Michael started his career as an artist, graduating from the Herron School of Art & Design. While oil and canvas still occupy a prominent position in his life, his artistry has expanded into other areas that he is equally passionate about - teaching meditation and Aikido.
"My question had always been, what is meditation? After many years and hundreds of books on the subject, I understood that there must be living masters of this art still around and I began a search for a teacher. I met Swami Muktananda in Colorado in 1973 and became his student until his death in 1982. Muktananda was famous for his ability to transmit his own centered state to his students. Through grace, I was able to experience meditation without sitting for thirty years."
Michael McNally Sensei is the founder and Chief Instructor of Hoboken Aikikai. He is Rokudan (6th degree black belt) and a Shidoin (USAF Certified Senior Instructor). Michael is also on the teaching staff of the highly regarded New York Aikikai in New York City, where he began his training in 1981 under the direction of Shihan Yoshimitsu Yamada, 8th dan and President of the United States Aikido Federation (USAF). Yamada Sensei was uchi deshi (live-in apprentice) with O Sensei and is one of the most respected and influential teachers of Aikido in the world today. Michael also had the honor of training under the direction of Shihan Seichi Sugano, 8th dan (1939-2010), who was also a direct student of O Sensei.
Michael brings the subtlety and wisdom of his experiences of meditation to his teaching of Aikido, and the practicality and groundedness of Aikido to his teaching of meditation.
The Yoga of Kashmir Shaivism
The meditation course offered here is grounded in an ancient teaching, still alive in India after more than four thousand years, which has now found its way to the West. Kashmir Shaivism, or the Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir, is considered by many scholars to be the most comprehensive philosophy of Consciousness available to us today.
The beauty of Kashmir Shaivism lies not only in its delicate and explicit description of our evolutionary and involutionary processes, but in its utter practicality. It gives us a road map. It tells us who we are, how we got here, and shows us the way back home.
Kashmir Shaivism came down to us in the form of sutras, or aphorisms. While the study of these sutras and their commentaries is a worthy pursuit for anyone intellectually inclined, the heart of Kashmir Shaivism is in what it gives us for our soul - the direct experience, or recognition, of who we really are - of our own innate divinity.
This is certain: all things exist in Consciousness, all things flow from it, all things are Consciousness; it is omnipresent, it is the Self, it is the Truth.
About School for the Mind
With a torch as its symbol, the School for the Mind had its origins on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in the 1980's as a six-week live course in meditation.
Through in-depth study, dialogue, and the practice of the principles of Kashmir Shaivism in a group setting, the purpose of the course was both to gain understanding and have a direct experience of meditation. The course was augmented by Michael's talks on various topics in the field of Consciousness and his own experiences, some of which were held at The New School in New York City.
In response to inquiries from his students, School for the Mind has now found its home online.
Here, Michael shares his own spiritual journey, describes the teachings of the masters that were influential on his path, and through stories, contemplations, and meditations guides you toward the same goal - an understanding and experience of your own Self.
Michael welcomes questions, comments, and discussion about meditation, Aikido, or any of the concepts presented in the School for the Mind.