Planting The Seeds Of Mindfulness

Planting the seeds of mindfulness in children of all ages from 2-102 is an expressed wish of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (known as Thay by his followers). For example, he has been teaching pebble meditation for as long as I’ve known him.

	 Planting The Seeds Of MindfulnessThe video below is a preview of Planting Seeds: The Power of Mindfulness based on the book “Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children” by Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village Community.

This short little video goes a long way to communicate some of the ideas of mindfulness without any religious or Buddhist overtones other than the presence of monks and nuns.

We get a little hint of pebble meditation in the movie.

In pebble meditation, children are asked to gather beautiful stones and put them in a small pouch. They use these stones to keep track of their meditation practice.

Here is a summary of the pebble meditation:

We invite each child to sit up straight and relaxed and place four pebbles on the ground next to him or her. We invite three sounds of the bell. Then we invite each child to pick up the first pebble and say:

Breathing in, I see myself as a flower. Breathing out, I feel fresh. Flower, fresh (3 breaths)

The keywords we continue to practice silently are “flower, fresh” and we breathe together quietly for three in and out breaths, really being a flower and becoming fresh. The next three pebbles are:

Breathing in I see myself as a mountain, breathing out, I feel solid. Mountain, solid. (3 breaths)

Breathing in I see myself as still, clear water, breathing out, I reflect things as they really are. Clear water, reflecting. (3 breaths)

Breathing in I see myself as space, breathing out, I feel free. Space, free. (3 breaths)

End with three sounds of the bell. (Children are very capable of guiding this meditation for other children. They really enjoy inviting the bell for each other).

There is also a little song that the whole community sings based on the above contemplations.

When I first met Thay back in Berkeley in 1985, my daughters were one and three years old.

I was so impressed with how he related to children that I began reading stories to them from Thay’s book, Old Path, White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha, which happens to be my favorite book of all time. It tells the life story of the Buddha in simple language.

If you know any children who could benefit from planting the seeds of mindfulness, please share this article with them.

Buy This Book
Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children
Old Price: $32.95
Price: $20.33

For every book you buy from the above link, I will donate $50 to support the final production of the film, Planting Seeds: The Power of Mindfulness.

This is my favorite book!
Old Path, White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha
Old Price: $29.95
Price: $19.23

Connect with Meditation Practices

Connect with

Or enter your name and email address below.