Friday, May 2, 2014

Q&A: A Joyful Irony

Question: Hi, Rodney. I’m really enjoying The Only True Life.

Rodney: Thank you!

Q: The title is beautiful, and it gets me to thinking about what I should be thinking about!

Rodney: In effect, nudging you towards your own stillness.

Q: Exactly. And as I’m reading your book, I keep feeling that I’m getting closer and closer to that stillness. Now that’s huge! Because I haven’t gotten that from any book or person before.

Rodney: Any kind of inner pausing is a good thing when it comes to self-knowing. Eventually, you may get to the point where there is only presence itself, where is ever-there and unchanging. There is no predicting when that might happen, of course.

Q: I’ll just be reading along and all of a sudden the mind will go still from one of your phrases or sentences. I'll feel it all over my body sometimes.

Rodney: That can happen.

Q: Then I’ll want it again.

Rodney: Don’t.

Q: What!?

Rodney: Allow the pausing to occur completely on its own. That’s when it’s most effective at opening you to this reality—your reality. It’s also when the mind is not involved, when your thoughts are truly halted

Q: I’ve been on this search for twelve years now. And there have been lots of false leads and even suffering.

Rodney: I can empathize, of course. But there needn’t be any suffering. Nor is self-knowing time-dependent. You are what you are as you hear these words. You won’t be something different tomorrow or at some future date. You have to see that awareness is merely being glossed over. That’s all. That’s the heart of the matter—that’s all that’s going on here. So knowing that, you are naturally paused. Now see what is there. See what is fully and absolutely present at this very moment.

Q: The mind still wants to search for it.

Rodney: How can you search for something that you have never not been?...Did you feel the pause after hearing that question? That was awareness itself! Just sit or be still with the question. Feel it's aliveness. For there is nothing theoretical about this at all! Again, how can you search for something that you have never not been?

Q: I get a glimpse, that's all. But it's definitely there. I'm still not sure how to explain just what it really is. Some call it non-conceptual awareness, and that sounds fair enough. But for sure, nothing is going to happen in the way of finding true joy and freedom until it is actually seen, not so much as an object or a mere fact, but as a living fact. And this would be joy itself!

Rodney: How can you equate presence with "life" or "joy"? It's immensely grander, and that's putting it lightly. Also, awareness has no movement or emotional content whatsoever. It's vast, subtle, hushed, and magnificent—but even these words are made irrelevant by the actual experience of it. But that is simply my response, which is neither here nor there. The main thing is the actual recognition of presence and not any negligible descriptions of it. No word is the thing; no word or group of words can capture this existing reality. That’s one of the reasons why it doesn’t matter in the least how you label it, whether it be God, Brahman, the Supreme, etc. If I say it is God one minute and call it Brahman the next, how has it changed? How precisely has awareness been affected? Do you see how ludicrous it would be to assume that? What detriment has it undergone in that period of time? None. Absolutely none! It is what it is, and it never moves from that. You are what you are, and you never move from being precisely that. And the joyful irony here is that you and It are the very same thing! You always have been and you always will be.

News & Info

The Only True Life: Living from the Natural State can be purchased from Amazon by clicking on the above link.

Or you can buy the book directly from the publisher, Lulu Press

"Rodney, you're the boss! I love each and every book, man. Your writing is so clear and direct. Nobody talks about this stuff the way you do. No one!"
 — Rinehart, the Netherlands.


Susan Ferguson is a talented artist, writer, and book reviewer, who lives in the gorgeous, green hills of North Canterbury, New Zealand.

You may read her review of The Only True Life at her beautiful Web site: Metaphysical Musing:


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.


Rodney's earlier book is State of Wonder: Awakening to Presence.


Click HERE to purchase Rodney's Fully Present: Daily Reflections on Nonduality.


"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.


"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)


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