Loch Kelly: Effortless Mindfulness [The Knowledge Project Ep. #103]

Loch Kelly is an author, meditation teacher, psychotherapist, and founder of the Open-Hearted Awareness Institute. Shane and Loch do a deep dive into mindfulness, consciousness, how to not let your emotions take over, ways to access your hidden awareness, debugging your mind and so much more.

Here are a few highlights from the conversation:

Then I felt more capable and more everything was enjoyable, I was interconnected with everything. Somebody would take a slap shot from the blue line and then all of a sudden, I’d see it for the first five yards, and then it would get lost in legs and sticks, and then my hand would go out and the puck would be in there.

Tension is a one-pointed attention using your frontal lobe of your brain, bring your attention to your breath, and then move to step up to mindful awareness, which is the ability to not look from thought, but look at thought and the great revelation of the first insight of mindfulness is, “Oh, I’m not my thoughts. Oh, my thoughts, even when they start with I am thinking this thought is coming and going and there’s some awareness, that’s observing it.”

Then you can get caught back in a thinker or a judger or a sad part of you that you then identify with and take to be you, but the usefulness of separating out awareness that’s alert and clear and not orienting consciously to thought, and then opening it up so is what happens to people naturally when they’re in a flow state, which is the optimally functioning way that musicians, athletes, people at work, scientists operate, but they only can find it during the activity they’re good at.

I mean the amazing thing is the history of this is this is perhaps the most valued developmental stage of human beings throughout history and through our cultures, what’s called awakening or enlightenment or a sense of being able to be fully human and particularly to relieve suffering.

From mindfulness-based psychotherapy or mindfulness-based insight, you’ve established this mindful witness and now you realize oh, that’s a thought, feeling, sensation, it’s coming going, it’s not me, but you’re still in a detached disembodied witness position.

The premise is that awareness is our primary way of knowing is like a feeling of open, spacious, and pervasive. It doesn’t have to be identified with thought or creating a thinker, and we can see that when we just do basic mindfulness, which is just step back and be aware of thoughts coming and going.

It’s as if once you go deep within, it feels like it opens to a more open mind, open heart, all around and within and notice how you can be aware from here without orienting to thought, as if you’re located as if the files in the office of your head could come down by Wi-Fi to this home in your heart space if needed.

That’s what we’re doing. We’re looking to the type of consciousness that is shift of perception, shift of knowing, and shift of identity.

You feel almost like you’re plugging in, or handing off a baton and then you’re like oh, plugged in and now okay, now include everything. Then it’s like whoa. That’s the amazing thing that I’m convinced that it is this amazing potential that’s learnable and teachable and a developmental stage.

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