At 86, Zen master Thich Nhat Hahn has already written about, reflected upon, and addressed most of the major issues of our times, such as power, anger, fear, and peace. In this rousing paperback, he takes a hard look at the art of communicating in an era of texting, emailing, tweeting, and posting. Have all of our electronic devices helped us to connect deeply with others? What are the major challenges facing those who really want to express themselves through the technologies of communication?
Nhat Hahn is convinced that loneliness is the suffering of our times brought on by the emptiness inside us and the hunger for love. As an antidote, he suggests nonthinking and nontalking as ways to commune and communicate with our breath, our body, and the present moment.
Once we connect with ourselves, we can begin to communicate with others. It is best to begin by saying hello to the Buddha within others. Listening deeply to what others say we build bridges of understanding, tolerance, and compassion. Nhat Hahn then describes the four trainings of Right Speech which enable us to use words that express nondiscrimination, forgiveness, support, and love. This is followed by his six mantras which can be used in any relationship to enhance intimacy and reciprocity.
All of the practices suggested above can be utilized when difficulties arise in challenging situations at home, at work, and in the community. This paperback concludes with more practices to enhance communication including the computer bell, drinking tea in mindfulness, writing a love letter, negotiating peace treaties, and beginning anew (see the excerpt).