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Mandala Book Club Collaborates With The Amagansett Free Library: Local Community Organizations Offer Inspiration For Reading Choices

The event will be held on Thursday, October 17. (Courtesy Photo)

The popular Mandala Book Club returns with an exciting announcement. In collaboration with the Amagansett Free Library and "still facilitated by their librarian Evan Harris," the Mandala Book Club will be hosted by a different local community organization each month. The organizations chosen will be those that resonate with and inspire members of the Book Club.

Harris relayed, "We are really excited to be in collaboration with a local business and a local non-profit that promotes both reading and literacy."

The Retreat, the East End's sole domestic violence agency, is the first organization that will launch this collaboration. Their selection is Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island by Regina Calcaterra.

By definition a "Mandala is a concentric diagram with spiritual and ritual significance. The word is of Hindu Sanskrit origin and means 'essence, 'having' or 'containing.' It can also be translated as 'circle-circumference' or 'completion,' - a sacred geometric figure that represents the universe and gives a deeper spiritual symbolism for observing the mechanisms of nature, along with the inner and external structures of the human body. Thereby, these complex designs allow thinkers to form a deep connection with man, nature and spirit."

Bringing this significance to fruition, and in keeping with the mantra of the Mandala Book Club, "Let's gather, Yogis and non-yogis alike, for good reads to inspire conscious introspection and thoughtful conversation," this collaboration and future ones promises to bring community members together in an engaged and productive understanding that promotes not only spiritual calm but reading as well.

Helen Atkinson-Barnes, The Retreat's Education Director. (Courtesy Photo)

Jolie Parcher of Mandala Yoga further explained, "The personal significance of 'mandala' as our mission is to welcome in and serve the needs of as much of our varied local community as possible with the book club as a way to actualize this even more. We're extending the essence of yoga, to strengthen our vitality and longevity from the personal to support our wider community. It's a way to increase our awareness and give a good listen to these local challenges and issues that are going on and the hard work that is being done." Parcher also plans to provide soup at the upcoming event.

Loretta Davis, Executive Director of The Retreat, relayed, "I am excited about the book discussion because Etched in Sand is a true story about survival and emerging despite so many challenges that these children were faced with. These siblings banded together and supported each other and managed on their own because of their love for each other. They could imagine hope and a better life and their courage and strength and unity made a new life possible. It is such a beautiful and encouraging book." Davis also passed on that The Retreat is a place where individuals, children and adults, can find hope, help and a place where transformation may occur, and services are free and confidential.

The event will be held on Thursday, October 17, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This is a free event but it would be helpful to register in advance; nor do you have to purchase a book as copies are available for loan at the Amagansett Library.

For more information on The Retreat, call 632-329-2200 (multilingual), or go to www.theretreatinc.org. For more information on Mandala Yoga, go to www.mandalayoga.com. Visit www.amagansettlibrary.org to learn more about Amagansett Free Library, or call 631-267-3810.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

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