Conversation

The Sacred Art

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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

In this "age of distraction," we're losing the sacred art of conversation, and that's a profound loss. True conversation helps us become more human. It evokes that which is deepest in us and gives us a chance to discover the new life that might emerge between us. So this is an important book, one that can help us recover a vital but endangered everyday spiritual practice. Diane Millis writes beautiful prose and offers practical suggestions to deepen our conversational capacities. For me, reading this book was like having a true conversation with the author, and with myself, one that will help me share its gifts with the larger world.

— Parker J. Palmer, author of many books including Healing the Heart of Democracy and Let Your Life Speak.

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.

In our increasingly screen-based culture, we are in danger of losing the ability to be deeply present and engaged with others. This book, integrating the author’s intensive study of spiritual guidance with her personal and professional experiences, offers both inspiration and practical guidance to restore the art of conversation as a sacred activity.

— Dr. Aostre N. Johnson, professor of education, Saint Michael's College, co-editor of Educating from the Heart

This is a beautiful book in so many ways, yet its deepest beauty introduces us to the sacredness of one another, which we discover as we listen, offer, extend and join together in true conversation. "Whenever two or more are gathered, there will I be also" has been my favorite scripture for many years.  Diane has illuminated how we discover the truth of this teaching.  I am deeply grateful that this book appears now, when its wisdom and practices are most needed to restore the sacred to our relationships.

— Margaret J. Wheatley, author of many books including Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future 

This is an exquisite book about the loving and nourishing art of sacred conversation throughout our lives.  Diane Millis writes with the grace, wisdom and caring of a wise and skillful spiritual director, leading us all to touch the sacred within ourselves, within others, and in the midst of all of our conversations.  Thank you, Diane!

— Rabbi Amy Eilberg, author of From Enemy to Friend

The very best spiritual books do not just describe the depths of the interior life; they transport us there. Diane Millis’s wonderful book falls into that category, plunging us into that holy space from which we can connect with God, with ourselves, and especially with others at a depth we would have thought impossible. Our conversations will never be the same after reading this book—they will be infinitely richer.

— John Backman, author, Why Can’t We Talk? 

This is a beautiful book filled with exquisite insights, practices and stories. They illuminate our heart and mind and awaken us to Presence.

— Imam Jamal Rahman, author of many books including Spiritual Gems of Islam