Fun children’s meditation with book The Dog Who Chased His Tail
Hong Kong author who’s practised meditation for three decades wrote book after seeing how it calmed his own young children down, writes Mark Footer
The book is illustrated by Yae Yeung.
Lost in Hong Kong, Found in Hong Kong, The Mermaid and the Pink Dolphin, Lulu the Hong Kong Cat; there are a number of English-language children’s books featuring Hong Kong, but until now there’s yet to be one that doubles as a guide to meditation.
Enter The Dog Who Chased His Tail, which may not contain specific references to Hong Kong but has been produced by an author and illustrator who live on Lamma Island.
“I’ve practiced meditation for over 30 years as my mum, who is a yoga teacher, taught me as a child,” says the book’s author, Gregory March. “I now have my own children, aged five and two, and I share simple breathing and meditation techniques with them. At bedtime or when they are simply overexcited, I’ve found it really helps.
“I developed a simple breathing song which is a little bit funny and it makes them giggle and so therefore remember it. I’ve noticed an automatic association – the five-year-old occasionally sings it unprompted and finds it calming. So I decided to create a book blending my favourite zen story … the characters of a boy and his dog and this breathing song.”
The story March refers to as his favourite, A Cup of Tea, is about Japanese master Nan-in, who receives a university professor inquiring about zen. Nan-in serves him tea but keeps pouring after his visitor’s cup is full, much to his guest’s annoyance, thus demonstrating how an overfull mind can never comprehend zen.
Illustrated by Yae Yeung, an artist who studied in a manga school in Japan for three years, The Dog Who Chased His Tail is available from Amazon.com The book also has its own Facebook page: www.facebook.com/kidsmeditationstory