Why Mindfulness?

Mindfulness has been shown to positively benefit stress disorders including insomnia, anxiety and panic, enhance personal wellbeing, empathy, concentration, reaction time, motor skills and cognitive function including short-and long-term memory recall and academic performance. Research has shown that mindfulness can reduce burnout and mood disturbance, and increase satisfaction with work practice and relationships. Mindfulness can increase skillsets that support collaboration, compassion and community building.

What to expect

These sessions will be focused on experiencing practical hands-on activities that you can apply in your daily life. We will explore the neuroscience research that supports the application of mindfulness, along with a wide range of mindfulness practices aimed at supporting you to build out your own mental fitness plan based on your personal needs and interests. Each session will be focused on a specific topic that will inform the science and practices explored that session.

Learning goals

  • Experience foundational mindfulness practices that can be applied in personal and professional settings (including before exams, presentations and interviews)
  • Understand the connection between neuroscience and mindfulness
  • Develop resiliency and self-regulation
  • Increase cognitive efficiency
  • Identify practices to address burn-out and stress
  • Develop vocabulary to skillfully communicate in high-pressure situations 

Session Details

February 6th, 2024Mental Fitness: Training with Practical Hands-on Mindfulness Activities 

April 3, 2024: Applied Mindfulness Insights in Daily Life 


Facilitator bios

Dr. Elli Weisbaum has worked internationally facilitating mindfulness workshops and retreats within the sectors of education, healthcare and business. She is currently an Assistant Professor (teaching stream) at the University of Toronto in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in the Buddhism, Psychology & Mental Health program. She completed her PhD through the Institute of Medical Science in the Faculty of Medicine at UofT, with a focus on applying mindfulness to physician wellbeing.
Since 2015, she has been a member of the Mindfulness Project Team at The Hospital for Sick Children. She has collaborated with UofT’s Faculty of Law, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Faculty of Engineering, Rotman School of Management, Physical Therapy Department, the Ontario Hospital Association and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to integrate mindfulness into ongoing programming for factly, staff and students. She attended her first retreat with Zen Master and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh at the age of ten and has continued training with his international Plum Village community. Elli’s novel background in both academic research and traditional mindfulness practice provides a distinct approach to her ongoing work teaching and researching in the field. 

Rob Walsh is a physiotherapist and mindfulness instructor currently working at both Women’s College Hospital as part of the Toronto Academic Pain Medicine Institute (TAPMI) team and the University of Toronto. Rob is passionate about bringing together the disciplines of physical therapy, academia and mindfulness as a way to support well-being for faculty, students, clinicians and patients. He has practiced and trained in the field of mindfulness for over ten years, with experience facilitating mindfulness workshops and retreats in multiple countries including Bhutan, India, Canada, and the United States. This work and training has primarily been conducted with the internationally recognized Plum Village Community of Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, along with MBSR training through Brown University.

He is currently part of a team of facilitators offering the Mindful Awareness and Resilience Skills for Adolescents (MARS-A) program for adolescents with chronic illness at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Since 2020, he has been teaching and developing a mindfulness curriculum for the MScPT program at the University of Toronto. In 2012, he co-founded Wake Up Toronto, a bi-weekly Engaged Mindfulness practice group, which is an external partner with the University of Toronto’s campus-wide Mindful Moments initiative. Prior to his training as a PT, Rob worked in the film and television industry as a film technician and cinematographer. These diverse life experiences underpin his ongoing aspirations to cultivate wellness through the integration of mindfulness into the sectors of education, healthcare and business.

Chantelle Brown-Kent is a registered social worker and psychotherapist who trained at the University of Toronto. She is passionate about supporting young adults and has had the opportunity to do so across various settings including community mental health clinics. Chantelle utilizes an intersectional and culturally sensitive approach to working with students that is grounded in an Anti-Racism, Anti-Black Racism and an Anti-Oppressive framework. She also been trained in the field of mindfulness and has experience facilitating mindfulness practices.