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Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, bestselling author of Peace is Every Step and one of the most respected and celebrated religious leaders in the world, delivers a powerful path to happiness through mastering life's most important skill. How do we say what we mean in a way that the other person can really hear? How can we listen with compassion and understanding? Communication fuel Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, bestselling author of Peace is Every Step and one of the most respected and celebrated religious leaders in the world, delivers a powerful path to happiness through mastering life's most important skill. How do we say what we mean in a way that the other person can really hear? How can we listen with compassion and understanding? Communication fuels the ties that bind, whether in relationships, business, or everyday interactions. Most of us, however, have never been taught the fundamental skills of communication—or how to best represent our true selves. Effective communication is as important to our well-being and happiness as the food we put into our bodies. It can be either healthy (and nourishing) or toxic (and destructive). In this precise and practical guide, Zen master and Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh reveals how to listen mindfully and express your fullest and most authentic self. With examples from his work with couples, families, and international conflicts, The Art of Communicating helps us move beyond the perils and frustrations of misrepresentation and misunderstanding to learn the listening and speaking skills that will forever change how we experience and impact the world.


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Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, bestselling author of Peace is Every Step and one of the most respected and celebrated religious leaders in the world, delivers a powerful path to happiness through mastering life's most important skill. How do we say what we mean in a way that the other person can really hear? How can we listen with compassion and understanding? Communication fuel Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, bestselling author of Peace is Every Step and one of the most respected and celebrated religious leaders in the world, delivers a powerful path to happiness through mastering life's most important skill. How do we say what we mean in a way that the other person can really hear? How can we listen with compassion and understanding? Communication fuels the ties that bind, whether in relationships, business, or everyday interactions. Most of us, however, have never been taught the fundamental skills of communication—or how to best represent our true selves. Effective communication is as important to our well-being and happiness as the food we put into our bodies. It can be either healthy (and nourishing) or toxic (and destructive). In this precise and practical guide, Zen master and Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh reveals how to listen mindfully and express your fullest and most authentic self. With examples from his work with couples, families, and international conflicts, The Art of Communicating helps us move beyond the perils and frustrations of misrepresentation and misunderstanding to learn the listening and speaking skills that will forever change how we experience and impact the world.

30 review for The Art of Communicating

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tony Rogers Jr.

    Although I probably won't read this book in its entirety again, I did find value in it. The first few chapters drilled home the idea that I need to communicate ( write, speak, listen) to others out of complete compassion and understanding. It also taught that when I communicate the ultimate goal is to cause the receiver of my communication to experience less suffering, which to me, is a brilliant way of filtering all my communication with others from here on out. I particularly liked these statem Although I probably won't read this book in its entirety again, I did find value in it. The first few chapters drilled home the idea that I need to communicate ( write, speak, listen) to others out of complete compassion and understanding. It also taught that when I communicate the ultimate goal is to cause the receiver of my communication to experience less suffering, which to me, is a brilliant way of filtering all my communication with others from here on out. I particularly liked these statements and ideas from the book as well: You absorb the thoughts, speech, and actions you produce and those contained in the communications of those around you. That is a form of consumption. In a relationship, we are nourishment for each other. So we have to select the kind of food we offer the other person, the kind of food that can help our relationship thrive. Everything – including love, hate, and suffering – needs food to continue. If suffering continues, it’s because we keep feeding our suffering. Every time we speak without mindful awareness, we are feeding our suffering. With mindful awareness, we can look into the nature of our suffering and find out what kind of food we have been supplying to keep it alive. When we find the source of nourishment for our suffering, we can cut off that supply, and our suffering will fade. Many of us spend a lot of time in meetings or e-mailing with others, and not a lot of time communicating with ourselves. The result is that we don’t know what is going on within us. It may be a mess inside. How, then, can we communicate with another person? We don’t tell our fear to go away; we recognize it. We don’t tell our anger to go away; we acknowledge it. These feelings are like a small child tugging at our sleeves. Pick them up and hold them tenderly. Acknowledging our feelings without judging them or pushing them away, embracing them with mindfulness, is an act of homecoming. When you’ve understood your suffering, you suffer less, and you are capable of understanding another person’s suffering much more easily. When you can recognize the suffering of another person and see how that suffering came about, compassion arises. You no longer have the desire to punish or blame the other person. You can listen deeply, and when you speak there is compassion and understanding in your speech. Usually when anger manifests, we want to confront the person we think is the source of our anger. We’re more interested in setting that person straight than in taking care of the more urgent matter, which is our own anger. We are like the person whose house is on fore who goes chasing after the arsonist instead of going home to put out the fire. Meanwhile, the house continues to burn. All in all, I found some really good points sprinkled here and there. Wasn't quite what I was expecting though.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    This is one I'll read again and again: developing, growing, and practicing. A beautiful book on conflict resolution, sharing love and compassion, and learning to ask for help. I especially enjoyed the six mantras: - I am here for you. - I know you are there, and I am very happy. - I know you suffer, and that's why I am here for you. - I suffer. Please help. - This is a happy moment. - You are partly right. This is one I'll read again and again: developing, growing, and practicing. A beautiful book on conflict resolution, sharing love and compassion, and learning to ask for help. I especially enjoyed the six mantras: - I am here for you. - I know you are there, and I am very happy. - I know you suffer, and that's why I am here for you. - I suffer. Please help. - This is a happy moment. - You are partly right.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hákon Gunnarsson

    This is the first book by Thich Nhat Hanh that I read, and I think it is interesting. It is, as one might guess from the title, about the way we communicate with others, and what he has to say about it makes a lot of sense. A man that is very hostile in the way he speaks to others is likely to get the same in return, and vice versa. I think the author is right that we really should try to communicate positively rather than negatively. Call me a tree hugger if you want, but I think we might actua This is the first book by Thich Nhat Hanh that I read, and I think it is interesting. It is, as one might guess from the title, about the way we communicate with others, and what he has to say about it makes a lot of sense. A man that is very hostile in the way he speaks to others is likely to get the same in return, and vice versa. I think the author is right that we really should try to communicate positively rather than negatively. Call me a tree hugger if you want, but I think we might actually get a more stable world if enough people went that way. Occationally I felt like the editor should have asked the author how, and what do you mean, because it is not always clear. Most of the time that is not a problem, but it does happen, and I think that is the biggest flaw in this otherwise excellent book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Vaishali

    One of the most important books I've read. How powerful karma is! Our every thought --each one -- is forever released as craft or ruin into the universe. Forever! Repairable, but non-retractable. Notes : ——————————————— “Toxic conversation can be difficult to avoid, especially at work… You have to have enough mindful awareness not to absorb all these kinds of suffering. You have to protect yourself with the energies of compassion so that when you listen, instead of consuming toxins, you're activel One of the most important books I've read. How powerful karma is! Our every thought --each one -- is forever released as craft or ruin into the universe. Forever! Repairable, but non-retractable. Notes : ——————————————— “Toxic conversation can be difficult to avoid, especially at work… You have to have enough mindful awareness not to absorb all these kinds of suffering. You have to protect yourself with the energies of compassion so that when you listen, instead of consuming toxins, you're actively producing more compassion in yourself. When you listen in this way, compassion protects you and the other person suffers less.” “In a relationship, we are nourishment for each other. So we have to select the kind of food that we offer the other person, the kind of food that can help our relationships thrive. Everything needs food in order to continue--including love, hate, or suffering. If suffering continues, it's because we keep feeding our suffering. “ “We believe too much in the technology of communication… If our minds are blocked, there is no device that will make up for our inability to communicate with ourselves or others.” “Home is inside us.” “Freedom is the most precious thing there is. It is the foundation of happiness, and it is available to us with each conscious breath.” “You don’t need to run anywhere. Many of us have run all our lives. Now we get to live life properly. Home is the here and the now.” “The marketplace provides us with everything imaginable to help us run away from ourselves.” “We need suffering… Understanding suffering always brings happiness… If we know how to take good care of suffering, we will know how to take good care of happiness.” “Compassion is born from understanding suffering… Then our communication with others will be based on the desire to understand rather than the desire to prove ourselves right, or to make ourselves feel better.” “He anticipated a downward spiral and prepared to go upward.” “Truthful, loving speech is something we need to train ourselves in.” 4 Bodhisattva Trainings of Right Speech ————— Tell the truth Don’t exaggerate Be consistent Use peaceful language “We have to find a way to tell the truth, so that the other person can receive it easily.” 4 Criteria for Right Speech ——————————————— 1. We have to speak the language of the world 2. We may speak differently to different people, in a way that reflects how they think, their ability to receive the teaching 3. We give the right teaching according to person, time, and place… If you give someone the wrong medicine, that person could die. 4. We teach in a way that reflects the absolute truth “Listening deeply is a kind of looking deeply.” “Speaking in this way is as healing for the speaker as it is for the person being spoken to.” “Your calm will be communicated to the other person.” 6 Mantras of Loving Speech ————————————- “I am here for you.” “I know you are there, and I am very happy.” “I know you suffer, and that is why I am here for you.” “I suffer. Please help.” “This is a happy moment.” “You are partly right. I have weaknesses in me, and I have strengths in me.” “According to our practice at Plum Village, you have the right to suffer 24 hours, but not more. There’s a deadline; the deadline is 24 hours, and you have to practice the 4th mantra before the deadline.” “Our communication is not neutral… (but) what we put out into the world, and what remains after we have left it. In this way, our communication is our karma.” “You are your action… not only what you do with your body. but also with your words and your mind.” “Thinking is already action… it is there, as powerful energy… Every thought will bring a fruit, sometimes right away, sometimes later on. When you produce a thought of hate, anger, or despair, that thought is a poison which will affect your body and your mind.” “When we think…speak…act, we create…” “Our communications will not be lost when we are no longer here; the feet of our thinking, our speech, and our physical actions will continue to ripple outwards into the cosmos. Whether this body is still here or has disintegrated, our actions will continue.” “When you produce a thought, it bears your signature… We are like the cloud that produces the rain. Through the rain, the cloud continues to affect the crops, the trees, the rivers, even after the cloud is no longer floating there in the sky." .

  5. 4 out of 5

    Diana Bogan

    For myself I thought the book was ok. I was hoping for greater insight, hoping to go somehow deeper than what the book offered. I found that a lot of what was mentioned in the book aligns with the way in which I already try to communicate, therefore in terms of finding ways for myself to become more skillful I didn't feel I necessarily got what I went looking for, however, instead I did find a few things I wasn't expecting. My unexpected finds included how plainly the book is written, making it a For myself I thought the book was ok. I was hoping for greater insight, hoping to go somehow deeper than what the book offered. I found that a lot of what was mentioned in the book aligns with the way in which I already try to communicate, therefore in terms of finding ways for myself to become more skillful I didn't feel I necessarily got what I went looking for, however, instead I did find a few things I wasn't expecting. My unexpected finds included how plainly the book is written, making it a good read for my middle school aged child. As a parent always looking for ways to teach my children mindful living, that the first half of the book (and particularly chapter 3) would be worth having my kids read (or reading it to them) and having them start trying to put it into practice as well. Another unexpected find was the "Peace Treaty." One of my biggest difficulties in compassionate communication with others arises when there is conflict and I request time and space to settle out my own feelings and ground myself before engaging in a conversation about whatever difficulty has arisen. My challenge is that most often the other person doesn't understand or realize the need for my request to step away from the issue for at least a few hours. So, in future relationships with people not familiar with my communication style I'm hopeful that maybe something like the peace treaty will help bring about awareness and ultimately a more caring way of working out differences. Overall, I'd say the book is a decent introduction to mindful communication.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Katrina Sark

