Meditation and Other Self-Centring Practices for Postgraduate Research Success – Freeing the Natural Voice

In this series of five practical sessions, you will learn to recognise and sustain your mental and emotional wellbeing with the goal of boosting research productivity, achieving a healthy work-life balance, and elevating your overall student experience. By addressing the mental and emotional aspects of postgraduate studies that can hinder or facilitate progress, these sessions will provide you with a holistic approach to research success, equipping you with strategies to cope with the challenges of postgraduate work. Each session will give you a taster of different techniques to reduce stress, enhance focus, build resilience, boost self-confidence, and improve your communication skills. We will devote four sessions to delving into meditation practices rooted in two distinct Hinduist traditions: Advaita Vedanta and Kashmir Shaivism. You will learn to quiet your mind, and deal with difficult emotions such as fear, anger, sadness, shame, and anxiety. We will also dedicate one session to combine what you have learned about meditation with Western performance voice training methods, enabling you to discover the potential of your diaphragm to produce a strong, confident voice for centring yourself, and for presenting your research.
These sessions do not require any previous meditation experience. They encourage a proactive approach to self-care, equipping you with the tools to maintain and improve your wellbeing even during challenging or changing circumstances. They recognise the critical importance of mental wellbeing and resilience in achieving academic and research excellence.
Michelle Nicholson-Sanz:
I began my training in Eastern meditation techniques when I enrolled in doctoral studies in theatre in 2010. Driven by the need to maintain my own mental and psychological resilience in response to the high demands and often solitary nature of doctoral research, I initially practiced Tibetan Buddhist mindfulness at the London Buddhist Centre. Subsequently, I delved into Thiền Buddhism, Tibetan deity meditation, Advaita Vedanta, and Kashmir Shaivism. I hold a PhD in theatre from Queen Mary, University of London, an MA in Performance Research from the University of Warwick, and an MA in Philosophy from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. I served as a Leverhulme Early Career Researcher at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London between 2018 and 2022. I have published and presented my research in numerous academic and non-academic contexts. I currently work in community engagement, co-creating arts-led projects for communal wellbeing
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