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Child's Mind: Mindfulness Practices to Help Our Children Be More Focused, Calm, and Relaxed Paperback – July 9, 2006

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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, author Seeking Peace and Reviving Ophelia

"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, author of Dharma Punx

“Child’s Mind is a wonderful reminder that every young person is capable of great understanding, compassion, and joy.”
—Thich Nhat Hanh, author of Being Peace

“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, author of 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 at the Mindful Awareness Research Center of UCLA and author of Wide Awake: A Buddhist Guide for Teens

“This book is an excellent resource for parents, teachers, and health-care 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., Association for Mindfulness in Education and creator of the Still
Quiet Place CD series.

“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, author of Happier

“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, 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., Clinical Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School and author of 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

About the Author

Dr. Christopher Willard received his Bachelor's degree in English from Wesleyan University, where he first became interested in meditation. After graduating, he spent time traveling and working a variety of jobs including as a teacher in a psychiatric hospital and as an artist's assistant. In graduate school he did his doctoral work on the psychological applications of meditation and mindfulness practice. Over the past ten years, he has attended retreats with Thich Nhat Hanh, Jack Kornfield, Pema Chodron, Noah Levine, and other Buddhist teachers in both the U.S. and Asia. Although he considers the Engaged Buddhism of Thich Nhat Hanh his spiritual home, he has studied and practiced extensively in the Theravada tradition, with some dabbling in Tibetan Buddhism .In the past few years, he has taught meditation to a wide range of people, from young children to recently paroled murderers to psychotherapists and schoolteachers. Dr. Willard has taught with the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and volunteered at the Insight Meditation Society's Teen Retreat. He currently works as a psychotherapist at Tufts University, and consults and does private work in the Boston area. When not working or practicing he enjoys cooking, hiking, reading, writing, international travel, and any combination of these he can manage.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Parallax Press; 10.2.2010 edition (July 9, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935209620
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935209621
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I picked up this book after it was recommended to me by a friend, and I'm happy I did. Willard's writing and explanation of meditation practices are clear and simple, and I've begun incorporating the practices he outlines into my daily life. My favorite so far is Practice 2.3: Metta Meditation. I also appreciate how he discusses how our own thought patterns are so integral to our lives and how meditation helps to tame them: "You don't have to believe everything you think. Watch [your thoughts] like leaves floating down a stream, don't jump in the river and chase them, just watch them drifting by. Shift your perspective and intend to look at the thoughts, not from them."
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Format: Paperback
Did you know the words meditation and medicine are derived from the same Sanskrit word for "inner measure"? This is a pivotal gem from Parallax Press' new book on mindfulness for kids. Indeed, mindfulness practice is good medicine -- for both young and old. But how wonderful to introduce this life skill early on!

A great resource book for teachers, doctors, mindfulness practitioners, therapists, parents, grandparents, and all who work with the young, Child's Mind is chock full of ideas, often sensory exercises, for centering children in the Here and the Now. Beginning with the premise that children are the embodiment of beginner's mind, and therefore a fertile field, and backed by solid and extensive research, Willard lays out exercises for "child-sized attention spans and the diverse sensory learning styles of children." First, the author builds a case for the advantages of meditation in general, and then tells specifically how meditation benefits children and other humans. Among other perquisites, Willard notes, mindfulness strengthens one's ability to adapt, increases concentration and reduces reactivity.

"Because the purest water flows from closest to the spring, I try to use original meditation techniques that have been well-practiced through the years. These include adaptations of grown-up practices from respected meditation teachers East and West that I have integrated with contemporary research."

Citing world experts like Jack Kornfield, Sigmund Freud, John Kabat-Zinn, Thich Nhat Hanh and one of my personal favorites for children, Maureen Murdock, -- Spinning Inward -- the author begins with the premise that an adult who practices mindfulness is capable of passing the skill to children.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has a good supply of mindfulness activities that I have found useful with my Sunday school class. These are more focused at the shorter attention span of children and have been more useful in class than the adult practices I learned. I especially liked the "Points of Contact" and the "Ice, Water, Vapor" methods as ways of starting a class full of high-energy middle-schoolers. The "eating" practices were great ways to add a mindfulness component when giving out treats to the class.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've had this book for a year and read most of it, and it is chocked full of fantastic wonderful ideas. I bought it in hopes of creative ideas to share with my kids, teach them the world of virtues and mindfulness. Any time I feel stale on ideas, I read another chapter and am re-inspired, to reuse what I've already read, and to use the new material I've just read.

This is a good book to keep in your library. And I do not find it denominational. No matter your spiritual preference, this will likely be useful.
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This is a wonderful and comprehensive book about meditation and mindfulness practices for children. It helps the reader understand what mindfulness is for themselves and also how to teach the children in their lives how to practice mindfulness. As a therapist I have used the practices that that C. Willard writers about in my work with kids of all ages and their families. It has also helped me obtain a better sense of mindfulness in my own life. I've found it to be incredibly useful to people across the lifespan. I've recommended this book to numerous families within the context of therapy and will continue to do so both in and out of the office.
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Having recently had the opportunity to teach a meditation class for kids and their families, I was introduced to the widening literature in this area. I found this book one of the most useful and least tedious. There is much here for parents and educators to think about and apply to their own lives as well as offer to the children with whom they live and work.
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I'm a mother of four and peace educator. I've read a TON of books on mindfulness and have been practicing meditation and mindfulness for many years. In his book, Chris uses his own practice, teachings from masters, and his extensive research to provide readers with a bouquet of techniques that can guide our children toward composure.
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Format: Paperback
Highly recommend reading this book. The author is a gifted story teller that delivers experience and advice in a way that I can relate to.
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