If we are to spread happiness throughout the world through efficient practices like mindfulness and compassion, we need to include the children as well.
That’s precisely where Thich Nhat Hanh is coming from. He has dedicated his life to making mindfulness more approachable to children. Our children are the most valuable treasure we have on this planet, and we need to make sure that their future is bright and that they are all happy now and later in life.
Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village Initiative
For those not already aware of this brilliant mind, Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and a world-renowned peace activist. This enlightened person is revered by many for his powerful teachings on peace and mindfulness. Martin Luther King once called him an Apostle of peace and nonviolence.
He founded the Plum Village tradition to spread his peaceful teachings to as many people as he can, as long as they are interested in genuinely knowing peace and happiness.
He makes lectures across the world, but his Plum Village remains in place in France, as Europe’s largest Buddhist monastery, and calming place which some 200 monks call home.
In this very monastery, Thich found his dream of creating a community that will spread a healthy environment in which anyone can learn how to live in peace and harmony with all living creatures across the world.
The task he put to himself might be quite ambitious, but he never gives up. The more people he makes happy, the happier he will be.
Planting Seeds with Children
The Plum Village aims to weave the practice of mindfulness into our daily lives. It seeks to do that with all people, including children, which is why Thich Nhat Hanh has made a book that strives to make the practice of mindfulness more approachable to children, all in an effort of spreading happiness. The book in question is called Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children.
The book is a practical compilation of mindfulness techniques which parents, teachers, and children can do together. They have come from Thich’s thirty years of teaching mindfulness.
These practices are very concrete activities which adults can practice with children, be them parents or teachers in schools. Thich wanted to design them so that any adult could practice them with children in a fun and meaningful way for the kids.
The activities are made to relieve stress in children, help them gain better concentration, more confidence, and to be able to deal with some difficult emotions that plague them in their lives. They also work well in nourishing gratitude in children and improving their ability to effectively communicate with people in their lives, both children and adults.
Others can learn happiness from Thich as well. He also has a book for mindfulness beginners called The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation.
You will be able to learn more about the books and Thich’s teachings at the next World Happiness Agora. The Agora is a five-day event that will deal with five major topics that all work towards increasing the level of happiness across the world. As Thich Nhat Hanh himself famously says: “There is no way to happiness – happiness is the way.” That’s how important happiness is.
Feel free to take a look at how it works, who will speak, and how you can join us, all on our site. We hope to see you with us in March for World Happiness Fest!