Congressman Tim Ryan on A Mindful Nation

1Tim-RyanRepresentative Tim Ryan (D-OH) discusses how mindfulness can offer an effective—and bipartisan—remedy for problems plaguing our schools, hospitals, veterans, and society at large. A talk he delivered for the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley in May, 2012.

This video discusses the wide implications for mindfulness and meditation for all human beings.

He talks about Father Thomas Keating’s Centering Prayer in the video above which is a form of Christian Mindfulness Meditation really. There are many ways people learn to do this in all cultures, religions and countries all over the world. This is something that belongs to all humanity, not any one group or religion. Ryan, in fact, underscores it’s basically just about paying attention. Which is how I’ve talked about meditation as well: Meditation is the PRACTICE of learning to PAY ATTENTION. That is all.

I’m reposting the below post about Rep. Ryan:

Sharing this article too since it’s clear the benefit of mindfulness practice is starting to strike people of all sorts. It’s something that can be done regardless of religious belief. Now we have a US Congressman talking about its potential benefits for everyone.

From the Guardian by Ed Halliwell: 

Mindfulness: the altered state of America

“A quiet revolution is happening in America.” So says Tim Ryan, Ohio congressman and author of A Mindful Nation, which documents the spread of mindfulness meditation across the US, and argues for its widespread adoption as a way to favourably affect the country’s healthcare system, economy, schools and military.

Just published, the book is significant not so much for what’s being said – evidence for the benefits of mindfulness has been piling up in scientific journals over recent years – but for who’s saying it and how: an elected politician in Washington passionately advocating meditation as a way to face some of the most serious issues facing his country. Ryan himself jokes of hearing about a conversation that took place at a recent mindfulness conference as he walked by: “That’s the congressman who’s written a book about meditation,” remarked one bystander. “Oh, really?” said another. “Will he still be a congressman after the book comes out?”…

…Ryan may not have to worry. The practices he recommends are drawn from Buddhism, but commonly taught as secular disciplines, and (unless I missed it) the B-word isn’t mentioned once in A Mindful Nation. Ryan is a Catholic, and positions his plea squarely in the context of western, rather than eastern, tradition – his book is subtitled “How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance and Recapture the American Spirit”. read the rest

The book has a forward by Jon Kabat-Zinn who is a wonderful teacher often featured on Beyond Meds who has taught solid and grounded traditional mindfulness practice in a secular setting for many years. He too has a new book that is wonderful for the secular and beginning meditator: Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment–and Your Life

And the congressman Tim Ryan’s book:

●  A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit

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About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters