Shortly after she met and interviewed the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, Whitney Stewart began writing young adult biographies and meditating. Ms. Stewart has led an incredibly interesting life thus far, which has included living with a Tibetan family in India, trekking with Sir Edmund Hillary in Nepal, interviewing Burma’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi in her Rangoon home, as well as climbing along China’s Great Wall to research the lives of Deng Xiaoping and Mao Zedong.
Whitney Stewart has published several biographies, a Children's picture book about the Buddha, as well as three middle-grade novels. In addition to writing, Ms. Stewart volunteered as a creative writing teacher in the public schools, after returning home from being trapped on a rooftop during Hurricane Katrina. She soon discovered that her students suffered from post-Katrina stress. Knowing this, Ms. Stewart began using meditation, improvisation, and word play, to teach her students to write about their lives.
Please tell us a bit about your book and what you hope readers take away from reading it.
My ebook, Give Me A Break: NO-Fuss Meditation, is a straightforward, non-denominational guide that makes meditation simple. It covers the basics in a concise 33 pages: Why meditation is good for you, how to sit, how to let your mind rest, even what to do if you feel weird or uncomfortable during meditation. Most important, it provides sixteen accessible, useful meditations you can easily learn at home. This ebook is meant for beginners. I hope readers come away unafraid to explore their own meditational path to a natural state of mind.
Who/what inspires you the most within your book?
One of my Tibetan Buddhist teachers told me to take breaks from writing on a computer and spend more time outside, looking at the sky. He suggested that I meditate on the passing clouds. I do this as often as I can and find that by watching the sky I expand my mind and rest in a calm state. At the end of my book, I include a suggestion, inspired by this Buddhist master, for meditating on Big Sky Mind.