Don't laugh: Comparison to Zen.

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by alex.samant, Oct 15, 2007.

  1. In zazen (aka ZEN) meditation, one is supposed to consider his thoughts as a river flowing down a mountain. The river is wild and free and rushes down along the mountain side.

    However, it is known that the more prophicient you get in the art of zazen meditation, the more you can detach yourself from the stream and observe it's course from the banks, the sidelines, developing objective thinking.

    When meditating, one should not get carried away by the river, by the myriad of thoughts as this is dangerous and it can be perilous.

    This is a great analogy of the way a trader needs to be thinking:

    He needs to be aware of the many ways the market expresses itself in, but should not get carried away by that. Instead, he needs to focus on exactly what he desires and always observe eficient ways of getting it.

    It also means something else. He needs to be aware of the multitude of thoughts that surround him in the form of other people's opinions. He should not try and stop or put an obstacle in the path of the river by fighting other opinions, but rather take what he feels is necessary for his goal to be achieved.

    And since we're in philosophy class, this next quote will demonstrate that nothing new is under the sun and the samurai might have read Mark Douglas' book :))):

    "There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the present moment. A man's whole life is a succesion of moment after moment. If one fully understands the present moment, there will be nothing else to do, nothing else to pursue" (Hagakure) - Tsunemoto Yamamoto
    (a samurai in medieval Japan that retired after his lord's death)
  2. I agree. In meditation, one does not strain or focus or anything. You just let thoughts go by and keep going back to the Mantra. Thoughts will flow because it is the mind's natural activity and is a way for stress to be worked out of the system. However, eventually, one reaches silence and finds that they are totally centered. This is why meditation is a TREMENDOUS boon for trading. I would be a much worse trader without it now that I think back of how I was before I started a long time ago.

    Cheers and great post,
  3. bankei


    Here is a psychological system developed from Zen concepts that seems to pertain:

    Morita Therapy

    Realistic Action is Self-development”
    Morita psychotherapy was developed by Japanese psychiatrist Shoma Morita in the early part of the twentieth century. He was chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Jikei University School of Medicine and was influenced by the psychological principles of Zen Buddhism. His method was initially developed as a treatment for a type of anxiety neurosis called shinkeishitsu. In the latter part of this century the applications of Morita therapy have broadened, both in Japan and North America.

    The Naturalness of Feelings (Arugamama)
    If we find out that we have just won the lottery, we may be excited and happy. But if we find out about the death of a loved one, we may feel sadness and grief. Such feelings are natural responses to our life circumstances and we need not try to “fix” or “change” them. Arugamama (acceptance of reality as it is) involves accepting our feelings and thoughts without trying to change them or “work through” them.

    This means that if we feel depressed, we accept our feelings of depression. If we feel anxious, we accept our feelings of anxiety. Rather than direct our attention and energy to our feeling state, we instead direct our efforts toward living our life well. We set goals and take steps to accomplish what is important even as we co-exist with unpleasant feelings from time to time."



    "Who is the one who sees and hears?"
  4. sumosam


    Good post! I've read Mark Douglas' latest book as well. Prior, I had studied the Sedona made me realize that in the present there are no problems...only in the past or future (I am not sure that this would hold if I were in great pain, but thus far it holds true for me). Certainly, a form of detachment is necessary for trading.

    What a relief it is to be able to monitor the markets, and allow what is to be...
  5. observing objectively also helps you in letting winners run better and avoiding taking profits early out of greed or fear.
  6. sumosam can you please disclose the title of Mark's latest book that you are referring to?
  7. Depression is a natural state for man. When we think we have to be happy in this world of transient pleasure we get into trouble. Nothing is true. Nothing really matters. Man naked and alone. Get a good woman (looks go quickly and do not matter), a dog and some fine wine. Find a great view away from all the crap of the city. this is the only paradise man will ever know.
  8. Don't laugh: Comparison to Zen.

    No laughing here. Good thread. Thanks.
  9. What's next? Religion? Tibetan Buddhism? Jamacan Voodoo? Native Indian Rain Dance?

    There is a term called learned helplessness, clinically it is known as depression. I bet many of you suffer from it.

    In human history, people always turned to unknown forces to explain things that they couldn't with their limited amount of knowledge. I hope we will not see some traders turn to a religion for guidance.:p
  10. I totally agree with you man.

    You nailed it!
    #10     Jan 10, 2008