10% Happier Road Trip: Meditation in Politics

ABC News' Dan Harris takes the '10% Happier' podcast on the road with meditation teacher Jeff Warren and chats with Rep. Tim Ryan about how he has implemented meditation on Capitol Hill.
35:51 | 01/24/17

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Transcript for 10% Happier Road Trip: Meditation in Politics
And welcome to a special edition of the 10% happier podcast runny. Cross country road trip. Which is. One of the most absurd things I've ever done nothing more about that in a moment but our special guest today congressman Tim Ryan from Ohio Wednesday minutes later for. From way backward talk about how he got into it why exactly. Teach people here on Capitol Hill were in his office and on the capital. And we've me along right as we do this twelve day road trip is the now must they saying Gary Warren. That's who I was surprised at Lincoln eighties in the building but he and David we're end. And he let my favorite meditation teachers we're we're grown across the country. In a ridiculous orange Boston's attempts at happier this and we're trying to use basically the idea is we're trying to find out. Why people aren't meditating who want to you know people were in a meditation but you're just taken over them to do it and we're gonna try to sort of unlock him. The little bit and and turn into a book and laugh again laughing and on ABC and also use it to make court. Your effort. Your very cool. So Campbell want to make sure if there's any repeal of math it doesn't affect your relationship here yeah we're why you say you. You got to prioritize and it at. B times. Yeah very stressful everybody in uncharted waters this point. I'm kind of embrace him whole thing. In I don't know it's been so bad the last six years like total gridlock that. What's that happens to beat him agitator help you in uncertain times and immensely. Yeah I mean just embracing the uncertainty of things has. When you say taken off the cushion or taken out your practice mean there's no better place to really embraced uncertainty to practice embracing uncertainty. And the United States congress. Because it and especially now on whether through the election. Everything was so uncertain it always is but it's even more so now and then now and we're moving into the actual governing of the country. Complete uncertainty from cabinet picks to what legislation's would come forward to executive orders. Completely open air nobody has a clue what direction on. Or currents in place but he's so you're back story. Meditation for. Com. Back when I was a kid I grew up Catholic my grandparents in long period rose realized there was that little value put on meditation. I would see my football coaches at an answer but football coaches at the Catholic school I want to cut this weekend is that. Chapel that was in the school. And then going and pray meditate that they had like there was some quiet time for them every day. Man role models for. For a boy and that stuck with me the more I get in what the more I realize what an impact those. Role models had on me that I did probably knows that those interest. Read Phil Jackson's book sacred hoops. As a young guy coaches the actors. Yeah news. So that was an influence what's the stuff he still with his players you know. Let's Michael Jordan doing because as a young kid growing up you think. One of them be like them I heard about it and as I moved on in my life and he and you can take that practice and normally anyway. I remember watching videos and eventually getting the book and when he wrote it and that kind of jive with my coaches and then you're a football play football basketball. But as you know sports and north northeast Ohio now and always kind of stuck with me I read that book and I remember. He had books that informs him that he put in sacred hoops book and it was zen mind beginners mind. So that in a couple of others that one out and bought those mr. Reid knows and it just evolve at a priests teach me centering prayer. Which is Catholic. Tradition. Pretty much Monterrey based collective beans and they take a word or phrase the Bible and you say that over and over what's for a month. When you say yourself over and over your your dispersant thinking tends to slow down then it feels good yet but it is also surrendering practice it's letting those rumors renderings threats equity. There. Not struggling with your with a reality. Yet so if it get paid off. Then later when I learned other practices but it was kind of the same thing. You know that your thinking about something new go back here phrase you worker your breath body. So. Flirted on off with a bunch of stuff throughout my life you know read a lot of Deepak Chopra Wayne Dyer stuff. Getting into the gap. Those kind of meditations and man at the congress come forward with it on and you know things anybody probable talk about here today. You do it for a day in all my god this meditation and so great. And then you don't do it for two years. If not. In and in those two years would be to show up like last minutes here on. So. I was here it was 2008 I was really getting them upon hours almost burnout wasn't burnout in the point. Elections Ohio fund raising we became the became and the majority Democrats did congress. And I was just like and use them. So one on a five day. Retreat which on