answer yet. that said, i mean, i do think we also need to be on is that creativity requires trade-off. it would be great if we can all just go into a room and no one's feelings get hurt and we be just as effective. it would be great if we could be just as creative and not have to walk to minutes of the bathroom. but one of the lessons of a place like pixar mr. innovation does require constant turnoffs. sometimes you're going to get to feeling search. one of my favorite quotes in the book comes from the director of toy story three. i am paraphrasing a bit, but he says that too many companies are obsessed with not failing. a quick success with the absence of failure. the secret sauce of pixar is that we know that pixar knows that creating anything worthwhile this point to involve lots and lots of fair. a great bob dylan line. as success like failure. simply fail as fast as possible. now, how do you feel as fast as possible?
well, that is identified failures quickly which is where criticism becomes essential. the goal of the group is not to minimize fear and make everyone feel good. the goal of the group, the reason people come together, the reason the collaborate is to identify those failures, to a rate those failures, repeat that process for foreign half years, maybe five years. ..
we keep trying to trace it back to an educational system. i think there's still so much to learn about what creativity is. we don't really know how to measure it at all and that is why we isolate steve jobs to a brain scanner or bob dylan. we would be befuddled and we look at albert einstein's brain and it looks very normal. we have so much to learn about creativity it's tough to make those cross-cultural generalizations. in terms of whether not the u.s. educational system is good at fostering creativity, i'm not sure i'd go there unfortunately. i am a pretty good at killing it. you know the good news about teaching kids creativity is that kids are born creative, that we are all born wanting to draw, wanting to put the mind on a page to express what is inside and when you talk to educators we frequently hear the reference of the fourth grade plum which is how in fourth grade a kid loses interest in spontaneous
creation and writing poetry and short stories. and that is because it's about that age where one can make mistakes and you can draw the wrong line on a page or put the brush in the wrong place and not all creativity is created equal and what they are putting on the page doesn't live up to their expectations. i think we need to do a better job of first of all focusing on fifth and fourth grade this crucial window and saying we had to focus her energies here and make sure we don't kill creativity that is not lost during this crucial transaction -- transition that they will want to create even sixth grade. that is one thing we have to do. i think we also have to come in terms of how we should change her educational system, think we have to expand our notion of what creativity looks like. right now we have this very narrow decision of what aims to eat good thinker and that is to stare straight ahead. one of the first lessons we teach kids, stop staring at the
window, stop daydreaming, focus, focus focus and in many situations focus is essential but when it comes to creativity i think we also have to be honest that it will involve wasted time and lots of daydreaming. it will involve talking out of turn. the hard problem is how to put that into the classroom. if every teacher i definitely would not want a little bob dylan in my classroom. [laughter] that makes life a lot more typical but i think if you really are interested in fostering creativity and coming up with a culture that is more creative i think we have to learn how to embrace people differently. their interesting studies which of course in many instances deserves to be treated but what studies have found is when you look at high functioning people with add and adhd, once they become adults people are more likely to become great achievers. this is true that the whole range of the spectrum.
people who have low late ambition which means they are distractible, these are people in the air-conditioner turns on cant help can't help but look up or when they hear -- there are bracato party and they her conversation, they can't help but eavesdrop. there are is being summoned away by something over here and over here and we view that as a liability because it means it's harder to be productive and harder to concentrate. work done by jordan brafman at harvard, he has found that these people with low latent inhibition -- ambition or seven times more liable to be creative achievers. his estimation is that when you are a bit distractible most of the time those distractions are just going to be that. they are going to be wasted time. they will try to bring it here and there will be no relevant connections. your job is where -- to get rid of it as quickly as possible but every once in a a while one of those distractions, you can't
help but take into account some unexpected source of information. for once in a while it will lead to a really good new idea. one of the things we have to do as a society and as a culture is no there is no single way we should always be thinking and sometimes we need to do is daydream. that is when our best idea will arrive. thank you so much for listening to me and thank you for coming tonight. a total pleasure. thank you very much. [applause] >> it is a or nonfiction author book you would like to see featured on booktv? send us an e-mail at booktv at c-span.org or tweet us at twitter.com/booktv. ohio democratic representatives tim ryan presents his thoughts on the teachings of mindfulness in what he believes are the meditative practices of benefits and how it can be incorporated into education and health care policy. this is about 50 minutes.
