059. Nick Gancitano

Nick GancitanoNick Gancitano has spent most of his adult life delving into the mysteries of the ancient spiritual teachings and has undergone a conscious transformation that has made him a specialist in the field. Nick studied under some of its most respected sages and has traveled extensively around the world to deliver this teaching. In addition, Nick himself has been recognized for his simplification of the often complicated spiritual system of advaita (wisdom through direct insight).

After returning from his journey, Nick became committed to disseminating these teachings among friends and associates who became students and soon erected The Self-Inquiry Center for Conscious Living, where Nick now provides his lighthearted works to a growing population of devoted spiritual seekers.

Aside from being the spiritual director at the The Self-Inquiry Center, Nick was once an All-American athlete, corporate regional vice-president, and U.S. National Champion under the legendary football coach Joe Paterno. He later became one of the world’s leading experts on place-kicking, personally developing over forty collegiate Division IA athletes, including nine All-Americans. But his original background lay in physics, physiology and biomechanics, as he firmly states that all information recorded for spiritual scripture and scientific documentation should be based on one’s direct experience and not borrowed beliefs passed down through generations by the unknowing. Nick can be contacted via email.

Interview recorded 2/20/2011

Audio and video below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

37 thoughts on “059. Nick Gancitano

  1. Larry: Yes, so long as there is identification with form, there is ego. However, there is no merging because there was never separation to begin with. Hence, you can see the problem with conceptualized spirituality: you can never free yourself from the mind as long as you are using the mind to do so.

    Anatol: You will believe what you want to. Until you meet Ramana, you may speculate all you like. It is safer that way. Why else debate such trivialities that in no way direct you back to your Self? Such pursuits are fruitless. If it is necessary to quote Ramana Maharshi, let us remember the essence of his teaching, of which there is no mistake, and find the “I” that is debating such ideas.

  2. To those who are living the dream, the dream is undeniably, completely real; indeed, for all intents and purposes, it is their only knowable reality. And suffering, including the death of the self as a body, is an inevitable part of experiencing the dream. In fact, such suffering is a necessary function of the dream, as it is perhaps the most effective catalyst for the awakening process. If the dream was always 100% pleasurable, who would ever want to awaken from it?

    And who is to say that the process, however tragic, is disproportionate, or unwarranted, or unnecessary? It seems to me, that only an all-knowing, all-compassionate, cosmic consciousness, would know the answer to that question, and know exactly what is needed. For the rest of us, the only appropriate reaction is compassion and charity, knowing that we are helpless to prevent it. And yet, we must accept it as a part of the mysterious process that is the evolution of humanity, and the birth of a collective, planetary consciousness that can only be our ultimate salvation and destiny, both as individuals, and as a species.

  3. nick,the point i was trying to make was,the 2 billion christians believe that there will be a judgment day and result in heaven or hell.this is a big fear for them and when you accept non-duality that whole belief system evaporates.Nisargadatta on page 251 in “I Am That” makes it very clear that there is “no one” to reincarnate.that is another potential one billion humans who could eliminate that fear if they accepted non-duality.

  4. nick,the point i am making is a thought that came to me i believe this last nov when i was in india that when the body dies,there is “no one” to be reborn to suffer so stop seeking and just enjoy the movie.if the ego mind should arrise send it for popcorn.

  5. Permit me to suggest that the three most powerful words that Nisargadatta ever uttered (since he was mentioned earlier) … are “I am That”. Everything else is just window dressing.

    But instead of entertaining the temptation to conceptually define what That is, use it as a spring board for daily experience.

    With everything and everyone that you meet, moment to moment, apperceive and affirm that “I am That.”

    You may find, as a result of that “practice”, that you will have a significantly reduced need or want to define or describe That.

    And might simply smile (or laugh) a lot as you experience being That.

    Which you are, of course.


  6. Peter,

    With everything and everyone that you meet, moment to moment, apperceive and affirm that “I am That.”

    How do actually you do that? Most people would have hard time persuading themselves to stand in the position that “I am what I see” – they believe it is not their experience. Could you explain it more deeply?

  7. As my 12 year old daughter had learned, when something appears difficult, it only means that it has not received enough practice.

