Michiko and Lama Surya Das

“Another term for living fully and completely in ‘Buddha Standard Time’- using mindfulness, meditation, nowness-awareness, and compassion-is enlightenment. It is a tall spiritual order, but it is within your grasp.”  – Lama Surya Das

Note to Parents, Teachers, and Caregivers

‘What we are teaches the child far more than what we say, so we must be what we want our children to become.’  Joseph Chilton Pearce

“Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be empowered.” Michelle Obama

Now, more than ever, we see the words meditation and mindfulness becoming more apparent and relevant in our modern lives. What inspired me to utilize the connection between teaching kids FunZen and parents to be mindful, was an Aha moment I shared with bestselling Author, Lama Surya Das, when I was attending his Tibetan (Dzogchen) Buddhist meditation workshop based on his book Buddha Standard Time  and website . He stated that we can cultivate the seeds of mindfulness by being mindful around our children. My heart intuitively knew he was right; leading by example is best. When Lama Surya Das responded to my curiosity regarding how parents can share mindfulness with their children, he watered the seeds to cultivate my method of “worrier to warrior” training.


What we are presenting here for you is a means to stay zenergized = happy-calm and cultivate a FunZen habit of mindfulness. Simply learning to shift from a worrier to a warrior helps to create the right conditions to mindfully blossom where you land in the present moment. First, as a parent getting familiar with the common sense material and then sharing the happy-calm tools with your children and friends to carry with you into your everyday life.


Who says meditation and mindfulness can’t be fun? Well, I agree with my daughter Grace, who called taking a centering breath to reach stillness in the storm “FunZen” when she was doing her voice over acting at six years of age. That day in the car, when Grace uttered “FunZen”, the vibration of her words reset my heart’s compass to follow my bliss. I wanted to share these tools with others so they could also experience keeping calm to sparkle on and shine brilliantly from within.

“Fundamentals are the building blocks of fun.” – Mikhail Baryshnikov


Now, we call our everyday FunZen experiences “worrier to warrior” life lessons. Through the application of spiritual principles we can restore our character. Once we strengthen our backbone, we have greater courage, gain confidence, stay present, and focused in the moment.


mindful child-like mind


Making zen fun is not childish, reactive, or undisciplined. FunZen is a mindful perspective for kids of all ages to learn with a beginner’s mind and recognize that they matter. Zen teaches “accepting what is”, or going with the flow. FunZen is two different things, like Yin and Yang,  discipline and playful , spontaneous like jazz yet steeped in tradition. These balance of opposites make one good thing: Harmony.  Zen is the core philosophy behind the martial arts. It is a tradition of mental fitness training that helps us approach our modern life of constant busyness, hustle and bustle with a little sparkle using our miracle diamond-mindful posture tool.  Being aware of our posture helps us focus, stay present in the moment and non judgmental with magical control that follows mindful awareness.


We live in an age of information and digital data where there are many brilliant books on personal growth, creativity, spirituality, and wisdom. Often in the western culture when people read books and acquire knowledge, the limiting neck up intellectual response is “I already know that”.  Eastern teachings emphasize using both our logical thinking skills and intuitive heart based feelings to experience wholebrain learning, I love creative research and reading books to empower you to make new connections with my interactive approach to lifelong learning.  I call this beginner’s mind approach a zen tune up, tuning out distraction and tuning inward to establish focus and flow, work made fun gets done. In the words of popular author, thought leader, Gabrielle Bernstein, “the universe works fast when we’re having fun.” The funzen girls agree wholeheartedly.


Once we shift from our head to our heart, we can experience feeling more at home (h.eaven o.n m.other e.arth) within. Author, Dr. Wayne Dyer says “Heaven is a state of mind, not a location, since Spirit is everywhere and in everything.  Naturally, our roots are activated by lowering  our center of gravity to establish our self supporting power (hara) to be in balance with both feet on the ground. This process is called taking root with loving ourselves first to spread our wings of light to love others and experience vibrational harmony.  In the words of  C. S. Lewis, You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.  Simply put, we build a foundation under our dreams no matter what our age is.

“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay.” – Dalai Lama

 A to Zen- Worrier to Warrior: Life Lessons are both for parents, adults, teachers, caregivers and kids of all ages. I suggest that a parent, caregiver, or adult read A to Zen – Worrier to Warrior: Life Lessons together with their child or student at first to get the creative benefit learning with the beginner’s mind to see with new eyes. My pure intent is starting the conversation, or rather making it louder, so we can draw a larger circle of sustainable love and support in sharing these mindful tools and resources starting with you reading this and spreading the word and serving the spirit with others.

“When it comes to raising vibrant, happy, healthy daughters, clinical psychologist and author Dr. Shefali Tsabary says the best thing a mother can do is be her most empowered, authentic self. When women live enslaved by their culture, their spouse, their job, their fears, whatever it may be, they teach their daughters that they are not enough and that to find joy, they too will have to be dependent on other people and things in their lives.” Dr. Shefali Tsabary


Our first step is having compassion and self love for ourselves to ignite greater courage to be centered in the here and now. I am honored to welcome you on this lifelong learning adventure with me as we navigate together through both the heart warming and heart wrenching waters of mindful (conscious) parenting. Essentially, we’re setting an example as a parent, or adult by taking small steps to pivot from being busy and trying to do everything to being present. We can choose to grow rich in love and belonging which will enrich your family life.


