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Publisher's Summary

A critically acclaimed musician and teacher presents a guide to the dynamics of improvisation.

It's easy to assume that Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous and endlessly influential "I Have a Dream" speech was scripted beforehand, vetted by others, written, and rewritten. It was not. Instead, it was given on the fly, when from the audience, singer Mahalia Jackson urged King off his prepared text. The result has inspired millions.

The Art of Is contains breath-of-fresh-air thinking about how to cultivate the kind of game-changing creativity everyone seeks. Stephen Nachmanovitch shows exactly how the passion and immediacy of improvisation can be cultivated and how, in fact, we all improvise all the time - whether we are driving or deep in conversation. He explores ideas about being in the moment and reacting to people as they are, finding gold in unexpected distractions and roadblocks, and not only accepting, but also celebrating imperfections in everyday practices. This creative mindfulness also makes innovation the province not of solitary geniuses, but the result of engagement and interaction - and makes clear that improvising, creating, and innovating are only of value when rooted in an ethical and social foundation. The results, Nachmanovitch shows, foster meaningful change and invention - and may just ignite a dream.

©2019 Stephen Nachmanovitch (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Art of Is

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  • matthew Oestreicher
  • 14-10-2019

Genius, Inspirational, life affirming

Improvisation as an antidote to our individual and collective suffering. Filled with mind blowing examples from many cultures and time periods. Highly Recommended

6 people found this helpful

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  • Scott
  • 28-09-2020

Amazing!!

Loved it!!! Also check out his book:
Free Play
It’s every bit as good :)
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!!

3 people found this helpful

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  • MD from NC
  • 03-07-2021

Amazing work

I went into this book not knowing what to expect and received way more than I expected. A thoroughly “interesting” read, lots of philosophical questions and thoughts regarding how the present state of “is” is so much more than what we think. If you enjoy philosophical works and puzzling your mind about, you’ll love this one!

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  • Elizabeth Van Gelder
  • 17-04-2021

Beautiful!

Philosophies to live by, great common sense ideas. He put words to what I feel and has a wonderful way of illuminating connections between art and life. Loved it!!!!

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  • Jazzi White
  • 10-04-2021

INTERESTING

An interesting read. Learned a few things I did not know previously. Read it now!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Yas
  • 11-10-2020

An Art on it's own right

This work is an Art on it's own right. The simplicity of the thinking is quite common place & logical, that it feels very natural. Simply brilliant

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  • BorysK (uaknight)
  • 05-10-2020

Book about art, improvisation and awearness

I didn't expect this book to be so deep! Wrote by a musician, step by step it shows you the great meaning behind the word art. The author teaches us to enjoy every moment of our life, and some Buddhist inspiration is clearly visible here. The nature of improvisation is another great part of the book. Stephen Nachmanovitch support his ideas with great stories. This book is very insightful and at the same time entertaining. Strongly recommend!

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  • Andrew Lenards
  • 27-09-2021

Recommend for any Buddhist or curious seeker

A wondrous mix of topics all pulled together in an intriguing flow of ideas the watered my creative roots.

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  • Scott Perry
  • 17-07-2021

Inspiring, insightful, and impactful

Nachmanovitch’s playful weaving of art and philosophy is delightful and delicious. His thoughts on improvising are easy to weave into the life you are already living and will elevate the work that you’re already engaged in.

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  • Tom
  • 06-04-2021

More a Bible or Reference Book than just a Book of Essays

I put this book on my shelf for quick inspiration. It’s one of those you can just open to any page and get a moment for reflection. It may be aimed at writers, speakers or actors, but I found it relevant to just about any area of Life. We”re all performers now, particularly in a World dominated by Social Media. We’re constantly reacting to the bombardment of events, statements or other stimuli. We need to be fluent in The Art of Is. This work is a great Training Manual. Four Stars.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-09-2021

not that bad

I would say there is sam bad parts but other than that very usefull book, recomend for anyone that is not sitting at home and farting in couch.

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