Nuggets From Loch Kelly's Call
Posted by Stephanie Nash on Dec 14, 2019
Loch Kelly, M.Div., is an author, meditation teacher, licensed psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker. He is a recognized leader in the field of meditation, and offers tools for effortless mindfulness. “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." Author of three books, including the award-winning The Way of Effortless Mindfulness, Loch has collaborated with neuroscientists at Yale, UPenn, and NYU in the study of how awareness training can enhance compassion and wellbeing. A long-time teacher of non-dual forms of meditation, Loch spent 10 years establishing homeless shelters and community lunch programs while working in a community mental health clinic in Brooklyn, New York. He also worked extensively with families recovering from the trauma of 9/11.
During the call, Loch spoke of “Effortless Mindfulness” which is an always present experience of an open awareness that naturally gives rise to compassion and service, and he spoke of his experience with it – as well as how we might easily tune into the experience of it.
Below are some of the nuggets from the call that stood out for me ...
- Surrender into that which is already awake.
- He recommended getting to this state by first moving your awareness to different locations from where it normally resides. First, notice where attention is located (for most people in their head.) Then let awareness move to the corner of the room and look back through awareness of the one who sent it.
- Feel the way you do when you get out of your car and walk into nature – notice your awareness opens and connects. So, it’s this opening.
- This open awareness gives space, peace of mind, ability to be with intense emotions, and a wisdom quality that is Now – and not projecting in to past or future.
- This can be helpful for people with ADD (which both Loch & Jeff described working with) in that there isn’t the struggle with one-pointed attention, and the spacious mind encompasses that ADD mind. Loch spoke of how this helped him be able to focus much more easily and effectively.
- Loch told a powerful story of using his “Effortless Mindfulness” in working with trauma: He gave a hypothetical example of working with a patient who is cutting herself. First you ask her if there is a part of her that wants to hurt herself. She says yes. He asks her where it is & lets her find it – which she does. Then he asks her, is there is a part that wants to heal and be connected and find love? She says yes. He asks where is that? She might say in the belly – then he asks her, “Who is aware of those two parts?” “Where are YOU located?” After she says everywhere and here, she then feels more here and present. Then she feels more compassion and connection to those two parts that had perspectives.
- So, with this spacious awareness, you are not stuck in witness – you go to an ocean of awareness that is arising like a wave and feels safe and is interconnecting. That is the real sweet spot of familiarizing with who you essentially are.
- Jeff told of Loch’s story of waking up in the morning and his mind was filled with plans, as many of us experience. Then almost immediately – Loch says to that organizer mind, “You think you’re me!” So, then he allowed that part to do what it needed to do but he was not tyrannized by the part that needs to do things.
- Open Mind, Open Heart – by opening the mind, a natural compassion and desire for service emerges.
Lots of gratitude to all the behind-the-scenes volunteers that made this call happen!