    p.4-5 – The energy of mindfulness is a necessary ingredient in healthy communication. Mindfulness requires letting go of judgment, returning to an awareness of the breath and the body, and bringing your full attention to what is in you and around you. This helps you notice whether the thought you just produced is healthy or unhealthy, compassionate or unkind. p.5 – You absorb the thoughts, speech, and actions you produce and those contained in the communications of those around you. That is a fo p.4-5 – The energy of mindfulness is a necessary ingredient in healthy communication. Mindfulness requires letting go of judgment, returning to an awareness of the breath and the body, and bringing your full attention to what is in you and around you. This helps you notice whether the thought you just produced is healthy or unhealthy, compassionate or unkind. p.5 – You absorb the thoughts, speech, and actions you produce and those contained in the communications of those around you. That is a form of consumption. p.7 – In a relationship, we are nourishment for each other. So we have to select the kind of food we offer the other person, the kind of food that can help our relationship thrive. Everything – including love, hate, and suffering – needs food to continue. If suffering continues, it’s because we keep feeding our suffering. Every time we speak without mindful awareness, we are feeding our suffering. With mindful awareness, we can look into the nature of our suffering and find out what kind of food we have been supplying to keep it alive. When we find the source of nourishment for our suffering, we can cut off that supply, and our suffering will fade. p.14 – Many of us spend a lot of time in meetings or e-mailing with others, and not a lot of time communicating with ourselves. The result is that we don’t know what is going on within us. It may be a mess inside. How, then, can we communicate with another person? p.17 – When we begin to practice mindful awareness, we start the path home to ourselves. Home is the place where loneliness disappears. When we’re home, we feel warm, comfortable, safe, fulfilled. We’ve gone away from out homes for a long time, and out homes have become neglected. But the path back home is not long. Home is inside us. Going home requires only sitting down and being with yourself, accepting the situation as it is. Yes, it might be a mess in there, but we accept it because we know we have left home for a long time. So now we’re home. With our in-breath and our out-breath, our mindful breathing, we begin to tidy up our homes. p.19 – If we’re overloaded with fear, anger, regret, or anxiety, we’re not free, no matter what position we hold in society or how much money we have. Real freedom only comes when we’re able to release our suffering and come home. Freedom is the most precious thing there is. It is the foundation of happiness, and it is available to us with each conscious breath. p.21 – When we stop talking and thinking and we listen mindfully to ourselves, one thing we will notice is our greater capacity and opportunities for joy. The other thing that happens when we stop thinking and talking and we begin listening to ourselves is that we notice the suffering present in our lives. Mindfulness lets us listen to the pain, the sorrow, and the fear inside. When we see that some suffering or some pain is coming up, we don’t try to run away from it. In fact, we have to go back and take care of it. We’re not afraid of being overwhelmed, because we know how to breathe and how to walk so as to generate enough energy of mindfulness to recognize and take care of the suffering. p.22 – We don’t have to try to get away from our suffering. We don’t have to cover up what is unpleasant in us. In fact, we try to be there for ourselves, to understand, so that we can transform. Please do come back home and listen. If you don’t communicate well with yourself, you cannot communicate well with another person. p.26 – Home is the here and now, where all the wonders of life are already available, where the wonder that is your body is available. You can’t arrive fully in the here and the now unless you invest you whole body and mind into the present moment. If you haven’t arrived one hundred percent, stop where you are and don’t take another step. Stay there and breathe until you’re sure you have arrived one hundred percent. Then you can smile a smile of victory. p.28 – We don’t tell our fear to go away; we recognize it. We don’t tell our anger to go away; we acknowledge it. These feelings are like a small child tugging at our sleeves. Pick them up and hold them tenderly. Acknowledging our feelings without judging them or pushing them away, embracing them with mindfulness, is an act of homecoming. p.30 – But there is a way of getting in touch with the suffering without being overwhelmed by it. We try to avoid suffering, but suffering is useful. We need suffering. Going back to listen and understand our suffering brings about the birth of compassion and love. If we take the time to listen deeply to our own suffering, we will be able to understand it. Any suffering that has not been released and reconciled will continue. Until it has been understood and transformed, we carry with us not just our own suffering but also that of our parents and our ancestors. Getting in touch with the suffering that has been passed down to us helps us understand our own suffering. Understanding suffering gives rise to compassion. Love is born, and right away we suffer less. If we understand the nature and the roots of our suffering, the path leading to the cessation of the suffering will appear in front of us. Knowing there is a way out, a path, brings us relief, and we no longer need to be afraid. p.34 – When you’ve understood your suffering, you suffer less, and you are capable of understanding another person’s suffering much more easily. When you can recognize the suffering of another person and see how that suffering came about, compassion arises. You no longer have the desire to punish or blame the other person. You can listen deeply, and when you speak there is compassion and understanding in your speech. p.39 – It’s helpful to remember at the beginning of every communication with another person that there is a Buddha inside each of us. “The Buddha” is just a name for the most understanding and compassionate person it’s possible to be. p.93 – One reason we have trouble communicating with others is that we often try to communicate when we are angry. We suffer, and we don’t want to be alone with all that suffering. We believe that we are angry because of something others did, and we want then to know it. Anger has urgency in it. We want to let others know right away what the problem with them is. p.94 – But when we’re angry, we aren’t lucid. Acting while angry can lead to a lot of suffering and can escalate the situation. That doesn’t mean we should suppress our anger. We shouldn’t pretend that everything is fine when it isn’t. It’s possible to feel and engage with our anger in a healthy and compassionate manner. When anger is there, we should handle it with tenderness because our anger is us. Mindful breathing helps us reconsider our anger and treat it tenderly. Mindful energy embraces the energy of anger. After you have sat with mindful awareness and calmed your anger, you can look deeply into the anger to see its nature and where is has come from. What is the root of that anger? p.96 – Usually when anger manifests, we want to confront the person we think is the source of our anger. We’re more interested in setting that person straight than in taking care of the more urgent matter, which is our own anger. We are like the person whose house is on fore who goes chasing after the arsonist instead of going home to put out the fire. Meanwhile, the house continues to burn. “I suffer, please help.” You may phone the other person once you have calmed your anger, but only when you can calmly tell him or her that you suffer and you want help. Asking for help when we’re angry is very difficult, but it allows others to see your suffering instead of just your anger. They will see that suffering causes the anger, and then communication and healing can begin. p.97 – When we have a rift or an estrangement from someone we care about, both people suffer. If we didn’t care deeply about the other person, the rift would not be so painful. It’s the people we care most about who trigger our greatest suffering. When someone has caused you a lot of pain, you may not even want to look at or be in the same room as that person, because you will suffer. With awareness, you can understand your own suffering and recognize the suffering in the other person. You may even understand that the reason that person suffers so much is because he or she doesn’t know how to handle the suffering. His suffering spills out, and you are its victim. Maybe he doesn’t want to make you suffer, but he doesn’t know another way. he can’t understand and transform his suffering, and so he makes the people around him suffer too, even when that’s not his intention. Because he suffers, you suffer. He doesn’t need punishment; he needs help. You can help by acknowledging the suffering in him. p.142 – Everything we say and do bears our signature. We can’t say, “That’s not my thought.” We’re responsible for our own communication. So if it happens that yesterday I said something what wasn’t right, I have to do something today to transform it. The French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre said, “Man is the sum of all his actions.” The value of our lives depends on the quality of our thinking, our speech, and our actions. p.144-45 – Communication isn’t static. Even if yesterday you produced a thought of anger and hate, today you can produce a thought in the opposite direction, a thought of compassion and tolerance. As soon as we produce the new thought, it can very quickly catch up with yesterday’s thought and neutralize it. Using right communication today can help us heal the past, enjoy the present, and prepare the ground for a good future. p.150 – Everyone one of us has a wounded child within who needs our care and love. But we run away from our inner child because we’re afraid of the suffering. In addition to listening to others with compassion, we must learn also listen to the wounded child inside us. That little child needs our attention. Take time to go back and tenderly embrace the wounded child within you. You can talk to the child with the language of love. “Dear one, in the past, I left you alone. I’ve gone away from you for so long. I’m sorry. Now I have come back to take care of you, to embrace you. I know you suffer so much, and I have neglected you. But now I’ve learned the way to take care of you. I am here now.’ We should talk to our child several times a day for healing to take place. The little child has been left alone for a long time, so we need to begin this practice right away. Go back to your inner child every day and listen for five or ten minutes, and healing will take place. p.152 – My dear, I know you have suffered a lot over the past many years. I have not been able to help you – in fact, I have made the situation worse. It is not my intention to make you suffer. Maybe I’m not skillful enough. Maybe I tried to impose my ideas on you. In the past I thought you made me suffer. Now I realize that I have been responsible for my own suffering. I promise to do my best to refrain from saying things or doing things that make you suffer. Please tell me what is in your heart. You need to help me; otherwise it is not possible for me to do it. I can’t do it alone. You have nothing to risk by writing this letter. You can even decide later whether to send it. But whether you send it or not, you will find that the person who finishes writing the letter is not the same person who began it – peace, understanding, and compassion have transformed you.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lexy

