Elli Weisbaum

Mindfulness for Life

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! First of all, there isn't anything I choose to do in my life that I would describe in those ways. 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 meta 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 5 year adventure.

Vacation is a state of mind

How to maximize the benefits by taking a purposeful break

Now that my research study has run and my primary data is collected, I am transitioning into writing mode. As the summer months arrived, friends and family started asking me when my “summer break” would take place. At this point in a PhD there is always something to do, and no one is scheduling a break for you…

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Elli Weisbaum
I have arrived, I am Home

Organizing a neuroscience retreat: returning to the source

Over a year ago I was invited to be part of the organizing team for a neuroscience themed retreat in Upper Hamlet, Plum Village - Thich Nhat Hanh's main practice centre in the South of France. Over the past year, I collaborated with the monastics and lay organizers to curate a retreat focused on building dialogue and communication between the epistemologies of science and Dharma…

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Elli Weisbaum
Running my PhD research trial!

How to reach major milestones without burning out…

Excited to share that a major milestone in my PhD journey has taken place! January-February 2019 the 5-week mindfulness program at the heart of my research study ran at SickKids Hospital in downtown Toronto. Forty eight physicians, from over fifteen different departments, took part in the study…

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Elli Weisbaum
Inaugural Mindfulness Research Symposium at SickKids Hospital

Organizing a day to explore the research, science and practice of mindfulness

A brief entry to share some joy from this past week! Over the last several months I have been part of the organizing team for the Inaugural Mindfulness Research Symposium at SickKids hospital. I was invited a year ago to join the Mindfulness Project Team…

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Elli Weisbaum
Ethics Review: Suffering is optional

Applying “beginner’s mind” to the REB process

To complete my degree I will be conducting a research study exploring the application of mindfulness to address physician wellbeing - specifically through the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh. Before implementing the study, the entire protocol needs to be rigorously designed and then submitted to the hospital’s review ethics board (REB)…

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Elli Weisbaum
Mindfulness for Time Management

Can you experience true happiness when there is so much to do?

Continuing with the theme from my last post - I have too many things on the go! All of them are wonderful, incredible opportunities that I don’t feel I can say no to. Talking with other grad students this seems to be a pretty constant theme…

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Elli Weisbaum
Harmony of schedule

Finding the middle way amongst many moving parts…

Starting off 2018 with a few too many moving parts…I am currently working on the study design for my thesis project so we can submit it to the SickKids Hospital REB (Research Ethics Review Board), finishing up my PhD course work…

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Elli Weisbaum