Kids User Guide to a Human Life

a book series offering 9 to 12 year-olds fun, practical information on how to live a life with less stress and more joy

New Mindful Monday :: Looking Closely


If you look closely and openly at your Chattering Mind you’ll see that your thoughts arise naturally then dissolve on their own.

One moment you may think an idea you have is great and the next moment you may think it’s foolish.

Even the stickiest thoughts, when allowed time and space, eventually shift, change or transform.

A thought that may have caused your Chattering Mind great distress a year ago is now a faint memory.

Emotions follow this same dynamic pattern.

When allowed their natural flow, they tend to surge up like a wave then pass on their own.

You may wake up one morning feeling down. By lunch you may feel overjoyed spending time with your friends. By the end of lunch you may feel annoyed by these same friends. And then that night at home you may feel lonely for your friends.

You see, the “you” your Chattering Mind takes to be so solid is actually always shifting and changing—year to year, month to month, week to week, day to day, moment to moment and even second to second.

Practice :: Begin to Pay Attention to the fluidity of your thoughts and emotions.

When you notice your Inner Attention caught, consciously shift it back to the aliveness of your body and breath.

Let your attention brighten on the feeling of your body and breath.

Allow your attention to let in the space of your Open Mind.

Also allow whatever thought or emotion to be as it it, while you continue to brighten your attention into your Open Mind.

Inquire :: Can you feel how thoughts and emotions move through your body? Can you experience the physical sensations of happiness? Excitement? Anger? Fear? Do you notice how they move through your body like a wave? What is left when the emotion or thought has moved through?

See if you can do this week’s practice throughout the week – on the bus, taking a test, having fun with your friends – and notice how or if it changes your experience. Are you more present? Centered? Awake? Able to be with a challenging emotion? Aware of your Open Mind?

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