Tim Ryan, the handsome and single 38-year-old Irish-Italian Catholic Democrat lawyer and congressman from Youngstown, might run for governor in 2014. “I'm definitely considering it.”But he won't run if his buddy, former Gov. Ted Strickland, decides he wants the office back. “I know Ted still hasn't ruled it out. He's one of my best friends in the world.”Ryan favors another two-year term for Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern, who is facing a challenge Wednesday from Anthony Giardini of Lorain County.“I think Chris has done a good job and right now, while the Republicans are basically imploding at the state and national levels and we've got (U.S. Sen.) Sherrod Brown up, this is not a good time for an internal fight.”With Ryan's take on Ohio's political issues of the day duly recorded, it's time to talk about what we're here to talk about: his book, “A Mindful Nation.”Listening to Ryan discuss it over coffee last week reminded me of sitting with a circle of hippies on the College Green at Ohio University in the 1960s. But I digress. Ryan wants us to live in the moment, not the past, and the difference between that long-ago circle and sitting across a table from the congressman was that Ryan actually made sense.Still, as he talked about mindfulness, disciplining the mind to find comfort in silence, healing power in contentment, and getting lost in the moment, it felt like I was in the presence of some Zen guy rather than a former star high-school quarterback — certainly not the stereotypical politician who lies whenever his lips are moving.And when I asked Ryan why it is important to live in the moment, any resemblance he had to a politician vanished, because no politician says things like this and gets re-elected: “It's the only time that really is. It's the only time that really exists. The past is a memory and the future is a hope. But the moment, this moment, is where we are.”Imagine how Rush Limbaugh could twist those words to make Ryan a liberal weenie. But they shouldn't be trivialized, because Ryan has produced something important. Rather than the self-absorbed autobiographical spam that too many politicians convert to book form, what Ryan has written can change lives and improve society.Hearing him tell the story of how he came to write “A Mindful Nation” was like you or me talking to ourselves. We all live the same story: stressed out by the ever-increasing demands of insecure jobs, the constant barrage of information on all sorts of gadgets, the rush to get kids here and there, the seeming rudeness of everyone, including ourselves.“I was 35 when I realized that if I kept going at that pace, I'd be burned out by 40,” Ryan said. “Everybody feels this way. We're all going faster, harder, and not really getting the results we want.”A priest had introduced Ryan to meditation in high school, and he remembered how much better he felt when he made time for it. About two years ago, Ryan read a book by Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and decided to attend one of Kabat-Zinn's mindfulness retreats.It was transformative, not just leading Ryan to practice mindfulness by sitting in silence for 40 minutes each morning and getting lost in the moment, but also on a mission across the country to tell the stories of how people, companies and researchers are practicing mindfulness to relieve stress, conquer diseases, live more healthily and reduce medical costs. The stories are in his book, along with how-to tips and research findings.“This is not going to make all our problems go away,” Ryan said. “But it will help us listen to each other, to really be present to hear each other. Once you learn how to live in the moment, once you can slow down, you start to respond to things rather than to react to them.”If only Ryan's congressional colleagues could stumble upon what he's found, we might not have so many politicians acting like politicians. Then they could do more to make this moment, and all the future moments, better ones.