Monday, April 26, 2010

DVD Review

The Lost Satsang (NetiNeti Films/$24.95) was culled from a low-quality VHS tape that given to NetiNeti Films by S. K. Mullarpattan, who was Nisargadatta's primary translator from 1976 to 1981. In this little-known archival footage, the master teacher responds to questions from various seekers in his tiny, Mumbai flat.

The camera pretty much remains on Nisargadatta for the whole of the film's 90-minutes. Yet, it seldom feels static. For the legendary sage is in fine form here, pointing, laughing, shouting, glaring, loving, and rolling those presence-sated eyes. And Mullarpattan, who is often seen in the film himself, is quite animate in his own right, as he strives to translate and clarify Nisargadatta's torrent of words and expressions, of which gems abound:

"Space always exists, whether a building stands or it is demolished."

"Just do what I say. All your questions are sprouting from your identification with the body-form. You should go inside." [My emphasis.]

"These are pointers. It [awareness] cannot be explained by concepts. How can words explain that from which words originate?"

"What do you want? What is your main desire? Your body-identity is attracted to objects. It creates desires, and you treat them as high priorities. Understanding the Self should be your only priority...Search for your true nature."

The subtitling is excellent, with blue for seekers' questions and white for Nisargadatta's responses. Salutary too is the translating, in which three different translations were utilized (from Nisargadatta's native Marathi), with the central one being from Mohan Gaitonde, the sage's part-time and little-known evening translator.

Maurizio and Zaya Benazzo and their NetiNeti Films are to be thoroughly commended for presenting us with this marvelous work. You can order the DVD directly from them at: If the website isn't highlighted, just copy it to your browser's address slot and click.

Monday, April 19, 2010


How could there be a path or process to what you already are?


Yes, you have to go beyond language, physicality, and perception when it comes to this understanding. But that "going beyond" happens in less than a second when you either recognize the immediacy of your fundamental state or when you truly comprehend that your numerous points of reference to yourself (my body, my feelings, my sensations, my gender, my job, my religion, my enlightenment, etc) are points that come and go. Call it the ego or an ego-cluster. You needn't overly-focus on what to label it. Just see that this coming-and-going could, in no way, be your true and eternal nature.


Its nothingness is something. Its something is nothingness.


Self-knowledge isn't "cultivated." Additionally, there is no "going back into it" or "deepening" of it at all. Any attempt to do either is giving credence to a referential "I" that, essentially, does not exist. It is a construct, a practicality that we employ that enables us to communicate with one another and to go about our lives. Therefore, this "I" needn't be shunned nor revered. It is what it is. And you are what you are: Radiant spaciousness without beginning or end.


"The Great Perfection," as Dzogchen masters call it, points so beautifully and precisely to itself.


Why should "spiritual hardships" be considered a good or noble thing? Don't buy into the myth that coming to this understanding should have some dramatic or agonizing arc. Utter fiction, too, is the notion that self-realization is something that is sustained over time. Once your natural state is recognized, it is
fully recognized. It is its own aliveness. There is absolutely nothing that it requires. And who, precisely, would be doing the maintaining or enhancing anyway? There is no who, only a what. And-you-are-That.


Any talk of having "the right relationship with yourself" and "coming to grips with who you are" is just a lot of babble and conceptual fodder. You are focusing on matters that have nothing to do with your cognizant sheerness and beauty.


Thoughts, feelings, sensations, and concepts all come and go. They are appearances. They have no nature of their own. Thus, what is it about you--at this very moment--that Does Not Move? Don't attempt to grasp this through thoughts or theories or mythic notions of what you think "liberation" is. Rather, simply bring your attention to this
presence of awareness that is fully beyond any postulations you might have about it. Indeed, that is one of the first things you realize when you come to this understanding: How utterly insignificant your thoughts, dogmas, and beliefs are in comparison with your immaculate and imperishable limitlessness.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Q&A: Beyond Even Grandness

Question: Hi Rodney--Greetings and cheers! I hope this finds you well. It's been a long time since I've corresponded with you.

Rodney: It has indeed. Though we are right in the middle of the pollen season now, allow me to wish you belated Happy New Year!

Q: Thanks! I'm 70-plus years old, so I'll take it!

Rodney: You're probably hardier than I am, so don't sweat it.

Q: I'm continuing to closely read Charlie Hayes' books and Web site. He's sort of a "master pointer" for me.

Rodney: That he is. Charlie continually points to the heart of all this, and he minces no words while doing so. So continue to read whomever you resonate with, until your thinking and conceptualizing is naturally and fully stopped.

