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Congressman Brings Meditation to Capitol Hill

October 22, 2014

Since last December, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) has encouraged lawmakers and staff members to gather – just to sit together and be quiet.

“For most of us, starting off in the morning, your iPhone wakes you up, you immediately start checking emails or texts or whatever, and you’re up and running until you go to bed. Normally with the TV on,” Ryan said in an interview with The Huffington Post. “I just wanted to carve out a space for us to just have some downtime,” he said. “Just some quiet time, a half-hour. Hopefully, maybe it can just take the temperature down here a few notches. That’s the goal.”

As part of a renewed push to infuse mindfulness into the halls of Congress, Ryan hosted the first in what he hopes will become a series of sessions featuring professional athletes and military veterans sharing stories about how meditation has helped them, mentally and physically. By having professional athletes and veterans speak up, Ryan said he’s hopeful that he can help to dispel stereotypes about meditation and show it’s an empowering practice with tangible health benefits.

Beyond his meditation sessions on Capitol Hill, Ryan has his eye on making the mind-body connection more important in policymaking. “Put simply, mindfulness is about finding ways to slow down and pay attention to the present moment, which improves performance and reduces stress…I believe in the long run it can have just as great an impact.” Practicing mindfulness meditation has made Ryan more relaxed, focused, and compassionate. 

Mindfulness offers numerous benefits. We welcome you to experience them during Penn Law’s Mindfulness Drop-In Sessions every Monday from 12-1.