campus. And teachers. Basically like this term secular. Yet medication without any. Yet. And that's what appealed to me and have to give up my religion and I'd have to like. Join some group were put rover like do anything funky I could just like. Go and say it in any way we actually you're so cracked up. Yeah somewhat baptized my my oldest son's confirmation sponsor. So were weren't. And that you know that five days there it started off with small periods of silence for an hour to whatever. And then more more silence throughout the week. And then like Dan half of silence towards the end of the retreat that's ones. You know pop off. This unbelievable it could start really seen your thoughts com. Really understanding. What was gone new union become aware of why you have high blood pressure if we can keep thinking these negative thoughts over and over and over again. And you wonder why you're stressed out of stuff that's years gone by. Or hasn't even happened. You know you're having all these thought loops anxiety and loose. That you're not even clearly aware but they're stressing yards and serves assurance level here you are in your first experience of silencing your scene clearly an effort that. Yeah it's like that the person who has road rage like you porn problem we need to change lanes. And they. Go ballistic I mean obviously it's not just about. You pulling in front of them there's got to be layers and layers and layers of stuff that happened that day that week that month that year that lifetime. That get expressed in that moment. And when you stop and common mine found start seeing those things. You start respond better. He also star metabolize. That's the amazing thing you can start to work some of that stuff. Cools it cools years in connection givers and that react to patterns it's not just that you're going to neutral you can start to work down. Yeah. So anyways bring him along. Yeah. It. Exactly. Good stuff. So anyway it affected me in and I wrote a mine formation. This business of my company you know to who thirteen then and now it was basically if I recall. Has been while also look at it. You talked at from position. Congressman areas in which in mind on this could be headed into our. Government policy. And ask you care victories education. Right health care that there were few other fingers. Prisons in training defense you know. No more high stressful situation and patrolling village not far off country that's very dangerous. And it's not to make better killers but it's we have a lot of accidents that happen a lot of unnecessary collateral damage and at some new. Can train mine to be present in those situations I think reduces a lot of mishaps from happening and you know what's the great challenge today you know raising kids mean you're. Baby is young. But as they get older they get a device that you know on the star Planon they their attention span so much information so much distraction today. That I think we need to look at education differently. We need to concentrate on. Having. Teachers and a system that cultivates awareness. Promotes focus and concentration for extended periods of time. Daughter. Kids to be able looking I shake your hand pay attention you when you talk. You know not get in a conversation and you like book and for your phone or not it would buzz that just. That's the road we're going down right now and you know worry about that that. We've got to figure out strategies and I think certain schools and health care thing stress levels and money we've spent on high blood pressure. Alzheimer's. You know all of the you know anxiety medication. And we're about done politics to did it because it's like that's raping everybody out. Moral so there's just stressful groundless you actually teaching here. In the capital for appears to staffers are. Well I provide the space. We bring we bring in teacher he yeah I don't I mean none I'd know a lot about it but I don't. Think I'm a teacher give you the basics like us and videos as you'd like teaching people the pace yet you know so I'll give you the base. Reveal exactly mean a weaponized. Who from Canada brand it's. Canada are ethnic says that it. So we create the space we bring in teachers. Every few weeks to teach different kinds that they don't want to be like well this is the right kinds. The kind of right is the kind of works for you act and I like to introduce everybody to different forms of people come and do work that earns people who do. Working in health care education. And the land here he's been here. Now just deep pocked and here in new do their sessions omelet and welcome turn to a breeding. This is 47 April technique. How did echoed down around here I would imagine that this is a pretty you know Taipei crew. In the you know you some of the most powerful square. Miles of these in the world. You know hasn't been pounded the. And it. You know I had a bunch of people Grammy just this year saying. I think we need to start coming new year thing. They do your stuff we're gonna come at things like people don't even know what the no suspects. But they know it's like stress reduction stuff. And more more people are looking to be a part of it. But again it's hard demands line and right before votes and use actors scheduling meetings in new. Fly outs and you can so carving out the time ruling making it a priority is tough for