Ziji Rinpoche, Dzogchen Lineage successor of Wangdor Rinpoche, has taken up the challenge by writing a book series introducing children to the nature of mind.
The BeginningMind Series was released with a bang on the 13th November 2021, as Rest is Best!, Find Mind, Strong Mind and Where is Mind? quickly reached #1-4 Bestsellers for
new releases in Children’s Buddhism Books on Amazon.
Sharing the first page with H.H. the Dalai Lama is an honor as Ziji Rinpoche’s Dzogchen books for kids are a direct implementation of his vision of education of the heart and mind for the children of today.
‘When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts.’ - H.H. the Dalai Lama
Through the BeginningMind books, kids learn how to relax in mind to be happy and act with kindness and deep wisdom.
‘The books are very simple teachings on the nature of mind. They keep it simple for us and for children. They really root the child in the nature of their own mind, in innate wisdom and in warm hearted compassion and collaboration.' - Ziji Rinpoche, 27 february 2021, Interview on Dzogchen for Kids with Lama Lena
How do the books introduce children to the nature of mind? The texts are filled with timeless metaphors and key instructions directly evoking the nature of mind. Each metaphor and key instruction originates from Dzogchen teachings which are passed down from one teacher to another, like a chain of golden mountains.
Who is Ziji Rinpoche’s teacher?
Ziji Rinpoche is the Dzogchen lineage successor of Wangdor Rimpoche. Wangdor Rimpoche asked Ziji Rinpoche to bring about the furtherance of Dzogchen within contemporary global culture. Ziji Rinpoche established the Short Moments online community for mutual support in gaining familiarity with the nature of mind. Through the Short Moments app, anyone can access profound and powerful Dzogchen teachings. Find out more on http://shortmoments.com
The mission at Short Moments for Kids is to give children access to their birthright of education in the nature of mind, by making Dzogchen books for kids directly evoking their strong and kind mind.
Books in response to and written with children
Through teaching the nature of mind to her grandson and supporting children in the Short Moments Sangha, Ziji Rinpoche found that children are eager to learn about their strong and kind mind through clear Dzogchen metaphors and teachings.
The books are directly developed with children who meet weekly on Zoom for Dzogchen Classes for Kids. The children read the books, respond and contribute ideas for the new books in the series. One of the chilren said 'Mind is invisible, it cannot be hurt or crushed' in response to the draft text of 'Where is Mind?'. Rinpoche recognised this as a profound teaching and added the sentence immediately in the book.
Children are bombarded by information and disinformation and like adults, are thirsty to access the discernment to know what to do and how to act with wisdom and compassion.
With a direct practice of strong mind, children can get to know themselves as they really are and can extract wisdom from all their changing thoughts and emotions rather than being at their whim.
Overview of the BeginningMind Series
Where is Mind? - Gives children the experience of the nature of their own mind.
Strong Mind - Teaches to relax in mind with stormy feelings.
Find Mind - is an introduction to Dzogchen Meditation: short moments of strong mind.
Rest is Best! - an ode to Self Love, through resting the mind self compassion flowers compassion for all.
Q&A with author Ziji Rinpoche
Q- What are the BeginningMind books about?
A- ‘The books are very simple teachings on the nature of mind. The books keep it simple for us and for children. They really root the child in the nature of their own mind, in innate wisdom and in warm hearted compassion and collaboration.'
Q- What do we need to know about the mind?
A- ‘We need to know the mind is the only way to be happy. We need to know the mind is the only way to be kind. The mind tells us we are happy. The mind tells us to be kind.
Without the mind, we would not know how to be happy. Without the mind, we would not know how to be kind.' - Excerpt from Find Mind
Q- How to make the nature of mind evident?
A- ‘When we rest the mind for short moments, the shine of mind becomes more and more obvious and the idea that we are a separate self that is doing something resolves. It is outshone in wisdom, in open intelligence and love, in compassion, in collaboration and benefit. The mind is always shining. It might not be obvious at first.´
Q- How to teach compassion to children?
A- 'I must be kind to myself, every minute I must be kind to myself.
