Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) offered a rare moment of Zen to his colleagues on Thursday. Or, rather, he forced one on them.
Moran was leading an Appropriations Committee hearing on the U.S. Geological Survey budget when he offered the ranking Republican, Mike Simpson (Idaho) what he called, "A moment of Zen," as he prepared to share a quote from 19th century naturalist John Muir.
"Oh, good," said Simpson (who appeared not to really think so).
"So let's all put our hands together..." Moran started.
The room erupted in laughter. Moran grew a little more insistent. "We're not going to sing Kumbaya, but you're going to listen to this quote now."
Moran then read a quote that described the "whirling, flowing," motion of the "endless song" of nature. Pretty fuzzy stuff.
But it seemed to work on Simpson. By the time Moran turned over the mic, the GOP lawmaker was deep in "meditiation."
"Hmmmmmmm..." Simpson chanted. More chuckles.
Content that he'd given Moran the right amount of flak, Simpson stopped. "I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding -- a beautiful quote," he said.