A ‘mindful’ presentation with U.S. Rep. Ryan

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan will deliver a presentation on his book — “A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance and Recapture the American Spirit” — on April 3 in Williamson Hall.

Ryan’s presentation will start at 5 p.m., and it will be followed by a Q-and-A session and a book signing.

“I am looking forward to sharing what I have learned about meditation and the effects it can have on each one of us personally,” Ryan said.

Ryan said he will lecture on what he has seen happen in the Youngstown and Warren city schools after the implementation of a social and emotional learning, or SEL, curriculum.

“I will also be sharing some of the remarkable research that has proven that the science behind meditation can have positive effects on our students, on our military personnel and our government leaders,” he said.

Andrew Zajac, a senior political science major, said he is interested in the different approach Ryan took when writing the book.

“I’ve only read bits and pieces, but I like it because it is a different way to look at both kinds of politics,” he said. “The book reviews have gotten praise from both Democrats and Republicans, so I’m really interested in what he has to say.”

Ryan uses meditation as a stress reliever both on and off Capitol Hill.

“At the end of 2008, I was 35 years old and afraid I would be burned out by the time I reached 40,” Ryan said. “I went on a retreat led by Jon Kabat-Zinn, and as the week progressed, we went from a few hours of silence to, by the end of the week, a 36-hour period of silence.”

Ryan added that since the retreat, he has been able to see the impact that meditation can have on education, on the military and on health care.

Jordan Wolfe, a freshman political science major, said he is not surprised that Ryan uses meditation as a way to stay levelheaded.

“There needs to be a time when a congressperson can have their time to relax and help focus on current legislation,” Wolfe said.

“Dealing with the bombardment of lobbyists and keeping in contact with constituents can be pretty stressful.”

The first 200 students to register for the event will receive a free copy of the book, courtesy of YSU’s James and Coralie Centofanti Center of Health and Welfare for Vulnerable Populations.

Around finals week, the YSU Student Government Association hopes to sponsor a meditation session with Ryan to help students relieve their stress over final exams.

For more information about the event, contact Carrie Clyde at 330-941-3360 or Jennifer Pintar at 330-941-3655.