[applause] >> thank you. we were sitting there thinking, i wish my town hall meeting started like this, you now? [laughter] how much different they would be. thank you very much and i want to thank our -- for having me. you have heard about this evening for such a long time and part of it and you share a little bit -- is that too loud? is that okay? just share a little bit about how the book started and where i came from. it was funny we had an event in new york city about three months ago, maybe more. it was called creating a mindful society. it was launched by a couple of magazines, one of the mindful.org which is a great new magazine coming out. i was one of the speakers on the
second night and on the first night, i had met a woman from madison wisconsin and she had brought her sister there. her sister was kind of new to the scene and so we were talking a little bit early in the day and later in the day we were walking to dinner afterwards. it was raining, so we got out of the building and we were going down to the corner and really started to pour so we were just ducking and wherever we could to get out of the rain. this conversation happened between the two sisters. the one sister who is new to the scene said, that guy was talking to us, he is a congressman? her sister said, yeah. he practices mindfulness? yeah. he wrote a book about mindfulness? yeah. she said, is he going to be a
congressman once the book comes out? [laughter] yes, i am going to be a congressman once the book comes out and we are going to change things. when you really stop and you think about what we are doing here, is we are asking people to slow down a little bit in a day and age where we are going too fast on the treadmill, the treadmill that is getting steeper and steeper. if you look at the issues of economic inequality and you look at the issues of people trying to manage a broken health care system and you look at the issues our veterans are facing when they come back to our country after serving us and their families are facing. this is what we need right now as a country and i'm not saying that this is the silver bullet. i know in washington there is a lot of policy initiatives that need to take place in order to help create the kind of world that we all want but to me,
teaching people the basic skills that they need to live in this world, where the average teenager is sending out 3000 text messages a month, where technology is doubling every 18 months, where most of the country is sleep-deprived, where people are working harder and longer and making as much if not less than we were making just a few years ago. to me this seems like the proper thing for us to do. i kind of got started -- i grew up catholic at our lady of mt. carmel catholic school and john f. kennedy catholic high school. my grandparents, my italian grandparents prayed the rosary. my mother prayed the rosary and there were rosaries hanging everywhere in the house on every chair. me and my brother got our first car, a beat-up old oldsmobile and there was a rosary hanging from the mirror. we both played football and we were both quarterbacks so there
were medals taped to the inside of our thigh pads and shoulder pads and scapulars on. we were armed and ready to go. and so we grew up in an environment where taking time to center yourself and to ground yourself and say your prayers was a major component of our lives. later i had a priest, catholic peace, father crumley teaching prayer which was how i started, and no christian meditation. it was just wonderful. i knew when i did it, and flirting with other kinds of meditation, but when i did it i knew i could concentrate better. i knew i could focus better. i knew i was more relaxed, and later got into politics and from ohio we have a lot of nonpresidential and statewide so i was very involved in my career
helping at that point the democrats take back the house and 2006 and 2007 in 2008 the big presidential election really involve traveling the state and really got to the point in the middle of that summer where i was thinking, i'm going to be burned out by the time i'm 40. i got in when i was 29. i said i know when i practice that i am better. i know that i am less stressed out and so i just need to jumpstart my practice. rewind a few years, john sent his book coming to our senses to every member of congress. yeah. there was one that read it and that was me. [laughter] and i tease john about that all the time. one of the guys read it. it wasn't all a waste but i'm sure there were others. i specifically read the section
about the body politic and how the practice of being aware and passionate one way or the other, that is our politics. and so i was looking for a retreat after the election, for i found one, it was two days after the 08 election in new york and john was teaching at a power mindful is -- power mindfulness. there was a five-day retreat that slowly walked you into silence more and more silence and in the middle there was a 36 hour period of silence. i checked my two blackberries at the door, yeah, there's a whole story behind a too blackberry thing. check the bloggers at the door, no reading, no writing, no phonecalls, no texts and no e-mails. in the middle of that 36 hour period in the middle of the
retreat i've really started to recognize the level of thoughts that i had. it was like almost the same 10 thoughts over and over. i thought gosh, will you shut up in there? it's driving me crazy now that i'm actually listening to you. and really, at one moment found a deep relaxation, a deep focus that i had only really remembered experiencing when i played sports. i played a lot of football in a lot of basketball growing up. we call it sports, being in the zone, being in slow where you are relaxed but there is action going on as well. he were coming out heuer coming out of quietness. i remember that healing. those were the feelings that the math we try to hold onto and i remember having a similar feeling and i thought to myself man, you can actually train your mind to be in the present moment. it's a mental discipline of training your mind and how
