By Alicia Wozniak
Reading to our kids before and at bedtime plays an important part in their lives.
It tightens the bond between us, expands their imagination and hopefully, calms them down enough to fall asleep. If a lesson can be learned through stories, even better.
The Calm Buddha at Bedtime gives us just that; time to bond through conversations and learn about mindfulness and compassion from stories beautifully illustrated and easily explained. There are 18 lessons; each with their own Buddha at the end summarizing the story played out by characters like Percy the ostrich and Eric the elephant. Though written for younger children, adults, anyone, can get a refresher, or begin their journey, on Buddhism while reading.
Dharmachari Nagaraja, the author, first explains why he wrote the book and gives readers a background on Buddhism to help us understand what our hopefully sleepy audience will be hearing. The stories are short and sometimes feel a little forced in order to get to the point, but they open a dialogue about mindfulness and compassion.
Simply, this collection of stories teaches us how to be better to each other and ourselves.
This book isn’t meant to be read all at once. It’s perfect for a story a night.
There are also three meditations at the end of the book, which can be incorporated at the end of each story to cap off our children’s bedtime routine. I found these lovely for myself sitting at my desk during my work day, too.
The Calm Buddha at Bedtime is a good book to have and to keep. Lessons sometimes take a few times to learn. Growing up is challenging. With everything going on in the world, our kids need to learn how to find peace within themselves.
This book helps to give them, and us, that.
Want to read more about teaching children mindfulness? Read: Teaching Kids to Meditate: Things I Have Learned
Editor: Dana Gornall
Woz can be found on Twitter (though she still doesn't really get it), Instagram and on her blog. She can also be found teaching Zumba a few times per week and as often as possible going to yoga, giving up complete control to her teachers.