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The Sweeper Hardcover – 29 Aug 2017
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About the Author
Rebecca Hazell is an award-winning artist, author, and educator. She has published four nonfiction children's books and created best-selling educational filmstrips and educational craft kits for children. She is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, and she holds an honors BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz in Russian and Chinese history. Her books include The Barefoot Book of Heroic Children, Women Writers, and several self-published fantasy novels. Her website is rebeccahazell.com.
Top customer reviews
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A sweet story, perfect for winding down. Beautifully illustrated in bright, bold colours by the author herself no less - a young friend and I had such fun seeking out the (not always obvious) monkey(s) which grace each drawing.
Inspired by Buddhist tradition, The Sweeper is a gentle introduction to the practice of Mindfulness. As an ex teaching assistant, I can tell you that there aren't too many books on Buddhism aimed at primary school children out there and I think this would make a wonderful resource for any classroom (I have donated my copy to a Religious Resource Library). Padme's story used not only as a gentle introduction to Buddhism but to spark several conversations about the human condition in a way that is suitable for young children.
Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper
Disclaimer: Received for review from the author's publicist, no financial compensation was asked for nor given
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Inspired by Buddhist tradition, this original story tells how Padme, a young servant girl, meets the Buddha as she is sweeping her master’s house. When she laments that she is so busy that she would never have time to meditate, the Buddha gives her the instruction to “sweep and clean.” This simple mindfulness practice transforms Padme’s life, and when she encounters the Buddha many years later, he teaches her how to send compassion out to others.
Mindfulness is an exceptionally important concept for children and adults alike. It is the practice of focusing on what is going on with you in the present moment rather than letting your mind wander to the past or the future. We are living in such a fast-paced world that it is very easy to get wrapped up in the responsibilities that we all face and to never allow the mind time to just be. Just sitting in the quiet and taking in the beauty around you is a pastime that we seem to have given up. Whether homework, housework, rushing to the next activity, or the constant media coming at us, being mindful is something that is getting harder and harder.
The Sweeper tries to show people how they can get more joy from their lives if they allow themselves to be fully present. Padme felt that she was always being criticized for not doing a good enough job of sweeping her masters' home. She was glad to have a job and home, but she felt empty, yearning for an unnamed greatness. When the Buddha comes to visit, he explains how meditation could help us train our minds to see and accept our truths. Since Padme felt she never had a moment to rest, she felt that she could never find a way to meditate, but this is where the Buddha truly helped her. He found a way for her to be more present in her work and to allow her sweeping to be her meditation.
I think that this book is a wonderful way to get people thinking about being "in the moment." While we might not all take the time out of our day to practice yoga or sit and meditate, turning off our technology, taking the time to listen to one another, and appreciating the beauty of all that surrounds us is a truly beautiful way to live. Additionally, there are many around us who quietly practice Buddhism and finding a book that honors their practice is a great addition to a diverse library.
** Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to review a digital copy of this book. All opinions are my own.