A Walk on the Mindful Side

Tomorrow I am planning to take a “mindful” walk with a few students in my Introduction to Mindfulness class here in Palm Coast, Florida.

The thought occurred to me how interesting it is that we have to reteach ourselves how to connect with what simply is. We have become so lost over the years that we are not even aware just how unaware we are of the state of just being. The trees, the flowers, the sounds, the feel of the warm breeze, or cool breeze on our skin, the surrounding sounds of nature or man-made, are all just in a state of being. They don’t need commentary, judgment, or drama attached to them as we observe through our senses.

So, that is what we will practice together on our stroll tomorrow. We have the great fortune to have the permission to stroll on the grounds of a heavenly retreat area called Sleepy Hollow, where we will encounter horses, a butterfly garden, a pond, and other lovely places to experience along our stroll in this idyllic setting. However, one can enjoy a mindful walk in any place and at any time. This especially lovely setting is just a bonus for our class meeting.

Above are a few images of little cards that I will hand out before we begin our walk, courtesy of http://www.headspace.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Little Gap With Big Possibilities

Have you ever read something that you connected with in an eerie sort of way? This has happened to me on various occasions throughout my life. I recall one such occasion when I first encountered Albert Camus’ Myth of Sisyphus back in my senior year in high school.

We had a substitute teacher who came in to take over the second half of the school year. Up until that point in my life, I had never encountered any formal introduction to philosophy, or any literary works that explored philosophical issues.

Our substitute teacher in question, Mrs. Bucarelli, introduced us to the philosophical notion of the absurd, and fictional literary works that represent its presence in fictional work: The Myth of Sisyphus, and The Stranger, by Albert Camus were the two works that we were assigned to read in connection with the topic at hand. The two works are a good introduction to the concept of the absurd, as twentieth century authors and philosophers such as Camus and his contemporary, Jean Paul Sartre, explored it.

The Myth of Sisyphus depicts a man, Sisyphus, who is condemned to all eternity to push a heavy rock up a hill, all the while knowing that his efforts will only result in the boulder rolling back down to its point of origin where the hero must begin his efforts all over again.  The idea is that life is absurd, pointless, and yet we are condemned to try to live it, despite the inherent senselessness of it all.

My teacher noticed how easily I understood the concept of the absurd as presented in the two works in question. I myself did not think much of my innate understanding at the time. It was a no brainer type of thing, as easy as knowing that the sun rises each morning.  Fortunately, this deep understanding of the absurd at such a young age did not traumatize me, perhaps because I somehow suspected that Camus’ explanation stopped short of something.

The little something that we did not consider in our exploration of Sisyphus’ fate was the little gap at the bottom of the hill. It’s a gap of repose, of stillness, that exists before he recommences his efforts to push the boulder back up the hill, and before the rock rolls back down to its point of origin.

Now I liken that little gap to the stillness that exists within all of us in between the busy moments of our lives. It’s the part that often goes completely unnoticed, has become completely overshadowed by all of our efforts, our resistance to what is, our incessant stream of thoughts, and our information overload in the world we live in.

So, when I pause today to consider this work that I first encountered so long ago, I like to especially consider the little moment that went unappreciated by Sisyphus and perhaps by many of its readers. The little gap in the efforts of Sisyphus offers a glimmer of hope, a place of resuscitation, a doorway, which offers an opening to a place of infinite possibilities. Taking notice of the little space between all of the efforts made by Sisyphus at the bottom of the hill is the beginning point for further exploration of the freedom that exists within that space.

Wait a Minute: That’s Not Trash!

I taped a little fortune cookie to my refrigerator a few weeks ago. It says All that we are arises with our thoughts. In some parts of the world, this expression has been common knowledge for quite some time.

Modern Western science, as we know it today, has been around since the 17th century. It’s based on empirical, or measurable evidence that must conform to specific principles of reasoning known as the scientific method.

Until fairly recently, Western science has dismissed about 95-99% of all human DNA. The assumption was that the 1-5% of human DNA used in the coding of the proteins and enzymes that make up our physical bodies was the “important stuff,” and that the remaining DNA was useless. It was just plain old “junk.” Thus, it became known as junk DNA.

However, since the earlier part of the 20th century, there has been a steadfast, and now increasingly mainstream scientific community interested in the mind-body connection. Einstein and some of his contemporary colleagues paved the way for with their scientific breakthroughs in the realms of physics. As Brendan D. Murphy points out in his 2015 article, Junk DNA: Your Hyperdimensional Doorway to Transformation, their research offered a foundation with a “…microbiological framework for understanding the power of suggestion, intention, and belief …” In his article, Murphy  goes on to highlight some important research that has been done in the field since the 1980’s.

In the 1990’s, for example, the Russian group known as the Gariaev  Group, pioneered research involving DNA and structures found within languages. This groundbreaking research found that human speech patterns mimic non-coding DNA. sequences. Further, The Gariaev Group’s connects their findings involving DNA and language to explanations about why things such as hypnosis, affirmations, and autogenous training can have very powerful effects on humans (Murphy, 2015).

