I recently came across a wonderful book on bringing mindfulness to children. This book is written by one of my favorite figures in the mindfulness community, Thich Nhat Hanh. I was lucky enough to spend time at one of his monasteries, Blue Cliff http://www.bluecliffmonastery.org/ , pictured above. It was a wonderful experience. Although it was in January and had freezing temperatures, the experience was peaceful and amazing.
For those of you who are familiar with Thich Nhat Hanh, you know he has many different books. However, A Handful of Quiet is specifically geared towards giving children a beginning experience of mindfulness. A Handful of Quiet uses natural images and simple language that children can readily understand. It is a wonderful and easy way to introduce children to a powerful coping mechanism for feelings and thoughts.
In addition to giving children an introduction into mindfulness, it is also a great tool for families to use together. By practicing the techniques shared in this book, families can learn to be mindful together. For busy and over-stressed families, being mindful and meditating together can be a way of refreshing connection as well as learning to regulate emotions effectively. This book also provides an opportunity for parents to role model for their children ways of dealing with stress and maintaining calm. Teachers, therapists, counselors, and others who work with children can also use this book in a similar manner.
After using this mindfulness/meditation on a daily basis over time, people can carry with them pictures of the natural images used. These pictures can become a reminder of the calmness experienced during the meditation. Therefore, the feeling brought by using this meditation can be brought into many different environments.