Get ‘Ready’ to learn mindfulness

Charlie Bermant, charliebermant@gmail.com
Posted 2/7/17

Matt Ready thinks the world would be better off if people took time to think about what they are doing. He thinks meditation is the key.

“Meditation is the practice of stillness,” he said. …

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Get ‘Ready’ to learn mindfulness

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Matt Ready thinks the world would be better off if people took time to think about what they are doing. He thinks meditation is the key.

“Meditation is the practice of stillness,” he said. “It’s basically stopping. Mindfulness is the practice of awareness. Once you learn about awareness, you can learn how to maintain that awareness when you are not still and you can bring it into any moment. So, meditation is one of the ultimate tools for navigating life safely.”

Ready, a Jefferson Healthcare commissioner, has written and published “Revolutionary Mindfulness,” a 355-page book about slowing down and contemplating life’s issues rather than reacting in a knee-jerk fashion.

The book is self-published through CreateSpace, an Amazon service that charges authors for publication costs and returns royalties to the author. This is an on-demand system, by which the books are printed when ordered.

While the book draws from a lifetime of thought and experience, Ready spent about two years writing it, recruiting a friend for its editing. The narrative and conclusions are his own, he said, although he is influenced by external political, historical and literary sources.

The book centers around the idea of mindfulness; the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis. Its key tool is meditation, which can be a journey guided by a spiritual leader or a practice of simply taking several minutes each day to clear your mind and isolate yourself from the day’s pressures.

Ready is beginning his fourth year as hospital commissioner after defeating incumbent Dr. Marc Mauney in 2013 for a six-year term. During his term, Ready has taken a relatively taciturn stance, rarely offering comments and observations during meetings.

“If you are on a board or in public office, you are constantly deciding when an issue comes up, ‘Is this something that I need to take a stand on, to push hard on, or is it something I can let go?’ That’s a delicate choice that you make very fast.”

Like the rest of his life choices, Ready uses meditation to determine his actions.

“In any meeting, I tend to be very reserved and patient in choosing my words,” he said. “I want to get a lot of bang for my buck when I speak because I find it exhausting. And I don’t like being the center of attention.”

Ready was one of the leaders of Occupy Port Townsend, a 2012 movement that demanded that Jefferson County government divest itself from Bank of America and held several protests at that bank’s downtown location (that branch was later sold to 1st Security).

The short-term effect of the protest was a guard posted at the bank for almost a year. The long-term effects, which Ready compared to early civil rights activities, are still unfolding.

“It’s not really a scorecard of what an action or anything labeled as a movement accomplished,” he said. “The question is ‘What problems are being fixed?’ The Occupy movement helped us to name some of the problems in a way that really helped our culture see them, but it didn’t solve those problems.”

These issues included the presence of money in politics and the financial disparities confronting 99 percent of the population.

“To fix those problems, it is going to take some dramatic changes to how money flows through our government,” he said. “But without Occupy, I don’t think there would have been a Bernie Sanders,” he said of the former presidential candidate.

“Revolutionary Mindfulness” is available from Amazon in both print and e-book formats. For more information, go to mattready.net.

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