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A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit
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A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  281 ratings  ·  39 reviews
       In one of the most optimistic books to come out of Washington during these trying times, Congressman Tim Ryan presents us with an inspiring and hopeful view of our country’s future—and a roadmap for how to get there. Across America, people are feeling squeezed, exhausted, and running faster and faster while falling farther behind. The economy continues to struggle, ...more
Hardcover, 203 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Hay House (first published March 15th 2012)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  281 ratings  ·  39 reviews


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Start your review of A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit
robin friedman
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
A Congressman Discusses Mindfulness

For many years, I have been studying Buddhism and attempting, with varied degrees of success, to practice meditation. In studying mindfulness meditation, I am in the company of many Americans from a variety of backgrounds, religious persuasions, and walks of life. There is a large and expanding literature on meditation, including this new book "Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spiri
...more
Diane Kistner
Oct 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Today's quotation from Goodreads is from Leo Tolstoy: "If, then, I were asked for the most important advice I could give, that which I considered to be the most useful to the men of our century, I should simply say: in the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you."

Mindfulness. The idea, and the research proving, that this practice can be of enormous value to the health and well being of individuals and communities is not new. Forty years ago in the U.S., it was transcendental
...more
Amber Tucker
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book makes mindfulness very approachable, with no specific religious affiliations, although Tim Ryan does seem to like to mention Jesus—perhaps just for wider popular appeal in his intended audience. If that doesn't bother you every couple of chapters, his tone of friendly sincerity, cutting to the chase without too many emotional appeals, and genuinely selfless care for the American everyman make the book an enjoyable read. And the book makes quite a convincing case for mindfulness as a pr ...more
Angelique
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best non-fiction books I've read in a long time. Being a mindfulness follower myself and knowing what it does for me personally actually makes it really hard to convince others of the science behind the practice. Tim Ryan gives us the scientific and experiential studies that have proven that mindfulness can help our nation in education, our military and first responders, in inner-cities and in politics where instead of lashing out against one another, we should be reaching out ...more
Alain Burrese
Aug 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
I thought “A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit” by Congressman Tim Ryan with a forward by Jon Kabat-Zinn did a good job of telling why mindfulness and how mindfulness can help people in many areas of their lives, thus also helping the entire country. However, there is not that much in the book that shows you how to be more mindful. (The book does though, contain some great resources that will do just that.)

I lo
...more
Vishvapani
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Tim Ryan's book surveys the areas of society where mindfulness can help. Actually, that should read 'American' society as Ryan is a Congressman with an eye to the needs of the people he represents, their turn of mind and also to policy opportunities. Some of it reads like a stump speech: the sort of West Wing rhetoric about America's destiny that doesn't travel well. It is personal and anecdotal, presenting not research but encounters with scientists and practitioners that, in fact, offer a usef ...more
Bookworm
Mixed feelings about the book. I was intrigued by the idea of a US Congressman writing about mindfulness and how he would go about it. Overall this is really more about how mindfulness can apply in different areas: the economy, first responders and the military, education, etc. I felt overall it got really repetitive where he talks about how people can use mindfulness in their everyday lives.

He has tips at the end of each chapter discussing what someone can do and how they can apply mindfulness
...more
Maria Ciletti
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I liked this book very much. Very interesting subject.
denise
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brillant!! A must read for all!
Chris Craddock
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
I am interested in the mindfulness movement and am trying it out myself.
Karie
Sep 22, 2019 added it
I’d had this book sitting on my “to be read” shelf for a few weeks now, and after the horrific shootings in Newtown, CT – I picked it up in a desperate attempt to focus on something positive.

In some parts, I felt that Congressman Tim Ryan had written this book just for dark times in our country just like these. “We are fundamentally good. Our basic nature is not unadulterated self-indulgence and consumption. Our spirit is not violent. Our soul does not desire that we get rich by any means necess
...more
Amy
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
"...[W]e realize that going faster and faster to solve our problems has not worked. And neither has waiting for our outer circumstances to change through the invisible hand of the market or pure luck. We intuitively know that if we are to recapture the American Spirit it will be because millions of our citizens will begin to see the power of being connected and moving in the same basic direction, regardless of our inevitable and necessary differences. That's why it says on the seal of the United ...more
Samantha York
Jul 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I've been reading so much on mindfulness lately that I wasn't particularly interested in this book when I picked it up - and I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book to those who are already fairly well-versed in the practice and neuroscience of mindfulness.

