By Myranda Tarr
Special to UM News
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (September 28, 2016) – Meditation is not just a pastime for Lunthita Duthely, B.A., ’86, B.S., ’86, M.S., ’92, an assistant research professor at the Miller School of Medicine. Though the faculty member spends much of her time guiding medical student research and managing HIV/AIDS research databases within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, her heart also lies with instructing free meditation classes at the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center and the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center.
Born in New York City of Haitian descent, Duthely began her undergraduate education at the University of Miami in 1981, studying computer science and chemistry. It was during these formative years when Duthely took her very first meditation class at the U.
“I benefited greatly from UM’s free meditation classes,” explains Duthely. “After that first experience, I knew my life was changed for the better.”
Upon completing her dual undergraduate degrees, Duthely received her first permanent position at the Miller School. The UM alumna brought together her skills in database programming with her interest in medicine and health, specifically HIV/AIDS research, to work as a programmer and analyst.
“The HIV/AIDS epidemic was on the rise in South Florida and I was eager to get involved with that research,” says Duthely, who also holds a doctor of education from the University of Phoenix. “What’s more, the epidemic was also affecting the Haitian community, which hit very close to home.”
Soon after, a perfect opportunity opened up to create and manage databases supporting HIV/AIDS research within the Department of OB/GYN. Duthely delayed her original plans to move to Europe in order to pursue this three-year commitment.
Nearly a decade after her first meditation class, Duthely began meditating on a regular basis and continues to practice with Master Sri Chinmoy. Seeing the incredible effects of meditation in her personal and professional life, Duthely became a meditation instructor in 1994 and has been teaching at the Herbert Wellness Center since 1997.
“I saw how the practice of meditation impacted my life, and so many others I met,” she says. “I was motivated to share the experience with others.”
The Department of Wellness and Recreation believes that achieving optimal health requires finding a balance between physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, occupational and global wellness, the seven dimensions of wellness. Duthely finds that practicing meditation has had a positive impact on all aspects of her life.
“I teach at the Herbert Wellness Center because I truly believe in all dimensions of wellness and try to live by them each and every day,” adds the instructor. “Also, as a meditation facilitator representing Sri Chinmoy Centres International, it is our philosophy to offer classes free of charge.”
Meditation classes at the Herbert Wellness Center and UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center are free and open to the public.
There are three remaining classes at the Herbert Wellness Center taking place on Friday, October 21, Friday, November 18, and Monday, December 5, all from 7:30 to 9 p.m. For more information or to register for a class, call 305-284-5433 or click here.
The three remaining classes at the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center take place on Fridays, October 21, November 18, and December 16 from 1 to 1:45 p.m. For more information, click here. Duthely also teaches Hatha yoga classes at the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m.
Duthely believes everyone should take a few minutes a day to “recharge” their inner battery with a quiet and still mind.
“Meditation is perfect for anyone who inhabits Mother Earth and breathes this precious air,” she says.