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Lions Roar : September 2015
WE ALL KNOW “THOSE” kinds of con- versations. And we dread them. Maybe it’s an “I can’t work under these condi- tions” type of conversation. Or perhaps an “I don’t like it when you do this” sort of thing. Or, as clichéd as it may sound, it could be “It’s not you, it’s me.” The good news for anyone trying to find the right words for a tough conversation is that Buddhism has a great deal to say on how to com- municate. The Buddha recommended you ask yourself four questions about something you’re thinking of saying. They can help you make a difficult con- versation better, or at least not make it worse. 1) Is what I’m about to say true? You might have an impulse to share something with a colleague because it’s juicy. But is it actually true? The last thing anyone dedicated to mindful speech wants to do is perpetuate gossip. So before you launch into a difficult con- versation, make sure that what you are saying is based in your actual experience of a given situation. Not sure if what you want to say is true? When in doubt, only ask questions. The more questions you ask of another person, the more you get what is actu- ally going on, as opposed to what you think is going on. Meditation practice also helps us see what’s really happening. It helps us switch our mental allegiance from our habitual storyline to being HEART & MIND Conversations You Don’t Want to Have You can make difficult conversations easier, says LODRO RINZLER. Just ask yourself four simple questions before you open your mouth. PETERBAGGE LODRO RINZLER is founder of the Insti- tute for Compassionate Leadership. His new book is How to Love Yourself (And Some- times Other People). SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2015 21 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE