be here now

Mindfulness is based on a Buddhist concept where we focus on our own awareness, our thoughts and feelings, and sensations in the moment with acceptance.  In today's busy world where distractions divide our attention in every direction, disengaging from all that can be a challenge. So how can we turn off disruptions and tune into mindfulness? Start by setting aside few minutes a day. It can greatly reduce our stress and allow us the space to reconnect with ourselves with how we feel and what we are doing. Practicing mindfulness is an easy thing to do if we learn techniques like focusing on our breathing, our inner thoughts, our feelings, and how our bodies are moving in our surroundings.

Focus on the breath

Practice Kindness

"In a world where you can be anything, be kind." That quote isn't credited by anyone famous. If there's one thing we need in the world right now, is more kindness. Kindness is a quality we learn early in life by treating others with empathy, fairness, compassion and respectfulness without expecting praise in return. At the heart of any act of kindness, is selflessness. When we put another's comfort or well-being ahead of our own, we feel good. By giving or practicing kindness, it lifts our spirit and our mood. The stress hormone in our body decreases, boosting the levels of serotonin and dopamine in our brains giving us the warm feeling of well-being. Where focus grows, energy flows.  When we practice kindness, we create connections with others and that helps build stronger communities. "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." Now that quote is by a famous person, the Dalai Lama. Start your day by asking yourself, "How am I going to practice kindness today?" We got some ideas to help you put kindness on repeat.

  • Start with an inspiring book list donated by Citizens for Peace whose mission is to facilitate practices and principles of non-violence in the world. 
Walking

Walking is the oldest form of exercise. For most of us, it's an easy and effective way to maintain overall wellness and fitness. Being active and outdoors, whether you're on a walking trail or around your neighborhood, can be very meditative. One of the many ways to cultivate mindfulness is through meditative walking. Walking meditation involves focusing on the physical activity of walking and paying attention to every step. Here's some resources to get you started on the right foot!

In 35 guided mindfulness walks, Glenn Berkenkamp invites us to discover how we sense, move, think, and feel in our bodies--and engage a greater sense of presence and being in our lives. Like any contemplative practice, through walking we can quiet our minds and come to know ourselves better, both within our bodies and the greater world outside ourselves. But with limitless competing demands on our time and energy, and hours spent in cars, walking has fallen by the wayside...and we miss many profound opportunities for increased awareness and vitality.

Sunday on May 9 is when we hit the pause button on our busy lives and take a moment to appreciate our mothers and motherhood. Mothers have a profound value in our lives and in many ways have the most challenging, greatest and toughest job in the world. They give us an abundance of unconditional love, support and acceptance. Mothers are our tireless cheerleader for every milestone we experience. Check out these new books celebrating the joys and challenges of motherhood. 

Easy Mom's Day Craft for All Ages and Abilities

Plastic Spoon Flowers
oscars.com

This year Oscars show signs of progress. People with disabilities are very much the least represented groups in the film and tv industry. But three films featuring disabilities are up for major nominations. For Best Picture (Sound of Metal),  Actor in a Leading Role (Riz Ahed, Sound of Metal), Actor in a Supporting Role (Paul Raci, Sound of Metal), Documentary (Crip Camp), and Short Film Live Action, (Feeling Through) are all hoping to take home a golden statue in their category. Though they are not yet on dvd, here are the Oscar-winning films in our collection that feature disabilities. 

Renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. Once a healthy, active young man, Hawking received the diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis at 21 years of age. With Jane fighting tirelessly by his side, Stephen embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now has precious little of: time. Eddie Redmayne won for Best Actor. 

As the COVID-19 crisis continues and we wait for the vaccine distribution to expand, Booklist a magazine by the American Library Association, has published a list of books focusing on the science behind vaccinations and how misinformation can spread as fast as a deadly virus. These books help separate fact from fiction. 

A smart and compelling examination of the science of immunity, the public policy implications of vaccine denial, and the real-world outcomes of failing to vaccinate. If you have a child in school, you may have heard stories of long-dormant diseases suddenly reappearing--cases of measles, mumps, rubella, and whooping cough cropping up everywhere from elementary schools to Ivy League universities because a select group of parents refuse to vaccinate their children. Between Hope and Fear tells the remarkable story of vaccine-preventable infectious diseases and their social and political implications. While detailing the history of vaccine invention, Kinch reveals the ominous reality that our victories against vaccine-preventable diseases are not permanent--and could easily be undone. In the tradition of John Barry's The Great Influenza and Siddhartha Mukherjee's The Emperor of All Maladies, Between Hope and Fear relates the remarkable intersection of science, technology and disease that has helped eradicate many of the deadliest plagues known to man.

