Thursday, April 12, 2012

No Me and No You: Guest Teaching by Rick Linchitz

Welcome once again to Awakening Clarity's Guest Teachings Series, whether this is your first visit, or you're an old timer here.  This popular series is garnering accolade from the breadth of the Nondual community around the globe.  Creating this Who's Who in contemporary Nonduality is a long-term project, but it's a very exciting one. We have a lot of great people lined up to appear in the coming weeks, and I'm about to explode with enthusiasm over the fact that we've just added a new Assistant Editor, Greg Dean, to help things run more quickly and smoothly.  You can find details about Greg in the About the Staff section that's at the bottom of the right hand column.

Rick Linchitz is an absolutely uncompromising satsang teacher, and he's as clear as a ship's bell in the night.  To my ear, he brings to mind Tony Parsons on one hand and Nisargadatta on the other.  I've really enjoyed researching him this week by reading and listening to interviews with him online.  I'll have links at the bottom of his post so that you can do the same.  I absolutely recommend that you do so.  This is not hype; this is good advice, notwithstanding the source.   

I REALLY ENJOYED his book, and was quite touched by his story when I read him a month or two ago, but I didn't fall in love with him until this week.  Precisely as happened with Eckhart Tolle and Rupert Spira, as soon as I heard Rick speak, I was cooked.  I have no idea why that is, but it is.  Actually, I have no idea why anything is, but It All Is; I'm clear on that part.

NOW IT'S TIME TO TELL YOU my embarrassing Rick Linchitz story.  My ego can always use a good smack and there's nothing like a bit of public humiliation to bruise it.  I should tell you that this body retired from its former position as the Center of All Universes back in 2006.  However, it only did so in order that it might rise from the dead and claim a new position, which is not quite so lofty, but it's still special enough.  I became the Hub of All Things Nondual.  Now, as Hub of All Things Nondual, this body, of course, has all the insider info on every Nondual writer and teacher in the world.  Have a burning question about some of the people in our community?  Just ask Fred.  If he doesn't know them, nobody knows them.  I swear to you, this is just how this mind thinks.

SO WHEN NON-DUALITY PRESS sent me a copy of Rick's new book, No Me and No You, I thought, "Well here's a new guy.  Maybe I can "discover" him!"  Forget that he already has a book out from the largest publisher of Nondual titles in the world.  Never one to let facts get in the way of my blind enthusiasm, I, the Swifty Lazar of Nonduality, am single-handedly going to make him a star!  Can you believe this?  It's true.
HOWEVER, it was during the process of doing the research for this profile that Swifty got rather a rude awakening.  First off, I found out Rick wasn't exactly a newcomer: he woke up the same year I got sober: 2000.  So he's been around the scene--awake, mind you--for a dozen years.  Thus while I was still crawling walls and drinking coffee out of Styrofoam cups, he was palling around in Costa Rica with Satyam Nadeen.  Oddly this somehow bothers my ego less than having a person who woke up after I did to have the audacity to be more clear than I am!  Scott Kiloby, for instance, had the nerve to wake up a year after I did and then become my teacher!  That is grounds for a serious resentment and is very nearly unforgivable. (By the way, throughout this article I am speaking plainly, not in the  revered and self-protective Nondualese  tongue.)

AT ANY RATE, the scales peeled and fell from Swifty's bespectacled eyes when he discovered that Rick has been doing satsang in Europe since 2001!  Rick was traveling around with Nadeen dispensing wisdom in distant lands while I was still running around my old backyard making amends for a lifetime of sin.  Next, you can imagine my outrage when I found out that Scott had once again outdone me by interviewing Rick three years ago on his Kilologues site. And, as if that wasn't bad enough, it turned out that Scott had a lot of company in beating me to the punch.

RICK LINCHITZ, whom the Hub of All Things Nondual had never heard of, had been heard of by damn near everyone else.  He had, in fact, already been profiled earlier this year by Matt King in the altogether excellent blog (grumble), Nonduality America.  He can also be found on Jetz TV in Germany, and he has a second book available over there in a German-language-only edition.  I did discover something this week: I discovered Swifty had also been outdone by Never Not Here back in 2010, when Richard Miller did a wholly wonderful interview with him in Rick's home on Long Island.  I also found Rick on YouTube, saw him on Kenneth Madden's website, and on the Guru's Feet wesbite.  And oh, did I mention that Rick spoke at the Science & Nonduality Conference in 2011 and will be speaking there again this year?  He gets around, let me tell you.

SO, IT IS JUST POSSIBLE that I am perhaps a wee bit late in discovering Rick Linchitz.  He is everywhere, now including Awakening Clarity's Guest Teacher Series. I am hereby officially retired from Hubdom.  At least until I'm not.

RICK LINCHITZ is a New York physician whose fields of expertise include innovative treatments for cancer (from which he is a long-term survivor after receiving a bleak prognosis) and alternative methods of pain therapy.  It's a distinct pleasure to host this post, for which I am greatly indebted to Our Lady of Mercy, Catherine Noyce, of Non-Duality Press, for her tireless efforts in helping me produce this post, which allowed me to rest my very sore arms.  Thank you, Catherine!
AND NOW . . .

