By Thomas Garside, FCO Library Coordinator
Some books are based on research; others come from personal introspection. Planting Seeds, by Buddhist monk and scholar Thich Nhat Hanh, is based on the author’s experiences with the children of Plum Village Community, a Buddhist centre in the South of France. Although the background of the book might make it religious in nature, the ideas are presented in a gentle way, immersed in activities and stories, that encourages the reader of Planting Seeds to be contemplative and thoughtful of its ideas. The book contains an approachable introduction to the philosophy of mindfulness, a central Buddhist concept. It contains a series of exercises referred to as “tracks” that families can do to re-centre themselves and find inner peace in this fast paced time of year. As a bonus, the book has a complementary CD Rom.
When I perused Planting Seeds I found that I had already incorporated some of the suggested exercises into my own life. Being a new grad student, I find deep breathing necessary to centre myself. I also find focusing on one task an important skill worth mastering. My mother made sure I learned these skills growing up; while I don’t practise mindfulness in a religious context, I think these techniques are vital. As a student and someone’s child I can definitely say the skills in this book will be of benefit to any family and any student. You can practice and enjoy the activities in Planting Seeds by checking the book out of the Family Care Office Library.
Photo credit: Mindfulness by Manuela Pasinetti