Unlike natural disasters, whose destruction is concentrated in a limited area over a period of days, and illnesses, which have devastating effects but are limited to individuals and their families, infectious disease has the terrifying power to disrupt everyday life on a global scale, overwhelming public and private resources and bringing trade and transportation to a grinding halt. In today's world, it's easier than ever to move people, animals, and materials around the planet, but the same advances that make modern infrastructure so efficient have made epidemics and even pandemics nearly inevitable. And as outbreaks of COVID-19, Ebola, MERS, and Zika have demonstrated, we are woefully underprepared to deal with the fallout. So what can -- and must -- we do in order to protect ourselves from mankind's deadliest enemy? Drawing on the latest medical science, case studies, policy research, and hard-earned epidemiological lessons, Deadliest Enemy explores the resources and programs we need to develop if we are to keep ourselves safe from infectious disease. The authors show how we could wake up to a reality in which many antibiotics no longer cure, bioterror is a certainty, and the threat of a disastrous influenza or coronavirus pandemic looms ever larger. Only by understanding the challenges we face can we prevent the unthinkable from becoming the inevitable. 

Adult Contemporary Book Discussion August 2021

Also available in: e-book | audiobook | large print

The incredible true story of the women heroes who were exposed to radium in factories across the U.S. in the early 20th century, and their brave and groundbreaking battle to strengthen workers' rights, even as the fatal poison claimed their own lives. The Curies' newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War. Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" are the luckiest alive -- until they begin to fall mysteriously ill. But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women's cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America's early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights that will echo for centuries to come. Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls, fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the "wonder" substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

Upcoming sessions

Monday, August 16 - 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM Online
Social Media from Pixabay

Since 2004, social media has played a big role in our culture. But when the pandemic began last year, almost overnight it took on a whole new life of its own. Just like that we had to use Zoom to get together with our family or friends instead of meeting in-person. We logged onto our computers or laptops to work remotely from home. Our kids logged onto Zoom for school sessions. Did you know that your library presents virtual programming!!? Video conferencing services like Zoom, Facebook Live and Youtube has become the world's most popular social network. Whenever the pandemic is over, will things go back to normal or we will prefer to continue remotely? Who knows? Need help navigating through the avalanche of the social media landscape? Check out these resources!

Feeling overwhelmed by an avalanche of online content? Anxious about identity theft? Unsettled by the proliferation of fake news? Welcome to the digital revolution. Wait-wasn't the digital revolution supposed to make our lives better? It was going to be fun and put the world at our fingertips. What happened? Keep Calm and Log On is a survival handbook that will help you achieve online mindfulness and overcome online helplessness-the feeling that tech is out of your control-with tips for handling cybersecurity, creepy ads, untrustworthy information, and much more.
Taking a cue from the famous World War II morale-boosting slogan ("Keep Calm and Carry On"), Gus Andrews shows us how to adapt the techniques our ancestors used to survive hard times, so we can live our best lives online. She explains why media and technology stress us out, and offers empowering tools for coping. Mindfulness practices can help us stay calm and conserve our attention purposefully. Andrews shares the secret of understanding our own opinions'' "family trees" in order to identify misleading "fake news." She provides tools for unplugging occasionally, overcoming feelings that we are "bad at technology," and taking charge of our security and privacy. Andrews explains how social media algorithms keep us from information we need and why "creepy ads" seem to follow us online. Most importantly, she urges us to work to rebuild the trust in our communities that the internet has broken.

Adult Contemporary Book Discussion March 2021

The only woman in the room by Marie Benedict
Also available in: e-book | large print

She possessed a stunning beauty. She also possessed a stunning mind. Could the world handle both? Her beauty almost certainly saved her from the rising Nazi party and led to marriage with an Austrian arms dealer. Underestimated in everything else, she overheard the Third Reich's plans while at her husband's side, understanding more than anyone would guess. She devised a plan to flee in disguise from their castle, and the whirlwind escape landed her in Hollywood. She became Hedy Lamarr, screen star. But she kept a secret more shocking than her heritage or her marriage: she was a scientist. And she knew a few secrets about the enemy. She had an idea that might help the country fight the Nazis...if anyone would listen to her. A powerful novel based on the incredible true story of the glamour icon and scientist whose groundbreaking invention revolutionized modern communication.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Adult Contemporary Book Discussion July 2021

The Queen's gambit by Walter S Tevis
Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

Eight year-old orphan Beth Harmon is quiet, sullen, and by all appearances unremarkable. That is, until she plays her first game of chess. Her senses grow sharper, her thinking clearer, and for the first time in her life she feels herself fully in control. By the age of sixteen, she's competing for the U.S. Open championship. But as Beth hones her skills on the professional circuit, the stakes get higher, her isolation grows more frightening, and the thought of escape becomes all the more tempting.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

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