Mindful Charlotte Mason secular values

Copywork with a mindful theme

Copywork: it’s one the concepts I love best about Charlotte Mason style education.  I agree that having kids start writing on their own at too young an age doesn’t teach them good writing, and can enforce mistakes they are making.

Charlotte Mason used Biblical scripture in her copywork, so I’m collecting sources of copywork that I find more suited to a secular education style. I wanted to begin a collection of these quotes that I like that help us embrace virtues. So here’s the first installment!  I’d love to hear what your favorites are!

The first quote is for parents and teachers—a quote to make us smile and hopefully remember on those tough days

“It probably takes many years of monastic practice to equal the spiritual growth generated by one sleepless night with a sick child.” P253, His Holiness the Dalai Lama (from here on, I’ll abbreviate this to HHDL)


  • “Wherever you have friends, that’s your country.  Wherever you receive love, that’s your home.  Whoever gives you love, that’s your parent.”  Tibetan proverb, p. 38 Book of Joy. This quote helps me see the world with a broader perspective.


  • “Nothing beautiful in the end comes without a measure of some pain, some frustration, some suffering.  This is the nature of things.”  Desmond Tutu, p. 45. Book of Joy

Especially with my kiddo, who it seems spends so much time in speech therapy, it’s good to remember that everyone has painful times, and that effort is worth it.

  • “Always maintain a joyful mind.”  HHDL         An easy first memorization verse.


Love and Happiness

  • Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.  Without them, humanity cannot survive. HHDL
  • A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.  HHDL
  • Our perspective toward life is our final and ultimate freedom.  Victor Frankl, Aushwitz survivor
  • As for suffering I do not with the slightest; as for happiness I am never satisfied. In this, there is no difference between others and me.  Bless me, so I may take joy in others’ happiness.  –Tibetan prayer from the 1st Panchen Lama
  • Wisdom is like rainwater–both gather in the low places.  P.212 Book of Joy
  • If you start looking for the humor in life, you will find it.  Archbishop Desmond Tutu



  • Gratitude is the recognition of all that holds us in the web of life and all that has made it possible to have the life that we have and the moment that we are experiencing.  Gratitude allows us to shift our perspective.
  • It is not happiness that makes us grateful.  It is gratefulness that makes us happy.  Every moment is a gift.
  • A grateful world is a happy world.
  • When we recognize all that we have been given, it is our natural response to want to care for and give to others.
    • Brother David Steindl-Rast, Book of Joy, 242-246, all four quotes
  • So great a sweetness flows into the breast,   We must laugh and we must sing,  We are blest by everything   Everything we look upon is blest.    William Butler Yeats, “A dialogue of self and soul.”


Judgement and Justice

  • Justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • There is no action, no wrong, no evil that can or ever should deprive us from connecting with one another.  Only through greater connection, through seeing ourselves in others, can we as communities overcome.  Gretchen Rohr, “Wise Judgements”



  • “Altruism is like rings in the water when you toss a pebble.  At first the circles are very small, then they get larger, and finally they embrace the entire surface of the ocean.”  –Alexandre Jollien
  • “Altruism and compassion have the aim of spreading themselves as widely as possible.  Our own well-being and the world’s cannot rest on indifference to the happiness of the other or on a refusal to care about the suffering around us.”–Matthieu Ricard


Are you helping to expand how your kids understand mindfulness?  Here’s a great piece from Sharon Salzburg (from her book Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness.)

  • “A mind filled with love can be likened to the sky with a variety of clouds moving through it–some light and fluffy, others ominous and threatening.  No matter the situation, the sky is not affected by the clouds.  It is free.”


Worry and fear

  • “If there is a way to overcome the situation, then instead of feeling too much sadness, too much fear, or too much anger, make an effort to change the situation.  If there’s nothing you can do to overcome the situation, then there is no need for fear or sadness or anger.”                     HHDL and Shantideva, p 167 Book of Joy
No Comments
Previous Post
April 28, 2017
Next Post
April 28, 2017

Comments are closed.