Teaching Mindfulness with a Monkey and a Panda
Meditation expert Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “paying attention, on purpose, without judgement.” For many of the children we support at CW, mindfulness can be the missing piece of the puzzle. It can help create the ability to slow down and be able to think before reacting. Mindfulness can help kids to stop, take a moment, and build awareness of how they’re feeling and what is going on around them. A regular mindfulness practice is like exercise for the brain to build up the pause button, similar to developing muscles at the gym.
At CW, we love using children’s books to teach various concepts. This month (Mindful March) we are going to focus on our favorite books to introduce mindfulness, and what better way to start than with a panda teaching a monkey how to be in the moment!
Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda by Lauren Alderfer: In this whimsical picture book, Monkey is caught in his active monkey mind, always jumping from one topic to the next. But when Monkey meets the calm and serene Happy Panda, he becomes curious about the mannerisms that he observes. The Panda explains that he does one thing at a time. When he is walking, he is just walking. When he is reading, he is just reading. Panda enjoys each activity one at a time and teaches Monkey to experience these pleasures the same way—by being in the moment. Kids can have fun acting like Monkey and Panda to grasp the difference between the two.
Enjoy this adorable story and stay tuned for more of our favorite books for introducing and teaching mindfulness!
You can buy Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda here: http://amzn.to/2GB81Fr