Saturday, August 31, 2013


"Patience Equals Wisdom"
Jon-Kabot Zinn

I came across this quote last week by Jon Cabot-Zinn,  whose research and writings have been influential to mindful meditation.

Zinn showed that mindfulness and non-judging awareness and acceptance have actually been useful in patients dealing with cancer.

The following article from Wikipedia outlines some of his achievements: 
"In 1993, Kabat-Zinn’s work in the Stress Reduction Clinic was featured in Bill Moyers's PBS special Healing and the Mind and in the book by Moyers of the same title. Kabat-Zinn and his colleagues published a research paper on the effect of the mind on the rate of skin clearing in patients with psoriasis undergoing ultraviolet light therapy.[6]
Kabat-Zinn conducts annual mindfulness retreats for business leaders and conducts training for health professionals in MBSR.
Kabat-Zinn has written Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness (Delta, 1991), and Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life (Hyperion, 1994). He co-authored with Myla Kabat-Zinn Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting, (Hyperion, 1997). Other books include Coming to Our Senses (Hyperion, 2005), The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness, co-authored with J. Mark G. Williams, John D. Teasdale and Zindel V. Segal (Guilford, 2007), and The Mind's Own Physician: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama on the Healing Power of Meditation, co-authored with Richard Davidson (New Harbinger, 2012) (based on the 13th Mind and Life Institute Dialogue in 2005).
He is a board member of the Mind and Life Institute, a group that organizes dialogues between the Dalai Lama and Western scientists."[7]

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ten Ways to Love Ourselves

1.  Practice kindness.
2.  Exercise, sleep, and listen to your body.
3.  Simplify your life.
4.  Be helpful.
5.  Do a random act of kindness.
6.  Relax and enjoy the simple things.
7.  Do what you love.
8.  Eliminate non-essentials.
9.  Have fun,
10.  Walk every day.




    I first became aware of mindful meditation when I was healing from surgery about 18 years ago.  My awareness has deepened since then, especially after attending a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction workshop at the Duke Center for Integrative Medicine.
     For me, mindfulness is about acceptance and non-judging awareness.  The repetitive practice of mindfulness has enabled me to be free of depression and anxiety, and has sharpened my powers of concentration.
     Mindfulness encourages us to be passive observers of stressors, and not to identify with them.  To think of conditions like fear, panic, pain, unpleasant thoughts,  and discomfort as temporary conditions.  To acknowledge these things, and let them go.
     I highly recommend a collection of CD's called "Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program," produced at Duke.  There are five CD's:  Awareness of Breathing Meditation, Body Scan and Walking Meditation, Loving Kindness Meditation, Mindful Yoga:  Standing Series and Floor Series, and Mindfulness of Sensory Experience and Choiceless Awareness Meditation.
     I loaded the CD's into my iTunes library and iPod, and enjoy listening to them on my walks.  Jeff
Brantley's calming voice and supportive explanations are a joy to listen to.
     The set can be ordered by calling 1-866-313-0959.

To learn more about Duke's Center for Integrative Medicine, click here:

Praise Someone (or Something) Today

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The quote for today is by the great American transcendentalist, Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Everyone has a right to be valued by his best moment." 

How true.  Does one mistake cancel out our best achievements? No. We can be blessed with grace, and rise to great achievements and selflessness.  It is so easy to criticize, but so much better to praise.

Today I will try to see the positive in every person and situation.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My Life So Far!

Thats me on the left with Franklin Golden, pastor of the Durham Presbyterian Church.

I was born on June 8, 1949 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.  Several years later, my parents, Major and Mrs. Albert A. Stone, Jr., moved the family back to Virginia, where I grew up and graduated from Jefferson Sr. High School.  While in high school, I served as president of the National Honor Society, and co-editor of the school’s literary magazine.  I took my love of writing and literature to Mary Washington College, and later to Virginia Commonwealth University, where I received a Bachelor’s in English.  After working for a few years at a crisis center, I pursued my interest in psychology with a Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling, then spent the next twelve years as an alcoholism counselor and case manager.

I'm an avid traveler, having made four trips to Europe, and living in Alaska for six years, where my son, Christopher, was born.  I often refer to Alaska as the most adventurous chapter in my life.  While there, I became immersed in Native culture and art, working for four years with the Sitka Native Education Program.  I've always considered Alaska my “spiritual home.”

My interest in education and young people inspired me to complete a Master’s in Library and Information Science at the University of Tennessee, which I refer to as “the greatest education possible.”  I became the first professional reference librarian at Brewton-Parker College in Georgia and developed many friendships there among the students and faculty.

