Meet Loch Kelly

When I was introduced to effortless mindfulness, it gave me a way to relieve my underlying suffering and connected me to an inner joy that I didn't even know existed. My life is freer and more loving, and for this, I am deeply grateful.

Loch Kelly, M.Div., LCSW, is an award-winning author, meditation teacher, psychotherapist, and founder of the 501(c)(3) non-profit, Effortless Mindfulness Institute. His teachings synthesize ancient wisdom practices, neuroscience, and contemporary psychology. Loch is dedicated to relieving suffering at its root and supporting people to live from their basic goodness. Loch is known for his warm sense of humor and his trust that awakening is the next natural stage of development. He teaches advanced, yet simple, nondual pointers and direct methods of nondual mindfulness, informed by psychology and social justice.

“Loch Kelly is one of the clearest expressions of authentic, awakened freedom and love that I know.” ~ Adyashanti

Teaching Focus

Loch offers a unique experiential teaching style to assist in the recognition, realization, and full embodiment of our true nature. Loch teaches in an all- inclusive style of dialogue and inquiry. He starts with the view that the awakeness, wisdom, and love that we are seeking are already inherent within each of us, equally. The method of small glimpses gives us access to “the solution”, our true nature. From here, we open to a more spacious and compassionate knowing that relieves suffering at its root.    

Loch has been fortunate to be trained by some of the greatest meditation teachers of our generation. His teachings are based in the earliest nondual wisdom traditions, modern science, and psychotherapy. Loch has practiced in different schools of meditation and psychology, and he has gathered the most effective methods from all the world traditions.


Loch’s work is to help people access awakening as the next natural stage of human development. He offers in-person retreats, workshops, and online video/audio and streaming courses. He served on the New York Insight Teachers Council, co-taught with Dick Schwartz and Dan Siegel and is affiliated with Adyashanti.

Loch has collaborated with neuroscientists at Yale, UPenn, and NYU in the study of how awareness training can enhance compassion and wellbeing.
“Initial waking-up leads to freedom from the fear of death. Waking-in to embodiment leads to freedom from the fear of life. And waking-out to relationships, creativity, and compassionate activity leads to freedom from the fear of love.” ~ Loch Kelly

History and Influences

As a licensed psychotherapist, Loch has been teaching seminars, supervising clinicians, and practicing awareness psychotherapy in NYC for 30 years.

Loch is a graduate of Columbia University and Union Theological. He was awarded a fellowship to study forms of nondual meditation in Sri Lanka, India and Nepal from 1981-1982 and has studied with teachers from around the world. 

He studied Buddhism with Professor Lily de Silva at the University of Kandy, Sri Lanka; Insight Meditation with Godwin Samararatne and at the Theravada monasteries; Inter-Spiritual Contemplative Meditation with Fr. Bede Griffiths and Anthony de Mello; Advaita at Sri Ramana Ashram. He met one of his primary teachers of Dzogchen and Sutra Mahamudra Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche who said, “There are two types of mindfulness: deliberate and effortless.” In the first meeting Loch was introduced to this direct pointer that allowed him to feel in minutes, the same way he felt at the end of a 10 day retreat. Instead of just feeling calm, he was also full of joy and love. 

Loch returned to the US and spent 10 years establishing homeless shelters, community lunch programs, and working in a community mental health clinic in Brooklyn, New York. He also served as Coordinator of Counseling and Interspiritual Chaplain at Union Theological. He worked extensively with families recovering from the trauma of 9/11.

Loch has written two books and has been offering retreats and workshops internationally and online for the past 25 years. He has taught in schools, retreat centers, and as a first responder in hospitals. 

Loch currently lives in upstate New York with his wife Paige and their cat Duffy.

Friends and Colleagues

Nondual Mindfulness Institute

The Nondual Mindfulness Institute, open to all people, is the educational training division of the Natural Wakefulness Center (NWC), a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit Public Charity.

NMI is dedicated to teaching direct methods to accessing awake awareness, living from a flow state, effortless mindfulness, and heart mindfulness. It is the institute’s goal to make spiritual awakening learnable, teachable, and more accessible to everyone.


The primary mission of the Nondual Mindfulness Institute is to help people discover awake awareness as the source of intelligence, compassion, and flow to improve overall well-being and to increase loving and respectful relationships with others. Teaching is done through adult educational-style training in unique, modern versions of ancient methods of meditation and inquiry. These methods are available to everyone, regardless of their background or beliefs. Awareness training helps us to learn how to navigate our own consciousness in order to relieve the bind of suffering and increase compassion.
Celebrants at Garrison Retreat


EMI has a research component named The Nondual Mindfulness Center for Research, which focuses on bringing together science, contemplation, and psychology to discover and verify real results in the reduction of suffering and improved human relations. Contemplative science is a new field that brings together neuroscientists, psychotherapists and meditation practitioners to look at the observable changes in the brain, behavior, perception, and the sense of self that come about through intentional awareness practices.


If you’re interested in volunteering for the Effortless Mindfulness Institute, please fill out our Volunteer Opportunity form then contact us via our contact form.

Instruction and Presentations

Loch is open to invitations to present seminars for groups who want to learn about effortless mindfulness, heart mindfulness, and open-hearted awareness training. Loch will consider invitations from different parts of the country and the world to give weekend workshops, retreats, and trainings.

Support the Effortless Mindfulness Institute!

Help us bring the power and peace of compassion, love, and understanding to all people. Your generosity makes our work possible. Donations go directly to the support of our mission and do not enrich any individual. For more information, please visit our Donation page or contact us.

The size of the gift is far less important than the generosity of the heart behind it.

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