people. And that's why I think the staff stuff that's really important because you can still might work your way into an office where someone's gardening to change the dynamics of the. Still there two layers you're you're tired of can you get the actual politicians it is an actual members as a representative Jeff senators and then there's there's that. Yeah you're working on both yeah levels yeah and we're guessing more success staff. A pet stuff I mean it's that. No when when the members of congress for out of town. There is more down time here. You know people don't where she tie coming in jeans and shirt come and a half hour later you leave half hour earlier it's a little more down time because the days were here there in early and we can be in session until midnight. So. It's a little easier for them to find some some chill time on the states it and number one obstacle please vote what. Time. And stick my probably like you're slackened if you're going to do this. So. Part of it is you've got to say. Rate now. You've got to say Phil Jackson you guys say Kobe Bryant did this now not exactly slackers. But the founded is. A performance enhancer. And my view is if that's the entry point for you to. Taste this you'll have. He had will enhance your performance but the law also do a lot of other things that we'll just be that happen anyway. What whatever but. You you've taken a little bit golfer Ian a minute later people worry about that you know some people made fun of you for via minutes later. I think your defense and with full disclosure we know each other for well on earth quite friendly. I figured offense loaded unfairly. If not entirely and apparently but nonetheless you've had to deal with a little this. So what you think that's what it is may be an obstacle is for some of your fellow members of congress I think so. Totaling like who you have enough. To have to deal with throughout the course of your political life. That answering a question about. A practicing informants or something like that isn't like on Baird honestly not cost benefit analysis may be just isn't worth it. Check totally get. Because if you haven't experienced it I think like I have he'll talk about. Like if you're just come off like I think. Quotable quote come out until after like I had this. Experience. Like this is really helpful. To me as father. Husband and son and your congressman so you want some stressed out crazy person run around. While it gets. I guess that's like good question and I. But. I just don't think ultimately that's what people want and if they see it helps me they only care what it is now and so. As some people might guess that little if that's been some you might guess from that last comment you are Democrat. Are there aren't there. And including the roster that members were coming to your lifetime. He's bipartisan the most bipartisan. Sir oh absolutely. And I it's it's great because I'll be in the cafeteria and not a staffer grabbed means that come from a you know solves those office and thank you for doing this it's been great for me. And what I try to say is. Like conservative values are. Embodied in this practice it's about taking care of yourself it's about understanding yourself it's about making view. Healthier. With being fiscally conservative because it doesn't cost a lot of money and there aren't a lot of side effects that you have to clean up so it's very much. Conservative. And so many ways probably more so than it would be perceived and the general you know perception of the the stereotypes. More so than. In liberal. They don't really think about it but what it's would it's helped. In the craziness. Like I look at trump. And I think OK it is what it is he one. Amazingly he did a great job. Okay how do we respect them you want people put him in place. What can I sit and listen. And find something that we can war. Without judgment without some of the other crazy stuff that I will be very critical of is there something in there. That because he is who we is minis. Different. That maybe maybe there's an opportunity for us to rebuild the country and get broad band in every community like minded. We've worked so hard trying to yet and there's something. That take action you work better with. Tell. Dwell in the opposition give yet by being. Open to. Like seeing through all of the tweets passion delusion and what's what's the new one about alternative facts. Make the case seen through all that okay what's he really trying to do with XYZ and can we actually get something done for the American people. Here's an interesting. It was Cortland asking what is that can't imagine somebody in that trust camps it's funny thing. That reporters and then liberals. Took and take trap literally but they don't take him seriously but the behind both form and don't take literally they see through all the severe cut but it can take answers you. And and I at it very astute I don't know or is that it was somebody's edit yeah with pro trop and and it kind of an astute observation. And perhaps that is on some. It what you're talking about the cousins. Totally totally and I just in the last couple days he brings the union guys and talks to only brings the heads of these corporations and who have outsource a lot of jobs from communities like mine. Insane guys party's over we're guess our investment in the country. I