profound it would be. i was having that experience and as you know immediately your mind starts running again. oh my god we have to get to the school. oh my god we need to be in the health care system. someone give me a pen please so i can write this endpoint policy plan we need. [laughter] and i just really felt like this was an essential skill that many of us were missing because society has gotten so fast. and i remember my grandparents. they had much different life than we have now and in many ways much more fulfilling to wear again my grandfather got home at 3:00 in the afternoon after work. he worked in the steel mill for 40 some years. and then he would go to the garden. he would work in the garden for a couple of hours and then he would have happy hour with my
grandmother's brothers and then they would have a family dinner together. and you know, rinse and repeat tomorrow. on the weekend they would go to a park and waddell park and have family picnics. you would go to football and play bocce and cook. it was a much different time and there was that connection that they had. they would pray the rosary. i would write down on my bike and they lived a couple of blocks away. i would write down and surprise them and they were praying the rosary. it wasn't like a show they were putting on. this was how they took care of themselves. after the retreat, i went up to john and he looked at me with a smirk and he says, you have been outed. yes, i have. i said we have got to get this in the schools and we have got to study this and get it into the health care system. he said, can't believe you are here and i want to introduce you
to everybody who is doing work in the field of mindfulness. you need to meet richie davidson, one of the best neuroscientists on the planet. doing this in wisconsin. you need to meet linda who is working with castles which is the collaborative so -- for emotional learning, wonderful group doing work in our area. you have got to go meet this person and that person you were actually doing mindfulness work that is happening in pockets and how do we continue to ramp it up. it was that journey that john sent me on that led to the book, a mindful nation. a mindful nation is a book about highlighting and illustrating the work that is going on in the country right now in the field of mindfulness. i had a great opportunity to eat some of you that are here that are doing this work and in prisons, and schools and how
you're going to ramp it up and the mindful school program here. you know i didn't know i was going to write a book when i started meeting these people but they were so inspiring to me that i thought, this has got to be a book and this is got to get out into our country. we have got to do it. we are talking about not yelling at a kid to pay attention but actually teaching a kid how to pay attention. [applause] how to pay attention. we talk a lot about health care prevention and the screenings in the blood pressure, which are still too far downstream for actual prevention. prevention is what is causing your high blood pressure? chances are it is stress and when you see what is happening in some of these areas it's just fascinating to think about what is happening and how stress affects your body. the center for disease control was worried about stress like
they are other issues, there were the people in yellow suits in every institution across the united states of america right now in our schools and our hospitals, and our businesses and our corporations and on wall street. everybody is just feeling it and it's making us sicker and sicker. one of the studies in the book we talk about is the issue of psoriasis. when you have psoriasis, one of the treatments you go into a lightbox. john cabot and a couple of others that study had a group go into the lightbox and just get their treatment and then another group practicing mindfulness while they were in the lightbox. the group the practice of mindfulness while they were in the lightbox healed four times quicker than the group that didn't suggesting that when you reduce your stress your body will do what it naturally wants to do and that is heal itself. they thought the study was so magnificent that there must have been a problem so they did it
again. they came back with the same results, four times quicker. when you see the cost -- cost of stress and how that is leading to increased costs in our health care system and doctors not having enough time to spend time with their patients and how that can affect the issues of heart disease, high blusher, ulcers and type ii diabetes and a lot of other things, if we can prevent it upstream by taking some time and actually figuring out what causes your stress, they will be in a much better position. education again, your kids are bombarded with technology and a lot of schools are doing really well that there are some that aren't and there are some kids that aren't. a lot of those kids are dealing with issues of living in neighborhoods that are violent and come from families that are abusive, physical, mental and emotional. that is their life and what i found that writing this book was that the older part of your
brain, your amygdala, gets very activated when you are under stress. that is where you deal with your fight or flight. and so these kids are basically dealing with low levels of ptsd, some very high levels of ptsd. we know kids of my own community that had parents killed the week of exams, the week of state tests, brothers and sisters. your amygdala gets so wrapped up that information does not pass through your amygdala to go to your prefrontal cortex were you deal with all your higher-order thinking skills, your working memory and your ability to pay attention and concentrate and a variety of other skills are in the prefrontal cortex but when you are in fight or flight and the information is just processed in your amygdala. when you teach a kid how to breathe and what they do in the program, they have ellie breathing. their different programs and
