The Lost Art Of A Good Conversation – Sakyong Mipham
The Lost Art of Good Conversation, written by Sakyong Mipham, is a book about how to cultivate meaningful, rewarding conversations.
It examines the power of conversation to help us connect with others, build relationships, and learn more about ourselves. It also explores the importance of listening, body language, and understanding different perspectives.
Subscribe to Miniwise Newsletter (Free!)
Miniwise newsletter brings you one great bite-sized idea every day, curated from world's best non-fiction books, articles, podcasts..and more. An entire new world in just 5 minutes!
The book provides insights and practical advice on how to make conversation more mindful and enjoyable.
The Art in conversation
Conversation is a powerful way to connect with the world around us and to appreciate the people in it. Even the shortest exchange can bring us out of ourselves and make us more other-centered, creating a moment of happiness for both parties.
The art of conversation is about more than just the words we say; it’s about the caring within them, and the ability to appreciate the moment. It is an ancient art, mastered by samurai warriors, that can bring balance and beauty to our lives.
Mindfulness is essential in conversation, as it requires effort and respect to enunciate words properly, and to listen and remember what the other person has said. Being mindful also involves being self-aware and environment-aware, and tuning in to our sensory observations to understand how we are affecting the other person.
Through mindfulness, we can move away from self-engrossment and become aware of our relationship with the other person, extending kindness and respect.
Acknowledge and Initiate
Conversation can be an art form when it moves us away from self-absorption and towards attention and acknowledgement of others. Even something as simple as saying hello can have a meaningful impact, as it shows respect and care for another person.
To start a conversation, it is best to begin with experiences that are immediately available to both people, such as the weather or a detail about what is in front of them. Through conversation, we can share the human experience and connect with each other.
The Power of Words
Words are powerful. They can soothe an aching heart, create an atmosphere of joy, or spark a flame of anger. They can make us laugh, cry, or even cause us to take action. We use words to express our emotions and thoughts, to connect with others, and to make our mark on the world.
Words can be used to manipulate, to inspire, and to heal. They can be used to build bridges or to divide. They can be used to speak with clarity and kindness, or to create confusion and chaos. Our words are like tools that can either build or destroy, depending on how we use them.
The power of words lies in their ability to influence. They can shape our thoughts and beliefs, and can even persuade us to act in certain ways. It is important to be mindful of the words we use, and to remember that words have the power to make a difference.
Conversation is a time to be gracious and agreeable, though it can be difficult when people disagree. A skilled conversationalist can utilize even awkward answers and should acknowledge and respect what they say, while also expressing their own opinion. It is important to stay open, honest and mindful of our emotions, so that we can have meaningful and productive conversations.
Our emotions matter
Conversation is an exchange of ideas, feelings, and emotions. We often think of it as an exchange of words, but words are just the beginning. Our emotions are also part of the conversation, and they affect how we communicate. A simple smile or a frown can say more than words, and the way we phrase our sentences can say a lot about how we feel. We need to be aware of our emotions and how they affect the conversation.
Our emotions can also affect how we listen. When we are feeling angry or frustrated, our focus is on our own emotions rather than on what the other person is saying. We need to be mindful of our emotions and be present in the conversation. This will help us to listen more actively and be more open to understanding what the other person is saying.
- Endings matter. Whether it’s a quick exchange or a deep conversation, how we conclude a conversation has a significant impact on how we remember it. A nod, a smile, or a hug are simple and gracious ways to acknowledge that the interaction was worthwhile.
- Even if we must rush away, saying a quick goodbye with appreciation and a promise to continue the conversation shows that we respect the other person. Good endings create symmetry, beauty, and harmony, while poor endings somehow stain the conversation.
- A good conclusion seals the exchange and each person wants to ensure that the other felt good about the meeting. Emotional goodbyes may be difficult, but they show the weight of the relationship and the desire to continue.
Ultimately, how we handle the conclusion of a conversation, like all endings, reveals our difficulty with impermanence.