Then, thanks to the Gariaev group’s pioneering research in the field, scientists have had solid ground to continue exploration of the connections between “junk” DNA and human consciousness. For example, today we now know that we can re-code certain portions of our genome by activating some of our mobile DNA, thus transforming ourselves on a fundamental biological level (Murphy, 2015).

Further, the work of scientists Gennady Shipov and Burkhard Heim in the area of Torsion Field began to appear after about 2008. The theory suggests that the “soul” is, in fact, a vortex of sorts, a torsion field, existing in the vacuum of space, from which the material world was born.

The work of Cell biologist Dr. Glen Rein began to appear around the same time as that of Shipov and Heim. His research shows emotions such as anger, fear and similar emotions have the power to contract a DNA molecule, compressing it. On the other hand, emotions such as joy, gratitude and love unwind or decompress DNA exposed to them.

There is certainly abundant, additional fascinating scientific research that has been done or that is being done in the field of DNA and consciousness. Sifting through scientific jargon can be fun and rewarding, albeit time consuming. Still, there is a handy short cut to understanding all of this, and it can pop up in profound and simple little statements found in things like fortune cookies and the like. It can go something like this: All that we are arises with our thoughts.

 

References

Brendan D. Murphy. Nov. 2, 2015. Junk DNA: Your Hyperdimensional Doorway to Transformation. Retrieved from http://www.theeventchronicle.com/category/metaphysics/

Instant Dissolve

Robert Frost’s Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening is just one of those poems that does something special for me: It takes me there, where I need to go, where I want to go. It brings me back, takes me home. How else can I put it?

I could never quite get it, really, just why I have for so long loved revisiting this poem. I especially love hearing it read aloud. During one period of my life, I would often ask someone close to me to “please read it again, pretty please.” He always graciously acquiesced:

Whose woods these are I think I know.   

His house is in the village though;   

He will not see me stopping here   

To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

 

My little horse must think it queer   

To stop without a farmhouse near   

Between the woods and frozen lake   

The darkest evening of the year.   

 

He gives his harness bells a shake   

To ask if there is some mistake.   

The only other sound’s the sweep   

Of easy wind and downy flake.   

 

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   

But I have promises to keep,   

And miles to go before I sleep,   

And miles to go before I sleep.

Ahhh, like taking a deep, conscious breath to reconnect with your source. The magical thing about this type of experience, though, is that in the moment that we connect with the artist’s creation, we connect as well with the artist him or herself, who has gleaned something much deeper and shared it with us. Double magic.

Thanks, Robert Frost.

 

Call for Chapters: E-Discovery Tools and Applications in Modern Libraries

Editors

Egbert De Smet, (University of Antwerp, Belgium)

Sangeeta Namdev Dhamdhere, (Modern College of Arts, Science, and Commerce, India)

Proposals Submission Deadline: May 30, 2015

Full Chapters Due: August 30, 2015

Introduction

All Scientific Information is now publishes online. Researchers, scientists, authors are publishing their work online. Various online publishing platforms are available easily. Publishers prefer to publish online than print. Libraries started giving access to electronic databases, journals, books and other scholarly material also their resources and give access online, offline along with online catalogs of books and existing library material. Libraries are looking for new platform through which their users can access information from various databases on a single search window.

The topic of this book is related to new Information Discovery tools used by various libraries to give access to their resources both online (paid or free), digitized resources and catalogs on one platform which we can call as Federated Search Engine. Very few open sources federated search tools are available. Few federated search tools like example Knimbus, Mendeley, EBSCO Discovery services, Fedgate, ABCD Site, etc being used by libraries to give access to all subscribed online e-resources as well as print resources in the library to save the time of readers and give easy access to multiple databases and resources.

The library portals are now considered as Mirror of that library which gives idea about its collection and services. Library portal contains multiple databases and search engines. No aggregation at metadata level, disconnection among the resources were drawbacks of earlier library portals. There was confusion among the students to locate resources from various databases and also was time consuming process. So need of discovery service/tool i.e. single window access raised. Small libraries are still looking for the solution which is available freely as they cannot afford the commercial software for giving federated search for their resources (Online and archives).

Digital library software like Greenstone, Dspace, etc are not a complete solution to give access to library resources like archives, online databases and scholarly publications as every publisher has their own connectors. Without MOUs and agreement the many publishers do not give access to their connectors.

This book aims to give the current scenario of E-Information Discovery Tools used by different libraries from the globe, innovative techniques used by the libraries for information discovery, open source software as well as commercial software, connector based technologies used by libraries , their applications, case studies and best practices in this area.

Objective

Libraries are subscribing various online databases, ejournals, ebooks, etc in the library. To give quick access to all the library resources, archives, catalogs and online information on a single search window is challenge ahead for libraries. Digital library software gives access to only digital resources and gives path to other online resources. Catalogs and Library Management Systems can’t manage the resources distributed all over the world. E-Information Discovery tools are the tools which gives access to all library resources (existing as well as online) using federated search and connector based technology. Different libraries using different technologies to give such single search on their website or portal. To give remote access to resources different libraries uses different technology (in-housed or commercial or open source).