goldie hahn has a great program and her foundation called a mind up but when you do the belly breath, these kids relaxed. they calmed their amygdala down and they calmed their nervous system down and their brain works more efficiently. so i am a policymaker who is trying to fix the education system and improve the education system and get kids to pay attention and figure out how their mind works so they cannot only pay attention but he connected to other kids in their class and begin to build some connection with them and some bond. you stumble upon how mindfulness works, and how you actually have the brain science behind it. i was almost -- i would almost challenge anybody to come up with another program that has this level of science telling you exactly why this kid can't pay attention and why this kid can't learn and what is going on in their brain. great illustration of what is happening and so we can actually
empower these children. and is working. talk to teach in -- teachers in youngstown ohio or any other classrooms is doing this and it's working. you see these kids bathing better. i will tell you one quick story. i don't know how much time we have here. just give me the hope. that is what they do at the town hall meetings. just get them out of here right now. we were at a school that goldie hahn runs in virginia, and we walked in and they teach the kids about how their brain functions. you were walking down the hall and you know we all went to elementary school. there are pictures on the side of the hallway made up of construction paper and yarn and the normal things you would see. and it's your amygdala. [laughter] i am like, okay. i had to remember what my
amygdala was. this for several years ago. i think i know, and then the kids would know what it was. here is your amygdala when it is calm. here's your amygdala when it is activated. i think they activated it and it had red yarn so it was really activated. but you begin to teach these kids. and went to class from the teacher said standup, somebody stand up and tell us what you're amygdala looks like when it is activated in some kid would get up and shaken him of that than we would laugh in the next person would show us what the amygdala looks like when you are calm and you take a deep breath. actually teaching these kids but when we went to the next class the teacher rang the bell. the class got quiet which amazed me, and that and we all had to go around the room and say what was on your mind. it was only a minute or two. when kids one when kids at recess is next in another kids
that i have a test or something. then there was another kid who just put his head down who is the next kid to talk. he got real quiet. we are all staring at this kid. said his name, what is on your mind? she says come on, tell us, what was it? and he said, i am worried my brother didn't come home last night. a school district with a lot of gangs and a lot of issues. this poor kid was worried his brother did not come home last night. you reflect on stories at like that and you think how is this kid possibly going to learn and he was dealing with that level of intense social situation they are living in? now, the upside is, this kid recognizes what he was thinking and feeling and he said it because there was space in that classroom for this to be dealt with.
his friends now new and the teacher knew and they took him and said let's go call home and see if he is home and that kind of thing but there was an awareness that this kid's emotional state was linked to how he was going to do in school. i just think that is so very important to have a peace corner in the school where if you have problems to go to the peace corner and you write, or color or do whatever and then you come back to the classroom. the teachers love it. i was telling the story earlier -- when they came in, linda lynn deering comes in and they do have the teacher training. about the fourth day of a five-day training, iowa and then just to see how things were going. the stories, a lot of them are in the book. wanted to see how things were going and they took five minutes every morning and rang the bell
and it's a mindful breathing and again in the afternoon. i went on the fourth day of this conference. it's quiet, like a normal conference that i go to for teacher training. usually there's a lot of chatter and we are in the hallway talking and whatnot. it's really kind of calm and i went in and linda has this big stuffed bear that she would throw two different teachers and say tell the congressman, tell us what you learned this week. it was unbelievable. these teachers were like i don't remember why i got into teaching in the first place. one teacher stood up and said i feel like i'm born again like i'm ready to go back in the classroom. one woman said, one teacher said, i am treating my own kids differently now. it was just five minutes. it was not a weeklong retreat. and we are going so fast that just a little bit of time has a
tremendous effect on how we field and how teachers are going to be aware of their own emotions and how they go into the classroom and how they deal with what the kids are going through and be more aware and identify with what they are going through. then they threw the ball to some guy in the back. there were about 16 people in the room and there were four guys in the room. i was one and my staffer was the other. i was like, okay, here we go. it was amazing, he was a young guy and he said, last night i went to my daughter's soccer game and i was actually at my daughter's soccer game. he said i was looking at her running and thought she is not going to be this little for very long. i caught myself really paying attention to her and the sky was blue in the and the grass was green. it was like a movie.