    I thought that this book was informational

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pixi Jo

    Honestly I think books like this, if not this book as is, should be required reading in school. Sure Shakespeare is dandy and all that, but this book is USEFUL! You'd think that how to talk to someone else would be as obvious as how to use the loo, but just like folk can still pee all over the floor, so too can we really truly mess up communicating our views and actually LISTENING TO and UNDERSTANDING other people, even those who's views veer far off from what we believe or have an opinion on, so Honestly I think books like this, if not this book as is, should be required reading in school. Sure Shakespeare is dandy and all that, but this book is USEFUL! You'd think that how to talk to someone else would be as obvious as how to use the loo, but just like folk can still pee all over the floor, so too can we really truly mess up communicating our views and actually LISTENING TO and UNDERSTANDING other people, even those who's views veer far off from what we believe or have an opinion on, so we can be a little less, "AH STUPID PEOPLE ARE SO DUMB THEY DON'T GET IT! NO ONE UNDERSTANDS ME!" and a bit more, "Ah, okay, that's how it is? Then how about we try..." The book is not a vast pool of deep insight or 'lone-old-man-in-a-loincloth-and-beard-on-a-mountain' type of wisdom, but it's a fantastic guide to being able to make ourselves understood and, in the process, perhaps also having a bit more compassion and understanding for others trying to do the same thing. Recommended for folk who want to hear as well as be heard.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Yesenia Cash

    A lotus for you, a Buddha to be...

