two handfuls

November 3rd, 2012

For those times when you feel the need to give your children something more than your non-distracted attention, give them A Handful of Quiet. But first, take two handfuls for yourself. — Karen Maezen Miller

Developed by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, the pebble meditation described in this book is an easy-to-understand, hands-on way for children to experience interconnection with nature and calm busy bodies and minds. When asked to review the book, I gave it two handfuls. They sent me a copy of the book for helping out.

I’m sharing this very small favor with parents who’ve ended the week up late, wigged out, and worried sick, all in search of a blessed moment of silence. Leave a comment on this post for a good chance to win A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles by Thich Nhat Hanh. Winner drawn on Monday, Nov. 5.

For more on teaching children to meditate, read on. I hope that everyone who enters cultivates a meditation practice for themselves.

Note: The contest has closed and the prize has been awarded.

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  1. Sounds lovely! Yes, there are often times when I need to give my two year-old (and myself) a bit more than my non-distracted attention… although I’m working on that, as well. Thank you for passing along the information about this book.

    Comment by Jackie — November 4, 2012 @ 6:20 am

  2. Sounds wonderful! My daughter and I would enjoy exploring this together.

    Comment by Paula J — November 4, 2012 @ 6:43 am

  3. I just began introducing mindfulness to my children. We have read Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry MacLean. They love the idea of being calm like a peaceful piggy. They remind me to be one too in our rush to get everyone to school. This book would be another great teaching tool. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    Comment by Courtney Drey — November 4, 2012 @ 6:47 am

  4. we’re months into my son’s slow-to-accurately-diagnose and slow-to-resolve health issue that, to be discrete, is all about his bowels but also has become about despairing separation anxiety and refusal to go to preschool. Even the “mama rock” I used to put in his pocket for comfort and reassurance has lost its power. Maybe these four pebbles are the ones to find on our path.

    Came to your DC workshop, Karen, and even simply recollecting that time together has been a help.

    Comment by Laura — November 4, 2012 @ 7:33 am

  5. This book looks wonderful. I would love to share it with my children. Thanks for letting me know about it.

    Comment by ashlee — November 4, 2012 @ 7:33 am

  6. Beautiful. We are enjoying A Pebble For Your Pocket right now!

    Comment by Jodie — November 4, 2012 @ 8:02 am

  7. Thank you for this. I’ve been thinking about my inattentiveness this week, especially, as a distracted and saddened New Yorker. This is a great reminder at the right time that getting back to mindfulness myself is the only option for myself and my kids.

    Comment by Jill — November 4, 2012 @ 8:15 am

  8. I would love to have this book – it sounds perfect for my life and my family’s life right now!!

    Comment by Katrina — November 4, 2012 @ 8:15 am

  9. I find it so interesting how different the pebbles in California are from the pebbles in Maryland. So colorful, so nice to skip across a stream.

    Comment by Chris — November 4, 2012 @ 8:24 am

  10. Looks so lovely!

    Comment by Aparna — November 4, 2012 @ 8:35 am

  11. Me and my children would love this one! Thank you!


    Comment by Erja Perkola — November 4, 2012 @ 8:47 am

  12. tears of gratitude. my heart is so full of love for you and your offering. thank you.

    Comment by melissa — November 4, 2012 @ 9:54 am

  13. I love Thich Nhat Hanh and can’t wait to read his thoughts about how to help inculcate this vital practice to our children.

    Comment by Lindsey — November 4, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

  14. Sounds lovely!

    Comment by Jelena — November 4, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

  15. Sounds like the kind of book my entire family can enjoy. Thanks so much for the Giveaway!

    Comment by Catoctin Mountain Mama — November 4, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

  16. My son spent the weekend at the coast with his dad. I have had my fill of quiet – but I’m aching to share a quiet moment with him.

    Comment by kris — November 4, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

  17. I like it just on the picture alone. Thank you for the opportunity.

    Comment by Caroline — November 4, 2012 @ 3:42 pm

  18. I have been practicing with a handful here and there. I am working up to handfuls everywhere.

    Comment by Jennifer Derryberry Mann — November 4, 2012 @ 5:36 pm

  19. I don’t know how much ths book will encourage my older children to meditate, but I am hoping that it will encourage me — as have many of Thich Nhat Hanh’s books. Thanks so much for sharing — and not just this book.

    Comment by Alan Zoldan — November 4, 2012 @ 5:52 pm

  20. Sounds great and anything by Thich Nhat Hanh is a must read.

    Comment by Mathangi — November 4, 2012 @ 5:59 pm

  21. Stressfull day. My daughter’s anxiety is flairing because she has started a new school. Her little mind is hard to turn off. We could both use a handful of quiet.