I carried my passions for books and people to North Carolina, where I worked for four years at Edgecombe County Memorial Library in Tarboro.  There, I provided reference services and adult programming for the community.  The most memorable library program I arranged occurred shortly after Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and the “500 Year Flood” that followed.  I invited “Hero of the planet,” Rick Dove, of New Bern for a dynamic presentation about the causes of the flood and its after-effects.  I also helped initiate annual showings of student artwork, as well as exhibits from collectors in the community.  While working at the library, I created a weekly news column in the Daily Southerner newspaper called Books and Beyond, that covered book reviews and technology trends in the library.

I took my talents for grant writing, library renovation, and collection development to school libraries in North Carolina.  In 2001, I received a fellowship from the Library of Congress to join 49 other educators in the study of the Library’s American Memory Collection.  I was one of only two representatives from North Carolina.  While in D. C., I made a public appeal for support of school libraries, and met with John Hope Franklin, the distinguished scholar and author.  At this point, my interests in oral history, slave narratives, veterans’ stories, literacy, and American history blossomed.  After 20 years as an educator and librarian I'm working part-time, pursuing my passions for teaching, writing, poetry, children’s literature, and art.

Of all my interesting careers, I consider being a mother the most important and endearing aspect of her life.  My son, Chris, now in the Boston area, enriches my life immeasurably.

A lifelong Presbyterian, I'm also a member of the Phi Beta Mu International Honor Society, the Nasher Museum in Durham, P.E.N. America, the NC Writers' Network, and an avid supporter of the American Dance Festival, and the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham.

Today's Gratitude

1.     I'm grateful for heath.
2.     For my beautiful dwelling.
3.     I live in a crime free area.
4.     I am free of stress.
5.     I am free of pain.
6.     I am free of fear.
7.     I have beautiful music to listen to.
8.     I'm grateful for my family.
9.     For having visited Paris.
10.   That I forgave someone.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Read This!

       My daughter-in-law, Elise, sent me a link to this blog.  The author, Lisa Ann O'Kane, writes young adult books.  I admire her ability to clarify life's difficult choices and offer hope and encouragement. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

"Life of the Spirit"

"The life of the Spirit is 
a life of action.

Spirituality is performance,

not belief."

I read this meditation today from my daily meditation book and was reminded of the church I attend, 

the Durham Presbyterian Church.  This church actively gives service in the community of Durham, 

and beyond.  For example, last week there was a combined service with the Hispanic congregation,  

followed by a potluck lunch.  

One of the members gives support to her living community of young adults with developmental 

disabilities.  Another member is engaged in a project in South Africa.  I am proud to be part of a church with such dynamic commitments.

My Mindfulness Retreat, April, 2013


    From April 27-28, 2013, I attended my first mindfulness retreat at the Duke Center for Integrative Medicine.  Phyllis Hicks and Jeanne van Gemert were the leaders.  I stayed at Carol Mathisson's house in Durham, whom I met at the Durham Full Frame Film Festival earlier in the month.

      A few things from the retreat really stood out for me:

       1)  We were advised to combine stress with kindness.  When we are stressed, we need to treat ourselves with kindness, while acknowledging the stress.

       2)  Be neutral toward our thoughts.  They are just thoughts.  Greet them with kindness.

Jeanne stated:  "We run so quickly because we are running from ourselves.  Every moment is a moment to start over."

Another point that emerged was Jeanne's quotation (from Rumi?) that "We must have the patience to let the mud of the mind settle and wait for the right action."  She went on:  "Meditation shifts the thought process from the 'depressive/anxiety' right brain, to the joyful left side of the brain."

Jeanne continued:  "Reaction happens in a primitive side of the brain.  Our power and our freedom is in the gap between our self talk.  This allows us to be more responsive, rather than reactive.  We want our minds to be stable, and reflective.  Meditating is befriending our direct experience."


from my rooftop
makes sounds like
maracas on my tin
I open the door to hear
joyous sounds of
rushing down from.


"Difficult Situations"

"Difficult situations
can be thought of as a dance
They are temporary.
There is no pay-off to worry.
Be present.
Turn toward the stress.
Acknowledge the dis-tractor.
Try not to
Have courage to change.
Take care of yourself.

