Elli Weisbaum

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The aspiration behind this blog is to bring awareness for myself to this journey and to share the experience of attempting to navigate a PhD on mindfulness with mindfulness.

Mindfulness for Life

Navigating a PhD with curiosity, kindness & joy

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When I decided to pursue a PhD I was told over and over again that it would be overwhelming, isolating and painful. My response? No thanks! 
 
 

Intentions behind this blog

First of all, there isn't anything I choose to do in my life that I would describe in the words shared above. Secondly, the topic of my thesis is mindfulness—so pursuing a PhD on this topic with this framing just didn't make sense to me.

But the more I was told this, the more it made me wonder what a mindful PhD might look like. Mindfulness is not only the focus of my research, but an integral part of my life. The practice is woven into the fabric of everything I do. For me, integrating mindfulness into the overall daily approach of pursuing my PhD seemed not only natural, but also ethical and imperative for my mental health.

The aspiration behind this blog is to bring awareness for myself to this journey and to share the experience of attempting to navigate a PhD on mindfulness with mindfulness. This isn't to claim that I will never suffer or experience being overwhelmed, isolated and in pain during this process. But it is to set an intention to meet these feelings with kindness and care, and to transform them so that I can also experience joy and happiness as part of this five-year adventure.


A little bit about me

I attended my first retreat with Nobel Peace Prize nominee, scholar and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) when I was ten years old. Since then, I have been interested in the translation of mindfulness practices into daily life. I am currently pursuing a PhD at the Institute of Medical Science (IMS) in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, researching the potential application of mindfulness in healthcare. I am also part of the Mindfulness Project Team at the Hospital for Sick Children, which acts as an interdisciplinary hub for mindfulness initiatives across the hospital. I teach as an instructor in the University of Toronto's Applied Mindfulness and Meditation Certificate program. I spent a year as the international program coordinator for Wake Up Schools, an initiative founded by Thay to bring mindfulness into education and am a certified teacher in Search Inside Yourself, a program that brings together mindfulness, neuroscience and emotional intelligence developed at Google. If you want to know more about me check out my full bio here!

Try out a mindfulness practice at the end of each post!

At the bottom of each blog post I have included a mindfulness practice that relates to the content shared in the post. These come from my own personal experience and adaptation of practices from a variety of sources, the main one being the tradition of my teacher, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, scholar and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh

 

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