Is Nothing Something?: Kids' Questions and Zen Answers About Life, Death, Family, Friendship, and Everything in Between

Is Nothing Something?: Kids' Questions and Zen Answers About Life, Death, Family, Friendship, and Everything in Between


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In Is Nothing Something? Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh answers heartfelt, difficult, and funny questions from children of all ages. Illustrated with original full-color artwork by Jessica McClure, Is Nothing Something? will help adults plant the seeds of mindfulness in the young children in their lives. Beginning with the most basic questions, "What is important in life?" and "Why is my brother mean to me?" and progressing through issues that we all wrestle with, such as "How do I know if I really love somebody?", "How long am I going to live?", and "What does God look like?", each page presents a question with a short answer from Thich Nhat Hanh, appropriate for beginning readers to work with on their own. The back of the book has the first complete children’s biography of Thich Nhat Hanh, along with basic, kid-friendly instructions for mindful breathing and mindful walking. Both humorous and profound, Is Nothing Something? is the perfect resource for kids with questions, adults looking to answer them, and anyone with questions of their own.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937006655
Publisher: Parallax Press
Publication date: 04/15/2014
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 1,187,111
Product dimensions: 8.80(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most revered Zen teachers in the world today. His best-selling books include Happiness and Peace Is Every Step. He lives in Plum Village in southwest France, where he gardens, writes, and teaches the art of mindful living.

Read an Excerpt

How does it feel when you are dead?
I don’t believe that we die. I believe that each of us just change form, the way a cloud becomes rain, then becomes a puddle. We don’t say the cloud is “dead.” It just transforms. So I think if you have a feeling when you are a cloud, and there will be feeling when you become the rain. There is feeling when we have this body, and there will be feelings after we take up other bodies, but we don’t know what they are yet.

If there's no such thing as death, then why is it wrong to kill?
Killing is wrong because the desire to kill comes ignorance, anger, and wrong perceptions. The willingness to kill does not have intelligence or compassion in it. it does not have intelligence, wisdom; it has a lot of violence and suffering. Killing is also wrong because it brings about a lot of suffering, not only to the person who died, their loved ones, but to the one who commits the violence as well. Suppose you want to kill a cloud. A cloud can’t be killed, it can only become rain or snow. That desire to hurt someone or something else only takes away your time and your own happiness. Your attempt to hurt someone else will only lead to your suffering.

Why do people have wars?
People fight each other because they haven’t taken the time to transform their anger, violence, and misunderstanding in themselves. They want or need more money and resources and they have the wrong idea that they can get more of what they need or want by hurting others.

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