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The Lost Art of Good Conversation: A Mindful Way to Connect with Others and Enrich Everyday Life

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Cutting through all the white noise, chatter, and superficiality our cell phones and social media cause, one of Tibet's highest and most respected spiritual leaders offers simple and practical advice to help us increase our attentions spans, become better listeners, and strive to appreciate the people around us. In a world of iPhones and connectivity to social media and em Cutting through all the white noise, chatter, and superficiality our cell phones and social media cause, one of Tibet's highest and most respected spiritual leaders offers simple and practical advice to help us increase our attentions spans, become better listeners, and strive to appreciate the people around us. In a world of iPhones and connectivity to social media and email, we are all in constant connection with one another. Then why are so many people feeling burned out, distant from colleagues, and abandoned by family and friends? In this new book from the bestselling author of Running with the Mind of Meditation, the Sakyong uses the basic principles of the Shambhala tradition--meditation and a sincere belief in the inherent wisdom, compassion, and courage of all beings--to help readers to listen and speak more mindfuly with loved ones, co-workers, strangers, and even ourselves. In this easy to understand and helpful book, Sakyong Mipham provides inspiring ideas and practical tips on how to be more present in your day-to-day life, helping us to communicate in ways that elevates the dignity of everyone involved. Great for families, employees and employers and everyone who spend too much time on Facebook, Instragram, and feel -disconnected- in our -connected- world, Good Conversation is a journey back to basics.


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Cutting through all the white noise, chatter, and superficiality our cell phones and social media cause, one of Tibet's highest and most respected spiritual leaders offers simple and practical advice to help us increase our attentions spans, become better listeners, and strive to appreciate the people around us. In a world of iPhones and connectivity to social media and em Cutting through all the white noise, chatter, and superficiality our cell phones and social media cause, one of Tibet's highest and most respected spiritual leaders offers simple and practical advice to help us increase our attentions spans, become better listeners, and strive to appreciate the people around us. In a world of iPhones and connectivity to social media and email, we are all in constant connection with one another. Then why are so many people feeling burned out, distant from colleagues, and abandoned by family and friends? In this new book from the bestselling author of Running with the Mind of Meditation, the Sakyong uses the basic principles of the Shambhala tradition--meditation and a sincere belief in the inherent wisdom, compassion, and courage of all beings--to help readers to listen and speak more mindfuly with loved ones, co-workers, strangers, and even ourselves. In this easy to understand and helpful book, Sakyong Mipham provides inspiring ideas and practical tips on how to be more present in your day-to-day life, helping us to communicate in ways that elevates the dignity of everyone involved. Great for families, employees and employers and everyone who spend too much time on Facebook, Instragram, and feel -disconnected- in our -connected- world, Good Conversation is a journey back to basics.

30 review for The Lost Art of Good Conversation: A Mindful Way to Connect with Others and Enrich Everyday Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    Pretend you're at the library, and you see a flashy "New Book" bookmark sticking out of a, well, new book. And the title catches your eye, and you think, "yeah I could benefit from this." Well, that's how I came upon _The Lost Art of Good Conversation_. The book is really a Buddhist mindfulness manual, built off the concern that mindfulness in a digital era is ever harder to practice. I found the framing around what if we forgot how to have a conversation, to be useful, but the approach or the w Pretend you're at the library, and you see a flashy "New Book" bookmark sticking out of a, well, new book. And the title catches your eye, and you think, "yeah I could benefit from this." Well, that's how I came upon _The Lost Art of Good Conversation_. The book is really a Buddhist mindfulness manual, built off the concern that mindfulness in a digital era is ever harder to practice. I found the framing around what if we forgot how to have a conversation, to be useful, but the approach or the writing at other times to be too rudimentary or simplistic. In the section on "Choosing a Topic," for example, you get this gem: "History. Discussing history is a good way to keep in touch with the past." And later, the wisdom "avoid jargon, insults, slang and gossip" is shared. But, there are thoughtful reflections..."Laziness is the enemy of mindfulness" or "Conversation is not therapy, bargaining or debate." As easy as it was to read - I read slowly and in bursts...it could easily be read in an afternoon - this book is a study in opportunities to connect, to be present in conversation. It can't hurt. But also, it can't reliably deliver insight into the lost art of conversation. Then again, maybe I was looking to read a book on the art of lost conversation.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    I won an ARC of this book in a goodreads drawing. A great book about how to have actual conversations with people. Most of the tips are really common sense, like get your head out of your phone and pay attention, but there is nothing so rare as common sense in this world of ours. Everyone should read this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andre

