Book Review: How to Communicate Like a Buddhist

Today, I'm reviewing, "How to Communicate Like a Buddhist" by Cynthia Kane. 

Below, is a description of the book from the publisher:

An Instruction Manual for Clear Communication
The most well known Buddhist teachers on the planet all have something in common: they are excellent communicators. This is not by accident, as the Buddha taught what are called the four elements of right speech over 2,600 years ago.
In this one-of-a-kind book, certified meditation and mindfulness instructor Cynthia Kane has taken the four elements of right speech and developed them into a modern practice based on mindful listening, mindful speech, and mindful silence.
 Beginning with an illuminating self-test to assess your current communication style, this book will take you through the author's own five-step practice that is designed to help you:
  •  Listen to yourself (your internal and external words)
  •  Listen to others
  •  Speak consciously, concisely, and clearly
  •  Regard silence as a part of speech
  •  Meditate to enhance your communication skills
If you have ever felt misheard, have trouble stating how you feel, or long to have more meaningful and genuine conversations, this book can help. The simple steps outlined in this book will have a huge effect on how you communicate with others and yourself.
Communication is essential to being human, and when you become better at it, your personal truth becomes clearer, your relationships improve, and the result is that you experience more peace and harmony in your life.

This was a great read, particularly if you are interested in spirituality as a way of life, and how to incorporate those practices practically. There's a good balance here between instruction and application, and it feels conversational.

As many of you who study spirituality will recognize, she calls upon a poem that is usually misattributed to the Buddha:
Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates.
At the first gate, ask yourself, "Is it true?"
At the second gate, ask, "Is it necessary?"
At the third gate, ask, "Is it kind?"
Even if it isn't an exact quote, it is very much in line with Buddhist philosophy. She also uses what she calls the "Three c's"; speaking consciously, concisely, and clearly. She doesn't stop with how to speak, though. She also instructs the reader on how to listen mindfully, a critical component in any effective communication endeavor.

It's clear that the author 'practices what she preaches'. This isn't a long book, or a difficult read, but if you are interested in more potent and meaningful dialogue, I highly recommend having this book in your arsenal.

You can purchase the book here at Red Wheel Weiser books.

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