What Does It Mean to Be Present? by Rana DiOrio, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
What Does It Mean to Be Present?
by Rana DiOrio, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
Published by Little Pickle Press / Source Books
What Does It Mean to Be Present? is a simply written book about a profoundly important mindfulness practice that is increasingly rare and difficult with the proliferation of distracting screens. DiOrio's book is the perfect partner for the mindfulness meditation books I have reviewed (see below) as it adds a layer of depth and awareness to the practice. It is written in a way that even the youngest listeners/readers can understand.
DiOrio begins with the question asked in the title of her book, showing readers what being present is not. Then, using examples kids will immediately grasp, she shows us what being present is, in meaningful ways. From listening carefully when others speak to being aware of others around you who might need help by, "focusing on what's happening now, instead of thinking about what's next." This balance of what being present is with what it means to not be present, or be absent, continues throughout the book. DiOrio encourages readers to appreciate what you have, wait patiently, and try "treating each new experience as an opportunity and understanding that making mistakes is how we learn and grow." These words pair perfectly with the meditations in Breathe Like a Bear and provide a foundation for the mindfulness breathing taught in the other books. DiOrio's words encourage readers to slow down and feel gratitude for family and friends. Tactile experiences like savoring each bite of food, "relishing the warmth of the sun and the sound of the rain," and feeling the sand between your toes, "smelling the briny seaweed" and listening to the "cawing seagulls, and tasting the ocean's salty spray" take readers/listeners to the relaxing calm of the beach and the peace of breathing meditations. DiOrio ends her book by inviting readers/listeners to spread the word about what it means to be present because,
when we're all present, life can be much richer, fuller and happier!
Mindfulness Meditation Books for kids