  10. 4 out of 5

    ANNEstories

    This book reminds me of Richard Carlson’s Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff. A lot of compassionate communication and mindful awareness of yourself and the people around you to create a harmonious way of life. The art of deep listening of your thoughts and understanding your own suffering in the pursuit of Happiness. Because when you understand your suffering, you suffer less. And Suffering is needed to grow Happiness. They always go together. The Yin and the Yang. That it takes a lot of maturity to j This book reminds me of Richard Carlson’s Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff. A lot of compassionate communication and mindful awareness of yourself and the people around you to create a harmonious way of life. The art of deep listening of your thoughts and understanding your own suffering in the pursuit of Happiness. Because when you understand your suffering, you suffer less. And Suffering is needed to grow Happiness. They always go together. The Yin and the Yang. That it takes a lot of maturity to joyful living. Thich Nhat Hanh preached to be careful with the words you put out when the tension is high. In short, a lot of self-control, self-control and more self-control. The author further emphasized Mindful breathing- focus on the non talking and non thinking. It gives Higher opportunity for Joy. The usual Stop and Focus on the now. Sitting down and being w yourself. Hence, Mindful Walking- connect the body and the mind. „“ Food. What we consume w our eyes, ears, nose and our body are also food. The conversations, environment, aroma, etc. Are we consuming healthy food that help us grow? Home is the place where loneliness disappears. Sit down and do nothing. ~Nelson Mandela Double tongue- changing content for own advantage. Speak in terms that people can understand. Speak accdg to the understanding of the person listening. Communicate lovingly w yourself. Be there for yourself. With mindfulness, compassion arises. You are your thoughts, speech and action.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarai

    This was very insightful. It’s written using simple language, with examples thrown in, so that the reader absorbs it quickly. At first I thought the advice and methods were too simple, but when I thought of actually putting it into practice I realized how difficult it would be to follow the steps. It only sounds simple—practicing the methods in real life is difficult, and would take time and patience. I learned a lot from Hanh about healing through communication, loving speech and the idea of le This was very insightful. It’s written using simple language, with examples thrown in, so that the reader absorbs it quickly. At first I thought the advice and methods were too simple, but when I thought of actually putting it into practice I realized how difficult it would be to follow the steps. It only sounds simple—practicing the methods in real life is difficult, and would take time and patience. I learned a lot from Hanh about healing through communication, loving speech and the idea of leasing someone’s inner suffering. While I think some of the advice leans a little too much on Buddhist practices (meditative breathing, mindful walking, etc) I think most people can take a lot from this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    This is a short, simple, spiritually-sound book based on mindfulness, breath, intention, communication, and compassion. I've read several books on Buddhist philosophy (though these concepts apply to all faiths because they are based on love,) and I always find myself referring to their wisdom. Thich Nhat Hanh thinks directly. He repeats ideas, sometimes, which I find helpful because he reinforces his teachings. He will say, for example, "go to your in-and-out breath, then say..." many times to e This is a short, simple, spiritually-sound book based on mindfulness, breath, intention, communication, and compassion. I've read several books on Buddhist philosophy (though these concepts apply to all faiths because they are based on love,) and I always find myself referring to their wisdom. Thich Nhat Hanh thinks directly. He repeats ideas, sometimes, which I find helpful because he reinforces his teachings. He will say, for example, "go to your in-and-out breath, then say..." many times to emphasize how breathing/being mindful is important before any speaking. I will benefit most from the sections on listening compassionately to myself and others. I love how he urges readers to listen without interruption to others suffering, no matter their energy or validity, because there is plenty of time for the listener to (mindfully) express his/her feelings later. What a refreshing thing - to only listen and understand - not worrying about a response. I also appreciate the section on "mantras" - how to tell others important, caring messages. One is, "this is a happy moment." Another is, "I am suffering. Please help." This book, combined with Non-Violent Communication and The Four Agreements, has really engaged my mind and heart. I hope to be a better version of myself. :)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Antoinette Perez

    I read this book before going to sleep each night, and was filled with a sense of both desire to do better and peace, every single night. It was great. This is not a one-time read, but a reference guide I'll come back to, over and over again. I read this book before going to sleep each night, and was filled with a sense of both desire to do better and peace, every single night. It was great. This is not a one-time read, but a reference guide I'll come back to, over and over again.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sabrinac

    I am the byproduct of a violent upbringing. I really struggle to use language that is kind and inviting. I want to go to war with everyone because for me, life has been a series of battles. This is unfortunate because most of the time people are not trying to go to war with me. I end up hurting people and in turn finding people to hurt me so this can go on forever. And I’m done with it. It’s really powerful to just learn to exist in your feelings. The Art of Communicating is perfect for someone I am the byproduct of a violent upbringing. I really struggle to use language that is kind and inviting. I want to go to war with everyone because for me, life has been a series of battles. This is unfortunate because most of the time people are not trying to go to war with me. I end up hurting people and in turn finding people to hurt me so this can go on forever. And I’m done with it. It’s really powerful to just learn to exist in your feelings. The Art of Communicating is perfect for someone like me who’s in a transition period where very basic things like saying, “I am here for you,” are as powerful in print as they are in practice. I don’t expect this book to change me or anyone over night. But what is change without the decision to do things differently—while also knowing what to do to make this happen.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dharanyachellapandian

