Rev. Sumi Loundon Kim is the Buddhist chaplain at Yale University and founder of the Mindful Families of Durham. She has published two anthologies, Blue Jean Buddha: Voices of Young Buddhists and The Buddha’s Apprentices: More Voices of Young Buddhists. Following a master’s degree from the Harvard Divinity School, she served as the associate director at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and as the Buddhist chaplain at Duke University. She lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and two children.
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“In Sitting Together, Sumi Loundon Kim has created a wonderfully rich mindfulness curriculum for families. She weaves together her great wisdom and compassion and a strong base of practical, real life experience. This book is a generous offering to parents, teachers, and children everywhere. Highly recommended.”—Joseph Goldstein, author of Mindfulness
“Brilliant! This gentle curriculum distills the essence of Buddhist mind and heart training into 36 lessons. It is a delightful journey into mindfulness and compassion, offering essential tools for a generation of children entering our increasingly complex world. No child should leave home without them!”—Christopher Germer, author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion
“What a wonderful, and deeply needed, contribution to contemporary life: a course on ‘spiritual fluency’ for families and for teachers of young children. Sumi Loundon Kim knows her material from the inside out and conveys it in a caring, direct, fun-filled voice. I suspect this work will not only bring well-being to families and communities, it will bring great joy as well.”—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness
“Spirituality matters when it comes to raising resilient children and parents often ask me for a soup to nuts program that teaches spirituality to kids. Kudos to Sumi for delivering just that! Her years as a dharma practitioner, mom and teacher shine through this wonderful curriculum—one that is readable, comprehensive and interactive.”—Susan Kaiser-Greenland, author of The Mindful Child and co-founder of Inner Kids
SITTING TOGETHER ACTIVITY BOOK
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This book is filled with over 50 coloring pages, games, mazes, and other fun activities for children ages 3-12. Though designed to be used with the Sitting Together curriculum, it can also be used on its own. This book is perfect for any family, Dharma center, yoga studio, or organization that wants to incorporate mindfulness into their children’s activities.
The Banyan Deer
An Elephant Journal “Best Reads of 2010” selection.
This inspiring tale reminds us that no one can be truly at peace unless all beings have a chance for peace, freedom, and happiness. The Banyan Deer is a wonderful, heart-warming gift for anyone who loves a great story. This beautiful hardcover edition will delight both adults and children alike.
Tara’s Coloring Book
Whether you color for relaxation, stress relief, or part of your devotional practice, enjoy exquisite line drawings of the most important figures in the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon—Shakyamuni Buddha, Chenrezig, Tara, Manjushri, and more—by contemporary masters of the ancient art of Tibetan Buddhist religious painting.
Visualizing buddhas and teachers in specific detail is a traditional part of meditation. Therefore, the monks who created the beautiful, rich images that meditators would use in their practice would have to study for years to learn the precise techniques, geometry, and coloration required, handed down to them by old masters. Now, these images are available for you to color—whether for formal meditation or stress relief or just to appreciate their beauty.
Ziji and the Very Scary Man
Ziji is a bouncy puppy who lives with the Anderson family: Mom, Dad, Jenny, and Baby Jack. He loves to play and chase balls in the park with Jenny and their friend Nico. Then one day, an angry man shouts at Ziji and scares him so much he never wants to go back to the park again. Can Nico show him how to calm his mind and face his fears?
Renowned meditation master Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche shows young children how following our breath can calm us down—and how practicing compassion shows us that even Very Scary Men can be frightened sometimes too.
A detailed appendix gives further guidance for parents.
Flow, Flow, Flow
Enjoy things with pleasure and do let them go,
And grow into life—let it flow, flow, flow, flow.
Four children set off on a magical voyage of imagination. Along the way, to no destination in particular, they meet walrus ice cream vendors, lemurs and tigers living in harmony, helpful octopi and more. As the scenery changes, our travelers learn to go with the flow, welcoming each new experience for what it is in the moment, and accepting when those experiences drift away, to be replaced with a whole new adventure.