Do Not Let the Intellect be Your God

     "Einstein was slow in learning how to talk.  'My parents were so worried,' he later recalled, 'that they consulted a doctor.' Even after he had begun using words, sometime after the age of 2, he developed a quirk that prompted the family maid to dub him 'der Depperte,' the dopey one. Whenever he had something to say, he would try it out on himself, whispering it softly until it sounded good enough to pronounce aloud. 'Every sentence he uttered,' his worshipful younger sister recalled, 'no matter how routine, he repeated to himself softly, moving his lips.'" (credit:  Walter Issacsson, Time Magazine, April, 2007)

Read more:,9171,1607298,00.html#ixzz2cENFFJtM

    Einstein stated that he believed in Spinoza's God.  He elaborated this to a Japanese scholar, explaining his views on science and religion.  This later appeared as a limited edition publication honoring Einstein's 50th birthday:
"Scientific research can reduce superstition by encouraging people to think and view things in terms of cause and effect. Certain it is that a conviction, akin to religious feeling, of the rationality and intelligibility of the world lies behind all scientific work of a higher order... This firm belief, a belief bound up with a deep feeling, in a superior mind that reveals itself in the world of experience, represents my conception of God. In common parlance this may be described as "pantheistic" (Spinoza)."
On the question of an afterlife Einstein stated to a Baptist pastor, "I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it."[16] This sentiment was also expressed in Einstein's The World as I See It, stating: "I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves. An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls. Enough for me the mystery of the eternity of life, and the inkling of the marvellous structure of reality, together with the single-hearted endeavour to comprehend a portion, be it never so tiny, of the reason that manifests itself in nature."[17]

Agnosticism and atheism

Einstein rejected the label atheist. Einstein stated: "I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being."[1] According to Prince Hubertus, Einstein said, "In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views."[18]
Einstein had previously explored the belief that man could not understand the nature of God. In an interview published in 1930 in G. S. Viereck's book Glimpses of the Great, Einstein, in response to a question about whether or not he believed in God, explained:
Your question [about God] is the most difficult in the world. It is not a question I can answer simply with yes or no. I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza's Pantheism. I admire even more his contributions to modern thought. Spinoza is the greatest of modern philosophers, because he is the first philosopher who deals with the soul and the body as one, not as two separate things.[19]
In a 1950 letter to M. Berkowitz, Einstein stated that "My position con


"Faith has to work 24 hours a day.  Most of us feel that we need to look no further for Utopia.  We have it right here within us here and now..."

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Resume

I was a teacher, and I'm proud of it!

         Post graduate:             
            East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
            M.S.L.I.S.  University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
            M.S., Rehabilitation Counseling, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond,             VA

            Undergraduate: B.A., English, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond,             VA

Favorite Quotation:  “Read and you will be forever free.” – Frederick Douglass


·       “Trip to Paris,” WUNC Public Radio, 2011
·      “Embracing the Child” literacy grant, Townsend Publishing, 2009
·      National Endowment for the Humanities, “Picturing America,” 2008
·      Nominated for Who’s Who in American Education, 2007
·      World War II Oral History Project:  “John Harrawood.”  Archived at the Veterans’ History Project, Library of Congress, 2006.
·      “Crafting Freedom,” Thomas Day Institute and the National Endowment for the Humanities, 2006
·       American Memory Fellowship, Library of Congress, 2001
·      Project Tomorrow Grant,1998 and 1999
·      American Library Association travel grant, Guadalajara, 1999
·      Phi Beta Mu International Honor Society, 1992

·      Advocacy  Summit, Public Policy and Advocacy Department/Arthritis Foundation, Washington, D. C., 2013

·      Introduction to the Learning Health System, (online), National eHealth Collaborative, 2011
·      Computers in Medical Settings, Nash Community College, (Rocky Mount, NC), 2011
·      Computers in the Workplace, Nash Community College, 2011
·      Learning to Learn Online, InSync, 2010
·      “Teaching and Learning With Technology,” (online course), 2009
·      “Project Based Learning”, Intel, 2009
·      “What’s New in Young Adult Literature, Bureau of Education Research, 2009
  • “Creating a Climate for Reading,” (2006), Wake County Public Schools, Raleigh, NC
  • “Using Character Education as a Motivator in Reading Programs,” (April, 2006), East Carolina University,  Greenville, NC.
  • “Reading Circles,” (May, 2006), East Carolina University,  Greenville, NC.
  • “The Effective Use of Sustained Silent Reading,” (May, 2006), East Carolina University,  Greenville, NC.
§  Summer Institute, NC Public Schools: “Managing Difficult Behavior for
            Individual Students,” (2005),  Atlantic Beach, NC.
§  “A Mind at a Time,” workshop for teachers by Mel Levine, (2004),
            Chapel Hill,  NC.
  • Oral History Workshop sponsored by the Southern Oral History Project at
            UNC-Chapel Hill, (2004), Mt. Airy, N
  • “Dimensions of Learning” (2003), Wilson, NC
§  NC LIVE (1999-2000), Raleigh, NC
§  LearnNC (2000), Weldon, NC 
§  “Marco Polo: Internet Content for the Classroom,” (2000), Raleigh, NC 
§  Follett Library Automation (2001),Weldon,  NC
§  NC WISE OWL (2001), Weldon, NC
§  American Memory (2001), Washington, D. C..  Presenter, 2002, “Using   
            American Memory to Enrich Curriculum,” Greenville, NC.

