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My Early Experiences with Meditation

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Grahamites
Jun 08, 2015
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A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on focus level (link to the article). In the end, I concluded with the following statement:

Our generation of young investors are up against a fast-moving and distracting world, which encourages multi-tasking and more activities. Guarding ourselves against those temptations and reverting back to the old-fashioned way may be a personal moat that is vastly underappreciated.

Since then, I have been focusing on how to find tranquility and equanimity in this fast-moving and distracting world. I’ve observed that one of the biggest obstacles I’ve been facing is that I think too much, this itself may not be a bad thing but my mind is constantly moving to the next thing, with the help of internet and smartphones of course. When I’m not thinking or doing anything, I think I’m wasting my time. The result is a long to-do and to-read list almost every day. It’s very easy to get stressed out and frustrated if the tasks remain unfinished. And to cope with the frustration, I tend to take fewer and shorter breaks. Then the reinforcing feedback loop kicks in, and it has affected not only how I spend my time but also the quality of my time. Restlessness and fatigue are the signs that change needs to happen.

Then I discovered this app called Calm. It is a guided meditation app. In the beginning the idea of meditation sounds a tad too esoteric for me to try. However, I’ve read many articles on meditation and I know many very successful people such as

Ray Dalio (Trades, Portfolio), Steve Jobs and Dan Och who practice meditation every day. So I decided to give it a shot with a beginner’s mind.

Now I’m in the third week of my meditation journey and I have to say the result has far exceeded my expectations. Artofliving.com has summarized the benefits of meditation superbly (I’ve highlighted the ones that I think are especially important for investors):

Physical benefits of meditation

With meditation, the physiology undergoes a change and every cell in the body is filled with more prana (energy). This results in joy, peace, enthusiasm as the level of prana in the body increases.

On a physical level, meditation:

  • Lowers high blood pressure
  • Lowers the levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks
  • Decreases any tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems
  • Increases serotonin production that improves mood and behavior
  • Improves the immune system
  • Increases the energy level, as you gain an inner source of energy

Mental benefits of meditation

Meditation brings the brainwave pattern into an Alpha state that promotes healing. The mind becomes fresh, delicate and beautiful. With regular practice of meditation:

  • Anxiety decreases
  • Emotional stability improves
  • Creativity increases
  • Happiness increases
  • Intuition develops
  • Gain clarity and peace of mind
  • Problems become smaller
  • Meditation sharpens the mind by gaining focus and expands through relaxation
  • A sharp mind without expansion causes tension, anger and frustration
  • An expanded consciousness without sharpness can lead to lack of action/progress
  • The balance of a sharp mind and an expanded consciousness brings perfection

Meditation makes you aware – that your inner attitude determines your happiness.

I realize that this article has nothing to do with investing per se. However, I’ve always thought that how we live our lives has deep implications on how we invest. Anything that can improve how we spend our time is indirectly but equally important. Now I meditate at least twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. I try to meditate right before I go to bed as well. It’s still too early to feel the full benefits of meditation, but it has helped me tremendously during my working hours in terms of better productivity, higher energy level (especially in the afternoon after my meditation session) and staying more focused. I encourage you to give meditation a try if you haven’t done so.

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