Still many libraries in developed countries also not yet shifted to this technology. Developing countries are looking for such E-Information Discovery tools for their libraries in low budget or free of cost. This book aim to give new innovative ideas and techniques along with tools to solve the Information retrieval problem.

Target Audience

The target audience for this book includes (but is not limited to):

• Library and Information Professionals
• Software Professionals
• Library Science Scholars
• Library and Information Science Students
• Academicians
• Researchers
• Information Scientist
• Information Professionals
• Search Engine Providers

Recommended Topics

• Information Discovery Tools used in libraries
• Comparative study of E-Discovery Tools used in the libraries
• Connector Based Technology for Federated Search
• Federated Search Tools : Open Source and Commercial
• Information Retrieval
• Digital Libraries
• Library Portals
• Indexing Techniques for online resources
• Role of Librarian in Indexing online resources
• Case Studies
• Advantages and Disadvantages of E-Info Discovery Tools
• Global Perspectives
• Future of E-Info Discovery Tools
• E-Publishing and database connectors
• Digital Resources and Archives
• Web-based Library Services
• Best Practices for Information Retrieval, etc
• Impact of E-Discovery tools on libraries

Submission Procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before April 30, 2015, a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors will be notified by May 30, 2015 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by August 30, 2015, and all interested authors must consult the journal’s guidelines for manuscript submissions at http://www.igi-global.com/publish/contributor-resources/before-you-write/ prior to submission. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication, E-Discovery Tools and Applications in Modern Libraries. All manuscripts are accepted based on a double-blind peer review editorial process.

Publisher

This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), an international academic publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea Group Reference), “Medical Information Science Reference,” “Business Science Reference,” and “Engineering Science Reference” imprints. IGI Global specializes in publishing reference books, scholarly journals, and electronic databases featuring academic research on a variety of innovative topic areas including, but not limited to, education, social science, medicine and healthcare, business and management, information science and technology, engineering, public administration, library and information science, media and communication studies, and environmental science. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit http://www.igi-global.com/. This publication is anticipated to be released in 2016.

Book Series

For release in the Advances in Library and Information Science (ALIS) Book Series ISSN: 2326-4136
The Advances in Library and Information Science (ALIS) Book Series is comprised of high quality, research-oriented publications on the continuing developments and trends affecting the public, school, and academic fields, as well as specialized libraries and librarians globally. These discussions on professional and organizational considerations in library and information resource development and management assist in showcasing the latest methodologies and tools in the field. The ALIS Book Series aims to expand the body of library science literature by covering a wide range of topics affecting the profession and field at large. The series also seeks to provide readers with an essential resource for uncovering the latest research in library and information science management, development, and technologies.

Important Dates

Proposal Submission Deadline: April 30, 2015

Full Chapter Submission: August 30, 2015

Review Results to Authors: October 30, 2015

Final Chapter Submission: November 30, 2015

Inquiries

modernlibrary.sangeeta@gmail.com

egbert.desmet@uantwerpen.be

Source of announcement

http://www.igi-global.com/publish/call-for-papers/call-details/1750

Controversy over Reference Titles

We all know how fanatic beliefs can cause conflicts. We also know that, in our profession, such conflicts are common. Not everybody agrees with our approach towards our library’s Collection Development. We are trying to create a diverse collection. No library has every possible title out there. However, librarians attempt to include something for everybody in their orders.

Some months ago, I took over the Reference section in one of the two libraries I work for. The first thing I did was to replace outdated information in areas where such information can be harmful in one way or another (Medicine, Language). After the first couple of months, I started adding titles based on users’ requests. In a couple of cases, people asked for Wicca books. There was an older multi-volume encyclopedia in the Reference section, but people wanted something lighter and easier to read than an encyclopedia. I added three titles to my next order and suggested a couple of more to the non-fiction librarian. Suddenly, it dawned on me that there might be reactions, but I dismissed those thoughts and concerns as unnecessary.

In the end of October, one of the assistants of the Adult reference Department notified me that she had been “harassed” by a user because of the librarian’s Reference choices! This person stated that she did not agree with the Wicca books. My assistant attempted to explain that the topic was requested by other users and also that we try to buy items for everybody without discrimination. Apparently, these explanations and justifications did not satisfy the user. She replied that she goes to different libraries and checks what librarians are ordering! She was very disappointed about our library.

Suddenly, I realized that I ordered a couple of books on Native Americans in the Michigan area, including a Chippewa dictionary and American-Indian history in the area, because a couple of users asked for them. After the religious controversy, would that be a new racial one? I cannot stop thinking of the fact that so many people consider the library their private book collection and want everything to agree with their beliefs. The simple “you don’t like it; don’t read it” idea is not enough for these people. This reminds me of Hitler’s attempts to control what people read and listened to, by burning everything he felt did not agree with the Third Reich approach. If users like the one mentioned above were allowed to take action, they would burn half of the books in our libraries. How much have we learned from history and how much have we evolved?