Creating opportunities to discuss any annoyances, boundaries, ups, and downs help you to discover being part of the soulution. Going with the flow and getting out of your way helps you become a compassionate warrior, not a worrier stuck in a rut. This activity of sharing or storytelling is an everyday living skill that anyone can develop to rekindle comfort and joy. It is important to get back to the brilliant basics and count your blessings to appreciate the sweet simple things like baking a pie, belly laughs, listening to each other, and making eye contact. Consider the fact that we are the heroes of our own stories.

“To be calm is the highest achievement of the self.” – Zen Proverb

Brilliant author of Peaceful Warrior, Dan Millman once said, “We are all warriors in training.” Purity is simplicity that leads us to more clarity, courage, and the wisdom of compassion. Glinda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz has been called a Zen Master who reminded Dorothy to use the power of wisdom she already had to go home within. Like Glinda reminding Dorothy, we can mindfully parent our child within and honor our inner zen master that is gently whispering words of wisdom. In our A to Z -worrier to warrior,  Letter R -ruby slippers, is about reminding ourselves to keep our ruby slippers snug on our feet to stay connected to the might of love the perfect power within. I am honored to welcome you on this enlightening journey.

Quotes For Mindful Parenting

My heart is overjoyed with gratitude to share these wise loving words on parenting from awesome authors like: Brené Brown, Dr. Phil Mc Graw, Shefali Tsabary, Deepak Chopra, Lori Lite, Michele Borba, Goldie Hawn, Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn, Susan Stiffelman, and Dan Siegel.


“Is our parenting motivated by fear and reaction or by mindfulness and compassion? It is one thing to remain mindful, centered and calm while sitting still and meditating. It is another to do so while engaged in the often harried activities of parenting.”


Martin Phillips-Hing for the Dalai Lama Center Educating The Heart



“The real challenge of wholehearted parenting is to be the adults that we want our children to grow up to be.”

Brene Brown, Ph. D., – Daring Greatly: How the Courage to BeVulnerableTransforms theWayWe Live, Love, Parent, and Lead 



“As parents, then, what we teach our children is no different from what what we must keep teaching ourselves.”


Deepak Chopra M.D., –The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents: Guiding Your 

Children to Success and Fulfillment


“Everything your child will ever be, they are now becoming.You are raising adults, not children.”

Dr. Phil McGraw – Life Code:The New Rules forWinning in the RealWorld



“I believe parents need to act as guardians for their children’s innate light, honoring them as the emissaries of JOYthat they are. Instead, we often find ourselves battling over everything from homework to chores, watching as that light begins to fade…Raising joyful, resilient kids while staying cool, calm, and connected.When our children perceive us as steady and calm-regardless of their moods or behavior. They can relax, knowing they can rely on us to get them through the challenging moments of their lives.”


Susan Stiffelman MFT- Parenting Without  Power Struggles


“The most important thing that children need from their parents is love, but a close second is structure.


Michele Borba Ed.D. – 12 Simple Secrets Real Moms Know: Getting Back to Basics and Raising Happy Kids



“Children need to be taught how to manage their stress. In the past, life was much quieter and less hectic for kids. Today, they seem to be constantly bombarded by stimulus that requires their attention and energy. Kids are simply stressed out and anxious.”


Lori Lite – Stress Free Kids: A Parent’s Guide to Helping Build Self-Esteem, Manage Stress, and Reduce Anxiety in Children…


“To connect with your children, first connect with yourself. We want what we consider to be “best” for our children, but in seeking to bring this about, we can easily forget that the most important issue is their right to be their own person and lead their own life in accord with their unique spirit.”


Shefali Tsabary Ph.D –The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children


“Mindful parenting is a continual process of deepening and refining our awareness and our ability to be present and act wisely. It is not an attempt to attain a fixed goal or outcome, however worthy. An important part of this process is seeing ourselves with some degree of kindness and compassion. This includes seeing and accepting our limitation, our blindnesses, our humanness and fallibility, and working with them mindfully as best we can.”

Jon and Myla Kabat-Zinn – Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting



“A peaceful, happy child is the first step toward a peaceful happy world…We can be the role model of all that we wish for our children.We can create optimism and focus in ourselves and our children. We can bring a sense of comfort to our lives and give our children compasses with which to navigate the world once they leave our shores.”


Goldie Hawn – 10 Mindful Minutes: Giving Our Children – and Ourselves – the Social and Emotional Skills to Reduce Stress andAnxiety for Healthier, Happier Lives



“Reflection is no longer a luxury but necessary for our survival. You are the best teacher for your child when you become a role model, showing your child by word and deed the importance of paying attention, moment to moment.”


Daniel J. Siegel M.D., – Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain,

Dr. Dan Siegel’s Website (inspire to rewire)



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