Children (and adults) will get lost in the detailed and whimsical illustrations, discovering something new each time they read this book. As the characters experience constantly changing settings, readers will begin to better understand the impermanence of life, and how wondrous it can be.
Ziji is a noisy, bouncy puppy who lives with the Anderson family: Mom, Dad, Jenny, and Baby Jack. He loves to bark and play and—most of all—chase pigeons in the park. Then one day, Ziji sees a new boy from Jenny’s school, Nico, sitting in the park. What is Nico doing? Why does he look so calm and happy? Ziji can’t wait to find out.
This book, written by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, one of the new generation of Tibetan Buddhist masters, will teach your child the basics of meditation in a fun and engaging way. Included after the story is a guide for parents and teachers with more information on what meditation is and how it can be helpful as well as suggestions on how children can continue to practice meditation on their own.
No Ordinary Apple
On an otherwise ordinary day, Elliot discovers something extraordinary: the power of mindfulness. When he asks his neighbor Carmen for a snack, he’s at first disappointed when she hands him an apple—he wanted candy! But when encouraged to carefully and attentively look, feel, smell, taste, and even listen to the apple, Elliot discovers that this apple is not ordinary at all.
Lushly and humorously illustrated, No Ordinary Apple makes a traditional technique for training mindfulness a fun and enjoyable way for children to learn to slow down and appreciate even the simplest things.
Prince Siddhartha Coloring Book
A wonderful companion to our Prince Siddhartha story book, this children’s coloring book Includes 31 full-size and 31 miniature line drawings with narrative descriptions.
In a village high above the clouds, where nobody’s happy and nothing grows, a little girl dreams of a garden flourishing behind her father’s house. Every day the cynical villagers watch and mock the little girl. But, watered with her kindness and patience, the garden eventually yields the most important fruit: the restored hope and happiness of the entire village. Perhaps the greatest gift you can ever give another is to hold them in the highest regard and to see what is best and unique about them. In Mishan’s Garden, a little girl sees all that is good and beautiful in the hearts of everyone around her and thereby transforms the lives of her entire village.
This is the story of Prince Siddhartha and how he became Buddha, the Awakened One. Lyrical verse and beautiful full-color illustrations depict each major life event in Siddhartha’s development. His message of nonviolence, loving-kindness, and unselfishness is vitally necessary for today’s—and tomorrow’s—children. A story made for the telling—open this tale to a child and shore up the possibility of a bright and loving future!
Tara’s Colouring Book
Exquisite line drawings of the most important figures in the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon: Shakyamuni Buddha, Chenrezig, Tara, Manjushri, and more. The artists provide detailed explanations of the figures as well as traditional coloring instructions. A great gift for meditators, fans of Himalayan art, or anyone who appreciates beauty. For all ages.
Happiness Doesn’t Come from Headstands
Leela loves to do yoga. She could do all sorts of poses, but there was one pose she couldn’t do. Every time Leela tried to do a headstand…KERPLUNK!
This book explores the themes of acceptance, resilience, and self-compassion and offers the message that just because we may experience a failure does not mean that we are a failure. Written as a counterpoint to the message of The Little Engine that Could, Happiness Doesn’t Come from Headstands is a story about a girl who tries her best, but still falls down. Through the process she learns that happiness is not determined by external achievement. Through accepting our limitations and celebrating our efforts, even in the face of failure, peace can be found.
This three-volume set provides a complete curriculum for adults and children to learn about mindfulness, meditation, and Buddhist teachings together, either in the home, in partnership with other families, or with a local center.
The Adult Study Guide (280 pages) offers thirty-six lesson plans including meditation practices, homework, readings, and reflection questions for group study.
The Children’s Lesson Plans (296 pages), used in conjunction with the Adult Study Guide, provides step-by-step instructions for teachers on meditation exercises, stories, crafts, songs, and games.
The Activity Book (136 pages) is a perfect companion to enhance the children’s education with over 50 coloring pages, puzzles, and other fun activities.
This comprehensive curriculum for adults and children ages 3–12 has five units on meditation, kindness, ethics, character, and service. It is perfect for any family, Dharma center, yoga studio, or religious, educational, or community organization that wants to incorporate a mindfulness program for children and their families.