    I really like how this book comes together. "The wisdom behind conversation is that by acknowledging each other’s humanity through open and communal exchange, we are testifying to the vibrancy of human nature."The author Sakyong Mipham is from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and draws on that custom to dispense wisdom surrounding the importance of being in the moment and cultivating good conversational skills. So it's not just about turning off social media though that is discussed, it's more of I really like how this book comes together. "The wisdom behind conversation is that by acknowledging each other’s humanity through open and communal exchange, we are testifying to the vibrancy of human nature."The author Sakyong Mipham is from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and draws on that custom to dispense wisdom surrounding the importance of being in the moment and cultivating good conversational skills. So it's not just about turning off social media though that is discussed, it's more of trying to train the mind to engage in good conversation and some how-to in order to bring about successful results. There are reflections for readers to ponder throughout the text, and some are quite stimulating;"Reflect on what you have learned in conversations at different times in your life, and from whom. What would you like others to learn from talking to you?"The book is divided into five parts from "why conversation "to "strive for conversational excellence" with each part having several chapters. It is a helpful guide to focusing on conversations.This book will no doubt be of great assistance to those seeking to be more mindful in their communications.There is indeed an art to good conversation. "In order to have good conversation, we must appreciate its artistic elements. This art has to do with easing the minds of others, creating valuable and genuine interactions. It is an art of interchange."I love that the book makes one do self-inventory concerning their conversations and their conversational style. This is one I recommend as it hits just the right notes, not preachy at all, just like talking to a friend who is offering you some good advice. Sorely needed in these times when people are having fewer face to face interactions, which we need more of now to cut through all the conversation nullifying distractions. This is not a book to be read and put away, you will find yourself returning to the book for reminders and reference. Thanks to Netgalley for providing an advanced reading copy in exchange for a honest review. The book will publish Oct. 17, 2017

  4. 5 out of 5

    Happyreader

    What a beautiful and practical guide to strengthening connections with others through our daily conversations. While social media has its place, it is no replacement for connecting with people in real time in the same space. I love the emphasis on conversations not having a goal beyond being in the present and being open and compassionate towards those you’re with. Love the observation that our conversations are our breath and state of mind made manifest. Just as in silent meditation, we can cre What a beautiful and practical guide to strengthening connections with others through our daily conversations. While social media has its place, it is no replacement for connecting with people in real time in the same space. I love the emphasis on conversations not having a goal beyond being in the present and being open and compassionate towards those you’re with. Love the observation that our conversations are our breath and state of mind made manifest. Just as in silent meditation, we can create more peace and understanding by being more aware and present and less resistant to what arises. Limiting distractions and paying attention can turn the most mundane interactions into opportunities for greater connection. It also provides the ballast to maintain your equanimity in the most contentious and difficult of exchanges. I received a free pre-release copy of this book from NetGalley for review. I requested this title since I’ve enjoyed reading Sakyong Mipham’s words of wisdom in the past. He does not disappoint here. With short chapters and reflections, this book is perfect for morning readings to start your daily interactions with positive intentions.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elliott

