A More Mindful America?

Fellow Ohioan (and, oh, Congressman) Tim Ryan has been in the Bay promoting his new book, “A Mindful Nation” with foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn. The former quarterback said he knew he was struck by the contemplative bug when a recent Superbowl Sunday found him flying to visit a meditation master–and away from much-loved beer and brats.

His interests in education and preparing learners with social and emotional skills are timely ones. In Palo Alto today he asked, “What can we we do to combat inattention, instead of just yelling at kids? How might they come to the technology they’re using?” Being able to teach effectively today, he says (and I believe), involves considering our collective expectations of immediacy. One answer is mindfulness-based practice, a technique Ryan said he’s observed kids bringing to their stressed parents. Now here’s an experimental idea to bring to electorates.