Politics

Democratic congressman holds meditation sessions for members, staff

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Michael Bastasch Energy Editor
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While many congressional staffers and hundreds of thousands of federal employees have been sent home without pay, those still on the clock will be able to partake in a “meditation session” next week in the House offices.

A Dear Colleague letter sent from Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan’s office, invites members of Congress and their staff to a “mindfulness meditation session” on Monday in the Rayburn office building.

The session will be hosted by Dr. John A. Ives, senior director of the Center for Brain, Mind, and Healing at the Samueli Institute. According to the email, Ives “he oversees Samueli Staff, Fellows and researchers throughout the world who are conducting scholarly and scientific efforts on the impact and role of consciousness, spirituality, mind-body practices, and placebo on the healing process.”

“He is a Tai Chi and meditation practitioner and leads these activities at the Institute,” the email reads.

“These bipartisan sessions offer congressional staffers the same opportunity that major corporations, the military, schools, veterans, hospitals, and winning professional sports teams offer their own organizations to make better decisions. This is the same approach many CEOs use, including Rupert Murdoch, have used to increase the success and productivity of their companies,” said Rep. Ryan in an emailed statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

However, this is not the only meditation session planned in the near future.

On October 21, yoga and martial arts instructor Jon Waterman’s “workshops and retreats focus on strengthening continuity of present moment awareness by combining mindful movement, insight dialogue and meditation techniques.”

The next Monday, Katherine Smith, program manager for the Optimal Healing Environments Program at the Samueli Institute will help congressional staff with meditation.

At the Samueli Institute, Smith “implements initiatives to create and evaluate Optimal Healing Environment activities in healthcare settings nationwide. She is also a mind-body skills group facilitator, having led mind-body courses for medical and allied health students at Georgetown University School of Medicine and the University of Michigan Medical School and School of Nursing.”

On November 12, Professor Nancy Harazduk of Professor at Georgetown University’s School of Medicine and director of the Mind-Body Medicine Program will host a mindful meditation.

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