    “Beginning a conversation is an act of bravery,” writes Sakyong Mipham in his book The Lost Art of Good Conversation, “When you initiate a conversation, you fearlessly step into the unknown. Will the other person respond to favorably or unfavorably? Will it be a friendly or hostile exchange? There is a feeling of being on the edge. That nanosecond of space and unknowing can be intimidating. It shows your vulnerability. You don’t know what is going to happen. You feel quite exposed. There’s a cha “Beginning a conversation is an act of bravery,” writes Sakyong Mipham in his book The Lost Art of Good Conversation, “When you initiate a conversation, you fearlessly step into the unknown. Will the other person respond to favorably or unfavorably? Will it be a friendly or hostile exchange? There is a feeling of being on the edge. That nanosecond of space and unknowing can be intimidating. It shows your vulnerability. You don’t know what is going to happen. You feel quite exposed. There’s a chance you’ll experience embarrassment. Yet this very feeling is what allows you to connect to the other person.” As a shy, introvert, I cannot stand small-talk. I’m not good at idle chit-chat. I would much rather have a deep, meaningful conversation with someone than to stand around in shallow, prattle. Social occasions are a nightmare to me. At neighborhood parties, I tend to find myself a corner to watch others and to wait out my time until we can leave and go home. For me to initiate a conversation takes a lot out of me. I feel exhausted after I have been to one of these social gatherings. This is not the case when I have lunch or coffee with a friend and we have real conversation with each other. “Even brief moments of genuine conversation,” Mipham writes, “can uplift our entire life.” I know I feel this way when I have genuinely connected with someone. In a culture were most communicate through texts, short-hand use of words or emojis, or there is talk radio where the host spews his or her thoughts on politics or the world, or social media where people post comments (often vile, negative ones that they would never say if they were standing in front of that person). Sakyong Mipham says that this negativity in our communication comes “because we take less time to think before we speak, we may project our anger around the globe via media before considering the outcome.” In an age with instant connection, via the internet, people have lost real connection with each other and, in that loss, the ability to have good, meaningful, mindful conversations with each other where we both speak and listen. There is a loss of civility. “The danger,” says Mipham, “is that while we are more connected now to the whole world than we have ever been before. we are less connected to people in our everyday life. We’re having fewer and fewer conversations.” Certainly I have noticed, when my family goes out to eat, that when I look around, we are in the minority of people who are actually talking to each other instead of all of us being on our phones. What are we losing by not having conversations but are opting out by merely messaging or texting each other? “A conversation is based on physical presence, which is rooted in felling. All of our senses are involved. By talking to someone in person,” Sakyong Mipham writes, “we gain access to specific senses: appreciation, compassion, and love.” When we are having such a conversation, we pick up on more than just the words but the expressions and the feelings of the person we are talking to. It requires our attention. As Simone Weil so aptly understood, “Attention is the rarest and purest forms of generosity.” When we take the time to spend it with someone else, to listen and open and share with them, we become closer and more deeply rooted in each other’s lives. Social gatherings exhaust me. I feel as if I have been drained and depleted. After I come home, I find myself retreating to be alone to, essentially, replenish myself. When I have had a great conversation with someone, I feel invigorated and challenged and encouraged and connected to that person. We are invested in each other’s lives. These interactions are less stressful to me and less draining, despite the fact that I am more vulnerable and open with this person than I am at a dinner party or social engagement. Meaningful and mindful conversation brings beauty and a richness to my life. I am present to them and they are present to me. From conversation comes relationship, which is something one cannot get in a meet-and-greet type setting. There is an intimacy to conversation, a sharing of stories and self, of laughter and, sometimes, tears. There is a “connectivity” that is “the heart of all conversations and relationships.” Conversations engage our minds, our hearts, our imaginations, and our emotions. Good conversation is not asking someone how they are doing just so we can wait for them to finish and we can really get to talking about ourselves and what we are going through. As the essayist William Hazlitt noted, “The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard.” How many good conversations can we say we have truly had? In a world where everyone wants to be heard, one of the greatest acts of love we can offer is to be silent and listen. There is never a lack of talkers, but there appears to be a rareness to those who are good listeners. It is something I often struggle with as I listen to someone telling a story and I am thinking, “When will they get to the point?” This is not listening and there need not be a point. Conversation is not about negotiation, or bargaining. Our conversations should be transformational, not merely transactional. It is allowing someone to share and to be heard. To be mindful in our conversations means to be present. Present to the other person and not distracted but listening carefully to their words, their meanings, and what is underlying what that person is saying. It is to be present in one’s surroundings and not be constantly checking one’s phone or thinking about all of the other things one needs to do that day. Good conversation is sharing. Of finding the other person worthy enough to listen to them and that they do the same for you. It is being intentional. It is being empathetic and compassionate towards another human being, which we need more of in this world of reaction and frustration and declaration. Sakyong Mipham writes that good conversation is asking oneself before one speaks a single word: Will I create war or will I create peace? What are we offering with the very words we are saying? We must contemplate what we are going to say, why we are going to say it and should we even say it. Good conversation is a balance of listening and speaking. It is like a great work of music where there are the notes that are being played and then there are the breaths and silences between them. Music is composed of notes and silences just as a great conversation is. It is an interplay and an exchange. Giving of our time and ourselves to listen and share with another person is a precious gift. It is a building of bridges, not walls. A conversation is an act of both “bravery” and “vulnerability.” We move beyond our self and our own self-interests, to the interests and needs of another. It is a place of healing and hope. It is a place of sharing and allowing the other person to be themselves and not pretend or wear a mask. Good conversation is, ultimately, an act of love. One cannot help but wish more would take the time to cultivate and nourish such conversations in order that we might begin to see the world and ourselves quite differently afterwards.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kissiah

    I have many thoughts about this particular read starting with the title and how, after reading several chapters, I felt it misleading. I thought the book would be about how we could be more skillful in conversation, that is, how one might improve upon their communication skills; yet what I found was a book about how to be more present in day-to-day life, including when speaking to others. This isn’t a bad thing, only a disappointing one for those who were anticipating a more communication focuse I have many thoughts about this particular read starting with the title and how, after reading several chapters, I felt it misleading. I thought the book would be about how we could be more skillful in conversation, that is, how one might improve upon their communication skills; yet what I found was a book about how to be more present in day-to-day life, including when speaking to others. This isn’t a bad thing, only a disappointing one for those who were anticipating a more communication focused tool. I think the title could change to something more along the lines of “Being Present: A Mindful Way to Connect with Others…” In this way the reader has more inner spaciousness to receive what was provided rather than thinking one thing and getting another, which itself is a moment to practice. We have to release our expectations in order to be with what is. Ha! I wasn’t sure that I would finish reading the book, however, when I told myself to let go of the thoughts I had around what I wanted or expected, I was able to appreciate it for what it was. That being said, of all of the chapters, I found perhaps three most poignant and they’re later in the book, which means you either have to keep reading or jump ahead. The book is well written, so I don’t want to take away from that, yet the title misses the mark. Also, adding more personal experiences would have added to the book by giving the reader more vivid examples of the many ways in which skillful conversation can take place. In the end, The Lost Art of Good Conversation lost the art of being more than just “another mindfulness book.” My rating: 2.5

