“A wonderful read-aloud meditation for the beginner—or the practitioner of beginner’s mind—of any age.” Kirkus Starred Review
“This is a definite must have book for parents and their children as we look for ways to bring calm and clarity in a rather crazy busy world!” Working Mommy Journal
“With a diverse cast of characters and illustrations portraying everything from rolling hills to city skylines, Big Breath is an easy-to-follow primer on meditation sure to resonate with a wide variety of readers young and old.” Foreword Review Lit Hit
What parent doesn’t want to give their kids tools to comfort themselves in the midst of a rough day or to wind down before bed? The author of Big Breath sought to translate his experience of meditation helping him staying calm in the midst of overwhelm, learning to let go of thoughts that turned and churned in his head, and access the bravery and resilience in his core in a way that would empower kids. Here, with illustrator Brittany Jacobs, author William Meyer has done just that. Meyer’s simple gentle prompts, alongside Jacobs’ sweet illustrations, make meditation as appealing as a game. As kids close their eyes and find “a comfy spot,” they are guided to stretch out and relax their bodies and to feel and picture their breath. Ocean waves? The wind before a storm? Can they picture their thoughts? Big or small, loud or quiet? Subsequent guidance allows kids to play with, rather than be controlled, by their thoughts. They learn to handle their worries, calm their fears, and build life-long resilience. They learn, simply, to meditate themselves.
“In our fractured world, helping students find tools for peace, clarity, and compassion may be the greatest gift any educator could hope for. William Meyer offers a clear road map of realistic, accessible, and down-to-earth tools that can change young lives.”
— Donald Altman, former monk, teacher, and author of Reflect: Awaken to the Wisdom of the Here and Now and One-Minute Mindfulness
“With engaging stories and heartfelt guidance, Three Breath and Begin is a great resource for teachers who are considering bringing meditation into their classrooms. William Meyer demonstrates how silence can help young minds blossom.”
— Rick Heller, author of Secular Meditation: 32 Practices for Cultivating Inner Peace, Compassion, and Joy
“The wealth of inspiring stories from the classroom and the practical, down-to-earth specifics make this guide a worthy treasure.”
— Linda Graham, MFT, author of Resilience
While the power of mindfulness and meditation have become well-known in the culture at large — in therapy, medicine, and spirituality — their use in education is just beginning. But teachers who incorporate moments of stillness, breath awareness, and calming images know just how potent these practices are for creating focus and facilitating learning. Unlike books that delve into theory, Three Breaths and Begin is about practice, written by a schoolroom teacher who has shared these practices with students, teachers, and parents in a variety of real-world settings.
Meyer details exactly how a teacher can use meditation techniques each and every day. From the very beginning of introducing the practice to students by creating a space within the classroom, to meditating on field trips, in sports setting, and in the midst of tragedy, he sets forth scripted meditations, with every aspect of conducting, running, and reflecting on the meditation considered. While written by a teacher, this insightful, practical, and loving guide will benefit anyone interested in the well-being of a student.
Do you meditate? What about bringing meditation into the classroom? Hosts Kenneth Jeon and Siri Phaneendra interview William P Meyer about his transformative book, Three Breaths and Begin. Get a deeper awareness and move through feelings with meditation. A teacher can use meditation daily in the classroom, on field trips, for sports assemblies, and more to help students connect with themselves and their world. A small circle that starts with 8 people can grow to include an entire student body when youth recognize their power, express curiosity, and reflect through meditation in nature, journaling, creative writing, art, and music. The hosts read chapters on courage from two books in the Be the Star You Are!® series and Siri shares her personal experiences with daily meditations, including the fact that meditating has helped her be more successful on exams. Be intentional when creating your meditation space and enjoy the results. Slow down, take three breaths, and begin.
In a single moment your life can change! “Moments with Marianne” is a transformative hour that covers an endless array of topics with the ‘best of the best.’ Her guest are leaders in their fields, ranging from inspirational authors, top industry leaders, business and spiritual entrepreneurs. Each guest is gifted, and a true visionary! A recognized leader in her own work, and while teaching others to develop, refocus, and grow; Marianne will bring the best guest, and sometimes a special surprise. Don’t miss this – you never know just which ‘moment’ will change your life forever.
Featured on Zen Commuter Podcast
ZEN commuter on Apple podcasts helps you learn more about the people, practice and stories behind meditation. Come listen to the latest episode, along with its companion podcast, 5 Minute Mojo, for your ride home.
Donna Seebo Show - Episode # 2261
Meditation comes in many forms and in today’s world, it is being incorporated into prisons, corporations, and just about every other arena you can think of. Why? Because- it works. However, you don’t need to sit for hours. There are techniques you can use that assist you quickly and efficiently. We’ll learn some of those techniques that you can carry with you everywhere, using them when needed.
Inspired by the students’ interest, Meyer began to bring meditation techniques into his own classroom, eventually working with other teachers in his school and around the country to find ways to reap the benefits of the practice for students of all ages. “The students were the ones who gave me the courage to bring that into the classroom,” says Meyer. “You could see how receptive the students were to it. There is a lot asked of them and they don’t always have the tools to cope with it.”
Bringing meditation into a school or building is a delicate and lengthy process. It requires the navigation of a number of constituents and interests. And if it’s not done well initially, it can have a huge consequence for the long-term viability or success of a program.
In my experience, this type of work is most successfully integrated into the school when it’s initiated by teachers or students, or even better—both. Teachers’ grassroots desire to address the growing concerns and anxieties permeating the classroom environment, along with a motivation to integrate the work into their classrooms, is crucial to its success.
The basis for all the work I’ve done in the school and district started with one small group, Meditation Club.
Practical Aspects and Rewards of Meditation in the Classroom
Research on the benefits of meditation for students is so strong that meditation should be part of the curriculum in every classroom from kindergarten through graduate school. One school tracked suspensions and showed a 45% decrease after meditation was introduced. Other studies show: increased academic success; improved mental health; increased confidence; better sleep; greater efficiency; improved physical health; heightened focus; reduced stress and anxiety; increased attention span; more positive thinking; and even possible decreases in substance abuse, addictions and eating disorders.