“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or on thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Christopher Willard introduces his section on walking meditation in his book, Child’s Mind, Mindfulness Practices to Help Our Children Be More Focused, Calm and Relaxed with this beautiful quote. This wonderful book is an invaluable resource for parents, educators, health care providers, and anyone who wants to bring mindfulness into the lives of children.
The book begins with “Planting the Seeds”, where mindfulness meditation is explained, then meditation basics are beautifully described, using personal stories and including short meditative practices. Dr. Willard’s core mindful practices address physical health and mental and emotional well-being, and have intriguing titles such as: mindful water drinking, the universe in a raisin, Zen counting, Sai and the horse, homesickness meditation, calming impulses, wise mind, and the six senses. For each stunning meditation, he explains the benefit of the practice, tips for adults and children to deepen their practice, and what the meditation can teach us. The Appendix includes complete lessons plans for any adults working with young people in groups.
In Dr. Willards’ conclusion “Growing a Forest”, he explains that by writing this book he hopes he has planted the seeds of mindfulness in others, thus the Chinese Proverb, “One generation plants the trees, another gets the shade.”
I refer to Child’s Mind often as I plan my yoga classes for all ages and abilities, and I have highly recommended this book to many parents.
Please take a look, and try “riding the waves” or a “walking meditation.”