    I began reading this by chance. I did not have much expections once I grabbed it. I was wondering what would be its contents. But I just wanna give a try. OMG!! This book made a lasting impact in my life. He helped me reenter my past experiences where actually my communication broke some relationship in my life. After reading this, I started "Begining anew" the relations I had earlier with new Josh and new me. I have become mindful in my communication now. Hope this helps!!! 😊 I began reading this by chance. I did not have much expections once I grabbed it. I was wondering what would be its contents. But I just wanna give a try. OMG!! This book made a lasting impact in my life. He helped me reenter my past experiences where actually my communication broke some relationship in my life. After reading this, I started "Begining anew" the relations I had earlier with new Josh and new me. I have become mindful in my communication now. Hope this helps!!! 😊

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ying Ying

    As with Thich Nhat Hanh's other books, reading "The Art of Communicating" feels like meditating. This book is a guide to deep listening and loving speech. As with Thich Nhat Hanh's other books, reading "The Art of Communicating" feels like meditating. This book is a guide to deep listening and loving speech.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gwendolyn Fae

    i was thinking that i am not as good at listening as i once thought i was. that though i am a writer and live inside of words and yet i a do not communicate as clearly as i once thought i did. there are so many misunderstandings and wrong perceptions in my relationships. my loved ones have been feeling unheard. and i have been feeling deeply misunderstood. if this sounds at all familiar, yes this book. it is all about mindfulness. i love the idea of coming home that is brought up and circled back i was thinking that i am not as good at listening as i once thought i was. that though i am a writer and live inside of words and yet i a do not communicate as clearly as i once thought i did. there are so many misunderstandings and wrong perceptions in my relationships. my loved ones have been feeling unheard. and i have been feeling deeply misunderstood. if this sounds at all familiar, yes this book. it is all about mindfulness. i love the idea of coming home that is brought up and circled back to time and again:“when we begin to practice mindful awareness, we start the path home to ourselves. home is the place where loneliness disappears. when we’re home we feel warm, comfortable, safe, fulfilled… home is inside us. …please do come back home and listen. if you don’t communicate well with yourself, you cannot communicate with another person.” so i kept thinking of the title of raymond carver’s book, “where i’m calling from.” where am i listening and speaking from? from a centered, loving, safe place? or from a chaotic responding jumble of thoughts, feelings, judgements misperceptions, ego (three deep breaths and then we can begin) i want especially to be able to say i can’t talk about this right now i need a minute. and also to be so much better at deeply listening and understanding. with compassion and acceptance. and not ego. intention is everything. there is a lot to take in here. the ideas require a focused tuning in and i feel that the knowing will work itself down slowly, through the sediment, so to speak. i recommend taking your time with it, allowing, giving it space. and lots of patience and practice. maybe even reading it more than once or twice. useful to growth and better humaning.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nadine Jones

    Mindfulness requires letting go of judgment, returning to an awareness of the breath and the body, and bringing your full attention to what is in you and around you. I feel like mindfulness is that golden ring on the carousel of life, and I can never quite reach it. Sometimes I'm not even sure if I want to reach it! But most of the time I'm sure that practicing mindfulness will enhance my life. I'm not very good at it. I'm full of judgment, and I can't really sit still without my mind leaping Mindfulness requires letting go of judgment, returning to an awareness of the breath and the body, and bringing your full attention to what is in you and around you. I feel like mindfulness is that golden ring on the carousel of life, and I can never quite reach it. Sometimes I'm not even sure if I want to reach it! But most of the time I'm sure that practicing mindfulness will enhance my life. I'm not very good at it. I'm full of judgment, and I can't really sit still without my mind leaping ahead to all the things I need to do, haven't done, or could plan. But I keep practicing! I appreciate Thich Nhat Hanh's approach, because he gently (compassionately) tells how I can be better, without ever making me feel bad. I feel like I can take only what I need, with no pressure to take more. With mindful breathing, when we breathe in we know we’re breathing in. When we breathe out we know we’re breathing out. When we breathe in, we bring our attention to our in-breath. To remind ourselves to pay attention to our breath, we can say silently: Breathing in, I know I’m breathing in. Breathing out, I know I’m breathing out. “The air is entering my body. The air is leaving my body.” Follow your in-breath and out-breath all the way through. Suppose your in-breath lasts four seconds. During the time of breathing in, allow your attention to rest entirely on your in-breath, without interruption. During the time of breathing out, focus entirely on your out-breath. You are with your in-breath and your out-breath. You are not with anything else. You are your in-breath and your out-breath. Breathing in and breathing out is a practice of freedom. When we focus our attention on our breath, we release everything else, including worries or fears about the future and regrets or sorrows about the past. Focusing on the breath, we notice what we’re feeling in the present moment. We can do this throughout the day, enjoying the twenty-four hours that have been given us to breathe in and out. We can be there for ourselves. It takes only a few seconds to breathe in and set yourself free. I can breathe. I can be mindful. He covers the full range of communicating: in relationships, marriages, families, friendships, workplaces, communities, and even between governments and global social groups. The last chapter is especially helpful. He suggests a variety of ways that we can incorporate mindfulness and deep listening into our daily lives. We can set a reminder in our computer to take a moment to breathe. We can write a peace treaty with a loved one we are at odds with. We can practice the "cake in the refrigerator" ritual to defuse an angry conversation (not necessarily a real cake, just an agreed-upon way to step back and take a moment together to maybe have a snack, maybe cake). We can practice the mindful hugging ritual, which sounded silly to me when I first read the header, but after reading the description, I'm all in! I'm going to try it with my daughter today! You may practice hugging meditation with a friend, your daughter, your father, your partner, or even with a tree. To practice, first bow and recognize the presence of the other. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and visualize yourself and your beloved three hundred years from now. Then you can enjoy three deep, conscious breaths to bring yourself fully there. You can say to yourself: “Breathing in, I know that life is precious in this moment. Breathing out, I cherish this moment of life.” Smile at the person in front of you, expressing your desire to hold her in your arms. This is a practice and a ritual. When you bring your body and mind together to produce your total presence, to become full of life, it is a ritual. Then open your arms and begin hugging. Hold each other for three in-and out-breaths. With the first breath, you are aware that you are present in this very moment, and you are happy. With the second breath, you are aware that the other is present in this moment, and she is also happy. With the third breath, you are aware that you are here together, right now on this earth, and you feel deep gratitude and happiness for your togetherness. You then may release the other person and bow to each other to show your thanks. You can also practice it in the following way: During the first in-breath and out-breath, become aware that you and your beloved are both alive. For the second in-breath and out-breath, think of where you will both be three hundred years from now. And for the third in-breath and out-breath, go back to the insight that you are both alive. I was reading this at work when the housekeeping guy came by to empty my trash. He's a nice guy, and I practiced compassionate listening with him. Not sure if I nailed it. But he seemed happy to talk. I read this to fulfill the "self-improvement" category in the 2016 Popsugar Ultimate Reading Challenge. This is a process of training and learning. When you speak, allow the insight of our collective humanity to speak through you. When you walk, don’t walk for yourself alone; walk for your ancestors and your community. When you breathe, allow the larger world to breathe for you. When you’re angry, allow your anger to be released and to be embraced by the larger community. If you know how to do this for one day, you are already transformed. Be your community and let your community be you. This is true practice. Be like the river when it arrives at the ocean; be like the bees and birds that fly together. See yourself in the community and see the community in you. This is a process of transforming your way of seeing, and it will transform how, and how effectively, you communicate.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Surya

