Plumber Authors Children’s Book on Mindfulness and Leading Experts Pipe in with Praise

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Book receives endorsements of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Myla Kabat-Zinn, Dr. Amy Saltzman and others. 'You Are Not Your Thoughts' was written to inspire children, and adults alike, to learn early and often that they can free themselves of destructive thoughts, emotions and behaviors by simply remembering to be present – right here, right now.

You Are Not Your Thoughts

The beauty of this book is that it conveys the deep message and practice of mindfulness without ever naming it or making it into some big intellectual thing.

Mindfulness is present moment, non-judgmental awareness. It reconnects people to their senses, bringing them into the here and now. For Brian Despard, a plumbing contractor from Massachusetts, this seemed like a powerful concept so he began reading and studied all he could on the subject. He has been practicing mindfulness for many years now. But what started out as a simple experiment for Despard, seeing how long he could be aware of his breath, has turned into a unique and engaging picture book for kids.

Mindfulness has been proven to reduce stress, enhance physical health, social relations and academic abilities. Research shows that children benefit by learning this life skill early. When children are able to experience their thoughts and feelings without being judged and overwhelmed, they are less prone to unhealthy effects. By learning to trust their own inner wisdom, they will be less susceptible to harmful peer pressures.

“Children have true beginner's mind, but this state of mind is clouded by an ever-increasing number of thoughts as they grow. They start life living in the moment then slowly learn that 'doing' is more important than 'being',” Despard said. “I wrote this book with the intention of planting the seed of mindfulness in children, and introduce basic concepts to adults who are unfamiliar with them. In this sacred place of loving-kindness between adult and child a new level of consciousness can emerge. We only have moments to live; the only time our lives are unfolding is now.”

‘You Are Not Your Thoughts’ has captured the attention of leading experts in the field of mindfulness practice and education who were compelled to offer their support and endorsements. Here are a few excerpts:

“A playful and wise picture book that gives young children simple ways to be more in touch with what is essential and beautiful in themselves."

  • Myla & Jon Kabat-Zinn, co-authors, Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting

“This delightful book conveys the essence of mindfulness in joyful images and rhymes; the sweet simplicity on every page will support children (and parents) in bringing the peace of mindfulness into their daily lives.”

  • Amy Saltzman, M.D., creator of Still Quiet Place: Mindfulness for Young Children CD

Despard has been hosting public talks locally since the book’s release last fall. He has also taught introductory mindfulness lessons to pre-K through Grade 5 students within the Chicopee Public School System. Additionally, ‘You Are Not Your Thoughts’ is being used in school districts by educators and counselors across the country. He is excited about the prospects ahead and is confident his book can help children lead happier lives. “I feel this book is relevant in these times of increased societal pressures that have made national headlines (e.g. school bullying, self-image, depression, etc.). There is no better time than now to start the conversation of compassion and acceptance. There is no greater gift than the gift of mindfulness,” Despard concluded.

‘You Are Not Your Thoughts’ is available online at, and You can pick up a copy at Food For Thought Books in Amherst, MA; Broadside Books and Booklink Booksellers in Northampton, MA; Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA; The Children’s Learning World in Westfield, MA; and Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA.


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