this is what you make up. it was just really sweet. that is what we want. that is what we want, mindfulness can give that to us. it can give us these basic things that we have all been looking for because they are right in front of us. they're not on the black area and they are not in the next meeting and they're not in the last meeting. there right now and to think of the work you guys are doing here is just really really inspiring. let me just say in the last few minutes with this chat with you and then we will take a few questions. one of the issues that really touches me is the veterans that are coming back into our country. we have been to a lot of funerals in ohio, young men and women who have been killed, 18, 20, 22, however old, young kids most of them. the ones coming back are just in
many ways in really bad shape. they are coming back after three or four or five tour's of duty, doing what their country asked them to do and they are coming back with post-traumatic stress, some tbi and a lot of traumatic brain issues. a lot of issues and i feel like mindfulness and some other programs that are out there like running out of wisconsin, which are helping our fats. one of them has a real deep breathing component and helps rebalance, recalibrate your nervous system, your parasympathetic, sympathetic nervous system that gets out of whack. you have been running quarters bigger body 15 minutes at a time and you don't come home for long enough and then you do that three or four times in a stressful situation, you're damaging your nervous system. this program and the studies
will be published soon but some of the stories we are hearing coming out of our of men in this particular program who have gone completely off their medication and who are now sleeping through the night and have not slept through the night in years. used to sleep on the couch so they would not keep their spouse of. we are talking about changing people's lives. is such a fundamental level. we have the brain science and we know what the nervous system does now. we know what it takes to rehabilitate it. we know what it takes. we have the science. people say you are congressman. whatever. i've got a responsibility when i find out about this stuff. it would be a dereliction of my duty as a congressman who swears every two years to uphold the constitution and do what is in the best interest of my constituents. i get paid to lead. that is what we do. that is what we what we are supposed to do and i don't care if no one knows about it.
my job is to make sure they find out about it and when you have harvard and stanford and emory and michigan and the university of massachusetts medical center and ucla and the university of wisconsin-madison, i'm not exactly a out on a limb here. i make a lot of other arguments that don't have that level of support, you know? [laughter] my staff cringed at that one. sorry, guys. by communication director is like which one? we? we will back it up. [laughter] but honestly, and and you have hundreds of thousands if not millions of people who have had personal experience on what it does. stories of schools and prisons and health care workers. susan bauer who teaches the guidance meditation at the end of the book with family caregivers and cancer patients you know, and people who care
about each other. this is about caring for each other. i'm not ashamed to admit it and i have played on enough sports teams at of my life to know that when you have a group of people who care very much about each other, who would put themselves in front of it us before letting one of their teammates go in front of that bus, who cried and threw blood sweat and tears and the workouts in the early mornings. i know what it means to care about somebody and i know as a quarterback, that it makes all the difference. so i think if of which is start caring about each other again as a country, that it really does matter what my neighbors might do. that matters to me. as my grandparents thought, the police, the fire, teachers and nurses and the people that when you flush the toilet they make sure the sewers are working.