No You and No Me
The Loving Awareness in Which All Arises

Rick Linchitz

 NO YOU AND NO ME: The Loving Awareness in Which All Arises is the title of Rick Linchitz’s book published by Non-Duality Press.   One of the Non-Duality Press editors, Catherine Noyce, says that the title alone encapsulates all teachings about non-duality; the book itself is a clear, humorous and very human collection of dialogues and conversations, edited to give clear themes based on the big questions that spiritual seekers ask. Julian Noyce, of Non-Duality Press, says that Rick doesn’t give any leeway for adulation or latching on to a teacher at the expense of the truth. In a gently incisive and relaxed way he gives no quarter!

THESE EXTRACTS from Rick’s book have been edited and rearranged specially for Awakening Clarity.

RICK'S OWN STORY has been relegated to the end, because he states so clearly that it’s unimportant - and yet most of us love to read such stories.

WHY DOES CONSCIOUSNESS invent so may billions of individual stories? Why do we sit here?
The mind is always trying to control and understand the story and it can never do that because it’s actually part of the story. It only exists within the story. When the story is seen through and no longer believed as having independent reality, the mind is also seen as complete illusion. And in that seeing, all questions dry up. You don’t get any answers but there are no longer any questions. The questions dry up because there’s a knowing, too, that it just doesn’t matter. There’s a deep trust in the perfection of all and with that trust there is an, ok, I don’t know and I never will know. It’s such perfection seen in what is that there’s no need to search for anything. It’s so complete that there is no need for any questions.

There’s a need for the concept of individuality to find reason and purpose for everything. The beauty of awakening is no longer needing to ask that question. There’s a perfect embrace with the world just as it is, right in this present moment; there’s no need for anything to change. And every moment is like that—every moment in this eternal present, absolutely new, absolutely perfect, nothing to do, nowhere to go, just enjoying the show.

It doesn’t make for a good interview because eventually all the questions dry up and there’s a lot of blank airtime! It happens in satsang too. People start out asking questions and about half way through they just sit there and it’s pretty peaceful.

(Long silence)

Teachers and Teachings

IN LISTENING TO TEACHERS it is easy for the mind to latch on to anything as a toehold on the mountain of seeking. If a teacher says don’t waste time, the mind picks up a subtle, or not so subtle, message that there’s something it can do. Even if the teacher gently encourages you to allow whatever comes up, the mind can still use this as a ‘path’. Sometimes the teachers don’t quite ‘get it’ and really are encouraging the one who you think you are to make an effort or try and attain effortlessness. It’s very tempting for many teachers to hold that door open. To close it and clearly communicate that there’s absolutely nothing you (or I) can do means there’s no need for the teacher and that’s not good if you depend on being a teacher for your livelihood. Other times, it’s the student that will misinterpret the teacher and the mind will run wild.

WHEN THE TEACHER clearly leaves no room for the illusion of the individual, the fear, confusion and shakiness and even hopelessness come. This is the mind, the concept of individuality, beginning to dissolve. From the perspective of This (if there’s readiness), there may be a tingle of excitement, a feeling of the mind stopping, bewilderment, clarity or peace. If there’s a tingle of recognition it’s because that’s what is, that’s who you are.

Why People Walk Out

EVERY THOUGHT, every feeling, every emotion and every idea arises within this All There Is. There’s nothing outside of this. There’s nothing outside that can affect All There Is and. yet arising within this All There Is, is this idea that there are individuals. And along with this idea there is a belief that the individual can affect All There Is and, out of this simple idea, this simple confusion, all the seeking, the pain, the suffering arise. This is a real threat to the idea that we are individuals in charge of our destiny. This belief, which is just a thought which is arising in All There Is, is very precious.

THE BELIEF IN THE INDIVIDUAL is held onto for dear life and, along with that belief, is the idea that the individual has to do something to get something it doesn’t have. So there’s a sense of lack associated with the idea that we are individuals, and out of that sense of lack all the seeking for completeness arises. So saying that there are no individuals with any independent existence is a big threat to this precious belief. It’s a real threat, an attack, so in the idea of the individual being threatened in that way, there arise all kind of thoughts, objections: What about creating my own destiny? What about personal responsibility? What about all those years I’ve been seeking? Is it a total waste? What about purifying? What about doing pujas, meditating—is it all a waste? This is tremendously threatening! Of course in that realization that you are already That all those fears and threats just disappear.

I SAY THIS BECAUSE I noticed that when I started talking about All There Is and that the idea of the individual is just a misperception some people started walking out. So now if that belief is too strong and what we’re going to be talking about is too threatening, you have to leave now. Because this is it, it’s All There Is. Right here. All There Is appearing as a bunch of individuals in this room. There’s absolutely nothing else, nothing outside of this, there’s not a future where things get better and there’s not a past that created all of this; it’s just this in the eternal present. And this eternal presence is not a sequence of events. It’s not a now and a now and a now; it’s only the eternal now. This is absolutely it; it doesn’t get any better than this, it’s absolute perfection exactly the way it is. And that’s including the idea that we’re individuals. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that idea. Not even that needs to be changed. Of course there’s no-one around who can change it anyway.

