Speaker: Loch Kelly

The Way of Effortless Mindfulness

"Effortless Mindfulness is letting go of present moments, thoughts, and attention to open to a naturally wise, compassionate awareness that is connected in the Now. " – Loch Kelly

Loch Kelly, M.Div., LCSW, is an author, meditation teacher, licensed psychotherapist, and founder of Open-Hearted Awareness Institute, a nonprofit located in New York. Author of the best-selling and award-winning book The Way of Effortless Mindfulness, Loch is a recognized leader in the field of meditation, and offers tools for effortless mindfulness. He served on the New York Insight Teachers Council, studied extensively with Mingyur Rinpoche, and was invited to teach direct realization by Adyashanti, an American-born spiritual teacher who has been teaching for more than 20 years.

“There is more to effortless mindfulness than meditation,” Loch says. “Effortless mindfulness is primarily an off-the-meditation-cushion way of weaving together contemplation and compassionate actions. Effortless mindfulness begins by opening to a natural spacious awareness in order to become more wise, embodied, and creative. A new ethical motivation springs from the realization of a loving interconnection with all of life."

Effortless awareness has been described in the traditional literature as being so close it cannot be seen, so subtle it cannot be understood, and so good it cannot be believed. Loch describes effortless mindfulness as the discovery of an optimal mind, or an open mind, that’s already aware which we can then be aware from. “From this spacious and pervasive awareness, we discover that we’re aware not only of the ability to focus on our breath, but we feel almost as if we’re being breathed, as if our breath is connected to the outer world, the inner world, and we feel as if we’re in this flow or what’s been called ‘in the zone.’”

Loch’s work is to help people access awakening as the next natural stage of human development. He has collaborated with neuroscientists at Yale, UPenn, and NYU in the study of how awareness training can enhance compassion and wellbeing. He offers in-person retreats, workshops, and online video and audio courses.

Loch has authored three books, including Shift into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness (2015); Effortless Mindfulness Now: Awakening Our Natural Capacity for Focus, Freedom, and Joy (2017); and The Way of Effortless Mindfulness: A Revolutionary Guide for Living an Awakened Life (2019). His latest book offers a practical guide to experiencing the next stage in the ongoing mindfulness revolution: effortless mindfulness. With guided experiential practices, he writes about how to live with an open heart and peaceful mind and uncover the wise and loving awareness that is within and all around us.

Loch graduated from Columbia University where he received a traveling fellowship to study forms of non-dual meditation in Sri Lanka, India and Nepal from 1981-1982, and has studied with teachers from around the world. As a meditation teacher, Loch teaches using an adult-education style based in the earliest non-dual wisdom traditions, modern science, and psychotherapy.

Loch has worked in community mental health, established homeless shelters and counseled family members of 9/11. He spent 10 years establishing homeless shelters and community lunch programs while working in a community mental health clinic in Brooklyn, New York. He also served as Coordinator of Counseling and Interspiritual Chaplain at Union Theological Seminary and worked extensively with families recovering from the trauma of 9/11. Loch currently lives in New York City with his wife Paige and their cat Duffy.

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