Mindfulness Practice: Slowing Down - Tapping Into Our Inner Resources with Congressman Tim Ryan

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Congressman Tim Ryan has a dream for America which is to create a society that has healthcare for all, has a sustainable eco-system, fosters creativity at the highest levels, and includes time to connect with family and friends. He sees us slowing down and becoming more kind and more aware. To help us do this, he advocates training ourselves in mindfulness awareness. He, and others, are successfully introducing this practice in many of our institutions like schools, the military, healthcare, and even in Congress. It‘s his experience that the simple practice of mindfulness can help us flourish as individuals and as a nation. He took time from his highly stressful work in Congress for a meditation retreat and he describes what he learned, “You realize that you are not your thoughts. You can choose to entertain [your thoughts] and give them a lot of power, energy, and strength. You can blindly follow them or you can see them just as thoughts and then come back to yourself and choose which thoughts you want to entertain.” Mindfulness gives us the benefit of being more effective and resilient in our lives. We need this more than ever if we are to create a better world for all. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Congressman Tim Ryan was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 and is currently serving in his tenth term, representing Ohio's 13th Congressional District. He's a member of the House Armed Services Committee and serves as a member of the House Appropriations Committee and co-chairman of the Congressional Manufacturing Caucus. Congressman Ryan has a daily mindfulness meditation practice and has been an outspoken advocate for promoting mindfulness as an aid to dealing with a variety of complex problems facing the nation.

He’s the author of:

To find out more about Tim Ryan’s work go to www.mindfulnation.org.

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How can compassion help recapture the “American spirit”
  • How his retreat with Jon Kabat-Zinn on meditation practice helped him in Congress
  • What is mindfulness and what are the benefits
  • What are some keys in dealing with “real” stress in our lives
  • How to use the breath to skillfully address our daily challenges
  • How your brain works when you are upset
  • How mindfulness practice is being used in schools
  • How the military and first responders such as police and firemen are learning mindfulness
  • How mindfulness can help with energy, environment, and the economy
  • Why we need to shift from the old industrial, silo-based economic system
  • Why we need to ask the question: what is the intention for our country

Host: Justine Willis Toms     Interview Date: 2/21/2011     Program Number: 3465

Music Playlist

From Album: Disfarmer
Artist: Bill Frisell
2009 Nonesuch Records #478524-2

Opening Essay: Track 01 Disfarmer Theme
Music Break 1: Track 25 Natural Light
Music Break 2: Track 04 Farmer
Music Break 3: Track 01 Disfarmer Theme