Quiet the Mind (secondary age)
An Illustrated Guide on How to Meditate.
In a world where finding even ten minutes to ‘do nothing’, the benefits of meditation can be profound. Meditation is simply a way of giving our brains a well-deserved break and can actually help our brains to function healthy and happily. This beautifully illustrated guide is an inspiring and practical book which shows you how to meditate without the need for uncomfortable lotus positions or prayer beads! With his typical gentle and insightful humour, Matthew’s guide to meditation will enable to you to feel more present, more youthful, have more energy and greater concentration, improve your mood and sleep more soundly.
The Sound of Silence (primary age)
The words and illustrations in this story come together beautifully to tell the story of little Yoshio who lives in Tokyo, Japan. He’s curious about his world, particularly sounds. He meets an elderly woman playing the koto, a traditional stringed instrument, who tells him that the most beautiful sound is in fact “ma” (silence). As he moves through the hustle and bustle of the day, Yoshio eventually becomes aware that silence is always there too, if only you learn how to notice it. The ideas explored in this book align nicely with some of the Five Ways to Wellbeing concepts, and the story encourages children to be curious, to contemplate, to get out and explore, connect with others, and to be respectful of the passing of knowledge between generations.
The Sound of Silence encourages young readers to get fully involved in the story, try out the ever-changing sounds with Yoshio and ask questions about Japanese culture and customs. Important values are portrayed throughout this story, such as respect for elders, rituals, music, the environment and studying. The background information contained within the afterword adds depth to the story and connection to the author and illustrator’s lives. This book encourages readers to experience the story through multiple senses, and perhaps come away a little curious to enable them to reflect on their own lives to see if they can find pockets of silence among all the noise.