Zen Shorts

Zen Shorts

Zen is the Japanese word for meditation in case you are like me and did not know that. This is a book of stories as in short meditations or Zen Shorts that can be read for fun or read as ideas to think about. We begin with a family of children, Karl, Michael and Addy. One day a bear who speaks with a "slight panda accent" shows up in their backyard. He's a gentle fellow named Stillwater who stays for a few days and is visited by the children one at a time. First, carrying a gift of cake, Addy goes out to talk to Stillwater. As they sit together talking about the practice of generosity and gift giving, Stillwater tells her one of his Uncle Ry's stories about a man who comes home to find he is being robbed. What would you do? Probably not what Uncle Ry chooses which is to find a gift to give to the robber. Ahhh... you begin to see and perhaps even take a moment for your own short meditation. You are having a Zen Short. Each child subsequently visits Stillwater bringing his own issues for enlightenment and discussion. The stories are light and entertaining. A child could hear this book for a bedtime story and never know he or she was intended to learn something on a deeper level. But the adults doing the reading will get a real wake up call as they turn the pages. There is definitely something to be said for looking at our problems from a new perspective and learning new ways of handling things. A delightful excursion into a different culture and a refreshing approach to life. Ages 5-9 40 pages

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