In mid-March, Cindy Ripoll-Martinez, a second-year student at the University of Miami, was alerted that campus would be closing for the remainder of the semester in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hastily, she moved 20 minutes away to her brother’s apartment, where she now lives by herself and attends classes virtually.
While Cindy talks regularly to her family in the Dominican Republic, she admits that being alone in the middle of a pandemic can be stressful. As part of her morning routine, she practices mindful sitting, followed by loving-kindness meditation.
Cindy began pursuing contemplative practice in earnest as part of a class she’s enrolled in, “Mindfulness, Attention, and the Brain,” taught by Amishi Jha, a cognitive neuroscientist and Associate Professor of Psychology at the University. A Mind & Life Institute Fellow, Amishi started teaching the course 15 years ago when little was known about the science of mindfulness.