Q: Which is, I believe, Sailor Bob's expression for that sort of thing.

Rodney: Exactly, and it's a fine one. As for understanding itself: On one level, the movement of thought is suddenly and timelessly halted; and on another level, this cessation is a hushed and thoroughly undramatic occurrence. Your thinking, of course, isn't permanently halted. There is just this complete and instantaneous seeing/understanding that awareness is vividly present. And once seen, it is not lost.

Q: I also read your pointers frequently, and they often create a silence and stillness with me too.

Rodney: Yes, but the stillness isn't being created. It is being discovered or recognized--by you. Or more accurately, your attention is being brought to the ubiquity and ceaselessness of presence. I am simply pointing to something that you are seeing for yourself. Nothing has been newly-created, summoned, or ascended to.

Q: Got it. Thanks for the correction...Would you elaborate on your expression "that what is presently within and before you"? I just want to make sure that I'm understanding this properly.

Rodney: When I say that presence is "within and before you," I mean it literally. This moment is it. Awareness isn't something that is going to magically appear after x-number of months or years of meditation, or after x-number of sessions of sitting. It brims before you at this very second. Read the next sentence slowly: Presence lies between the spaces of the words in the sentence that you are reading right now. You, no doubt, felt something deep, unmoving, and indescribable as you carefully perused the above.

Q: Yes! I definitely had some sense something. But it was only for a second.

Rodney: That conceptual-slowing or cessation points to a more significant one, one that is nothing less than your natural and ever-present state. In fact, the pause
is you. There is no separate, individual person witnessing awareness. Again, you are the pause.

Q: Yeah, I guess I keep thinking that, on some level, this is something that actually "happens."

Rodney: Right, that it is event-like, which isn't the case at all.

Q: But as you said, it's right here and now. I guess I'm just missing it.

Rodney: We go through life largely overlooking these natural and very potent pauses, multitudes of them throughout the day, actually. And we do this mainly out of habit. So I try to bring the reader or seeker's attention back to this pristine and ever-present spaciousness, which, in effect, is being ignored. But once it is recognized or understood, it will indeed appear to be thoroughly within and before you. There will then be no doubt that awareness is absolutely everything everywhere. Truly, no grandness--however cosmic, erudite, or spiritual--can ever excell your essence. For you are That, One without any second, at--this--very--moment.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Truth cannot be practiced.


You can temporarily put any unanswered questions about consciousness aside, if you like. For after recognizing awareness proper, your comprehension of the former (which is mainly your varying states of alertness) will be quite clear.


See the
immediate Reality to which Buddha, Christ, Shankara, and Nisargadatta were pointing. At bottom, this isn't a conceptual or pedagogical matter. It is truth itself.


The mind cannot be "emptied" of thoughts. The mind is just another name
for a thought. When there is no thought, there is no mind. Further, thoughts arise and disappear within this sheer and cognitizing emptiness, which is nothing less than our fundamental nature.


What Lao-Tzu said of the Tao can just as easily be said of awareness: Its "True fullness seems empty, / yet it is fully present."


Presence doesn't need to be cultivated. See through any notions that awareness is not already in full evidence. You are not seeing this bare and blessed fact because, in considerable measure, of your attempt to understand this on a conceptual level. This is done out of habit, mainly. After reading some nondual pointer or listening to someone speak directly and clearly about all this, you often are off to the next related thought or theory in a mere second. But it is a second nonetheless, a pause of infinite depth and significance. It is That from which you never, ever move.


Not to belabor the obvious, but you can't "meditate" your way to enlightenment. From the very beginning, meditation is based on the utterly false premises that there is an individual meditator, and that there is something to attain. The recognition of your natural state is all about seeing and understanding what is
presently within and before you.


There is no permanent happiness. If you are looking for that--either through meditation or nonduality--you aren't going to find it. However, you
can discover a peace that passes all understanding. It is limitless, eternal, and vividly-present.


The body, senses, mind, feelings, and consciousness all change. Thus, none of them can possibly be your fundamental nature. So what is left? What exactly remains?


Though your natural state is subtle, it is self-liminous and ever-before you. Any method or practice "toward" it is an immediate move "away" from it (in so much as one
can move from it). Even any attempted forms of surrender won't work because there is someone trying do the deed. True surrender is effortless. It is a sudden seeing or understanding that Presence is a felt and living reality. Take a moment to discover it for yourself. Trust me when I say this: Absolutely nothing could be simpler.