During a time of isolation and quarantine, our regular day to day schedules have been changed to reflect a virtual world. Feelings of anxiety, loneliness, depression and more have become extremely high. While these feelings and states of being can be normal, during this time there are still resources available to help cope and improve overall well-being.
The Durham Public Library and Jiong Jiong Hu teamed up a few years ago to provide Mindful Meditation classes to the Durham community. When the stay-at-home order began, Hu wanted a way to safely provide her services to the community; she now hosts her classes via Zoom each Thursday from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. until they can return to in-person classes safely.
“Jiong Jiong’s Mindful Meditation workshop was one of the first programs I booked for September 2018 as part of Durham Public Library’s Wellness Wednesday series that fall,” said Jess Ross, the adult services director at Durham Public Library. “It was instantly popular with our patrons of all ages and we have continued to host her workshops on a monthly basis since then, as her own and the library schedules allow.”
Hu explores body and mind wellness practices and has attended meditation workshops around the country to expand her knowledge and practice; which she then shares with the Durham community free of charge.
“Mindful meditation to me means how to maintain my life and how to live,” Hu said. “How to live life with the best qualities possible without having to go anywhere, be someone different or to do different things. Rather, it seems like you are coming back to a place you know that gave you the safety, kept you grounded, gave you the comfort, gave you the joy and set you free.”
Hu started sharing her meditation at the Waysmeet Center in 2012 and then at the Durham Public Library in 2013. She started these classes because she found it helpful within her own life and she wanted to offer her community the opportunity and accessibility to have a taste of it without having the concern of finances.
“Jiong Jiong is one of the loveliest people I have ever met and someone who people naturally gravitate toward,” Ross said. “She radiates kindness, empathy and a genuine interest in contributing to her community and the world.”
There are about 20 people currently interested in the virtual meditation, but week to week the amount of people varies depending on their schedules. Hu knows that people won’t be able to attend every class but encourages them to come when they can and when they need it for their own practice and well-being.
“Mindfulness has become a more popular word now days in all the fields including schools,” Hu said. “Mindfulness is not a concept, it is not. It is a practice.”
To join these classes, the best way to get the Zoom link and remain updated on Mindful Meditation classes is to contact Hu through her email firstname.lastname@example.org. All participants need is a means to log on to Zoom electronically and an hour to practice mindfulness.
“Mindful Meditation is a great way to clear your head, breathe intentionally and focus on how your body and mind are feeling,” Ross said. “I have found it really beneficial for tension and stress relief and Jiong Jiong does a fantastic job leading the workshops.”