Personal Responsibility

IT STILL SEEMS TO ME like this is all a good excuse for being hedonistic, for denying personal responsibility and doing as you please without consideration for right and wrong.

WHEN I FIRST HEARD Nadeen talk that night that this awakening, or whatever you want to call it, happened, there was somebody in the audience who was furious about the idea of not caring about personal responsibility. This concept of individuality and individual responsibility is very precious, it is the most frightening thing to give up, even the idea. This concept is so precious that it has created this belief of an individual that has to maintain strict control over everything.   I see you shaking your head, so you’re absolutely convinced that you need this individual to prevent yourself from really going wild. This belief in our individual consciousness and in our story is so strong that we even say things like, I stopped myself from doing that. Who stopped whom? And with the knowing there’s a recognition also that life goes on.

THERE'S NO LONGER A BELIEF that any kind of unsaintly behavior on my part has any particular significance. It’s just what it is. And yet, I think along with that there seems to be basically—not saintly perhaps—but decent behavior (laughs), so what do you do with that? You can’t start out by trying to be good, because there’s nobody to try, and yet this recognition that there’s nobody to try seems to create basic decency.

THE LOVE IS SO APPARENT, the love for What Is is so apparent that there doesn’t seem to be any association with a desire to do violence to that love. It’s just there, there’s an embrace of all of life exactly the way it is. You just want to hug and kiss everything and everybody.

SUFFERING IS DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL to the amount of control that the person needs to have over everything in their environment, and the people who are suffering the most, apparently suffering the most, those are the people who are the most upset about giving up that idea of individuality. But the greatest peace and freedom imaginable comes with the loss of belief in that concept. And the amazing miracle that comes along with it is that life goes along just as it did before. The story continues to unfold without that precious idea of me.

YOU HEAR ABOUT PEOPLE who are really humble—what can be more humble than no longer being anybody at all?
Rick’s Story
IT SEEMED VERY IMORTANT when it happened and now it seems less and less important to talk about. All my life, as with most of us, I’d had this precious notion of an individual in control of his life. If things seemed to be going my way I was very satisfied and proud, but when things weren’t going my way, which wasn’t unusual, I was angry, disappointed and generally miserable. But there was always the thought that I just had to work harder or do something different and I could make life go my way. I would meditate exercise, and work hard every day because I thought I would be rich, healthy and enlightened.

THEN ONE DAY I was diagnosed with cancer and I lost my health, my medical practice and my wealth, and every definition, every way in which I had defined myself, was gone...

OVER THE NEXT YEAR AND A HALF I sank deeper and deeper into despair. During this time I continued to try to gain control of life; since I still believed it was up to me to get myself healthy, it must have been my fault that I got sick…  In every way that I had defined myself I was finished. I had nowhere to turn and in every way I felt alone. It was in that state I first heard Nadeen.

I HAD NEVER HEARD OF SATYAM NADEEN and knew nothing about the place that he owned. He said something that I had heard before—but somehow I had never really heard it: He said, ‘Consciousness is all there is and you are that.’ And in that moment there was the realization that there was no Rick to fix anything, that there’s only one consciousness. There’s no-one outside consciousness to change consciousness. And in that same moment Rick disappeared.

AND IN FACT THERE WAS A REALIZATION that there was never any such thing as Rick. There’s only consciousness unfolding. And there was complete peace and relief. That peace never left. In this ‘story’ it seemed that the Rick character had had experiences before that in meditation, was deep peace and unbelievable ecstasy, but those were always seen as an experience happening to Rick and they were always seen as something that if Rick worked harder he could go get and get back. This was different. This was much quieter, less spectacular. It was a simple disappearance of any belief in the reality of individuality. It was not an experience happening to Rick, just a disappearance of anyone who could have an experience.

© Non-Duality Press and Rick Linchitz, 2012
(From Non-Duality Press: People are welcome to use or quote as long as they give a full attribution to Rick and NDP, and of course to Awakening Clarity.)

Rick's Medical Website:
Rick on Facebook:
No You and No Me at Non-Duality  Press:
No You and No Me, at Amazon:
No You and No Me at Barnes & Noble:
Jeder Augenblick ist Gnade (Every Moment is Grace) on Amazon, in German:
Interview on Never Not Here:
On Nonduality America:
On Guru Cafe, clips and whole interview on the same page:
At SAND11 (via YouTube):
At SAND12:
On The Guru's Feet:
On Jetz TV in Germany (In English, with translator):
Rick in Germany:

(Swifty says, "See Catherine Noyce on Conscious TV." (

Housekeeping Notes:
Let me welcome Argentina as country number 78 to join the ever-expanding Awakening Clarity family. Readers there now join others around the world who are helping to awaken Clarity right where they are, which is Here.