    And she’s learned that there’s only one effective response to practicing anything: just do it (thank you, Nike).

    P.S. Spending time deliberating on how difficult it may be… isn’t a component of doing it.

    P.P.S. But if you happen to spend some time deliberating on how difficult it may be, that, too, becomes an opportunity to affirm “I am that too”, of course.

  8. Peter,
    “…when something appears difficult, it only means that it has not received enough practice.”

    So what is the actual practice? Let’s say there’s this pizza box over there… How can I exprience it to be what I am? Or does it work with pizza boxes?

  9. The “practice” will reveal that answer to you, Brian. Why are you relying on me to answer that question for you? The practice will reveal that answer to you.

    Permit me to encourage you to not be too willing to rely on someone else’s experience to be potentially yours.

    That’s how gurus making a living.

    Find out for yourself.

    And if you find yourself critiquing the results of your practice… well, “you are that” too, of course.


  10. Ultimately, there is no answer to any question about the non-dual/awakening experience. In other words, it is literally beyond explanation, unless one is preaching to the choir, so to speak.

    There are no magic words, or formulas, or beliefs, or practices, or teachings, or mantras, or thoughts, that can make one suddenly see the truth of what you are. (if there were, one could become the wealthiest person ever, as people would pay anything to know it). One can offer compassion, hope, a sympathetic ear, encouragement, support, charity, etc, but one can never offer awakening. Self-realization can only be realized by the Self, as its Self. How or when is anybody’s guess.

    In the meantime, the best advice one can offer is (to quote a wise carpenter’s son): “be still and know that you are God” … and so too is the pizza box ;-)

  11. Yeah, right. The question “What is the practice?” will be revealed by the “practice” itself…

    Is this to be profound or what?

  12. LOL

    If it reveals itself as profoundness to you, then “let it be” (thank you, John L.).

    Be that as well.


  13. I love your biblical quote, snowleopard. It’s my favorite one in the bible. And I treated it as a personal koan for many years.

    Permit me to share my aha! experience, regarding that quote/koan, with you… with no expectation or desire that it be anyone else’s. It’s just a sharing.

    For years, I perceived that quote as an encouragement for me to be still. To rest in stillness; to abide in stillness.

    Until, that is, the aha! struck me right in the kisser… and caused me to laugh uncontrollably.

    Being stillness… is not the same as being in stillness.

    The latter maintains the subject-object appearance of separation. There is a you (subject) and stillness (object). And the appearance of separation between the two is maintained.

    Being stillness, on the other hand, causes that separation to dis-appear.

    I say this only to encourage others to “entertain” (thank you, Paul H., again) the distinction between the two experiences. And to not assume that there’s only one experience of that Biblical quote.

    Thanks again.

  14. nicely put, Peter …

    If one were ever to presume to edit the words of Christ, one could live with: “Be stillness, and know that you are God”

    it has also occurred to me that being ‘stillness’ could be interpreted as being ‘patience.’ That quality of waiting without any seeking or expectation of ‘something’ happening. Although, of course, something is happening, and that is what we are … the living universe happening as it should.

    And who knows? After umpteem translations, and subsequent possible misinterpretations of those words, perhaps that is what was actually meant.

    But again, one is preaching to choir here. Just more thoughts and words … It is enough to make one want to tell oneself to “Shut up … and know that you are God.”


  15. The mention of having the face of Ramana Maharshi flash into your vision, is a similar experience that I underwent with one of his ‘3rd Generation’ disciples. I saw in a dream (in a picture frame, appearing as an emotional mixture of my face) the face of one I would later (having never seen him at that time) show up in my life (one named Mooji, a disciple of Hariwansh Lal Poonja). Before or after that, I do not recall, I came across a copy of The Autobiography of a Yogi (read it), and then, by nook and by crook, came to become aware of Mooji (his face and his ‘teachings’). I immediately recognized (intuitively speaking) my own face when I first saw him via YouTube and later remembered the picture of him that I had seen in my dream. These events have taken place within the last year (still being the year 2011, November), and since that time I have experienced various dreams concerning Mooji and I.

    I also played football, up to including some College ball, and also injured my knee.

    I found, early on in the interview Rick and Nick, that my own experiences, on some points, happened to me in reverse order, at times.

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