Work Experience

Writer, Tarboro, NC, July, 2011-present.  I write up-lifting, compelling articles about people and places on a global perspective.  Many of my articles were published in a local publication, The Daily Southerner, as well as in Eastern North Carolina Woman.  I also write poetry.
Library Media Coordinator (Edgecombe County, NC)  August, 2007-2009
·      Prepared the LMC to receive students upon the closing of Roberson Elementary School and the re-opening of the building as the Roberson Center for Educational Achievement  (August, 2007).
·      Led up to 10 classes a week on a fixed library schedule.
·      Provided leadership for the launching of the circulation system
·      Solicited corporate support for the acquisition of new materials.
·      Kept the faculty informed of new resources.
·      Served on the School Improvement Team.
·      Served on the School Library Curriculum Council.
·      Introduced new presentation equipment to help teachers integrate technology into lesson plans.
·      Collaborated with teachers on student research projects.
·      Advocated for school libraries and their relationship to high student achievement.
·      Promoted the LMC through library newsletters to parents and teachers.
·      Participated in school activities (Relay for Life, Field Day).
·      Planned activities to increase student achievement.
·      Wrote grants to enhance range planning for the collection.
·      Created an attractive space to encourage student use of the library.

Library Media Coordinator (Wake County, NC)  Jan.,  2006 – June 13, 2006.
  • Assistded with providing library services to approximately 820 elementary students grades K-5.
  • Taught 17 classes a week in the media center (fixed schedule).
  • Aligned lesson plans with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study
  • Help to create a climate conducive to reading and learning.
  • Integrated elements of the North Carolina Character Education Initiative and
             history into lessons.

Special Ed Teacher (Nash County, NC) 2004-2005
  • Worked as a special education teacher for juvenile offenders at an off-campus program.  Grade range was 6-8.  Emphasis:  reading, literacy, social studies, Character Education, math, art, career focus.

Library Media Coordinator  (Wilson County, NC)  2002-2003
§  School Librarian for 315 elementary students K-5.
§  Collaborated with faculty.
§  Wrote collection development grants totaling $10,000.00
§  Integrated the NCSOS into library lesson plans.
§  Renovated and re-organized the school library
§  Promoted the library with newsletters and special events (“Celebrity Readers”, “Read Across America”, etc.)

 Library Media Coordinator (Halifax County, NC)  2000-2001
§  School librarian for 600 middle and high school students.
§  Collaborated with teachers.
§  Set up the Follett circulation system.
§  Re-organized the library for better access.
§  Promoted the library with speakers, programs, Teen Read Week, etc.
§  Wrote grants.
§  Supervised student assistants in the library.
§  Formed partnerships with publishers to help extend the book collection.

Assistant Director and Reference Librarian (Tarboro, NC)  1996-2000
§  Provided reference services for all ages and disciplines.
§  Assisted children and their parents in the absence of the Children’s Librarian.
§  Initiated and taught NC LIVE and Internet classes for the public.
§  Wrote collection development grants of over $5000.00.
§  Staff training and adult programming.
§  Involved in outreach to area schools.
§  Involved in the development and maintenance of adult reference and nonfiction collections
§  Aided in the cataloging of the adult nonfiction collection and books in Spanish.
§  Weeded the reference collection.
§  Assisted in the weeding of the adult nonfiction collection.
§  Publicized the library with a weekly news column (1997-2000) and an interview for WITN-TV to promote public libraries (March, 2000)
§  Organized art exhibits and displays.

Reference Librarian (Mt. Vernon, GA)  1992-1996
§  Initiated reference and bibliographic instruction services for Brewton-Parker College.
§  Kept the faculty informed of new reference sources and services
§  Designed research guides and library pathfinders
§  Implemented book exhibits, displays, and special events for Black History Month, Women's History Month, National Poetry Month, and National Library Month.
§  Led the development of the reference collection in all disciplines.
§  Gave tours of the library for school groups and helped high school students learn to use reference materials
§  Publicized the library to the public through events such as a poetry reading coffeehouse during National Poetry Month.


North Carolina Writers Network, PEN America, Edgecombe County Arts Council,
Nasher Museum of Duke University


Aniko Redman, Researcher, Durham, NC, cell 919-544-7437

Beverly McNeill, Educator Emeritus/Teacher Trainer.  Chairman of the Board for APPREND, Durham County, NC.  Cell:  919-489-1166.

Chip Wigginton, former publisher/editor of The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC, Cell:  804-426-2757.
Bea Burnett, tennis champion and retired actress, Cell:  252-469-8383