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tommy

    I could review this book on this website, but I'd rather tell you about it face-to-face. That's a testament to the Sakyong's latest offering, "The Lost Art of Good Conversation", which reminds us of how enlightening and powerful connecting with each other can be in this age of speed, aggression, and gadgets. This book was a good reminder for me, as I have become very disengaged from the art of listening and courageously reaching out to others for conversation. I think it serves those of us who h I could review this book on this website, but I'd rather tell you about it face-to-face. That's a testament to the Sakyong's latest offering, "The Lost Art of Good Conversation", which reminds us of how enlightening and powerful connecting with each other can be in this age of speed, aggression, and gadgets. This book was a good reminder for me, as I have become very disengaged from the art of listening and courageously reaching out to others for conversation. I think it serves those of us who have "gotten off track" very well. More importantly, we have an entire generation coming up who have always lived with email, Smartphones, IM, social media, and the like. They've never truly learned the art of a good conversation because it hasn't been required of them to formally function in our society (yet). But the time will come when they must, and this book is a good tool in teaching the nuances of making real connection, not in a Miss Manners kind of way, but in an uplifting way, layered with the benefit of recognizing one another's inherent dignity and the spiritual value we need to rediscover in one another.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    As promising as the title seemed, I was unable to finish this book. (I only made it about halfway.) Not because it was poorly written or anything, but because there seemed to be very little it said that was new. Learn to listen, respect the other person, be genuine, meditate, etc. All good advice, to be sure, but not engaging enough in presentation or content to hold my attention. Maybe I'll return to it another day, but for now it will remain unfinished. As promising as the title seemed, I was unable to finish this book. (I only made it about halfway.) Not because it was poorly written or anything, but because there seemed to be very little it said that was new. Learn to listen, respect the other person, be genuine, meditate, etc. All good advice, to be sure, but not engaging enough in presentation or content to hold my attention. Maybe I'll return to it another day, but for now it will remain unfinished.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jenn "JR"

    Overall, I enjoyed this book - it was a quick, light read. I'd classify this primarily as a mindfulness book -- lots of "think before you speak" with the big takeaway being to be compassionate in your responses to others. More of the "yes, and" instead of "no but" -- and don't stir up a debate or an argument that doesn't really matter nor add anything to the world. Use conversation to build connections -- not to build yourself up. There's also a nice focus on balance and reciprocity: you shouldn' Overall, I enjoyed this book - it was a quick, light read. I'd classify this primarily as a mindfulness book -- lots of "think before you speak" with the big takeaway being to be compassionate in your responses to others. More of the "yes, and" instead of "no but" -- and don't stir up a debate or an argument that doesn't really matter nor add anything to the world. Use conversation to build connections -- not to build yourself up. There's also a nice focus on balance and reciprocity: you shouldn't have to pry information out of other people nor should you do all the talking. It's not a practical guide to topics and navigating subjects of conversation -- you'd be better off doing a search for "quality conversation starters." This book is more of a "frame of mind" guide to being thoughtful, considerate and agreeable. Though it may represent content previously published by the author, it's in a nice format with plenty of bolded sections that provide food for thought. So, instead of browsing Reddit, pick up a book like this to browse for a few minutes instead.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    I selected this book purely on the title. In many ways it seemed more an insight into the Buddhist worldview, particularly as it relates to communicating and interacting with others. Though some of the insights may seem known already, it was helpful to hear wisdom shared from a different perspective. I appreciated the following insights/quotes: 1) Emphasis on the importance of words -- How we speak affects our and others physical well-being 2) On Emotions: -- "...we use emotions to establish our se I selected this book purely on the title. In many ways it seemed more an insight into the Buddhist worldview, particularly as it relates to communicating and interacting with others. Though some of the insights may seem known already, it was helpful to hear wisdom shared from a different perspective. I appreciated the following insights/quotes: 1) Emphasis on the importance of words -- How we speak affects our and others physical well-being 2) On Emotions: -- "...we use emotions to establish our self-identity" - sometimes our emotions (i.e. our reactions) drive our sense of self and reality -- "Agitation... translates into stress... linked to emotional pressure we put on ourselves to maintain our self-identity in the world." -- "Passion and aggression are the words behind very common emotions we use to try to manage daily life. Yet by their very nature they cannot be satisfied because they are rooted in looking outside ourselves for relief." 3) Have intellectual patience - "a beginner's mind" 4) Complaints and insults can often be disguised. We should aim to be direct, though kind. 5) Exertion: People are not buttons -- as "technology... replaces human beings... we become use to pushing buttons to get what we want." However, people require the commitment of our whole being. You have to exert yourself, and that kind of focus and energy can be an indicator of a good conversationalist. 6) "It all comes down to appreciation" -- You don't have to be overly educated to be a good conversationalist. Some educated people can only carry on "lackluster conversations" whereas others carry on better because they appreciate human interaction. Their genuine curiosity drives more interesting dialog and meaningful interactions.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Annie Kookie

