Multi-sensory Mindfulness with Thich Nhat Hanh

Throughout the wonderful mindfulness training I received, I wanted to find something that would suit my kiddos who might not do well from the get-go with a sitting-breathing approach. My students need multi-sensory learning in all its forms. They benefit from movement, kinesthetic-tactile tools, and consistent verbalizations. How could I bring the much-needed benefits of mindful practices to learners who may be wiggly, struggling with memory or attention, or just be somewhat uninterested?

Thankfully, I could turn to the beautiful books of one my favorite mindful masters who is also an historical figure worth studying, Thich Naht Hahn. I write this on the day following his passing, after 95 years sharing his peaceful, loving messages that can bring us all to our better selves. I recommend his adult books as well – but these below are ones that have come into my educational therapy practice, and been well-received.

A Handful of Quiet

This offers a lovely, systematic ritual with tactile and visual components. I have my students draw their own pictures for each step, and select their own stones to move through the process. It’s gratifying and settling as a ritual for regulation and centering. I enjoy it. We all benefit.


Mindful Movements

No need to sit still for the benefits of mindfulness. Students can select one movement or build up to a sequence, all centering with the breath, and developing awareness of the body. There are always benefits to body movement for learning, especially crossing the mid-line. Again, a practice that is good for us all. Get this and make it a ritual with your people!


Planting Seeds

Provides more context and practices. I often talk about “planting seeds” with my learners – so I love this title and the philosophy it imbues into all that we try to do with growing learners.

For more information…

More of his books can be found here at his Plum Village community web site.

And here, at his publisher, Parallax Press.

May all be well!

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