those people are important to how our society functions and in ohio they get demeaned in many instances. i think it's important that we get past all this and we just start figuring out it's okay to care about each other. i just wanted want to and with short quote, not quite short but anyway. you are going to hear it anyway. you are not going anywhere. just that there are be patient like you are todd. [laughter] i am a quarter of the way through my speech too. this is a bobby kennedy quote from his very brief, short very passionate campaign in 1968 and i just want to end with and then take questions. too much and for too long we seem to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in in the mirror accumulation of material things. our gross national product now is over $800 billion a year, but
that rose national product if we judged the united states of america by that, that gross national product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising and ambulances to clear our highways of garbage. account special locks for our doors and the jails for people who break them. it counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder. it counts napalm and it counts the clear warheads and armored cars for the police that fight the rights in our cities. eckhardt counts -- make it counts the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children. get the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. it does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence
of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. it measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning. neither our compassion nor our devotion to country. it measures everything in short except that which makes life worthwhile and they can tell us everything about america except why we are proud that we are americans. thank you. [applause] [applause]
we will come up to you. i saw you. >> i'm a fellow buckeye. >> where are you from? >> born in oxford. in the post world of citizens united, pardon me for sounding cynical, everything you have said is brilliant and i can just see is an issue start to move the needle on those drugs not being sold, big pharma completely legally giving millions of dollars to karl rove with a request to squish you like a bug. >> that is not very nice. [laughter] >> no it's not. >> i am kidding. >> so i guess, this american life last weekend talked about members of congress spending three or four hours a day fund-raising. in order to protect themselves against such a thing.
i am sure you are aware of that, but we are all for you. how do you stand up to that potential onslaught which is unprecedented in our history? it is not what the founding fathers envisioned. >> i think you are right. one of the issues about slowing down in a country that may slow down a little but there's a great quote by the winningest basketball coach of all times. he said he quit, but don't hurry. i think that is good advice for americans. we can still do our thing but now we are just running. we are just hurrying with no mission in life and money in politics is a big part of that but i think people are really really tired of it. i don't know how you feel but i'm certainly tired of it. and i get the sense that my constituents are really tired of
the phonecalls and the tv ads and the negativity and i think we are ready for a shift in the kind of politics we have. when i first ran, and i know it's harder to figure the higher up you are but i would stand on the street corner holding signs and knock on doors, just kind of the grassroots things. i think if you take all of the people that are interested in this and every one gives a little bit of money. not everyone has to cut checks for thousands of dollars but if everybody gets a little bit of money and everybody takes a small portion of their time to say hey it's great to sit on a cushion. it would be nice to say there. it would be nice to pull the covers over your head and pretend like there is no other problem out there and you will just sit on your cushion and find peace. to me, growing up catholic, it
was always about social gospel. it was about going out and doing this. i think if we can mobilize this community in to get off the mat, off the cushion, could be a very powerful powerful movement in the united states. i think it could combat a lot of those issues of money because it is grassroots. i would just like to take a poll here. i won't but i would like to take a poll of where everyone works here. what is your little circle of influence here? what? what soccer games to you go to? what little leagues and what bullying out alley steve bull and? this is a network that i've discovered is that one around the country to write the book. incredible. talk to richie davidson in wisconsin at the university of madison wisconsin and the big referendum in wisconsin, he is
in the statehouse. he is engaged. his family was engaged in that. this was about us getting engaged and yeah there's a lot of money and i think people are sick of it and enough people knock on their door that are really concerned citizens that live in their neighborhood, change is evident. [applause] yes. don't fault. >> and your work environment, it seems like a pretty hostile one. and a comments and -- [inaudible] can you speak about how you use your mindfulness in your work? >> let me just for the record, have been unmindful in my job. i'm not a teacher. i am just someone who has felt
this is a really important thing that i have in my life now as my grandparents felt praying the rosary was their way of doing it. so i have my moments where you know, i pop off and if you look at the clips. i was on a radio show and a guy showed a clip. he is like so we are here with the mindful congressman. [laughter] yeah. want to hear that clip once or twice during the book tour. [laughter] i feel clearly now i am more considerate of my colleagues. i am more in client to look to find something we can work on together and focus more time on that while the swirl of the national debate is going on.
and i have a very dear friend of mine, john sullivan, who was a republican from oklahoma. we are working on the house for cover caucus together. okay, we can agree on this and he is getting more and more into the mindfulness piece. a lot of people from that caucus from the outside are more aware of the mindfulness feeling so to me it's more about being strategic with my own personal energy as far as where can i place it that it will have the most benefit? i think that comes from practicing. you realize where you are wasting energy. like an athlete, i'm going to save it for when it is really needed and i think that really helped me and just being calm her and listening more and pay more attention, realizing that there is a father and a grandfather of the person i'm talking to, who is not so hostile.
everybody is doing the best they can and some of the policies are really bad where they money where the outside influence comes in and the other is redistricting. those are structural policies with really red districts and really blew districts and they come down and there is no room for anybody to compromise. then you throw the money on top of that and it gets really unfortunate, which is where we are we are at now. >> hi. i just want to say thank you and this is my first time and it's really amazing so thank you everybody here. it's great. my question is as somebody who is also fairly active and has been for many years and democratic politics and currently at the local level, how do you engage in this conversation with people because i have to say in most of the crowds are normally run in, i don't know how i would necessarily engage in that judge on how you were doing that now.
