Topics: House of Representatives

Government shutdown won't interrupt congressional mindfulness meditation sessions

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Congress,Joel Gehrke,House of Representatives,Government Shutdown

Members of Congress and staff who meet for weekly "mindfulness meditation sessions" won't be interrupted by the government shutdown.

The next session will take place Monday in the Rayburn House Office Building, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, reminded colleagues in an email, which also provided a schedule for weekly sessions through mid-November.

Ryan wrote a book on the practice, which he believes could be as significant as the civil rights movement. "Put simply, mindfulness is about finding ways to slow down and pay attention to the present moment, which improves performance and reduces stress," Ryan wrote, as the Huffington Post noted.

"The mindfulness revolution is not quite as dramatic as the moon shot or the civil rights movement, but I believe in the long run it can have just as great an impact," he wrote.

The Huffington Post interviewed the Ohio lawmaker about the sessions. "I just wanted to carve out a space for us to just have some downtime," Ryan 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."

He added that he hopes that the practice, along with other alternative medical practices, might gain more traction among policymakers if Hillary Clinton wins the White House in 2016.

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