“The Christmas Quiet Book” by Deborah Underwood & Renata Liwska

November 27, 2013
The Christmas Quiet Book is available from Amazon and Amazon.co.uk.
The Christmas Quiet Book is available from Amazon and Amazon.co.uk.
Shhhhh!! Let’s be very quiet while we review author Deborah Underwood and illustrator Renata Liwska’s The Christmas Quiet Book.

Are you sitting comfortably? Have you silenced all the alarms on your computer and phone? Have you closed all other windows or switched your browser to full screen mode? Have you taken three full breaths, closed your eyes, and spent a few minutes quietly listening to the world around you? No? OK, go do that now…

I adore Ms. Underwood’s books. So does my six-year-old daughter and, to a lesser extent, my four-year-old son. My wife’s a big fan, too. Underwood writes a lot … Read more »

Four days of silence

October 17, 2012

Beverly Willett, Salon: Still grieving my divorce, I went to a Buddhist retreat and discovered the challenge — and joy — of not speaking.

“A retreat is a good idea,” my meditation teacher, trained in the U.K. by a Tibetan monk, said when I consulted him about my persistent urge to get away. “And I recommend a silent one.”

My husband had left me for another woman. I was juggling two kids, in and out of divorce court, and felt my lid about to blow.

As luck would have it, I’d just turned 50, too. Even I knew I needed time for introspection, but why the …

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Academic claims silence key to good behaviour in schools

September 26, 2012

Sam Whyte, Deadline News: The sound of silence is key to better behaviour and exam results in Scottish schools, an academic claimed today.

Dr Helen Lees, an education researcher at Stirling University, said silence techniques including quiet spaces, silent reading and even meditation could work wonders.

Dr Lees said she had been “knocked back” by the sheer amount of noise in schools.

But rather than advocating old-fashioned teacher-enforced silence as an extension of discipline, Dr Lees says modern youngsters should aim for a “silent state of mind”.

She said: “I was a trainee teacher at the school I was at ten years previously …

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Silence is golden: how keeping quiet in the classroom can boost results

October 22, 2011

Encouraging pupils to keep noise to a minimum has substantial benefits and should become a valuable component of all children’s education, it is claimed.

Dr Helen Lees, from Stirling University’s school of education, said that “enforced silence” was seen as a punishment and often acted to suppress children’s natural ability.

But she said that teaching children about the benefits of “strong silence” – deliberate stillness that gives them the opportunity to focus and reflect in a stress-free environment – can have a significant effect on pupils’ concentration and behaviour.

The conclusions are made in a new book – Silence in Schools – to …

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5 ways to do nothing and bring stillness to your life

August 9, 2011

We live in a world filled with input from television, radios, the Internet, social networks, email, news broadcasts, newspapers, magazines, white papers, books, Kindles, movies and more.

Our society is fast paced and we are proud of our ability to multitask. We begin our days by listening to the news as we get dressed in the morning. On the way to work or school, we listen to the radio in the car and use ear phones to listen to music or talk on our cell phones.

Our days are filled with talking, doing, accomplishing, gathering, spending, earning, and accumulating facts, relationships and material things. We are fast becoming human doings rather than human beings. All … Read more »

Try something quietly profound

November 15, 2010

There is nothing noisier than silence, if your head is full of words. Escape the clamour of the city and at once an excited voice enthuses about the quiet. “How wonderful,” you tell yourself getting out of the car, “to have made it up to the Highlands, to have fled the traffic and the TV and the strident voices round the dinner table. Fantastic!” You strike off along a path through pine trees – isn’t the hush extraordinary! – and before you know it yesterday’s argument with your wife is playing out in your head. How could she have said that! “You’re lucky you still have someone to insult.” That would have been the smart … Read more »

Living the Dharma

August 10, 2010

Sunset over Long Ridge near JikojiAs many of you know, I was away on a month-long meditation retreat during July. I have to say it was the most valuable thing I’ve done in years. It will take me a long time to digest and write about it, but here’s my first stab.

The retreat was at the Jikoji Zen Center (www.jikoji.org/) in Los Gatos California. It’s about an hour south of San Francisco in the Santa Cruz Mountains, in the middle of acres and acres of nature conservation land (www.openspace.org/). My favorite spot, pictured, was along a west-facing ridge that overlooked vast tracts of mostly uninhabited mountains. The sunsets were gorgeous. Deer, wild turkey, and all

“The Quiet Book,” by Deborah Underwood

June 21, 2010

The Quiet Book, by Deborah Underwood (illustrated by Renata Liwska)In a world where children are constantly exposed to stimulation, there is not enough silence. But a new children’s title, The Quiet Book creates a space of stillness in which children’s imagination and attention can grow.

I have two young children, who are going on two and four. We don’t have a television in the house, and toys that make electronic noises are banned. From time to time we get gifts of toys that beep or (the horror!) play electronic music, but they’re passed swiftly on to our local thrift store or, where the toy has some value, the batteries are removed. In at least one case we’ve explained to a giver, as politely as … Read more »

Reconnecting with silence

May 19, 2010

morning teaBeing fresh off a retreat this past weekend, Sunada shares what it’s like to be in silence, and why it’s a good thing. Even if we don’t go on retreats, she thinks there are many reasons why it’s important to bring more silence into our lives.

A lot of the time we chatter just to fill the air. Not that talking is a bad thing. But sometimes we talk just because we’re uncomfortable with silence. We think of silence as the absence of something. It feels, well… empty. Not normal. But silence can be very rich, if only we give it a chance to speak to us.

 silence can be very rich, if only we

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