BOOK REVIEWS

Impressively well written, organized and presented, Deepening Engagement: Essential Wisdom for Listening and Leading with Purpose, Meaning and Joy is an inherently fascinating and informative read and highly recommended for both community and academic Self-Help/Self-Improvement/Personal Growth reference collections.

Midwest Book Review 2015-05-01

Educator, spiritual director, and consultant Millis (Conversation: The Sacred Art) proposes a new method to help individuals and communities connect more honestly with one another. Millis suggests a way to move from deep listening to deep engagement on any scale. Chapter titles are short maxims, like “be who you are” and “use everything,” that are developed into invitations to pause, ponder, and practice each chapter’s core concept. Some ideas help readers examine their own lives, while “listen generously” and “ask meaningful questions” are guidelines that can be applied to relationships with others. Drawing on her work teaching leadership skills with the Fetzer Institute and the Lilly Endowment, Millis writes that strong communities can be founded on honest engagement and the willingness to improvise. Appealing to both corporate leaders and self-help readers, Millis writes with heart and compassion without veering into fuzziness or jargon. She includes a good bibliography for those wishing to deepen their explorations of her ideas. (Apr.)

— Publisher’s Weekly

Millis (founder, Journey Conversations Project) has tackled an unusual topic in spirituality: conversation.  We think of conversation as an element in democratic governing or an ornament in society, but Millis makes a good case for using conversation to approach the sacred in the self and others; she shows how to enlarge the element of the sacred in dialog, with examples from many traditions.  VERDICT  An interesting and truly multifaith approach to a topic of broad application (we all talk!); good for reading groups and retreats, as well as individuals.

Library Journal, 8/1/2013, Vol 138: 13, p. 81.

The book offers practical, concrete ways to reach the depths of sacred conversation. The reader is guided to deep listening as a means of seeing each person as a unique creation of God. The structured activities, based on Millis’ research and teaching, offer the reader the opportunity to develop a mature understanding of the depths of our own holiness and how we can offer ourselves more fully when we allow conversation to become a sacred art. . .

Collegium News, Conversation — The Sacred Art, Fall 2013, pp 8-9.

This timely, practical, and inspirational paperback is a volume in the SkyLight Path Series “The Art of Spiritual Living.” Millis laments the loss of true presence due to our reliance on digital devices to keep us connected. Face-to-face conversations enable us to go deeper with sharing that explores our heartfelt yearnings and truth. To accomplish this we are called to encounter the sacred within ourselves, within others, and between ourselves and others.  . .

—Spirituality and Practice, Review of Conversation — The Sacred Art by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat.