Congressman Tim Ryan Speaks on Mindfulness and the Law

September 16, 2013 — “I’m for Medicare and Medicaid and protecting them … [but] the future of health care is self care, so let’s start teaching people how to take care of themselves,” said Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, speaking at Georgetown Law on September 10.

Congressman Tim Ryan, D-Ohio. Congressman Tim Ryan, D-Ohio.

 Ryan — to borrow an idea from his book A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit (Hay House, 2013) — was not talking about politics but about helping one's self from within. 

Meditation might be an unusual topic of conversation for a politician, as Ryan was first to admit. Yet the practice of mindfulness can be a valuable tool in helping politicians, schoolchildren, teachers, military personnel and law students alike navigate their way through life.

“The complexities, the details, all of the things, the strategies, the tactics, all of the things that you need as a lawyer … those skills will be amplified and enhanced …  to the extent you can be in the present moment,” Ryan told the nearly 150 attendees in Gewirz Student Center.

The event was hosted by Georgetown Law’s Lawyers in Balance program and the Contemplative Law Society student group, both of which seek to further the principles of mindfulness and conscious living. 

“The major reason we invited Congressman Ryan to speak is that he’s made an enormous impact with his book,” said Jewish Chaplain Michael Goldman, who helped establish Lawyers in Balance at the Law Center in 2008. “The simple practice of mindfulness can help each of us reduce stress, improve our performance and remind us why we have chosen to pursue the law.”

In fact, student Bar Association President Parker Schnell (L’14), who introduced the event, called Lawyers in Balance one of the best parts of her law school career. “I can’t recommend it highly enough,” she said.

For a webcast of the event, click here.

For more on Lawyers in Balance, click here.