    Few lines from the book made me feel so guilty about how I have spoken on certain instances. As we grow up, getting negative feedback on one's character is extremely rare and difficult. In few instances when people come up to tell any constructive feedback, they are so gentle to make doubly sure that the rapport between us doesn’t turn sour. Those constructive feedbacks from our loved ones may not hit us hard. That is why self-help books come handy. Personally, this book clearly pointed out why Few lines from the book made me feel so guilty about how I have spoken on certain instances. As we grow up, getting negative feedback on one's character is extremely rare and difficult. In few instances when people come up to tell any constructive feedback, they are so gentle to make doubly sure that the rapport between us doesn’t turn sour. Those constructive feedbacks from our loved ones may not hit us hard. That is why self-help books come handy. Personally, this book clearly pointed out why and what certain things are not good. This is one of my most favourite extracts from the book Four guidelines for Right Speech: 1. Tell the truth. Don’t lie or turn the truth upside down. 2. Don’t exaggerate. 3. Be consistent. This means no double-talk: speaking about something in one way to one person and in an opposite way to another for selfish or manipulative reasons. 4. Use peaceful language. Don’t use insulting or violent words, cruel speech, verbal abuse, or condemnation. Most of the books are written by Thich Nhat Hanh revolve around the primary theme of trying to be mindful every moment. So if you have read many books by Thich Nhat Hanh this might seem repetitive. Of all the Thich Nhat Hanh books I have read my personal favourite is "Fidelity".

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ahmed Faiq

    " The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers." A great elaboration about communication in the Buddhist doctrine, when it means a lot more than simple communication with others, but the connection with the world, connection with our mind and soul, through mindfulness and concentrated breathing, and the way we can better enjoy our life if we could boost this communication. Great teacher, great words.... " The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers." A great elaboration about communication in the Buddhist doctrine, when it means a lot more than simple communication with others, but the connection with the world, connection with our mind and soul, through mindfulness and concentrated breathing, and the way we can better enjoy our life if we could boost this communication. Great teacher, great words....

  21. 4 out of 5

    Markus Molina

    Some good and valuable information for people, but if I’m being honest I just didn’t completely vibe with some of the advice even if I believed it. I suppose in just the way it’s presented it doesn’t lead me to believe it’s all completely realistic, maybe it’s just stated so plainly. Mantras and advice that seems difficult to remember or practice, or for the present moment, just seems like stuff I don’t want or need to practice. Obviously very good wisdom and practices, but it did not click for Some good and valuable information for people, but if I’m being honest I just didn’t completely vibe with some of the advice even if I believed it. I suppose in just the way it’s presented it doesn’t lead me to believe it’s all completely realistic, maybe it’s just stated so plainly. Mantras and advice that seems difficult to remember or practice, or for the present moment, just seems like stuff I don’t want or need to practice. Obviously very good wisdom and practices, but it did not click for me this time around!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Barry

    Dear Thich Nhat Hanh, • When you refer to scientific facts you need to provide citations • Your content was extremely basic • You definitely provided good reminders • The audiobook narrator you chose was extremely boring • Too many archaic suggestions to the stresses of modern life. Overall the book would be more useful for someone living hundreds of years ago

  23. 5 out of 5

    Robin Tobin (On the back porch reading)

    Truly a wise teacher. Thich Nhat Hanh's wisdom will be relevant for many generations to come. PopSugar 2020 - World Leader Truly a wise teacher. Thich Nhat Hanh's wisdom will be relevant for many generations to come. PopSugar 2020 - World Leader

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lakhan

    First time trying an Audiobook and this was lovely. I expect to use the wisdom from here about suffering/happiness, whilst being more mindful with life in general and my communication.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shiva

    We have been sinking in the western culture and line of thoughts so much that we sometimes forget how people act or behave out of our little box. I loved the cultural elements the writer brought to this book and the Buddhism analogy for a more effective presence. Worths a read!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Judith Marco Iscla

    I really think the world would be a better place if everybody read all the books written by Thich Nhat Hanh

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anna Mosca

    It did add new insight to my knowledge and if we, the people, will read it (over and over if needed) and practice it’s content life on earth will be easier for everyone.