    Linguistically the first chapter (sub chapter?) appealed to me and I was excited to read the book. It didn’t take long until I found that style of writing was to be short-lived and the book made me, in a twist of irony, use my patience to stay with it. There are some lovely prose, and some valid points, however this book struck me as more of a test of meditative abilities than what I had expected it to be. I don’t think the book was bad, I had just expected something different, which yet again ha Linguistically the first chapter (sub chapter?) appealed to me and I was excited to read the book. It didn’t take long until I found that style of writing was to be short-lived and the book made me, in a twist of irony, use my patience to stay with it. There are some lovely prose, and some valid points, however this book struck me as more of a test of meditative abilities than what I had expected it to be. I don’t think the book was bad, I had just expected something different, which yet again has me smirking at the irony of not just enjoying the presence of the story. Maybe this book was made for me after all...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Lee

    Self help type books are never a sit and read in one sitting situation, so I have been flipping through and taking in a few pages at a time for almost a month now. I am not setting a read date, and I am not counting it toward my 2018 reading goal; but I do want to share my feelings on this book. I selected to this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review over their other ( probably much more interesting reads ) for a few different reasons. 1 - I am an introvert, with intense Self help type books are never a sit and read in one sitting situation, so I have been flipping through and taking in a few pages at a time for almost a month now. I am not setting a read date, and I am not counting it toward my 2018 reading goal; but I do want to share my feelings on this book. I selected to this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review over their other ( probably much more interesting reads ) for a few different reasons. 1 - I am an introvert, with intense social anxiety. The thought of having face to face conversations (sometimes even with people who I already have an established relationship with ) absolutely terrifies me. 2 - Although reason number 1 is in full effect 95% of my life, I am very much aware that I am not an exception to the fact that we are all slaves to technology, be it a computer at home or a phone out and about. No one is really ever present anymore, and that is heart breaking. 3 - Most importantly, I want to change both of these things about myself. I want to be better at connecting with the people in my life. This book, as full of common sense as it may be, is a nice wake up call. It is a good way to shake the cobwebs out of your brain and shed some light on just how far we've strayed from wholesome, meaningful and positive interaction. I know that I'm not alone when I say that I've been with a friend, family or loved one, trying to share something - excitement, or other wise, and find that I am competing with a screen, with some thing or someone that isn't present in the moment. It's utterly heart breaking. However.. like I said - I am not an exception to this. I have done it, I am guilty. But I am working on it. I think that every one else should, too. If you need help shaking the cobwebs out, this may be the nudge you need.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Wolf

    It was interesting to read this book from an author who has a different cultural and religious background than I do. A lot of the knowledge he shared was pretty common sense, but humans have been conversing and similar ways for thousands of years, so it's probably not fair to expect any riveting new breakthroughs. After reading this book, I think my new questions are about how to refine newer digital forms of communication. By reflecting on what works well in traditional, face-to-face conversatio It was interesting to read this book from an author who has a different cultural and religious background than I do. A lot of the knowledge he shared was pretty common sense, but humans have been conversing and similar ways for thousands of years, so it's probably not fair to expect any riveting new breakthroughs. After reading this book, I think my new questions are about how to refine newer digital forms of communication. By reflecting on what works well in traditional, face-to-face conversation I think we can also improve the ways we interact digitally so that it can lead to human flourishing instead of the toxicity we too often see.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    Lovely little reminder of not only how to be a good listener but also why. Good conversation is at least one curious person. Great conversation is all curious people who have manners to let others speak.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Cameron

    Wonderful insights, suggestions and reflections on how we can engage more effectively and compassionately with others

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    A lot of this is just regurgitated from SMR's previous books and super basic Buddhist principles. But the bigger issue I have with it is that the Sakyong admitted to having inappropriate relationships with women (for YEARS) shortly after this book was published. One woman told the New York Times that before he was married, the Sakyong would kiss and grope her when he got drunk. The reasoning she used to stick around was that he was showing her “the patterns of my own poverty mentality and graspi A lot of this is just regurgitated from SMR's previous books and super basic Buddhist principles. But the bigger issue I have with it is that the Sakyong admitted to having inappropriate relationships with women (for YEARS) shortly after this book was published. One woman told the New York Times that before he was married, the Sakyong would kiss and grope her when he got drunk. The reasoning she used to stick around was that he was showing her “the patterns of my own poverty mentality and grasping.” Re-reading this book with that quote in mind, I couldn't help but imagine the way that the Sakyong could take any of the little tidbits of teaching in here and use them for a similar justification of misdoing. It left me with a sour taste and I'm not sure I'll be able to return to any of his other books after learning about this.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