>> you one of the things i learned very early, that this is not necessarily something you can push on to somebody. they have got to be open to looking for some way to handle their stress or they if they have issues with kids in school and they're not paying attention or whatever. i just saw this study about x, y or z and it can be very helpful as opposed to saying you know, this is a silver the silver bullet for american society. let me bang you over the head with it. it turns out that doesn't work very well. just i think finding the opening. i think a lot of it is how you are and how you present yourself, how you are. what you are alike. you will know what to do. i think it's not pushing it on somebody but waiting for that opportunity and giving them what they are really looking for, which is what i talked about.
>> thank you. >> he hi. >> hi. >> first i want to thank you for the courage for writing the book and putting it out there while you you're still in office. yeah. and i want to remark on the word courage because it means apart. one of the things that i've come to know over the last few years in my own development is that, it's really all about love. and you have probably heard of of -- if not i am happy to tell you more about it another time but it talks about how the heart has its own nervous system. we are teaching adults and kids, and authorized presenter for nonprofit, that when we can still the nervous system and are
hard, we actually extend the neurotransmitters to go to our brain, actually settle down and just a quick tip, that it -- one of the quick ways to get there is to go to appreciation. feel appreciation and there is really not room for some of the other more destructive feelings. so, i kind of want to get your thought on something that i'm working on right now and it's sort of a calling for me. i am writing a book and it is how to help congress. [laughter] >> i want to read it when you are done. [laughter] >> so i would like to get your opinion on this and maybe you know, maybe you can give me -- i am using congress as you know, how to organize themselves in a way to work productively together, and i am part of this
no label system to so they have some of the things that are more tactical but for me it is more about how people work together and compromise, not a bad word. it's also about ground rules and shared purpose. the third message for me is really the feeling of oneness, that it's not that you are my brother and you are my sister. it is that we are one. my success is your success and your failure is my failure. once we come to that place, which i think it's tough to be acceptable to people, but i'm going to try and do that in this book. and what i'm doing is writing it for the citizens that are feeling dispirited with congress and how we can be the role model
for congress, because we look to congress. they are people just like us. we are made of the same thing. so if we are able to live by those rules, perhaps that will influence and support congresspeople to say this is how we want to live. it's easy for us to say hey compromise and then we go home and do the opposite. >> well -- thank you. i think this is not necessarily going to be a top down process. there is not going to be a secretary of mindfulness. i hate to break this to everybody. [laughter] but what we want to do i think is infused this into current programs that are already happening and redressing money that is already being spent on programs that aren't happening, which i think leaves a lot of
common ground for right and left dichotomy we are dealing with now, saying okay, let's figure out how we can spend the money better and we know this stuff works and this is the science. let's move in that direction. i think there's a lot of room for that. i don't think it's necessarily going to be top down but i it's exactly right that we need to be wall models. we have got to get away from this politics where you don't agree with me 100% of the time, i don't like you any more. i'm not only not going to vote for you but i don't like you and i'm going to scream at you at a town hall meeting, how you are not with us or you are with the other side or the enemy or whatever the rhetoric is. so i think it is important that we have mindful constituents and a mindful the mindful of electorate that recognizes the delicacy of getting legislation passed and has more awareness of what it takes to get something past. one of the things i think is
important as we make this argument, that we talk about -- the united states marine corps is doing a mindfulness-based mental fitness training and they are studying it and working on ramping it up figuring it how to implement it. georgetown is running the program and the aaron or -- early analysis is phenomenal. it's building up a mental resiliency in the soldiers so that maybe they will deal with the situation, there were thick situations they have to deal with a little bit better so they can recover faster when they come home. this is about make him better pillars, this is about giving our brothers and sisters who happen to serve in the military the tools that they need. these united states bahrain core. google, proctor & gamble, target, general mills, major
