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Mindfulness in Politics
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of DailyGood

DailyGood, September 6, 2013
Posted: September 10th, 2013

The movement for mindfulness meditation is growing, but can it break the modern political gridlock? Congressman Tim Ryan [wants] everyone to develop greater mindfulness, through simple forms of meditation and other practices that focus our attention and help us listen to each other. Elected to the House of Representatives at the tender age of 29, the Democrat from Ohio spoke out repeatedly against the policies of President George W. Bush on Iraq, the economy and other issues. But then so did many others. What makes Ryan stand out is his conviction that the USA can be transformed not just tinkered with, as he puts it in A Mindful Nation, the book he published in 2012. Practicing mindfulness may not get everyone on the same page in detailed policy terms, he believes, but it could help to find more common ground between different views and break the political gridlock. In this sense the personal is always political. Theres an upbeat tone in Ryans approach that seems out of place with the realities of Washington DC: Strip away the materialism, the marketing, the media and the technology and our fundamental nature is revealed, he writes, joyous, generous and courageous. Still, given that US politics is soaked through with cynicism, gotcha tactics and manipulation, even admitting that you meditate, let alone publicly recommending it to others, is a courageous thing to do. And who knows, the quiet revolution of mindfulness might even work.

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