Kind to my body, kind to my mind, kind in my words.
Rest my body. Rest my words. Rest my mind. So kind.' - Excerpt from Rest is Best!
‘Resting the mind. Resting the impulse to behave in certain ways - this is self compassion. Self compassion flowers compassion for everyone'
Q- How do you support children with BIG feelings?
A- 'Even when I have BIG feelings, or small feelings, resting my mind is the very best way to be kind to myself.' - Excerpt from Rest is Best!
'This is certainly the pith of the teaching right here. Resting the mind. What could be more compassionate than a practice that introduces the nature of mind and then offers the simple teaching: 'short moments of mind, repeated many times, becomes automatic.' This is the most compassionate, straightforward, forthcoming teaching we could ever expect to hear. It is the teaching of all goodness.' - Ziji Rinpoche commenting on this page in Rest is Best!
Q- Why is it important to teach the nature of mind to children?
A- 'Children have all kinds of pressures bearing on them all the time, even in infancy, so to encourage strong mind from the beginning is essential!'
Q- Tell us more about the metaphor of the bird in the sky.
A/ ‘I can always feel happy when I rest my mind. When I rest my mind, it feels big as the sky. Then my feelings fly on by like a bird in the sky.’ - Excerpt from Rest is Best!
‘When a bird flies through the sky, it leaves no trace. It spontaneously disappears on the horizon or out of the field of view. Similarly all the points of view spontaneously self release in the view.’ (...) ’All points of view are the dynamic energy of the view. The dynamic energy is the warmth of love. It is the warmth of compassion, it is the warmth of innate wisdom. Whatever the points of view are they fly on by like a bird in the sky. I can recall Rinpoche sitting at the dining room table, looking out at the sky and the ocean and he would point to the birds flying by. He didn’t say anything, but I knew exactly what the teaching was. Simple gestures or a single word.´
What do readers say?
‘We must be kind to ourselves, even if we are children (but this is true for adults, too). Thanks to (Ziji Rinpoche's) invitation to practice a strong mind, you will live a happier and more peaceful life.(..) Rinpoche gave her young readers a very precious gift, and we all should be grateful to her. Needless to say, I am thrilled with Rest Is Best! Best Is Rest!, and I highly recommend it to all parents who care about their children's future. Books like this will change for the better the lives of those lucky enough to read them.’ - Readers' Favorite 5 star review for Rest is Best!
'The simplicity of Find Mind was the initial draw for us, something we've only found in an already very, very small pool of children's meditation resources. They have mostly overwhelmed my children who are quick to disengage and 'check-out', which is the exact opposite of what this genre of kid-lit is meant to achieve. Ziji Rinpoche's uncomplicated narrative makes Find Mind approachable, and in turn, the book is engaging. (...)The biggest bonus here though is in my daughter asking genuine questions, which were followed by her first tiny guided meditation. The result? Sleep within moments and no stalling tactics to keep the lights on. Recommended.' - Readers' Favorite 5 star review for Find Mind
‘My 3 year old daughter loves the books and I do too. I feel it is as much a book for myself as for my daughter. When we read together we can already feel the relief and the beauty of our all pervading strong mind. Together we learn to rest, even when stormy feelings appear. How amazing that my daughter has an understanding of the nature of her mind at such a young age. I definitely wish i had this understanding much earlier. I am thankful beyond words for this beautiful book.’ - Joëlle Castonguay, from Canada, Amazon Review for Rest is Best!
'You explain ancient truths in a beautifully simple, child-friendly, humorous and engaging way. Your books are a great gift to support awareness, meditation and mindfulness' - Amanda Pope, Philosophy Specialist Teacher, 30 March 2021, after a book reading to the philosophy class Year 1 at Erasmus Primary School
'The artwork and interpretation of different Buddha's/deities is wonderful!' - Jen Jaynes, Board President & Artistic Associate, Beacon Theatre Productions, commenting on Ziji Rinpoche’s teaching on Dzogchen for Kids
The books can be ordered:
on http://shortmomentsforkids.com, on Amazon and through major bookstores