The Lost Art of Good Conversation (2017)

Sakyong Mipham’s The Lost Art of Good Conversation tells us how to be more fully human, i.e., by engaging in face-to-face conversation with other humans. He says we are in a “dark age” in which we no longer have conversations (in some cases, don’t even know how to have conversations) and in which we only speak and make constant noise. He says that we must therefore have discernment, identifying what we need to keep and what we need to discard by way of habits and actions. He recommends we engage the world (and conversation) with compassion and fearlessness. Aggression represents the major obstacle to compassion because aggression is action based on wishing things were other than they are (23). So we act in self-interest to try to benefit ourselves instead of others when we are aggressive.

When we abandon aggression, the Sakyong says we can engage Windhorse.

In the warrior tradition of Shambhala, conversation is related to windhorse. Wind is the notion of movement, energy, and expanse. Horse is the notion of riding that energy. The image of windhorse represents being brave and connecting to the inherent power of life (13).

Among the strategies that are suggested, I noted a few things that I found helpful: (1) stay in the now; (2) be patient and stay centered and calm; and (3) when in the now and patient, one can exercise generosity of spirit to others. This all allows wisdom to speak and new horizons to be approached.

One response to “The Lost Art of Good Conversation (2017)

  1. Pingback: The Shambhala Principle (2013) | Three New, One Old·

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