Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, in his presentation provided as part of the Mindfulness & Meditation Summit, focused on the theme, Mindfulness and the Art of Conversation. Sakyong is the author of a number of books, including, The Lost Art of Conversation: A Mindful Way to Connect with Others and Enrich Everyday Life.
Sakyong emphasised the need for meditation in these troubled times, both locally and globally. He identified that there is a lot of fear and uncertainty around threats to world peace and environmental deterioration. He stressed the importance of not only meditating but also engaging with others in conversation.
The one thing we can do in times of such uncertainty and anxiety is connecting with others through communication. In Sakyong’s view, transformation at a personal and social level have come about when people connect with each other and share.
Communication is a basic need, it is available to us all at any time and is a natural activity of being human. Sometimes, we experience difficulty in our conversations and at other times it seems so easy and rewarding.
Despite being connected technologically like never before, a lot of our connections are superficial, as are our “conversations”. We have tended to lose real connection with people around us, who are with us on a daily basis.
Despite experiencing a great sense of warmth and happiness from our good conversations, we tend not to properly engage with people because of our busy lives. Despite our development on a global basis, we seem to have lost the art of conversation – which can connect us at a time when so many things have the effect of keeping us apart from each other.
Even just acknowledging another person can be empowering for them, just as ignoring them can make them feel demeaned and disempowered.
As we grow in mindfulness, we can more readily connect with others, engage in active listening and communicate empathy – all of which values the other person and empowers them to be their real self.
By Ron Passfield – Copyright (Creative Commons license, Attribution–Non Commercial–No Derivatives)
Image source: courtesy of klimkin on Pixabay