don't know what he's gonna tweet in the next two hours but I know what everyone in Youngstown Ohio heard. Union guys when they're talking about rebuild the country. And he had the auto Texan or about. Reinvesting back in the United States so we get tweet about what everyone's. They're off of that kid's soccer game mean that's what they heard what they what's important to them. And you know I think you have stories of past presidents who have done so many different things personally and you know publicly. That it. American people over to some extent what are you gonna do for me in mind. You know the bottom 9% had not seen income gains in the last twenty years. Like I'm over here you know. I don't care what you come come someone popping these CEOs and Tom they reinvest back in my country. And that's we still so. You know I don't have to like come on have to like go drink beer with them not to play ball with bomb but if he has something that's gonna help my constituents. I hope I can ratchet down. Stuff down to be able to do. I mean it's my obligation. Man basically and to be able to do that you have to be able to have a certain not re activity. You're just didn't we now fighting the whole thing and not going to be able to find that signal of sanity. And the senate raw. Yeah and it doesn't mean you can't push back on things that you feel are gonna hurt your constituents are are in remain or. You're responsible. In the wouldn't talk to people in over makes one feel an outcast. You can do both. So since you wrote her book. More schools. Embracing my infamous more hospitals. More companies. And the you're seeing the applications surge emerge all different places and must make you feel. And and is curious how what your take is on our landscape and even in the past five years 56 years. I mean I love it because I think it's I think it's a fundamental part of changing. Society changing these institutions but there's a lot of work to be done now you know so I still see a lot of schools that. You know they're giving kids bad food there and now it's it's a very chaotic distillate and a distraction. So lot of work to do but it's it's it's good to know that we're going in the right direction because they have more examples to point to air force of the look this is working. In its existing we're we're trying to figure what it's preventing you from meditating and there sometimes are internal reasons. Lots of them reasons why they're getting hung up and there's things you can say in due to reorient the minute ways. There's a lot of external reasons and that's that cultures and support taking time out and away. Do you realize that some of those whose arching a come from. From policy and come from they're going to be better come from the top as opposed to do things that are always we depend it all happened from the bottom right now. That's instantly think about it like there are what we put in place in terms of policy that can make these things easier. Mean let's think about. Ledges. Well I think it's easier if it's being taught. You know. One of the reasons has it that there was obviously it calculation. About knowing that stuff. And John cabins and saying go talk to Richard Davidson go talk when the plant here co opted to you know look you know we'll talk to these folks were doing the research and doing all this good stuff. In and saying well I wanna put my name on a book and talk about it publicly that a big after big discussion to have. But the reality of it is. These. Are the things that need to be taught in I have this knowledge you have the knowledge you have the knowledge. Why is it just like wealthy people who kind of afford to go on a retreat had this to me this is social justice issues with you know why when the kid in Youngstown have the opportunity to learn in this. That can transformed their ability to get themselves educated to deal with more stress and violence. In their own lives than any of us would ever dream of there have a nightmare about living and under. Why are we teaching so when we talk about putting it into a system it's about Heidi educate and get doctors and patients and it. Teachers first embody it themselves and then. Be able to just for the kids to me that's how you transforming imagine every marine who has. A mind fitness training as a part of there. Basic training. So the average Dave for a marine in the Marines piracy cheers of these these people going back to communities and becoming teachers and nurses and you know coaches so they can bring that in slowly fill it out and society. So change in the system by promoting this stuff. Internally for them to be shipped some respect. Rate your own district rate. Public's apparent public schools where Michael is this be. Saying I don't like this feels like it apparently. Yeah of that well. It was in it was having great effects and can't just outside of my district outside a camp while. And you know Christian group came in and they were interest didn't put not chapel in the school and having it be very Christian base which obviously. The Catholic student mine which can be public school. And in so they ended up spook and the school board the principal and then taken out. Which was you know real shame and I think we've just got to let it happen that's why I think have been a broad agenda that says look. We all know what's going on here