The Art of Communicating, Thich Nhat Hanh

Hi. My name is Adanna but I’ve always liked the name Amethyst so I’ll be using that for all my content. This is the start of my official journey into the blogging world so bare with me. I hope you enjoy my content and it brings a LIL: love, inspiration and learning to you.

Today I will be discussing the book, the Art of Communication by Thich Nhat Hanh.

What to expect:

  • A brief biography of the author
  • Summary of the book
  • Overview
  • Review
  • Excerpts
  • Conclusion
  • Links

Biography of author

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, peace activist and global spiritual leader. He was born in Huế, Central Vietnam on Monday 11th October, 1926. At the age of 16 he joined the monastery where he was taught Mahayan and Thiến Buddhism. In 1951 he was ordained as a Bhikkhu and he became a dharmacharya, teacher, in 1961. Nhat Hanh has taught  at several universities  in various countries  and he became the chair of the Vietnamese Buddhist Peace Delegation in France.  From 1966, he created the Order of Interbeing and established various spiritual institutions including two monasteries in Vietnam. Nhat Hanh is fluent in native Vietnamese, Chinese, French, Japanese, Pali, Sanskrit and English. He is the author of more than one hundred books including Peace is Every Step, How to Love, The Miracle of Mindfulness, True Love and many more.

Book Summary

Communication is the foundation of every interaction and relationship, be it with ourselves or others. It is the way we connect and build a sense of community and belonging with each other. It is a source of nourishment for us and a way to express ourselves. However we have never learn the skills required to fulfill this need adequately thus  resulting in misunderstandings and suffering.

This book will teach you the importance of mindfulness in communication and the things we consume . It explains how compassion protects our minds and bodies from toxins and explores how we need to  “feed” ourselves with the right foods to thrive.

Mindful consumption helps us become aware of the thoughts and words we speak or listen to.

It invites us to think of ourselves as flowers or seeds that need the right conditions to grow. If we feed our soil with clean water, nutrients, sunlight and oxygen, we grow and thrive but if feed the soil toxins we wither and die. If we nurture the weeds they thrive and the flower also dies. Likewise what we consume and choose to nourish impacts how and what we grow: happiness or suffering.

The Art of Communicating is a practical guide filled with examples derived from couples, families, business and international conflicts that Thich Nhat Hanh has worked with to resolve issues and achieve healthy relationships.

Learn the art of mindful compassion and loving communication.

Overview

I really enjoyed listening to this book because it imparted a lot of useful and practical tips that can be applied to my life, without making me feel like it would be too difficult. The use of stories and examples to illustrate points made the tips easier to remember and I like the fact that this is applicable to many situations. It was an insightful and inspiring book.

Review

Some concerns I had were:

  • the use of Buddhist terms/concepts made it a bit difficult to understand however I enjoyed learning about Buddhism.
  • it was a bit repetitive but that may have been a way to explain the same concept in different ways for the readers to grasp the points.

This book was enjoyable because:

  • the tips were practical and easy to apply
  • it inspired me to be a better communicator and to become more mindful about my words
  • it helped me to appreciate myself and understand the impact of what I say to myself
  • despite being based on Buddhist traditions the information was relatable
  • it made me feel to go find a hardcopy to add to my non-existent bookshelf collection.

Excerpts

“Nothing can survive without food. Everything we consume acts either to heal us or to poison us….. but what we consume with our eyes, our ears, our noses, our tongues, and our bodies is also food…..When we say something that nourishes us and uplifts the people around us, we are feeding love and compassion. When we speak and act in a way that causes tension and anger, we are nourishing violence and suffering.”

“Everything, including love, hate and suffering needs food to survive.”

“Once you can communicate with yourself, you’ll be able to communicate outwardly with more clarity. The way in is the way out.”

“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 relationships thrive.”

“…if the content of your speech is not authentic, talking or texting on a device doesn’t mean you’re communicating with another person.”

“What you read and write can help you heal, so be thoughtful about what you consume.”

Conclusion

This took a lot longer to write than I thought and it was a bit challenging to find the right words. However it was an enjoyable process and I hope you like it.  On a side note I consumed this book as an audio so my experience with it would be different and I just wanted to touch on that a bit.

I listened to it on YouTube while commuting home from work on evenings so at first it made me nod off listening to Dan Woren’s voice. However I persisted and I found myself remaining alert and taking notes on the bus home. I couldn’t wait to try the tips out and incorporate them into my life. I hope you enjoy.

Links

For those out there looking for free resources to learn try listening on YouTube, which is what I did.

Try Audible:

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Art-of-Communicating-Audiobook/B00E65MCUG

Here’s some links to other reviews:

One Reply to “The Art of Communicating, Thich Nhat Hanh”

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