"Healing the stress of academic life" topic of March 18 lecture

February 21, 2013 by Bri Loesch | CPH Communications
Categories: Students, Faculty, Academic, Public Health, Events

Richard Ellis, professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, will present, "Healing the stress of academic life," March 18 in Cunz Hall. 

Monday, March 18, 2013
3 - 4 p.m.
180 Cunz Hall 

"Stress is a major component of academic life, but almost no one speaks about it," Ellis said. 

The purpose Ellis’ talk is to explore this strange state of affairs — both the pervasiveness of stress and the almost complete silence surrounding it — and to suggest ways in which we can heal the stress. He will start by relating his own experiences as a professor of mathematics and an adjunct professor of Judaic studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

In 2000, in the midst of a successful career, the stress with which Ellis had been dealing silently and unskillfully for decades erupted in a cataclysm of incapacitating headaches.

"After suffering for more than two years, I turned to meditation," Ellis said. "Meditation enabled me to transform the suffering into healing and the anger toward the headaches into gratitude for what they taught me about peace, equanimity, stress, and letting go. One cannot heal the stress of academic life without first becoming aware of it."

Ellis will end the talk by discussing how everyone can increase their awareness of stress and learn to deal skillfully with this pervasive, corrosive aspect of academic life.

Ellis' experiences with pain and suffering and the process by which the headaches became his best teacher are the topic of his book titled Blinding Pain, Simple Truth: Changing Your Life Through Buddhist Meditation. It was published in 2011.

For questions regarding the lecture, please contact Susan Price

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