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Saturday, March 18, 2023

Zen for Kids - by Laura Burges

Dear Dharma Friends:

        I'm pleased that my second book, Zen for Kids: 50+ Mindful Activities and Stories to Shine Loving-Kindness in the World is available to order and will be released by Shambhala/ Penguin Random House on March 14. When Shambhala invited me to write a book about Zen for children, I wasn't sure it was such a good idea. At San Francisco Zen Center, we don't indoctrinate the children into Zen. But then I thought about my own daughter's life in our sangha, the ceremonies she attended growing up, and the wonderful family program we host at Green Gulch Farm, where the kids come to the first part of lecture on a Sunday and then go outside to do activities in the gardens and fields. 

       When my daughter was about five, we were looking at the night sky at Tassajara, and I showed her the Big Dipper. She said, "It's like the ladle we use to bathe the baby Buddha with sweet water on his birthday!" Now my daughter is a preschool teacher in Oakland and teaches meditation--which perforce is called "mindfulness" in education--to her little ones and to other teachers.This book reflects my many years of Zen practice and the 35 years that I spent teaching Third Grade. While not using the word "paramitas," the wisdom stories and activities that I share, and the activities that flow from them, highlight teachings on generosity, patience, wholehearted effort, etc. If there are children in your life, or if you'd like this book to be part of your community, it's appropriate for kids 4 -10 or older. The charming illustrations are done by artist Melissa Iwai.

        Shambhala has encouraged me to offer a generous 30% discount for the book if you order it through their website. Here are the details that they sent to me:

·        Code is ZFK30

·        For orders of Zen for Kids made through

·        The code is valid through April 14, 2023 (one month after publication).

·        You go to the book's page on the Shambhlala website to place your order.

(*Code valid on through April 24, 2023. Enter code in shopping cart. Cannot be combined with other offers.)


      I think that, as we find ways to share the principles of practice with children in kid-friendly and light-hearted ways, we are touching the future and enriching family life.

Bowing with gratitude,


Laura Burges cuke page