05/02/2012 10:05 am ET | Updated Jul 01, 2012

Congressman Tim Ryan Offers Citizenry a Glimmer of Hope

Citizens, take heart! There is hope in Washington!

We have long awaited some sign that someone in congressional circles genuinely cares about what they do, and a tangible beacon has been lit, a trumpet has been sounded.

Let me say that this is not intended as a book review per se. But a reading of Congressman Ryan's recent offering, A Mindful Nation, gives notice to all of us that a long-awaited and badly-needed shift in thinking is in the works. It goes far beyond being Republican, Democrat, Tea Party or Independent; transcends the labels of conservative or liberal, right or left. It is a new and essential approach to government as exists in many other occupations, including but not limited to the healing arts.

We are told at the outset that Congressman Ryan had much of his thinking transformed by meditation and deep introspection, with a sense of purpose and responsibility to those he serves and to all of society.

I was proud of our nation when we elected our first African-American president and when the themes of hope and change pervaded our thinking and collective American attitude. But, as reflected in my own and others' previous HuffPost entries, there was the fear and the caveat that there had to be a totality of cooperation and abs, if any of this optimism could take root. No one group or faction is to blame. Many have suggested spirituality as a solution to what ails us. We must each make ourselves better equipped to follow this direction. I know my ideas are not novel, but to see an outward manifestation of this attempt on the part of one of our congressional leaders gives more than hope. Just maybe, it will prove contagious. In fact, I hope epidemic for those in equivalent positions of influence, corporate or public..

Many metaphysical and holistic practices are much more mainstream in our society these days. Multitudes of people are taking yoga, practicing meditation with amazing dividends, taking classes in alternative medicine modalities, such as shiatsu massage, reflexology, reiki, many of whom are medical practitioners and providers. Hospitals and nursing homes are encouraging their staff members to pursue these crafts, and in some cases, requiring familiarity with their offshoots. The patients and clients benefit. There are now movements of lawyers who adopt holistic procedures in their practices. (See my post here.) Congressman Ryan talks about medical research confirming the effectiveness of mindfulness, its use in child development and conflict resolution, help to the military, labor leadership. What really impressed me was the fact that it was published by Hay House, the home of the holistic and spiritual greats of our planet, such as Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay and many more luminaries. They saw in the book and in the author his depth and genuineness of motive.

Each governmental leader, from the president on down, and each lawmaker and staff member, must each day, take a pause and ask his or her deity of choice, "What do You want me to do today? What should I be doing for those I serve? What is my primary purpose in life?" And sit in quiet meditation to get the answers which can come through thoughts, through other people, through signs, messages, and life's unique signals. And which should be heeded.

These few extra steps can produce time- and life-saving results, and get us back to where we and the whole world need to be.