  28. 5 out of 5

    David

    Thich Nhat Hanh has written an excellent guide to understanding and practicing what he has dubbed The Art of Communicating. We all benefit from his effort, and I am grateful for the chance to give this a read. The book begins by discussing the concept of absorbing thoughts, speech, and actions we produce ourselves in addition to karmic actions contained in the communications of those around us. Hanh moves on to address ways to effectively and honestly communicating with ourselves and others. His Thich Nhat Hanh has written an excellent guide to understanding and practicing what he has dubbed The Art of Communicating. We all benefit from his effort, and I am grateful for the chance to give this a read. The book begins by discussing the concept of absorbing thoughts, speech, and actions we produce ourselves in addition to karmic actions contained in the communications of those around us. Hanh moves on to address ways to effectively and honestly communicating with ourselves and others. His explanation of how the suffering of our parents and ancestors can be found within our own suffering helped me understand my own suffering as well as that of those who have come before me. There is a concept discussed at length that essentially boils down to loving oneself in order to manifest compassion and happiness for others. It is nearly impossible to have true compassion for another when one does not truly love oneself. That is something that I have been working on for the past few decades and will continue to work on in the coming decades as well. Hanh reminds us that when we greet another human being, it is helpful to remind ourselves that there is a Buddha inside them. As he says, "'The Buddha' is just a name for the most understanding and compassionate person it's possible to be. You may call it something else if you wish, like wisdom or God. We can breathe, smile, and walk in such a way that this person in us has a chance to manifest." I really enjoyed the wider passage that I plucked this quotation from—it reminds me that there are positive qualities inside of each and every one of us. Deep listening and loving speech are also two concepts that I really enjoyed reading about, and hope to put into practice more and more as time goes on. Giving someone our full undivided attention while they are speaking is very powerful—when we listen with true compassion, we have the power to help the person suffer less. This book helped me see that I don't always practice this, and I would like to do it more often because my intention is to always help others and to never intentionally hurt others. Hanh lists and fully explains four elements of loving speech: Tell the truth. Don't lie or turn the truth upside down. Don't exaggerate. Be consistent. This means no double-talk: speaking about something in one way to one person and in an opposite way to another for selfish or manipulative reasons. Use peaceful language. Don't use insulting or violent words, cruel speech, verbal abuse, or condemnation. In my opinion, those are very helpful reminders for us to continue to develop our practice of using loving speech when communicating with ourselves and others. I think my favorite part of the book was the part that centered on the six mantras of loving speech. Without going into detail on what they are in this review, I will simply say that they seem extremely helpful in communicating with others about suffering that we all go experience from time to time. I have already started putting some of these mantras into practice, and have found them to be useful and helpful in my communication with others. The book also covers the issues of communicating at work and in communities. One piece I took away from those sections was that it is beneficial to find time to be fully present and mindful with myself before getting into the car to drive to work, and certainly before walking into the door at my office! I have greatly enjoyed reading Hanh's books over the past several years. He has so many that it is unlikely that I will read his entire body of work, but I have benefitted greatly from his contributions and have a few more picked out that I plan to read. If you have any suggestions of exceptional Thich Nhat Hanh books for me to read, please let me know!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Matt Hutson

    This was an interesting find, I wanted a good book about communication and what I ended up getting was a good book about relationships, which of course, require good communication. In my opinion it was a bit heavy on the whole relationship side, which could be applied to other areas of life, but I would say mainly this book is good for improving intimate relationships. It's worthy if that's what you were looking for. This was an interesting find, I wanted a good book about communication and what I ended up getting was a good book about relationships, which of course, require good communication. In my opinion it was a bit heavy on the whole relationship side, which could be applied to other areas of life, but I would say mainly this book is good for improving intimate relationships. It's worthy if that's what you were looking for.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tanvika

    Technology has given us various ways to be connected 24/7. Still it has been unable to eradicate the sense of loneliness and despair. We talk too much, listen very little. There is little understanding and compassion in our speech. This manifests itself in family conflicts and even wars. For better communication thich offers effective solutions. He suggests deep listening where we listen so that others suffer less. We just listen to understand without interfering, advising, judging. Only when we Technology has given us various ways to be connected 24/7. Still it has been unable to eradicate the sense of loneliness and despair. We talk too much, listen very little. There is little understanding and compassion in our speech. This manifests itself in family conflicts and even wars. For better communication thich offers effective solutions. He suggests deep listening where we listen so that others suffer less. We just listen to understand without interfering, advising, judging. Only when we truly understand, do we love.He says we need to have a loving speech. It basically consist of being present, being happy in the moment, acknowledging our suffering. To strengthen these practices we can deeply breath, walk mindfully, sit relaxed , listening to the bell, writing love letter to someone you have caused pain, drinking tea joyfully etc. Putting these suggestions in practice, I see that it can actually make you more sensitive and caring about the small moments. It can heal your mind and body. It sounds simple, but requires regular practice.

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