Saturday, October 20, 2012

Assorted Questions & Answers

Question: Why are you doing your blog every two weeks now? I'm really going to miss your weekly nondual gems!

Rodney: I can't afford wi-fi, and I was exhausting myself by having to go to my apartment's wi-fi hot-spot room in the next building--especially when it was raining or freezing. I would love to have wi-fi, but it doesn't seem to be in the cards at the moment.

Q: What can I do to speed up my self-realization?

Rodney: Well, there's nothing hindering you from being what you are right now. And what you are right now is awareness itself. Just remain with that glorious fact for a moment. Allow it to pause you fully. You are already awareness at this very moment...When that fact is seen or realized, your identity will be clear. There is no practice or process that will catapult you to presence because (once again) presence is your natural state. So nothing can "speed up" the process because you are already That. Again, there is no process! It's just a matter of seeing or understanding this for yourself, which--of course--not only can happen at any moment, but which takes less than a moment to realize.

Q: How do I send a donation? I really love your work and writing.

Rodney: Thank you. You may send a check or cash--just email me for the address. You may also  send a donation via Paypal, where my email address is: srodney00 (at) gmail (dot) com

Q: Once I become enlightened, will I want to leave my family?

Rodney: That is highly unlikely. For nothing unusual happens, except the discovery to this unchanging background of deep peace and spaciousness, and the understanding that you are that background. Everything else remains pretty much the same--your allergies, your dessert preferences, and your personality (though you probably will appear generally calmer).

Q: Please give me something to reflect on during the day. I'm not asking for a mantra, just something to slow my thinking and get me going in the right direction.

Rodney: You are already what you are seeking.

Q: Does your sexual drive diminish with enlightenment?

Rodney: Yep, that's the first thing that goes...Just kidding! In fact, you'll probably find yourself enjoying it more.

Q: How does your natural state feel? And is it there all the time?

Rodney: It's a hushed background of peace and spaciousness. And yes, it's there all the time, whether you're noticing it or not. Thoughts and feelings arise and fall, but Presence is ever-present. Other teachers and writers may describe it differently. But for me, the above words come closest to what I'm experiencing.

Q: I like the prominence that you give to OM, which I love to chant. I haven't seen any other nondual teacher mention the word.

Rodney: Well, I don't give it any particular significance. And yet, it has its own prominence: It is one of the first words in the first Upanishad; it is the substratum of all sounds; and it is perhaps the closest phonetic approximation of Presence that we have. And that some sage or sages recognized these facts even centuries before the Upanishads were written is mind-boggling to me. But that sage discovered it within his or herself first, and then attempted to articulate it. Thus we have OM. I wasn't there, of course. But I'll wager that that was how it came about. Still, the truly important here is that you can discover the "OM" within yourself, as well. Just quiet yourself for a moment or two, and take note that the sound is actually present. But it's not really a sound you are seeking; but rather, the essence of the sound--that hushed, non-moving vibration that is never not there. I know it appears as if I'm talking in riddles. But I'm attempting to be as direct and as accurate as possible.

Q: Should I stop meditating?

Rodney: Only you can answer that question. Continue if you want to continue or actually enjoy meditation. Stop if you feel inclined to do so or if you see that it isn't working for you, in terms of "awakening" you to who and what you are. And don't necessarily stop because I say that recognizing your natural state won't happen that way. For the next 20 or 30-years, test it out for yourself! 

Q: I have some strong religious conditioning. Will that hinder me from studying nonduality? 

Rodney: You aren't your conditioning. You are That which is aware that the conditioning is appearing. Further, the conditioning isn't there in any defined or permanent way. It appears and disappears, appears and disappears. So it can't possibly be you--for you aren't something that comes and goes. Right now, what is it about yourself that isn't moving or changing in the least? Remain with that question for a few moments, and it just may well set you free (in the sense that you discover that you are what you are seeking, and that that is nothing to attain)...As to the second part of your question, nonduality can certainly be historically and philosophically studied. But I sense your question is more from a self-knowing point of view. If that's so, then just be mindful that credible books, blogs, writings, and teachers are always pointing beyond themselves to the reader's or listener's own innate Freedom.


News & Info

This blog will now be appearing every other Sunday.


Fully Present is now available at the superb Powell's Bookstore, in Portland, Oregon. 


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 click HERE to purchase Fully Present at 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 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.


For the book's Press Release, click Here.


Check out Rodney on YouTube talking 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.