Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pointers

Your passion brings about its own creativity.


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Spiritual writers and teachers have it wrong: You don't become self-realized by closely scrutinizing the present moment. That moment appears in awareness— as a pause, a movement, or a period of silence. You have to go even beyond the moment. That's why going into nature or to some retreat isn't enough. You have to see what the stillness is pointing to.


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Psychology is to consciousness as nonduality is to awareness.


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True creativity doesn't merely produce something new. It has to be enriching, singular, and beneficial. Charles Darwin wasn't the first person to write about evolution. His acclaim came from his spending decades collecting facts and studying the patterns and symmetries that arose from those observations. This also speaks to Darwin's innate patience and his love of the natural world.


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You ask, "How do I cope with my fear of rejection?" Why do you have to "cope" with it? And who is doing the coping? Could that "who" be just another "I" and "me" in the form of a thought or an image about yourself? Whether the rejection is socially, personally, creatively, or professionally, why don't you simply continue on with your life? If a relationship is over, move on. If a project or work is turned down, determine if that was a good thing. If it wasn't, continue on. If this is your passion, then hard work and persistence will naturally be there. Remember also there is no one way to do things. Life is larger than that. And so are you.


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Work doesn't have to be difficult. It can come from a place of immeasurable spaciousness and clarity. Take note of how your most astonishing ideas and perceptions came a stillness that you from which you gave your barest of attention.


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One psychologist has recently said that there is "a connection between mind wandering and day dreaming that allows new connections in our brain to form and come up with creative solutions." But it has been my experience that you don't have to permit your mind to wander or to begin to daydream. Just pausing or naturally stepping away from something allows you to perceive whatever it is that you were focused upon with greater depth and clarity.


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Over 2300 years ago, Aristotle said that a first principle is the "first basis from which a thing is known" and that pursuing first principles is the key to doing any sort of systematic inquiry. A first principle can be a fundamental assumption in any field, whether it is spiritual, mathematical, scientific, or artistic. Advaitic scholars and sages actually came to that discovery long before Aristotle! That's why nonduality dovetails nicely into what Aristotle was saying. For the first principle of life is, "That all is awareness."


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Surprisingly, showering, shaving, washing dishes, and making a cup of tea or coffee are opportune moments for self-knowing. Pauses naturally occur during the these times, and those pauses tend to be relaxed and yet, significant—direct pointers to your natural state.


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Why should you have to have the "courage to create"? Your creativity should be unstoppable.


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Contemplative insights can lead to self-knowing. But you have to allow yourself to move from the conceptual and even the deeply felt to that which is fundamentally present and unchanging. How? Simply see what you are right now. You needn't go any further than that. 


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If you feel a creative urge to travel, by all means do so, if it isn't a financial hardship. Hemingway wrote The Sun Also Rises in France and Austria (and they were based on his experiences in Pamplona, Spain.) Gaugain's trip to Tahiti produced his highly-praised island paintings (though I've never been moved by them). And Handel and Stravinsky both composed significant works while living abroad.


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Recent studies have shown that people who are creative have greater "neural integrity," even into old age. That's why creative exercises and "writing strategies" don't work very well for fostering originality. Creativity itself nurtures and stimulates the brain, not any games and exercises to reproduce it.



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One of the best things you can do when you are experiencing frustration with your nondual explorations is to step away from them—to literally get up and step away from what you are reading or contemplating. You are simply trying too hard, and that intensity and effort are getting in the way of your seeing what is fully before you. Self-knowing requires no toil or exertion—none whatsoever!


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While Buddhism seems to focus on the mind, nonduality centers on awareness, which is that in which the mind appears. The buck stops at presence, so to speak. But if you remain at the level of the mind, you still haven't reached the essence of life, the core of it. Abiding at the mind will not give you lasting peace, nor will it stop the endless regeneration of your cravings, desires, and impulses that goes into forming another physical body. (It won't be another you! It's more like this anonymous packet of energy that gets recycled into another physical form.) For the sage or self-realized person, the life cycles are over, because there are no over-riding wants or desires, aside from the necessities of life.

News & Info

Precisely That: Reflections Upon Enlightenment is available on Amazon. Go to the above link.

To buy the book directly from the publisher, click on Lulu Press

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Rodney's previous book, 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

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Here is Rodney's 2009 interview at the peerless Urban Guru Cafe.

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"Rodney is on the way to becoming a nondual megastar. His books and pointers are amazingly direct, original, and beautiful—immersing you in your own Beingness. In little time at all, he has taken nonduality and made it his own." — Lori W., U.K.

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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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"In Fully Present, Rodney 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 published once a month.