we all know that there's too much distraction we all know there's too much information there's no quiet time is no silence people while working on farms it's just all voice now. And we all know something needs to be done about it. And I'm not telling you what to do local school board can figure out what to do but I think it needs to go down this road. Quiet time. Knowing there are practices that can help you train your mind to focus on the present moment to cultivate your awareness of both what's going on inside of you. And around you social and emotional learning critical in the 21 century. So you figure out locally and you need Washington to tell you but I'm trying to create. Umbrella and some cover. For people to state what their people who are don't like it science like look at the brain research don't listen to me don't. You know and no one has to give up any religion that they believe but look at the science want to help your kid develop their brain. And in 2017. If we know this stuff why is it not getting down to the kids in my district. That's unfair that's unfair for my kids. And like I think even as a social justice issues is that it's so important because a lot of people see it as some kind of self indulgent. Let's pick a social with the wellness movement that system you and what you need not realizing that it site year it's all one system. You know and if you don't if you don't address. And mental health issues and everybody's opinion are your real address all the other issues as well secondaries has come from so it is absolutely it's awful justice. Now what's your own practice look like and what if any county news in capture and you either get your butt on a cushion or actually once you're there. Bomb. I try to do in the morning. And then I try to have a little window in the afternoon and evening and do it. 25 minutes nowadays. What is adequate field rep company and he left history. Pretty much more mine from the space awareness based practice. I do do side do you still do some centering prayer just kind of the tale land would do little exits surrendering. And I like that. And in a little bit later in the day just kind of calm and my body down that can noticed that tents like it throughout the course of the day. Can reply yeah. You're tracking I don't know if it is better hurry if there where I've gotten better at it gap now go on our not think of it and then go. Now without the tension are. Coupled its. In this more about checking in on days then it is about us that cushion 45 minutes did it first started. That's also I got a family dogs like in trying to meditated on the Watsco. You know. Seven minutes and bought wants back. This guy did not get the memo about my had a bigger and I really look at the mine but would John we're John cabins and really helped me is that that's part of the practice like that. It becomes partly in the kick bogged down in minutes later no credit exactly kick the dog later get back my meditation now you know. Like so you just kind of make it partisan and haven't haven't babies you know you know to have your old. An and traveling a lot that's that the challenge. He's on time. Sometimes you now has and you know I get home kids get home. And you know our daughter is like cheer and dance nations baseball. Ski club you know whatever the case maybe Brady debate anyone's attention now so. I have actually found the little window now at home at night you know. I go literally go to bed with my wife you know laying in bed. Her debut falsely. And I'll get up and downstairs and sent. Like it just it just in the last couple weeks it's kind of like involved in light OK she goes to bed earlier late. And I don't. But although she likes like I'm here a lot to spend time and time together like what the Pentagon should like some like one of my resisting. This school up. And bad. Now though falsely. Like. That's. But. Senior Israeli hill and oh yeah. Practice. Around here because what you're saying its release mark. That a big part of your practice is actually finding easy going this in transitions. Does that have this is zoning changes Monday and other Bruins lose their there's stop but it sounds like. You're very conscious and beings moved in the transitions and that is that an amazing adequately practice that's kind of the essence of the team a lot of what the and it's like you're this describing it's very interest. That's what I'm doing on ethic ethic and that's organizers. And this is nothing's ever that's you know it's it's like you like and have. We hear the bottlenecks are and you work out like there's a bottleneck when you're the come back in the middle of Europe the minute eight OK let's co op that turn into an opt in mind. Your wife proposes that changed your right you schedule. And you're like. Probably resisted for a little while you. Can make it work and I would imagine to speak mountain experience. Looking at this as a mile line. That that is that in that is where met meditation helps you. Make this that there allows you to see that that there your tree problems and then you can use that they waited and threat. It. The it took me. Three years. Another word maturity yet apple people ask me you know why do why you know. We think. He had gone your life. Me happier or nicer person time for answers that I retain the capacity to be completed you assistant and