Meditation teacher and psychotherapist Loch Kelly, who has struggled throughout his life with dyslexia and ADHD, first experienced effortless mindfulness as a 14-year-old ice hockey goalie. That realization launched his more than 30-year quest to understand consciousness and relieve his underlying anxieties.
His book, The Way of Effortless Mindfulness, offers a systematic way to discover the "already awake awareness that is the source of your mind and identity."
With roots in the world’s wisdom traditions that are often described as a direct path, effortless mindfulness is a contrast to both the gradual path and sudden awakening. It is built on glimpse practices that are, Loch explains, the direct realization of that which is already within each of us. "It’s not something we have to develop; it’s just covered over through habit patterns on which our identities are built,” he said in an interview.
"We’ve all glimpsed this natural felt sense of being—where we feel this interconnected, loving, openhearted, open-minded dimension," he explains. "But we think that it's related to conditions—being in nature, being with friends, learning something, or even when the ego falls away during a crisis and we’re fully available to be real or connected. These are glimpses of the essence of who we are.”
Loch Kelly describes his first encounter with effortless mindfulness.
These "micro-meditations" or "rest stops," are the places where we can refresh or reboot our whole body-mind system for an upgrade of awareness, mind, and identity—in the midst of everyday life.
"Effortless mindfulness is ideal for our contemporary Western culture in that it demonstrates that awakening is possible for anyone without having to leave home, friends, work, or family."
Try It For Yourself
To access the simple first glimpse, with open or closed eyes, ask yourself, "What is here now when there is no problem to solve?"
The goal is not to escape everyday problems, situations, or issues that need to be dealt with. Instead, experience what it’s like to step out of the problem-solver identity: relax the manager and notice what’s here. When awareness looks directly, notice what changes. What is absent and what new qualities arise? What is the new feeling of what or who is here?
Kelly describes the results of the practice as "a relief from judgmental thinking, a deep sense of safety and well-being, a sense of openness and interconnection, and an ability to welcome strong emotions with less worry, fear, and shame."
© 2019 Omega Institute for Holistic Sutdies