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Welfare Fund Medical Learning Series seminar

‘Where is your mind now?’

Jonathan Fickies Dr. Shelly Latte-Naor of Memorial Sloan Kettering prepares to guide UFT members in meditation at a UFT Welfare Fund Medical Learning Series presentation about mindfulness on Nov. 15.

The season’s first snowfall gave Dr. Shelly Latte-Naor of Memorial Sloan Kettering the chance to practice what she was about to preach at the UFT Welfare Fund Medical Learning Series — how to be present without distractions. “I got to use mindfulness while stuck in traffic,” Latte-Naor said when she arrived at UFT headquarters on Nov. 15. Mindfulness can help us de-stress and improve our health, she said. “Our mind wanders,” and research has found that causes unhappiness. “Sometimes you have to ask, ‘Where is your mind now?’ Mindfulness allows us to pause and see what’s actually in front of us,” Latte-Noar explained. Teacher Evelyn Epps of Brooklyn’s Mott Hall Bridges Academy has noticed “everybody around me losing their smile” because they never stop. The presentation showed her “I can stop, look down and come back more at peace and less stressed.” Lazarine Philbert-Quarless, a teacher in the union’s Nonpublic Schools Chapter, hopes to make mindfulness a daily practice. “It prevents you from having nervousness and anxiety,” she says. “It keeps you calm.”

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