I would say it and it's it's probably three words and say it's marriage. Meditation. Teachers you know getting older having Mary very well and and that nations like. Yeah. Oh I think actually helpful to say. Everything it because of minute Asian humidity so rob it was too much. Around yet what makes you think you all the problems of them go away. You know unicorn rainbows if you everybody sits on a cushion it's not gonna happen. Or I got up pretend like I'm not angry or pretend like I'm not fearful. I think it's really helpful. Emotions that that can inform you when you're why am I afraid. Why am I angry what's going on underneath. Doesn't mean you still don't get angry. And you still tell people something maybe you forcefully that needs to be said. Bow with a little less anger and maybe a little more reflection like well this needs to be sent like and maybe it needs to be said that they know that it's. A listings certain feelings. You know so you have to. So it's all good you know I mean I just hype it grew up playing sports and I just love when I think of Phil Jackson. We're I think of Kobe Bryant. Horror. Others that practice this and play and that the arena that so intense it's like you were in the gains by. OK Phil Jackson this stomping his feet screaming elements goes over sits back down and see him collect themselves. But there's a few business to playing the game a life. Like and it shouldn't can't this is not gonna suck all the funds that are all the Jews it's the complete opposite in just the airport in hope and unfortunately that. And make better decisions in the heat of the battle. Historically shift. Longs and I think you're one not the very best indicators. If it's agree that I'm very expensive the fact that you got that meeting. Coming out but before we let go where people learn more about you well I mean if your books your west and. Can. Save my political afflicting just Google me have a campaign won an official one and then I'm mindful nation so Booker about. Mindful meditation in schools. Health care. And and I wrote a book couple years ago called real food revolution. Is I was doing the research. About my reformists whose very much about stress affected the body. Diabetes high blood pressure alzheimer's all of these things but every time Lowe's looking at an article wasn't just stressed it was also diet. So then I the next kind of revolution was the book on food call the real food revolution. And that's about how we shift our food system to more local league source fresh foods. Obama trying to get big political debates but just how do we build out a new food system that isn't just completely subsidizing big agriculture to make fake food. That ends up and boxes of whenever that's not real Franken who does what. Or time and calls it. It just so highly process its oil well it's war all know what's high fructose corn sure. And it's leading to a lot of these problems were happening so again a social justice issue. There are prime recruiting mental health problems that are drawn huge correlation there. Yet all kinds you know screws up Michael vile mean your it's it's which. Effects depression mood and all kinds other things need to see the rates of cancer diabetes. High blood pressure heart disease although that's alzheimer's is huge alzheimer's in of itself bankrupt. Our Medicare program health care system. And again mine promise practices. And done it can have a huge effect so the whole thing is about. I'm getting back to the fundamentals. For all us healthy food. You know kind of gets back minor my mind that they had garden. Healthy fresh food. Low resource. Homemade stuff it was hot peppers wine. Was homemade. And then time for contemplation and meditation relaxation but that's how they lit. You know they are problems are both gone and they lived to be ninety in had. Pretty rich and full lives but it's like impact of the fundamentals in the council. Here itself. I'm so glad you're here analysis and rainbow. Analysts say it's Apple's anti you know yesterday today we come see you and used at school so thank you only have thirteen things almost. And I love what you do and I just think it's so important. And then you sidekick to travel back at apple jealous among the bus with yet. But I think it's neat thing is considered him probably for good reason. But I appreciate I think I've. What you did with 10%. As amazing and I think it's real important. And guys like you mean I remember sitting in Boston which is funny because that's where you're from and you were doing an interview about your book. A Knight can I was there for doing farmers or something. And that was it it was as. Restaurant look upon TV you're doing an interview with a local. Affiliate that used to work for us what some. Hostage business but they call it business right but I just think it's great and thank you and your whole journey is very powerful thing. I know I like brightly that I have like one of the few people I know what it real congressman at a book party came up on Oakland there will attract. Thank you very much thanks appreciate issue is on the disabled my history as jurors that stagnant follow us all we I mean all of a lot this that we do. And if you want to learn how to meditate for free kick up 10% happier act. Available. Yeah left or were. Hewitt.

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