An important contribution toward making the practice of meditation an integral part of the school curriculum and, more generally, toward raising healthier, happier children.—Tal Ben-Shahar Happier
Dr. Christopher Willard provides an overview of mindfulness and meditation techniques, with clear and detailed exercises designed for lesson plans, individuals and groups. The personal stories included demonstrate the ability of mindfulness to empower children and adolescents. Child’s Mind is an invaluable resource for teaching our children that confidence and power comes from the ability to be aware of and comfortable with ourselves and our surroundings.
Child’s Mind is a wonderful reminder that every young person is capable of great understanding, compassion, and joy.
—Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness
As a parent and teacher, I am deeply grateful for Christopher Willard’s book. It is an important contribution toward making the practice of meditation an integral part of the school curriculum, and, more generally, toward raising healthier, happier children.
—Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D., Happier
This wonderful book suggests simple and fun exercises that lead to profound growth towards joy, calmness, strength, and emotional intelligence. The list of ‘A hundred things for kids to do mindfully’ is worth the price of this important work. I recommend Child’s Mind to therapists, educators, parents, and anyone else who wants to help children develop into kind, happy, and resilient human beings.—Mary Pipher, Ph.D., author of Reviving Ophelia and Seeking Peace
Chris Willard is a thoughtful and wise teacher. This book is sure to help anyone interested in the path of mindfulness. When I was a lost and angry young adult this is the book I was looking for.—Noah Levine, Dharma Punx
Christopher Willard’s delightful book Child’s Mind makes the wonder and transformative power of mindfulness meditation accessible to everyone. His elegantly simple practices are a joy to read and will impact kids and families for generations to come.—Susan Kaiser Greenland, The Mindful Child
Teaching mindfulness to children sounds great in theory, but really, how do we do it? This wonderful book, chock full of mindfulness practices adapted to children of all ages, is the answer! Christopher Willard offers us skillful advice, illuminating words, and a treasure chest of practices for schools, clinicians, and our own family’s kitchen table.—Diana Winston, Director of Mindfulness Education, Mindful Awareness Research Center, UCLA, and author of Wide Awake: A Buddhist Guide for Teens
Child’s Mind is an invitation to raise children who grow up relating to themselves, others, and the world around them with care and compassion. Parents and teachers looking for practical advice for teaching mindfulness to children will find it here.
—Paul R. Fulton Ph.D., President, Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy
If you’re considering how to bring mindfulness into the lives of children, this book is the place to begin. It breathes the sweetness of mindful awareness. The author offers a basket of skillful, detailed exercises designed to entice and reveal—never to be a chore. There’s something for every child, including those with special challenges. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to be eased into the original wonder and delight of mindfulness practice, or who wants their kids to grow up savoring each precious moment of their lives. —Christopher K. Germer, Ph.D. The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion
Child’s Mind is a wise, creative, and practical collection of exercises for teaching mindfulness to children. Willard’s compassion and his skillful translation of meditation practices shine through every page. Every teacher, parent, and therapist will benefit from this book, as will the children in their lives.— Janet L. Surrey, Ph.D., Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy
This book is an excellent resource for parents, teachers, and healthcare providers who want to share the benefits of mindfulness with children. The varied practices are presented with clarity and joy, making them both accessible and engaging.
—Amy Saltzman M.D., Director, Association for Mindfulness in Education
Chapter 4: Meditation with Children
Most vibrant cultures that have survived from the ancient to the modern era place a strong value on their children through education, traditions, and spiritual and physical nurturing. For our children and grandchildren to strengthen, adapt and thrive well into the future we need to invest in them, nurturing in ourselves and in them what values we want passed on long into the future to sustain them. The practice of mindfulness and meditation are powerful means to help children naturally come to their own reflective and thoughtful values.
This chapter introduces various meditations and mindfulness practices for children, adolescents and even adults. Many of these are borrowed from ancient and well-established practices, others have been adapted to fit children’s minds and developmental paces. Still others are less formal, or ones that I came up with or adapted myself. They were all chosen to reflect various cultural traditions and the many wisdoms that the human race has created.