The Zen of Listening (Paperback)

Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction

By Rebecca Z. Shafir MA CCC

Quest Books, 9780835608268, 272pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2003

List Price: 16.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


TV, radio, traffic, telephones, pagers - our minds are bombarded daily by constant noise and clutter. No wonder so many people find it increasingly difficult to listen and comprehend. Simple pieces of information such as names go "in one ear and out the other." Poor listening may have tragic consequences such as the Challenger disaster and the Potomac River crash of 1982, or it can result in smaller tragedies such as lost promotions, stalled marriages, and troubled children.

Rebecca Shafir assures us that we can transform every aspect of our lives, simply by relearning how to listen. The Zen of Listening is grounded in the Zen concept of mindfulness, a simple yet profound way of learning how to filter our distractions and be totally in the present. Rather than a list of tricks, this book is an all-encompassing approach allowing you to transform your life.

Readers will be amazed at how simply learning to focus intently on a speaker improves the relationship, increases attention span, and helps develop negotiating skills. Learn the great barricades of misunderstanding, find out how to listen to ourselves, discover how to listen under stress, and boost our memory. This is a fun and practical guide filled with simple strategies to use immediately to enjoy our personal and professional lives to the fullest.

About the Author

Rebecca Shafir, M.A., CCC, is a certified speech/language pathologist at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass. A ten-year student of Zen, she teaches communication workshops nationwide and has coached media personalities and political candidates since 1980. She is available to present a variety of programs ranging from keynote addresses to weeklong seminars tailored to meet the individual needs of corporations, health-care institutions, professional associations, universities, and the general public. For more information visit her website at

Praise For The Zen of Listening: Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction

"Shafir, chief of speech pathology at Massachusetts's Lahey Clinic with over 25 years of clinical experience helping patients learn to speak, has written a real "heads-up" book for this age of soundbytes, multitasking, and hidden agendas. Communication is an interactive process dependent on both speaking and listening. Too often, the listening part is given short shrift, and we are left wondering why we feel "empty." Defining listening as "the willingness to see a situation through the eyes of the speaker," Shafir goes beyond the mechanics of good listening behavior to an approach requiring relaxation, focus, and a desire to learn from the speakers' perspective. In a friendly and informal tone, she discusses specific exercises, activities, and strategies to improve awareness, provides illustrations, and gives examples from her clinical experiences. While the book has relevance to anyone who spends time talking with others, counselors and those in the helping professions will find its solid and practical advice especially useful." --Denise S. Sticha, Seton Hill Coll., Greensburg, PA, Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc
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"...Don't just "read" this remarkable book, use it as a guide and practice its teachings in your everyday life." --Jane McLaughlin-Dobisz, Zen Master
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"Shafir takes us to the heart of relationships and shows us the power of authentic listening-not only to others, but to our own inner self." --Robert Gerzon, psychotherapist and author of Finding Serenity
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"The Zen of Listening awakens us to the potential for intimacy, compassion, and growth inherent in all of our most important relationships." --Douglas Stone, co-author of the best-selling Difficult
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