Susan Gillis Chapman is a marriage and family therapist who has been studying mindfulness meditation for more than 30 years. She is founder of Green Light Communication and on the faculty of Karuna Institute in Cologne, Germany. In this engaging work, Chapman explores the importance of communication and conversations in our world. She upholds a we-first perspective to replace a narcissistic me-first attitude in our relationships with others. It is the me-first approach that lies behind our culture of mistrust and the rampant social problems of greed, corruption, and aggression.
In her mindful-communication workshops, Chapman teaches about communication that is closed (red light), open (green light), and somewhere-in-between (yellow light). She then puts the spotlight on the five essential elements of mindful communication:
• Mindful Presence (awake body, tender heart, open mind)
• Mindful Listening (encouragement)
• Mindful Speech (gentleness)
• Mindful Relationships (unconditional friendliness)
• Mindful Responses (playfulness)
Given the lack of conversations in a culture fast becoming more and more obsessed with texting and emails, this is a very timely book which paves the way for a more hopeful future where people will seek out fresh avenues of dialogue. We were impressed with Chapman's takes on learning to rest in the present moment, taking delight in the pleasures of deep listening, refraining from harming others with our words, and affirming unconditional friendliness as a fulfilling path of intimacy.