    This is a Goodreads win review. I loved this book because I grew up before all these gadgets came out and people actually talked to one another. This book tells us how to connect with others in a mindful way. We need to not be so addicted to this stuff and enjoy our life and the people around us better.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Elyse

    I was looking for a book to help me become a better conversationalist. Instead, this book reminded me of my eighth grade health class, where we had to sit across from each other and "open our ears" and listen to each other, while practicing saying this like, "that must have been horrible," or "how amazing," and then end with a final comment, to show that we were good listeners. This book felt like it was treating me like a kindergartner in teaching me how to speak to others, with basic tips like I was looking for a book to help me become a better conversationalist. Instead, this book reminded me of my eighth grade health class, where we had to sit across from each other and "open our ears" and listen to each other, while practicing saying this like, "that must have been horrible," or "how amazing," and then end with a final comment, to show that we were good listeners. This book felt like it was treating me like a kindergartner in teaching me how to speak to others, with basic tips like "listen," and "show that you are listening." There was nothing specific in here about how to direct conversations or make people enjoy conversations, and a lot of it was warning against being angry at others. Don't speak to others in an angry voice, think about the situation before starting an argument - these parts of the book seemed like they belonged in a marriage counseling book, not a book on how to be a better conversationalist.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Doni

    Much better than the average self-help book because it focuses on the big picture, focusing on a conversant as a warrior waging battle to achieve peace. Mipham defines words in really interesting, mind-spinning ways, such as "aggression as wanting things to be anything but what they are." It has moments of reflection at the end of each chapter to help you apply the concepts. I found myself underlining a lot. The best distillation of its message is: "A good conversation is the constant embodiment Much better than the average self-help book because it focuses on the big picture, focusing on a conversant as a warrior waging battle to achieve peace. Mipham defines words in really interesting, mind-spinning ways, such as "aggression as wanting things to be anything but what they are." It has moments of reflection at the end of each chapter to help you apply the concepts. I found myself underlining a lot. The best distillation of its message is: "A good conversation is the constant embodiment of living in the challenge of never giving up on others. Simultaneously, it is the heroic gesture of not giving up on ourselves."

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlyn

    I started this book thinking it would offer guidance on how to bring Dharmic practice into conversation - how cultivating compassion, for example, can help us to be open to others and engage in communication on a deeper level. Instead it reads like a High School psychology guide on chit chat. This may be intentional, as a way to engage with a larger, non-Buddhist audience. So perhaps I am the wrong target for this book. I found it grating in places, and simplistic to sounding almost patronising I started this book thinking it would offer guidance on how to bring Dharmic practice into conversation - how cultivating compassion, for example, can help us to be open to others and engage in communication on a deeper level. Instead it reads like a High School psychology guide on chit chat. This may be intentional, as a way to engage with a larger, non-Buddhist audience. So perhaps I am the wrong target for this book. I found it grating in places, and simplistic to sounding almost patronising in others.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hilary Ferguson

    I thought it was a lovely ode to conversation, in the practical and spiritual sense. I loved the concept of windhorse, the energy that must be taken with conversation (not being lazy) 🙂 and the inherent GOOD in each person.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lynne

    An adorable book that is mostly common sense but still good to read about it again. Everyone should read this book!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Sometimes I pick up a book I’m just not “feeling” right now. This is that book. I Did not finish. Maybe I’ll get back to this book someday.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne

    Did not finish. I tried very hard to finish this book because I won an uncorrected proof/advanced copy through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. Not finishing a book that I've started is hard for me because "I'm not a quitter!" But on the other hand, I read an inspiring quote that, in my memory, goes along the line of life is too short to spend reading books that don't utterly captivate. I dislike writing negative reviews because I follow the advice of "if you don't have something nice to say, sa Did not finish. I tried very hard to finish this book because I won an uncorrected proof/advanced copy through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. Not finishing a book that I've started is hard for me because "I'm not a quitter!" But on the other hand, I read an inspiring quote that, in my memory, goes along the line of life is too short to spend reading books that don't utterly captivate. I dislike writing negative reviews because I follow the advice of "if you don't have something nice to say, say nothing." But since I won it in a giveaway, I knew I should say something and try to explain why I couldn't finish the book. First, I thought I couldn't get through it because I was near final exams, so I put it down for a few months and tried again. The same issue occurred, and I couldn't blame school stress anymore. I found myself staring at the same page, reading and rereading the same sentences and paragraphs over and over again. I spent an entire hour at least once without turning the page once because my mind kept wandering no matter how hard I tried to force myself to focus, even to skim. Sometimes I would rephrase the sentences in my mind, just to end up thinking, "surely it could have been phrased better." I tried to analyze the sentences to determine what my issue was. The words were not difficult to understand; on the contrary, no dictionary needed. I think part of my problem was the continual use of prepositions where it seemed unnecessary. This may have changed in the final printing. It was a lot of "of the such-n-such of the something." A lot of phrases began with "of the" to the point of excess. I tried to rephrase them in my head, which made some sentences three times shorter. It would have been better to have eliminated all the extraneous words that seemed to add fluff to the sentences. My high school English teachers would have taken points off had I written a paper with grammar like this, and they would have stressed using a more active writing style. I can only assume that my problem with getting through the book was directly related to the author's writing style and the excessive use of prepositional phrases. The book probably would've been a lot shorter if a different, simpler style was chosen, because it seemed like it was full of extra fluff to plump out sentences, and by extension, the book. It is possible that the book was translated from another language, but don't quote me on that; I don't know for sure. The author described a term called "windhorse," and I must have read what that was at least three to four times. I like the sound of the word, but unfortunately the association I had of it in my mind and memory was not what the author was referring to (my associations are personal; they had nothing to do with the author). I entered the giveaway because I think the topic is important. Today it seems that we have lost the art of conversation. It seems that we are losing the ability to have meaningful, or at least civil, social interactions. It seems like younger people aren't as aware of body language and social cues. I was hoping the book would offer insight into why this is and how to get it back/teach it to younger folks, but it fell short for me. I'm sure there are many people who will get a lot of good from this book, but I'm afraid I'm not one of them. If you're interested in reading this book, but aren't sure, I might suggest going to your local library. If your library does not have a copy, you could request an interlibrary loan (your library will loan the book from another library for you to read). I wish I had more to say, but this was my experience. No disrespect meant to the author, and I am grateful for the opportunity I had to (try to) read this book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Ortiz

