained blockages, however. A thought or a feeling or an idea ("I cannot possibly be awareness right now" or "Self-realization can't possibly be that easy!") arises and disappears, arises and disappears. And there is nothing remaining during those times except awareness itself. So there are two central points to keep in mind: You are not your thoughts and feelings, and presence is always and unconditionally present. Even more, it is precisely what never changes. And you are that right now—you are that awareness. So it is just a matter of recognizing a perpetual presence of peace, quietude, and limitlessness. And it's there for the seeing. Indeed, it is never not there. For you are not separate from what you are seeking. That's the actuality that has to be understood.

Q: It seems difficult.

Rodney: That is just an habitual response from the mind. It is merely another thought. The question is, is that thought true or accurate? I can tell you, in no uncertain terms, that it is not. Awareness is what you are as you are hearing my voice, right now. Something is already present. But our attention routinely goes to our bodies, sensations, emotions, and beliefs. And that's okay. We want that to happen in our everyday life. But for self-knowing, a more careful and deliberate kind of  looking is required. And yet, it takes just a moment to identify. Or even less so. 

Q: That is good to hear!

Rodney: Just be mindful too that we are talking about your natural state here. So it is something that you are existing as right at this moment. Nothing is being "attained" or "merged with." Neither are you "absorbed into" some kind of mystical immenseness. All of that is just spiritual gobbledygook. And none of it gets to the essential question: "Who is the knower?" This is the query that occupies the more discerning seekers out there. But even if you remain with that inquiry, you will get any number of answers: My soul, spirit, consciousness, "mind," God, Brahman, Big Bird, etc. The answers are so varied and suspect that they become ridiculous. So the original question—as good as it sounds—must be a tad off. And so it is. For there is no "who," only a what. And that what-ness is awareness proper. Sit with this, ponder it, or walk with it, if necessary—but all in a natural and reflective manner. And that will lead you to the answer that you fully and presently are.

Q: Thank you very much, Rodney. Thank you also for the great help you provide people! And I'll be arranging another phone consultation with you soon. I'm one of those people that comprehends better when I am actually hearing your words.

Rodney: Whatever works! And my best to you too.

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 really enjoy your books and your blog. They are ever new."
  Lafcadio De La Rosa


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 America 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.


This blog is generally updated every other Sunday afternoon, Eastern time. 

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