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Book 37 / 40. Shift into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness by Loch Kelly.

Shift Into Freedom: Best Book of the Year Awards
  • “Top 10 Best Books of the Year” – Spirituality & Health Magazine
  • Best Spiritual Books of Year” – Spirituality & Practice 

Meditation is one of the most important things to learn in order to live a life of joy, health and love. This is a rare meditation book that offers advanced meditations made simple. Loch Kelly goes to the root of suffering by introducing us to the ultimate medicine of awake awareness. This natural capacity of awake awareness is already available within us and Loch shows us how to shift into living from this effortless awareness immediately using his  short glimpse practices.

Loch presents us with the possibility that awakening can be the natural next stage of human development. Awakening is not a rare event limited to those who leave for the monastery or cave. We can awaken in the midst of our daily lives by discovering what Loch Kelly calls “open-hearted awareness.” 

For the past two decades, this innovative psychotherapist and meditation teacher has been helping people from every background learn how to access a spacious, natural way of living in tune with a deeper truth. Shift into Freedom presents Loch Kelly’s original synthesis of ancient wisdom, modern psychological insights, current neuroscience research, and unique awareness practices for the body, mind, and heart. 

Written for both first-time and lifelong meditators, here is a training guide filled with simple and effective experiential tools for “unhooking” awareness from our chattering minds and dropping into our awake heart space, expanding our sense of intimacy and interconnection, and embodying inner peace, clarity, and love.


“A meditation teacher and psychotherapist, Kelly offers a way to enter into ‘open-hearted awareness’ through the course of daily life. He distills wisdom, research, and experience and shares practices that help would-be and seasoned meditators access what Kelly describes as “our natural state.” Spirituality & Health Magazine, Top 10 Best Book Awards

“This important spiritual practice has a special relevance to our times when so many hearts and minds are closed to others and the clenched fist rather than the kiss of peace prevails. We are grateful to Loch Kelly for his thought-provoking and practice-oriented book on open-hearted awareness.” – Spirituality & Practice, Best Spiritual Book of the Year Awards

“Loch Kelly is one of the clearest expressions of authentic awakened freedom and love that I know. Shift Into Freedom a shining gem in the modern spiritual landscape. This book is wise and loving medicine for anyone who is ready to take responsibility for their own liberation here and now.” ~ From the Foreword by Adyashanti

“Kelly’s guide to finer spiritual living maintains a non-psychological, non-denominational, and contemporary focus, drawing on wisdom from a diverse selection of traditional teachings, including Mahamudra practice, Taoist teaching, the works of William James, and modern neuroscience. Kelly articulates his structured, unified worldview with coherent language. He stresses a move away from ego-identification in our everyday lives and believes that access to awakening experiences is universally available: ‘awake awareness’ is not reserved for full time spiritual seekers, but is in fact the next developmental step for humankind’s new normal. Practices that Kelly calls ‘glimpses’ take readers through the basics of mindful meditation and then through techniques some other teachers reserve for advanced study, including the process of unhooking local awareness from thought, waking up to transcendence, waking in to embodiment, and waking out to interconnectedness. Those who feel that other mindfulness texts are esoteric, foreign, or flaky will find Kelly’s exercises easy to understand, his research easy to respect, and his methods blissfully lacking in both the aggressiveness common in the self-improvement genre and the focus on the author’s personal experience common in new age takes.”
Publishers Weekly

Shift into Freedom is a gift to us all. I wholeheartedly recommend this inspiring and profound book. This is one of the finest contemporary meditation manuals that takes mindfulness to the next level. In Loch Kelly you’ve found a wonderful guide for the journey of awakening, which our endangered world is so hungry for.”
 —Lama Surya Das, author of Make Me One with Everything and Awakening the Buddha Within
“I am so happy that Loch Kelly’s groundbreaking teachings are finally available to the general public. This wonderful book translates and updates what used to be only available to a select few who were willing to spend years in a monastery. Whether you are new to meditation or are a seasoned practitioner, Shift into Freedom will change you. It will revolutionize your life, giving you immediate access to the freeing awareness that makes it possible to go beyond our small self.”
Adam Bucko, co-author of Occupy Spirituality and The New Monasticism
“Practicing under Loch Kelly’s guidance is mind-blowing. You shift outof your chattering mind, and awareness emerges — clear, fearless, unconditionally accepting. This is the ‘shift’ Loch is writing about, having found the words that point to the wordless. I’m keeping his book close.”
Amy Gross, former editor-in-chief O, The Oprah Magazine
“Many assume that genuine spiritual realization is either out of reach — ‘I’m too wounded . . . life’s too stressful’ — or way down the road. Shift into Freedom is a rare and invaluable book that awakens trust in what is possible in this very life, right now. With wisdom, clarity, and care, Loch Kelly offers teachings and practices that directly evolve consciousness and liberate the heart.”
 —Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge
Shift into Freedom offers the reader a remarkable synthesis of practical wisdom from across contemporary meditation, psychology, and neuroscience disciplines. Loch Kelly provides us with a direct and accessible taste of more profound and subtle experiences of effortless mindfulness and heart mindfulness.”
David Vago, PhD, meditation researcher, Harvard Medical School

Shift into Freedom is a well-written and important contribution. An essential read for anyone interested in learning about this great meditation program of open-hearted awareness.”
Andrew Newberg, MD, author of How God Changes Your Brain

About the Author

LOCH KELLY, M.Div, LCSW is an educator, consultant, and recognized leader in the field of meditation and psychotherapy who was asked to teach meditation by Mingyur Rinpoche and Adyashanti. The founder of the Open-Hearted Awareness Institute, he is an emerging voice in modernizing meditation, social outreach, and collaborating with neuroscientists to study how awareness training can enhance well-being. He lives in New York City with his wife Paige and their cat, Duffy. For more, visit

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