I’ve written before of my discovery of mindfulness in a Library Journal review assignment of the book Mindful Motherhood. Before I read that book, I never thought about my tendency to daydream or worry as anything I could (or should) change. It was just me. The idea that my thoughts and tendencies were not me–that I merely contain them—was revolutionary (to put it mildly), and I am always looking for ways to share that with my daughter. Enter Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children by Thich Nhat Hanh.
Frankly, I waited forever on a library list for this book, and now that I’ve seen it, I just may have to purchase a copy for our family library. I did the “Mind in a Jar” exercise with Ladybug as a way of illustrating that we contain our thoughts and feelings.
We started with a jar of water. What do you think about when you wake up in the morning? Sprinkle in a bit of rice.
Soon the jar was full of the thoughts and feelings of the day, which we stirred up. When we stopped stirring, the water slowed and eventually stopped. As the rice settled, we talked about our thoughts settling with our breath. Ladybug was attentive to the activity, but she seemed to know where I was going already. It wasn’t revolutionary to think about being in charge of your thoughts or using deep cleansing breaths to keep calm or clear your mind. There was a teeny-tiny part of me that was disappointed. I wanted to blow her mind with this news that was so huge for me. But I think it’s probably a good thing that this wasn’t news to my four-year-old.
I think it’s time to take it to the next level. Next up: Pebble Meditation.
You can read more about the book in this review from First the Egg.
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