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A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit Hardcover – March 27, 2012
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“Tim Ryan takes a big challenge in writing A Mindful Nation. He challenges the nation to take up meditation in their daily lives and tells us ‘why/how’ it works. I know this territory and wish him and us Godspeed.”
— Phil Jackson, former Coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, winner of 11 NBA Titles, author of Sacred Hoops
“A Mindful Nation has the potential to change our country—and the world—one person at a time.”
— Deepak Chopra, author, War of the Worldviews
“Inspiring! An important book. If more politicians can follow in Congressman Ryan’s lead and look to harness the power of mindfulness, then the future of this country will be bright.”
— Russell Simmons, CEO, Rush Communications
“Tim Ryan shows how the simple practice of mindfulness can make us happier, more productive, and more compassionate. An unexpected and welcome book, I highly commend it to all who are searching for a deeper life and a better society.”
— Rev. Jim Wallis, President of Sojourners, author of God’s Politics
“Congressman Ryan offers us a beautifully written, practical, and comprehensive view of the far-reaching effects of mindfulness in civil society. This book brings the entire field of exploring mindfulness forward.”
— Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness
“Congressman Ryan offers a clear, compelling, and compassionate beacon of hope for America at this time of gathering darkness.”
— Margaret J. Wheatley, author of Leadership and the New Science
“It is only through a shift in consciousness that the world will be transformed. Congressman Tim Ryan has written a truly powerful book in which he shares a vision for the United States that reflects this ideal. He reminds us that the word ‘United’ in our country’s name is first and foremost a spiritual principle. That we are all connected, that loving each other and working together as one is not for fanciful daydreamers, it is a real possibility. He writes eloquently of the power of kindness in how we interact with each other and more significantly how our government can implement mindfulness in its dealings with its citizens. As we become more enlightened, great political leaders will emerge from this new consciousness to lead us to Camelot, Avalon, or a Shining City on a Hill. Tim Ryan is one of those who can get us back to the “United” in U.S.A., and we can, maybe for the first time, live our national motto, ‘e pluribus unum.’ Must reading for all.”
— Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, best-selling author of Wishes Fulfilled: Mastering the Art of Manifesting
About the Author
Tim Ryan was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002, at the age of 29, and is currently serving in his fifth term representing Ohio's 17th Congressional District. He maintains a strong commitment to the economic and social well-being of his constituents in northeast Ohio. He serves as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, as well as its Subcommittees on Readiness and on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. He also serves as a member of the House Budget Committee and co-chairman of the Congressional Manufacturing Caucus.
Congressman Ryan has a daily mindfulness meditation practice. He has been an outspoken advocate for promoting mindfulness practice as an aid to dealing with the variety of complex problems facing the nation. During his tenure in the House, he has helped to get mindfulness and social and emotional learning programs established in several schools in his district. He also spearheaded a conference at a medical school in his district on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Before being elected to Congress, Ryan served in the Ohio State Senate, as president of the Trumbull County Young Democrats, as chairman of Earning by Learning in Warren, Ohio, and as a congressional aide.
Top Customer Reviews
If you want to create change (and I think most of us would agree that the current polarization and gridlock isn't working for any of us), start with the first step of Ryan's plan: Practice mindfulness to improve your own physical and mental health (tons of solid evidence supports this). A few minutes a day reduces stress (and all of the downstream ill health that comes from that), improves immunity, and reduces the number of medications (with all of their costs and potential side effects).
Ryan moves on from there to address the various ways that a more mindful nation can bring about better education (even if only because kids aren't wired and torqued by counterproductive levels of stress), allowing attention and memory - learning - to improve dramatically, as shown by several large-scale applications of mindfulness training for students.
Lest you think Ryan's book is too "soft," enhancing the performance of the military is another benefit of mindfulness that Ryan describes and encourages.
And creativity and innovation - two of America's greatest strengths - are greatly enhanced when the brain is better integrated, allowing all of our abilities to be more online and active. Ryan visited the neuroimaging labs of leading universities to see for himself the excellent evidence for mindfulness meditations positive effects on areas and pathways that support better brain function (creativity, curiosity, collaboration, and more), including healthy, balanced empathy, which is necessary if we're not going to remain in stubborn, fear-and-anger-based gridlock.
Mindfulness practice requires no change of religion, doesn't turn you into a wuss, won't make you complacent, doesn't promote rabid self-involvement, or any of the other fear-based (not evidence-based) "worries" about mindfulness practice.
Bravo to Congressman Ryan for a solid, substantive, highly practical book with an evidence-based plan for getting out of some of the bigger quagmires challenging this incredible nation of ours. May he be joined by millions.
Anthony Pantaleno, Ph.D.
New York State Licensed Psychologist