Zen and Bodhi’s Snowy Day
Zen and Bodhi are two koala bears on a snowy day, out to learn about the world. Where does snow come from? Where does wind go?
Lively verses are full of mischievous fun as Zen and Bodhi explore their world; rhythm and rhyme introduce the concept of impermanence to the very young in this magical, cozy bedtime story. The two koalas sniff, taste, hear, feel, and see, exploring their senses and the world around them. Gorgeous illustrations capture the wide-eyed awe of children in snowfall in vibrant color.
The Story of Mu
In the beginning, before the beginning, there was Mu.
And Mu was Mu and that was that and it was good.
This lush, beautifully illustrated narrative breathes humanity and warmth into one of the most famous and enigmatic koans of the Zen tradition.
The Story of Mu uses luminous illustrations and a mythic narrative structure to convey the great potential for peace and enlightenment that we all carry hidden within ourselves. Shot through with ineffable “thisness and thusness,” Mu spins a visually rich, cosmogonic fable about the origins of the universe of space, time, matter, and life. It also touches something lost but always present within the human heart: an awakeness that is without flaw, from the beginning before the beginning.
Includes a complementary essay from Zen teacher James Ishmael Ford.
Just Me and My Mind
Young children have strong emotions, but often are unsure of how to articulate and handle them. Just Me and My Mind aims to help kids recognize their emotions and thoughts—and then act accordingly. The book includes interactive pages of emotions (happy, scared, sad, loving, angry). The reader pulls an image of the emotion from the mind of the child, helping the reader to understand why emotions might arise. The book continues by illustrating how children can “clean out and settle” their minds with quiet contemplation.
How to use this book:
It’s easy! Just pull the tab in our hero’s head. A thought will appear, illustrating the cause of the current emotion.
My New Best Friend
“I have a new best friend. I’ve known her my whole life, but we only just became friends.”
When people we care about are having a hard time, we usually treat them with kindness and understanding—yet when we are the ones having a hard time, we are often quick to be unkind. We may get angry and impatient with ourselves, even calling ourselves nasty names. My New Best Friend invites children to break free of this pattern of “inner bullying,” helping them treat themselves with kindness and understanding—laying the groundwork for emotional resilience, self-compassion, and positive self-esteem.
“This is an absolutely delightful book that perfectly delivers the message of self-compassion in a way that is fun and easy to understand for kids. Parents who buy this book for their children will be giving them a gift to last a lifetime!”
—Kristin Neff, Ph.D, author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
Taneesha Never Disparaging
Fifth grade isn’t exactly easy for eleven-year-old Taneesha Bey-Ross. For one thing, she’s getting tired of being her best friend Carli Flanagan’s personal bodyguard. Carli wears a leg brace and she’s white, and when Taneesha does stand up for Carli in the face of a local bully—a giant of a girl with big fists and army boots—she’s told to expect revenge. Taneesha’s also running a loser’s race for class president, and her love-hate interest Rayshaun has learned that Taneesha is a Buddhist, so now he’s taunting her, saying that she’s going to hell. Her mom may have told her that Taneesha’s got heaven in her heart, but it doesn’t feel that way. And just in case she forgets it, there’s always Evella, Taneesha’s evil imaginary twin, to remind her that she’s a total failure.
This beautifully written, fun, and instantly engaging novel presents vivid characters and a timely story about the big issues that every child faces.
Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda
This wonderful picture book for children and adults alike introduces the powerful practice of mindfulness in a fun and exciting way. With the delightful Monkey and his serene friend Happy Panda guiding readers to a calmer and more attentive mind, this whimsical yet warm presentation will delight all readers.
As our story begins, Monkey is not so mindful—his Monkey Mind constantly jumping from one thing to another—but he encounters a mysterious and playful friend in Happy Panda. Panda helps Monkey recognize the simple joy of doing what you’re doing while you’re doing it.
2016: Chosen as one of Omega Institute’s 6 Mindfulness Books for Kids.