    When I was reading the book t. I realize that it is so true about how sociality are so stuck on technology like we are robots to this whole new world we living in. Like we lost all ways on communication and expression of feelings . How we forgot how to communicate properly and that we use technology to get away from reality. Sadness it is true. I do be on the technology a lot when it came out. I also came to a realization before and during this book on how true it technology world blind us from When I was reading the book t. I realize that it is so true about how sociality are so stuck on technology like we are robots to this whole new world we living in. Like we lost all ways on communication and expression of feelings . How we forgot how to communicate properly and that we use technology to get away from reality. Sadness it is true. I do be on the technology a lot when it came out. I also came to a realization before and during this book on how true it technology world blind us from what we truly living for. My husband and I when we go out . We rather prepaid phones with no internet on it or at least one of us have internet just in case we need it to get around. We choose that way because we sometimes or I would said 60% on the internet . Either I write my blog as a hobby, surveys to earn money cause I am a stay at home mom of two , social medias for connections with family or friends or sharing , or reading. I read books off the technology to and I teach my kids not to get so stuck on technology. We can and can't live without technology . One technology got resource we need and communication with those who aren't around us. We can live without technology because we can communicate the proper way with each other. Technology have make us lack intelligent with short forms of words such as (lol) laugh out loud, (gtfooh) get the f**k out of here or any urban talk that is out in which it's a trend now or the future. Respect are gone because parent not teaching there kids from home to have it . To bring it in school. Cyber bullying is a big issues that kids face now a days that everyone can see and it can be share within second to ruin a young or all ages life. Like things like this technology have ruin our lives. Sad truth . If we changes technology to a more encourage and share things that kids need to see , understand ,changes in a motivational plus positive ways then we can changes the generation. It all start from technology, at home, and their surrounding. Time to promote all kind of learning to better kids for our future and have them learn to communicate right etc without the technology. I recommend "The lost art of Good conversation: by Sakyong Mipham" , because it help you learn how to communicate all over again because due to technology we are blind in this world of the reality that we need to face. We need to learn without the technology interfering. We need to know how to connect verbal by face to face and enjoy each other company plus feel each other connection(chemistry between each others). You will enjoy reading the book because it gives you idea's on how to communicate the proper way .

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I chose this book, because I am currently taking a public speaking course and thought I could learn something from reading this! Takeaways p. 39- "By strengthening confidence in our own worthiness, we engender confidence in the worthiness of humanity itself." p. 67- REFLECTION: "Contemplate the effects of unbridled and thoughtless statements you have made in the past and how they have affected yourself and others. Contemplate how other people's thoughtless words have made you feel." --> Be more a I chose this book, because I am currently taking a public speaking course and thought I could learn something from reading this! Takeaways p. 39- "By strengthening confidence in our own worthiness, we engender confidence in the worthiness of humanity itself." p. 67- REFLECTION: "Contemplate the effects of unbridled and thoughtless statements you have made in the past and how they have affected yourself and others. Contemplate how other people's thoughtless words have made you feel." --> Be more aware! p. 81-82- Leap In with Bravery The first paragraph states, "Beginning a conversation is an act of bravery. When you initiate a conversation, you fearlessly step into the unknown. Will the other person respond favorably or unfavorably? Will it be a friendly or hostile exchange? There is a feeling of being on the edge. That nanosecond of space and unknowing can be intimidating. It shows your vulnerability. You don't know what is going to happen. You feel quite exposed. There's a chance you'll experience embarrassment. Yet this very feeling is what allows you to connect to the other person." --> This about sums up how I feel every time I start a conversation. p. 138- REFLECTION: "Recall how you've experienced feedback in the past, both positive and negative." --> Think about how you react to feedback. p. 161- REFLECTION: "Try not to complain for an entire day. This may take more discipline than you expect, and it may be that what you think are not complaints are actually hidden complaints. The main thing is to have a sense of humor as you explore letting go of your preconception. How does it feel to lighten the burden of complaint?" --> One of my New Year resolutions is to complain less! It's a work in progress.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Katelyn (Lost as Alice, Mad as the Hatter)

    Practical. That's the word to describe this self-help book. This is a guide to how to put down the electronics and practically connect with those around you through conversation. But while this is not a titillating late night read, it doesn't skimp on the hardships of finding the lost art of conversation in a social media world. “Beginning a conversation is an act of bravery. When you initiate a conversation, you fearlessly step into the unknown. Will the other person respond to favorably or unf Practical. That's the word to describe this self-help book. This is a guide to how to put down the electronics and practically connect with those around you through conversation. But while this is not a titillating late night read, it doesn't skimp on the hardships of finding the lost art of conversation in a social media world. “Beginning a conversation is an act of bravery. When you initiate a conversation, you fearlessly step into the unknown. Will the other person respond to favorably or unfavorably? Will it be a friendly or hostile exchange? There is a feeling of being on the edge. That nanosecond of space and unknowing can be intimidating. It shows your vulnerability. You don't know what is going to happen. You feel quite exposed. There's a chance you'll experience embarrassment. Yet this very feeling is what allows you to connect to the other person.” The tips and tricks outlined in this book can get even the most introverted among us a starting point for the whirlwind of conversation. Sakyong Mipham seamlessly merges mindfulness training with conversation with the reminder to be present. Have no goals beyond the conversation itself. And, you just might surprise yourself with how much you enjoy talking to people. Well...for limited time spans anyway.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mary Foltz

    I expected to finish reading this book and have a better understanding of conversation and clear goals for how to better connect with others. Instead, I found myself frustrated with the superficial nature of the writing and completely logical advice. Much of the book lacks substance and is written without examples to ground the superfluous descriptions. There are many statements about how being kind, patient, and confident will give you this inner strength and understanding about humanity that w I expected to finish reading this book and have a better understanding of conversation and clear goals for how to better connect with others. Instead, I found myself frustrated with the superficial nature of the writing and completely logical advice. Much of the book lacks substance and is written without examples to ground the superfluous descriptions. There are many statements about how being kind, patient, and confident will give you this inner strength and understanding about humanity that will ultimately enhance your conversation and compassion. What? How? Also, most the advice is completely logical, like be patient, listen, and don't grunt when talking. Well, yeah, of course! I kept waiting for some ground-breaking advice or interesting insight, but never found it. I am glad this book was helpful and intriguing for others, but for me it left me unsatisfied. I also found it difficult to read because there wasn't anything that held my interest for very long.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erin Hussey

    *Advance Reader Copy This book covers an important topic - as we become increasingly more digitally connected, are we losing our ability to engage meaningfully with each other via conversation? I would agree with the author, that yes, we are, and there needs to be a return to connecting with each other face to face, via conversation, while being present without distractions from our devices. Mipham uses spiritual principles to highlight ways to be mindful but the message isn't overtly religious. I *Advance Reader Copy This book covers an important topic - as we become increasingly more digitally connected, are we losing our ability to engage meaningfully with each other via conversation? I would agree with the author, that yes, we are, and there needs to be a return to connecting with each other face to face, via conversation, while being present without distractions from our devices. Mipham uses spiritual principles to highlight ways to be mindful but the message isn't overtly religious. I don't think anything in the book was groundbreaking, however, the ideas remain critical in these times and I think this book is the first step to starting a conversation about the topic while reminding you of how exactly to do that. Themes include listening, compassion and empathy, and relationships.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rj

    I'd recommend it to anyone struggling with things like understanding the human value of interaction and conversation, and those who are unsure what to say. If I'd read it forty years ago it would have been much more important to me than it is now. But here and there I found a new and charming way of looking at something that I was glad of. I would certainly recommend/resource this book in a professional capacity. So the 3 stars I've given it is more about what it was/wasn't for me rather than a I'd recommend it to anyone struggling with things like understanding the human value of interaction and conversation, and those who are unsure what to say. If I'd read it forty years ago it would have been much more important to me than it is now. But here and there I found a new and charming way of looking at something that I was glad of. I would certainly recommend/resource this book in a professional capacity. So the 3 stars I've given it is more about what it was/wasn't for me rather than a more neutral value. I was disappointed because I was expecting an exploration of conversation at more depth, and in a soulful way, a reflection rather than an instruction. This book is not that. It struck me as more of a patchwork of CBT with slithers of Bhuddist sayings and a bit of an affectionate edging about himself and his dad.

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