    Comment by Kim — November 4, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

  22. I recently hunted down my local Zen center to do intro to meditation; would be nice to find peace myself, and also be able to help my son find the peace that eludes him these days…

    Comment by Anonymous in Mpls — November 4, 2012 @ 6:08 pm

  23. Karen, I would love to read this! Thank you for the chance to win!

    Comment by Naomi — November 4, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

  24. this is what i needed to hear right now. turning off computer, tuning in to a few moments of quiet before the week starts anew. thank you as always.

    Comment by Rachel — November 4, 2012 @ 7:33 pm

  25. Beautiful!! Thank you!!

    Comment by Leslie — November 4, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

  26. amazing and inspiring
    thank you
    thank them!!

    Comment by Sally — November 4, 2012 @ 8:04 pm

  27. I love the wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh and am excited to share this with my children! Thank you for the opportunity!

    Comment by Kim — November 4, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

  28. this looks lovely. must check it out. showed my boys the new video today of elmo doing belly breathing and going from a monster back to feeling like themselves (you should check it out!). then had an opportunity this evening to test it out. my 4 year old actually sat on the step (he needed the quiet chair!) and put his hands on his belly to feel himself breathe. i almost cried. love giving our children the tools we ALL need to bring ourselves back to ourselves. p.s. while he was breathing, i was breathing too. 😉

    Comment by Michelle — November 4, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

  29. Whether I win the drawing or not, I will be reading this book with my daughter, who is suffering from anxiety she inherited from me. We are both searching for our own forms of peace, together and separately. Thank you for telling us about this resource!

    Comment by Stephanie — November 4, 2012 @ 8:25 pm

  30. A gift of a gift. Perfect.

    Comment by Crystine — November 4, 2012 @ 8:34 pm

  31. So lovely! Thank you for sharing wisdom and this gift!

    Comment by Jen — November 4, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

  32. The book sounds like a wonderful read and learning opportunity. Thank you for sharing your gift.

    Comment by Kathleen — November 4, 2012 @ 10:08 pm

  33. This book sounds very interesting. Thanks for the generosity and, above all, your continuous inspiration.

    Comment by Sara — November 5, 2012 @ 2:32 am

  34. Hi Karen;
    I could really use that right about now, so I’ll enter.
    Thank you, have a wonderful day.

    Comment by Simone — November 5, 2012 @ 3:54 am

  35. Thank you, Karen. I am grateful for this giveaway.

    Comment by Ines — November 5, 2012 @ 4:03 am

  36. I think this would be perfect for my 17 year old daughter. We have made up some of our own meditations. This one sounds quite beautiful.

    Comment by Heather — November 5, 2012 @ 4:13 am

  37. Stones and mediation. Seems just perfect to me.

    Comment by Erin Wheatley — November 5, 2012 @ 4:32 am

  38. I’d love to enter and give this book to a friend. Not that I cannot use some silence 😉 but she’s just the right person to receive this book.

    Comment by Roos — November 5, 2012 @ 5:07 am

  39. “Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.” -TNH I am making baby steps, sometimes forward, sometimes backward, but in the general direction of peace.

    Comment by Julia — November 5, 2012 @ 5:41 am

  40. I was thinking just today that I need to give my children more tools to look within themselves. I want to stop the endless charade of who got what when and how much. The endless competition and fighting is exhausting me. If they would just stop looking out, but look in for a few moments a day, I feel that they might do better. <3

    Comment by Sarah Stanton — November 5, 2012 @ 7:34 am

  41. This would be a lovely book for a lovely and non-stop three year old little dude who loves books.

    Comment by Allison — November 5, 2012 @ 7:59 am

  42. Thank you for the giveaway. The book sounds wonderful.

    Comment by Abby — November 5, 2012 @ 9:09 am

  43. Thank you for the giveaway! I plan on teaching my daughter the art of meditation, but as always I’m surprised to see that she already has an idea of it on her own!

    Comment by Sarah — November 5, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

  44. I would love to read this book Karen!

    Comment by Kirsten — November 6, 2012 @ 5:36 am

  45. Hi, thanks we’d like to enter for the book, we like every breath a smile also.

    Comment by neal — November 6, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

  46. Although its too late to enter the contest, I wanted to say thank you for alerting me to this new book of his. Gassho.

    Comment by anna — November 6, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

  47. I would love to read this book with my children.

    Comment by Valerie — November 10, 2012 @ 5:41 am

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