Friday, August 1, 2014

Pointers

Nisargadatta’s guru did not tell him to watch his thoughts, control his breath, raise his Kundalini, or practice austerity. Rather, he simply but emphatically said: “You are not what you take yourself to be. Find out what you are...Find your true Self.” And Nisargadatta did just that.


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There is no such thing as a “pure mind.” I don’t care who claims it to be so. A thought, memory, or feeling (the very things that go to make the mind) are, by their nature, wayward, approximate, and misleading.


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[From phone consultation]: “You think you have to sit in some ridiculous position and hope and pray for the ego disappear so that Truth can come floating in. But Self-knowing doesn’t happen that way. It never has and it never will. This understanding is sudden, timeless, and spontaneous. There is no one waiting for anything. And who would be waiting? That conceptualized “I” or “me” is getting in the way of your realizing what is fully present. So do you see the foolish of your actions? It’s beyond foolish, actually, but I’m trying to be nice!...Actually, it was the same error I was making—but not for very long. After a few weeks, I intuitively knew that practices were not going to work for me.”


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In a word, Self-inquiry is the direct path to Self-realization. You aren’t focusing your mind on anything. But rather, you are cognitizing something that you have previously disregarded. It sounds amazingly simple, and it is—though awareness’s subtlety is perhaps without parallel. Still, the ease of seeing unquestionably remains.


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Four great teachings arose in humanity’s history: Advaita/Nonduality (India), Zen (Japan), Tao (China), and Mahayana Buddhism, known as the Great Vehicle, which some scholars considers to be an authentic rendering of the Buddha’s teachings (India). The focus on each of these tenets is that self-realization can be had in anyone’s lifetime.


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All there is is awareness. So how can there any relationship between it and an individual person or ego or universe? A relationship can only exist between different things or entities. And duality does not exist from the perspective of presence.



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A thought is a neurological response containing information, whether it be sensory, creative, or mnemonic (memory-related)


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[From phone consultation]: You are confused about your existence. No one believes that he or she does not exist. The issue is what precisely are you existing as. You assume that you are your body or your brain or even your personality. But none of these things have constancy. And your essence has to be constancy itself! And even that is a inadequate because you are Existence. Do you see what I'm saying? You are the thing that is being pointed to. You don't have a relationship with it at all. So we are speaking about that which is prior to even to the concepts of relationships and constancy!


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The problem with spiritual paths is that they start with something—a chant, mantra, ritual, twirl, journey, meditation, mindfulness, you name it. But nonduality begins with nothing—or should I say, Nothingness. Nonduality contends that, from the beginning, you are this unending Nothingness. But this Nothingness is not a void; rather, it is a formless actuality that can discerned and recognized through our bodies and minds.


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What is sugar? In the final analysis, it isn’t anything other than our experience of it. The same can be said for self-realization. It has to be experienced to be known; otherwise, it remains a concept. You can write a hundred books about it or get a Ph.D. by studying the history of those for whom this understanding has happened. But you won’t know it. It won’t be a living reality for you. It won’t be there when you go to the grocery, or the bathroom. And even though you may find yourself at some majestic mountain range or by some beautiful seashore, the fullness of that setting will necessarily be lost on you.


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Generally, a person feels his or her center to be her body or her head. But Ramana Maharshi said that once Self-knowing occurs, your centeredness moves to the heart region. But with me, there is no center. It’s as if this body is completely surrounded by and pervaded through by a very, very real presence of awareness. There is no center anywhere! Indeed, presence is more of a reality than this body! All of these descriptions are crude, of course, and in no way approximates what is being experienced here.

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 Stevens is a writer in the tradition of non-dualism; an ancient teaching that the truth of our life is pure awareness. He writes with charm and eloquence and clearly conveys the sense that waking up to this truth is without striving and effort: it is the simple awareness of our true nature.” — Gavin Flood, Ph.D., Professor of Hindu Studies and Comparative Religion, Oxford University, U.K., and author of The Truth Within: A History of Inwardness in Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism.

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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:

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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.

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

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

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"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 www.philipgoldberg.com.

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"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 www.wayofstory.com

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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.

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"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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I am now doing phone consultations via Skype! Each conversation will take about an hour, and a $45 donation will be greatly appreciated.

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This blog is generally updated every month.