This book is, however, PERFECT as a primer and broad overview/introduction to the idea from a very pragmatic, utilitarian, and still hopeful stance. Also contains some wonderful suggestions for bringing mindful practices into your life and
...more
Ryan
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
An important book. Not my favorite intro to mindfulness and not meant to be scholarly or academic but this might reach people who wouldn’t otherwise learn about mindfulness. I also like the collective/communal approach and not just the individual. Chapters on education, health, military, and economic impact of mindfulness. Also good list of references for laypeople with websites for more info. Doesn’t cite the scientific research studies but other books do that. Good read!
Dani Scott
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
A powerful reminder about the importance of turning to our inner world in order to more fully show up in the outer world. This book is a bit old, but I really liked Congressman Tim Ryan's chapter-by-chapter plans to use mindfulness for the betterment of the U.S. and for the liberation of all beings.
Don
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting look at the practice of mindfulness and its potential application in society and politics. Definitely an enjoyable and thought-provoking read!
Jessica
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
An excellent read that encourages the practice of mindfulness in the hope of recapturing the American Spirit. Ryan pairs his personal walk with mindfulness with his network of experts in the field. A Mindful Nation wets the palette for further investigation into the world of mindfulness.
Helynne
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
“A mindful nation is one that recognizes that compassion can be the foundation of recapturing the American spirit,” states Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who, at this writing (2019), was also a candidate for president of the United States. The U.S. congressman has teamed with his friend and nationally known mindfulness guru, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, (Wherever You Go, There You Are, Full Catastrophe Living, Coming to our Senses) to advocate a nationwide program of mindfulness in schools, medical care, the mi ...more
Irene Cohen
Jun 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I am part of the Hay House Book Nook blogger community and as such am sent books free of charge and am asked if I would like to review them. I choose the books I want to read.

“A Mindful Nation” by Congressman Tim Ryan is a thoughtful book about how the practice of mindfulness may be able to help individuals and the nation as a whole. I was interested in reading this book because it encompasses two subjects I am keenly interested in: meditation and politics. Congressman Ryan seems to
...more
Philski
Aug 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Quick one-day read. While I am a big proponent of mindfulness and its applications I have a hard time determining to whom I could recommend this book. If you want to learn about the science, I highly recommend "The Mindful Brain" by Dr. Siegel. If you are interested in studies on mindfulness, "Mindfulness" by Ellen J. Langer. If you are interested in philosophy and application, "The Miracle of Mindfulness" Thích Nhất Hạnh. If you are interested in application to depression, "The Mindful Way thro ...more
Tommy
Aug 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book gets a little more credit from me for being written by a sitting politician and actually being thoughtful and reflective. I feel like politicians tend to be magnanimous during their careers and more reflective when they leave elected office (think of the Clinton global initiative or George W's new found love of painting). But surprisingly this book is just about how we could all improve the quality of our lives by mindfulness.

All of this is not to say that he doesn't get sales-y at tim
...more
Jessica
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a good book. It was not riveting or exciting to read but it had a very strong message. The references and examples were real and very easy to relate to. I enjoyed reading the real life stories from Tim Ryan, but what I really enjoyed was that he actually gave the last section of the book to someone who could "tell" us how to begin being mindful every day. Simple, easy instructions that anyone and everyone can do.
He also gave recommendations of where else we can go to learn more about be
...more
Ryan Haczynski
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
A spectacular little book by Congressman Tim Ryan that advocates bringing mindfulness practices mainstream, especially in the areas of education, health, and military. Ryan seamlessly weaves together scientific evidence, compelling personal narratives, along with his own first-person experiences with mindfulness and the benefits associated with its practice. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is seeking to bring mindfulness into the aforementioned fields or anyone with a passing, g ...more
Doug Della pietra
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Tim Ryan's personal experience of mindfulness and his exquisite description of the growing evidence-base placing mindfulness at a key fulcrum in helping our nation's greatest values thrive was engaging, inspiring and motivating! From education to health care to the military to our economy, Ryan connects the dots for his readers as to how mindfulness can make a significant difference, reduce costs, improve health and save lives, strengthen personal, corporate and national performance, etc.

Ryan's
...more
John
Feb 11, 2014 rated it liked it
To be fair as an educator I have read many articles and several books that Mr. Ryan refers to in his research on this book. So knowing much of what he was going to talk about I found it refreshing to know that a state legislator is actually trying to figure out what the 21st Century school, military base, hospital, and government building should look like. Now if he can get his colleagues on board its a go.
Aja
I liked the topic and the content, but the delivery was less than appealing - clearly written by a politician. I was impressed that he was able to write an entire book about mindfulness without ever mentioning Buddhism. This is a smart way of getting people to listen who might have shut down with the B-word. A lot of good ideas and interesting research if you are just coming to the idea of mindfulness.
Timothy Simpson
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Before I read the book I already give it a 5 star simply because of the fact that at least somebody in Washington D.C. is trying to push forward the cause of sanity. A book about mindfulness doesn't have to be long, it is a really simple concept and one that must be adopted world wide, and having a politician try to go about things in a sane manner is probably the most positive message I have heard out of Washington in decades.
Shorewalker
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Clearly one of the most important books written in this decade. Should be required reading for ALL politicians as well as every concerned voting citizen. I join in Congressman Ryan's wish that we become a more compassionate and mindful society - staying the course will result in a fall from which we cannot recover.
I would vote for this gentlemen for President any day.
Barbara
This book introduces the reader to the positive effects from the daily practice of mindfulness. The author explores the ramifications this practice has had when implemented in schools, health care and the military. Although it does not teach one the techniques of mindfulness, he does provide some practices.
Noah
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
An inspirational book about teaching mindfulness/meditation as a means of helping America. Congressman Ryan is an exuberant optimist who has seen great benefits through his own discovery and practice of meditation. The book is a bit scattered at the end and has too many anecdotal stories about people doing various research but in general, an interesting read.
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Goodreads Librari...: Combine Editions of Revised/Retitled Book 3 13 May 03, 2019 07:51AM  

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