corporations in our country are doing this. the marine corps is doing it. philip jackson the greatest coach winning the most championships did it with the los angeles bulls and the lakers. talk about a case to be made to the american people about why we need to move in this direction. so yes, telling them it's okay and these people are doing this is a performance enhancer and stress producer to help them pay attention, this is a compelling argument. to talk too much about the book but the one word i've heard about the book and as i said i'm just highlighting the work that is going on but the one word that keeps coming back in the book is, it is compelling. it is compelling. you cannot hear the stories and not see the science and think, we need to give this a shot. i do think it has to come from voters obviously learning about
it and wanting a handbook. at the end of every chapter is what you can do with your local medical school or your state legislator to let them know about the mindfulness schools program and how to get social and emotional learning implement. if not go to the web site and learn about it and go to your state rep. you need to be an active participant in getting this out there. is essential and so important. many of you are already doing it and again this is preaching to the choir. i am at a church so i guess that's okay, but it's really important for us to do that, to figure out what one area we can go when and really push and make that little bit of the difference. if we all do it we are going to be in good shape. >> thank you congressman. very inspiring. i wish there were 50 dozen of you in congress. you talked about the amygdala.
i am a integrative therapist and i use the body and neuroscience at i think it's very helpful. i'm just curious what your experience has been because what i feel is there is so much fear-mongering in our society. not just in politics but in general and i think there's a fear.org web site that explains what's going on. how have you found that just the word mindfulness may in a lot of people engender a sort of oh, this is so foreign. we don't need it -- we don't do mindfulness and those countries and those people. have you encountered that or has neuroscience really been able to trump that fear of otherness which is so rampant in our country right now. >> i think it has. as they said the marine corps doing it and google doing it, big brand names in america.
it's very helpful and studies are coming out almost weekly about how it changes your brain, moving it in the direction of empathy and kindness and increasing your attention span, teaching at how to cultivate your attention span. i think it is slowly being built. i try to talk about it in a way that is not -- gibson that impression. we have a lot of guys that are like oh, yeah. i know what that is. is where you train your mind to do that. why wouldn't you want to be in the zone a little more? you forget your keys in you stub your toe and if call people by the name -- wrong name. one of the stories i tell, i like john wooden a lot, the coach but i think he was a very mindful, aware, alert coach. the first practice every year, this is ucla. the first practice was not about
offense and not about defense and not about some particular x, y or z. it was about how to put on your socks. it is great to hear bill walton tell that story but he would sit them all down. you can imagine sitting all these big athletes down and teaching them how to put their socks on. i came to the school and this guy is going to teach me how to put my socks on? you put your socks on a roll your socks they don't have a wrinkle and you put your other sock on and you have to really roll it so there's not a wrinkle and then you put your shoe on and lace it up and here's how you do it. the reason is that if you don't put your sock on properly, you have a wrinkle in your sock, he get a blister and bid if you get a blister you can't perform. if you can't perform, you were not very good for the team and you are not able to perform with your team. so that is mindfulness. that is mindfulness, when you're putting on your sock you are
putting on your sock. you now? [laughter] that is a yogi berraism right there. [laughter] and i think when you explain it that way, people get it. you are doing what you are doing. you have the intention and you have the awareness and when you put your intention where your mind is, becomes a very powerful thing. if you're putting your socks on. >> thank you for being here. just a quick question. what would it be like if at your next town hall meeting you took five minutes and had everybody have everybody be quiet and brief, just a little bit to set the tone? i don't know if it would work or not. [laughter] but it is a thought. >> you>> you know, i don't kn. we will have to find out but i think it would be very beneficial for us to just take a
minute. i have done it in schools that i go to when i talk to schools. i'll say we just need to sit here for a few minutes. you may need to explain why you are doing it, much like you are saying here but i think if you can little -- get a little bit of by and for a couple of minutes of my changed the tenor of the meeting. >> great, thank you. >> thank you, i think we have had as many questions as we can have so i want to invite us all to thank congressman ryan for being with us. [applause] [applause] a. for more information about congressman tim ryan, visit his web site, tim ryan.house.gov.