Tim Ryan: A Mindful Coalition

A meditation and yoga practitioner himself, Ryan shares his views on ways in which mindfulness can help veterans and enable positive social and political change through cooperation.

We’re constantly learning new ways that mindfulness can help focus and build resilience and awareness. Research shows it can also help us find some stability during stressful times. And who would know that better than a politician embroiled in daily Washington gridlock?

Tim Ryan, a congressman in Ohio, believes mindfulness can help our navigate and thrive during these difficult times. He’s especially interested in how mindfulness can help veterans. He believes there’s great a great need to help our traumatized veterans, and mindfulness is a key part of helping them.

Ryan’s goal is to bring together a coalition of like-minded individuals and groups, in order to further all kinds of mindfulness and well-being projects and causes, from integrative health for veterans and the current military, to urban agriculture.

Veterans Are Turning to Mindfulness

An increasing number of veterans are turning to mindfulness to cope with combat-related PTSD. And if Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) has anything to say about it, mindfulness will be offered as a treatment option to every U.S. veteran.

“There’s a chance that a lot of these men and woman will kill themselves, and, to me, that’s unacceptable,” says Ryan. Ryan helped introduce a bill that would support bringing integrative health to Veterans Affairs and mindfulness techniques into the military as part of basic training, making members of the military “more proficient in how to deal with trauma”—a concept investigated recently by research on Marines and mindfulness.

Getting members of congress interested and aware of mindfulness practices is part of the effort, but Ryan’s larger goal is to connect the dots between all the different organizations and individuals promoting and practicing mindfulness, so that “all these different elements can see themselves as a broader coalition of like-minded people.”

Read more

Voices

Trying Compassion on Capitol Hill 

Can you extend compassion toward a difficult person in your life? Congressman Tim Ryan tries a practice to help him reach across the aisle. Read More 

  • Dacher Keltner
  • March 4, 2019