In the Garden of our Minds book

cover-jpgAn illustrated book of children’s stories presenting the wisdom of Mahayana Buddhism through the accessible and entertaining lens of a modern Buddhist family with two rambunctious elementary school-aged children. Text by Michelle L. Johnson-Weider; illustrations and graphic design by Brian Chen; published by Blue Moon Aurora, LLC. Individual retail copies of In the Garden of our Minds and other Buddhist stories (7 7/8 x 9 3/4, paperback, 108 pages) may be purchased on here.

Wholesale distribution (with retailer discount) is through New Leaf Distributing Company. The book’s ISBN is 978-0-9837984-6-0.

Part of the profits from sales of the book will go to Buddhist charities, including the Tibetan Nuns Project and 84000, Translating the Words of the Buddha.

About the book: Five of the chapters retell traditional stories of the life of the Buddha in a way that makes their lessons relevant to modern life. One contains a simple guided meditation practice based on the teachings of Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh for use with children and one describes the family’s visit to hear a Tibetan Buddhist Rinpoche give a Dharma teaching about bodhicitta. At the end of the book, a Conversations with Children section and Glossary of Terms provide additional context to foster family or Dharma group discussions. For reviews and awards, click here.

Through books we do not only learn for this life but we also cultivate wisdom for future lives. When children read a book, it leaves an imprint in their mind, thus to teach them the dharma through books plants a seed of liberation in their minds. It is extremely important and beneficial to teach children when they are young; in this way they will form good habits for their entire life.

– from the introduction by His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche

ch-3-3ch-2-3Table of Contents

Prince Siddhartha Renounces the Throne
Fighting the Demon Mara
The Value of Persistence: the story of Mahaprajapati
In the Garden of Our Minds
The Doorway of Death: the story of Kisagotami
Lessons in Stopping: the story of Angulimala
A Visit with Rinpoche
Glossary of terms
Conversations with Children
About the Author and Illustrator

 ch-7-5Michelle L. Johnson-Weider’s book, In the Garden of our Minds and other Buddhist stories, provides a wonderful way to introduce Buddhist ideals to young children. . . My hope is that with stories like these we can help families, especially those with young children, live with compassion and, in that way, build a strong Western sangha.
 – from the introduction by Venerable Bardor Tulku Rinpoche


  1. […] In the Garden of our Minds by Michelle L. Johnson-Weider (Blue Moon Aurora) offers a skillful and gentle way to bring the Dharma into the lives of children. Illustrated beautifully by Brian Chen, the book comes alive with vibrant colour in images and language. The stories are rooted in Siddhartha’s journey into his spiritual future and expand into the primary teachings (many are my absolute favourite). Qualities of determination (fighting Mara) and persistence (Mahaprajapait) are showcased through the experiences of Briana and Alex, the narrator’s children. […]


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