Effortless Mindfulness Research Center

Awakening is part art, part science, and a whole lot of mystery.

The Effortless Mindfulness Research Center studies methods of directly accessing a type of mindfulness that is already effortlessly aware and awake.

Mindfulness practice can be approached in different ways. One way is deliberate mindfulness, the form of mindfulness typically taught in the West, in which the meditator focuses upon an object like the breath or passing thoughts. Most mindfulness studies thus far have focused upon deliberate mindfulness.

Another form of mindfulness practice is effortless mindfulness, also referred to as nondual mindfulness. Effortless Mindfulness operates from nondual awareness, which both transcends and includes the meditator (subject) and the meditative object. This type of awareness includes awareness of awareness, and it is prior to thinking, includes thinking, and is beyond thinking. It is the foundation of how we know.

The term “effortless” does not mean that no effort is needed for this form of mindfulness practice. An initial effort is made to access nondual awareness, and, once accessed, this form of awareness is found to be effortlessly awake and aware, without the need to deliberately maintain focus. Read more about awake awareness »

The Effortless Mindfulness Research Center is interested in furthering meditation and awareness research by collaborating on studies of effortless mindfulness, heart mindfulness, non-meditation, nondual awareness (NDA), and living from an open-hearted flow state.

Consulting Contemplative Scientists

Research Studies

Yale University Research Study, 2013

  • Realtime FMRI Meditation and the Default Mode Network Study
  • Lead Investigator: Jud Brewer MD, PhD Meditation
  • Experienced Meditator Participant: Loch Kelly, MDiv, LCSW
Read the study »

University of Pennsylvania Research Study, 2010–2012

  • Effortless Mindfulness: The Impact of Nondual Awareness Instruction on Attention
  • Lead Investigator: Amishi Jha, PhD and Loch Kelly MDiv, LCSW
  • Protocol Designer: Loch Kelly, MDiv, LCSW
Read the Study »

New York University Research Study, 2011

  • Influence of Nondual Awareness on the Functioning of Anti-Correlated Intrinsic and Extrinsic Networks in the Brain
  • Lead Investigator: Zoran Josipovic
  • Experienced Meditator Participant: Loch Kelly, MDiv, LCSW
Read the Study »

Potential Future Studies

Effortless Mindfulness and Panoramic Awareness for Improved Focus at School and Work

These awareness practices have already proven to be remarkably helpful in treating students, office workers, and people with attention deficit disorders such as ADHD.

Effortless Mindfulness Approach for Treatment of Pain

Effortless Mindfulness treatment for pain differs from other approaches, such as the traditionally-studied mindfulness meditation. It has already proven to be remarkably effective for people with chronic physical pain and chronic mental and emotional pain. With this approach, people are able to prevent their reaction to pain from continuously looping in the reactive mind. Instead, they use local awake awareness to move directly into the area of pain and then allow the pain signal to go directly to the expansive field of Awake Awareness.

Effortless Mindfulness Approach for Relapse Prevention of Addictions

The Effortless Mindfulness approach has been tested and found to be remarkably effective for attaining a peace and well-being that allow the “craver” to let go and their true nature to rest in the here and now.

Andrew Newberg and Loch Kelly on C-SPAN
On C-SPAN with Andrew Newberg, MD, PhD, Director of Research at the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health

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“Loch has a deep understanding of meditation and manifests the wisdom and compassion that comes from this....Loch shows us how to practice a unique form of mindfulness...directly in line with the beneficial qualities of effortless awareness that my neuroscience lab has studied. I wholeheartedly recommend these practices to my students, and to you.”
Judson Brewer
Judson Brewer
MD PhD, Director of Research at Brown University Mindfulness Center
Loch Kelly and Zoran Josipovic
With Zoran Josipovic, PhD, NYU Neuroscientist
Loch Kelly and David Vago
With David Vago, PhD, Vanderbilt Cognitive Scientist
Loch Kelly and Dan Siegel
Presenting with Dan Siegal. MD, Co-Director of UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center
Loch Kelly and Richard Schwartz
Co-Presenting with Richard Schwartz, PhD, Founder of Internal Family Systems (IFS)

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Help the Nondual Mindfulness Research Center in its mission to expand our understanding of nondual awareness and its benefits to our essential well-being.

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