meditation as a way to calm trading angsts

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by amg, May 21, 2003.

  1. amg

    amg Guest

    Those that experience moments of balance, equanimity, and poise through meditation know they can, through persistence and focus, bring those qualities into their trading.

    For those that need proof meditation isn't just a mind game, scientists have shown that indeed meditative brains are different.

    Traders talk about keeping their emotions in check, being unflustered, and curbing their fear and anger. Meditators know from experience this can be acheived. Recently, scientists have (once again) proved it: <blockquote>The scanning studies by scientists at the University of Wisconsin at Madison showed activity in the left prefrontal lobes of experienced Buddhist practitioners. The area is linked to positive emotions, self-control and temperament.

    Other research by Paul Ekman, of the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, suggests that meditation and mindfulness can tame the amygdala, an area of the brain which is the hub of fear memory.

    Entire article: Buddhists really are happy, calm and serene people</blockquote>

    While the article focussed on "Buddhists", one needn't consider a change of religion to practice meditation. Perhaps one of the simplest introductions to "meditation" is Thich Nhat Hanh's "Miracle of Mindfulness". Hanh was nominated by Martin Luther King for a Nobel Peace prize and writes clearly and practically. One simply breathes quietly. That is it, no mantras, no visualizing gods or mandalas.

    Perceptive readers of Mark Douglas' "Trading in the Zone" who also meditate no doubt recognize the parallels he draws with "the Now moment" and basic tenets of buddhist theory.

    One needn't be "religious" to recognize that a well conditioned mind can only help one make better, more effective, decisions in a livelihood that is inherently fraught with emotional perils.

    The point being, if you are at your wits end, swinging hither and yon with your trading, rather than more fierce mental stimulation, perhaps personal quiet time to still your mind is what might work.
  2. Pabst


    Nice thread and terrific post. Hope others can contribute to this discussion. I'm all ears. Where's Commisso when we need him?
  3. One of the things that keeps me calm in times of pressure is saying over and over in my head "If I do not go within, ultimately I with out" applies to all facets of life. I think a very inspirational writer on how to live in the NOW moment and pivot the perception of your life is the works of Dr. Wayne Dyer.

    I have read many books but these seem to almost speak to me in practical terms and analogies. These books combined with Mark Douglas's trading in the zone, and the musical euphoria of a good trance or techno track power my ability to handle any situation in life.

    You gotta remember its all in your head. How you perceive the world is totally different than how others view it. When applied to trading if you are losing and the other person is winning don't fret, for its your perception you are losing. When in actuality on a different time frame you might be way ahead of the other guy. I like SG Cowen's motto "the power of focus" its so true. If you focus on what you did wrong, what you should have done, what other people or things did to you, thats powerful. Its a powerful demotivator. Whereas when you stay focused in the NOW you don't forget what happened in the past, but you realize it has no real effect on the future because its being shaped as we speak. If the past does have an effect its because you as a powerful focused human being let it into your mindset and the results are exactly what you focused on.

    The best way to digest the idea is "What you think about, expands". Ever heard the term ignorance is bliss? Same concept here although the ideas of cause and effect in this case can loose their relationships. For all those who live and swear by logic and systematic thought and approach, I respect that, but I know, sense, and feel there is more. A does not always lead to B ect.

    In the case of trading you have former cops out performing Stanford professors, there are janitors somewhere who if given the opportunity would perform better than most of us. Why? Is it because they found some systematic holy grail that the PHDs and us finance professionals have yet to find?

    Nope, Its because they perceive reality in a whole other way, and each reality is unique. We all see the same event yet interpret and respond to it differently. Cover your eyes pretend your blind how much more instant appreciation for your state of being do you have? Exactly, so when you are trading realize yes your system has backtested and is wonderful, but you realize you have a lack of discipline that if followed would make you profitable ect...

    The truth is your HOLY GRAIL, your "edge" is yourself. Why go looking out side when what you really should be doing is looking within. "Think outside the box" this case the box is your normal perception of an event, now look at that last trade, was it really bad or did you learn something from it. If so how much is that mistake going to save you when you trade size and don't repeat it. So in essence was it ever really a mistake?

    So realize in life "its all relative" How you feel is relative to how you react, how you react is relative to how you perceive an event, how you perceive the event is relative to your state of the mind at that NOW moment.

    So you see ladies and gentlemen where your Edge really comes from. I hope thinking about it this way might give you all a needed sense of peace and kick start to see your day to day life a little differently and bring you one step closer to true edge/Holy Grail.

  4. This was suggested to me a few days ago by a dear friend, and I am going to look into it. What a coincidence that this thread should come along now.

  5. hmm, yes. if u need any help, just let me


  6. Excellent comments ChaosNSX... bravo bro!

    I have lived a fairly long time (although it seems like only a blink of an eye) and yet the longer I do the more the "concepts" you describe, echo true in life....! If you have come to know and endeavor to live by what you say... then you are indeed "living with an edge"!

    Two key thoughts you bring up... are "what you think about expands" and "the TRUTH is your Holy Grail"!!! These sound like platitudes to the unenlightened soul; but as one continues (or commences) a quest for wisdom and inner peace in their life... I can assure from my own experience... that these "principles" of living are more profound then most of us ever realized and fully understood!

    I urge all to live in truth... not some esoteric, universal truth from literature and verse, but most importantly... one's OWN!

  7. >"the TRUTH is your Holy Grail"!!!

    really ? many says that not many APPLY. Like politicians just pretend to but when you they have to consider the truth many just put their head in the hole. All this in the name of "positive thinking".

    I have no religion myself but Buddhism is in my family's tradition (as well as catholiscism because I have lived in both) and I can tell you that you confound two things : the cause and the effect. The buddhist is happy not because he does positive thinking but because he has reached the wise state. You do not reach the wise state by positive thinking but by understanding why you are here on earth.

    Positive thinking is the new opium of New Age : let the world destroy itself it's not your fault, just think it has no impact on yourself if you think so, karma doesn't exist live your own life. If nazis do the bad to jews it's because these bad jews wanted that haha that's the kind of argument you can read :(. Well as I said I don't have belief in religion but one thing that Buddhists believe in is karma and New Age says now karma doesn't exist is New Age the new revelation and other religions bullshit or what ? Or New Age promoted as a new religion of the New World Order which is just the Nazism research of supposed Man from Atlantis with superpower hahaha ? each time these regims (nazism or communism) promised a "new" man with "new" power or rediscovering of lost power it works people need to believe that there are more than just mortal that they are "God" well at least the Bible predicted it: when men will believe that they are equal of God... (sorry I can't recite the Bible I should have to look at it to do so hee hee ) I'm not a believer but if YOU are a believer and do not consider any more the accumulated philosophy of former religions I wonder where your source of "truth" comes. I suppose from reading Donald Wealsh :D. Well funny book indeed I even offered it to a jew as he likes these kind of things so I read it myself and then I enquiry about him. His book is very clever it is the opposite of Ron Hubbard. He doesn't promote himself as a guru he says he had had a conversation with God. Before that he was animating a local radio station and there were some colleagues that knew him and they said before his supposed conversation with God he has alreaday these kind of ideas. I don't reject that there is not some conciousness that is new but it doesn't prevent that the first new guru that pretend to have had a conversation with God and that this God denies all former religious philosophy is at least to be under scrutiny.

    I have met a spiritual man myself who pretended to have special power to talk with spirits. He said the nazis are coming back and many of them do even ignore that they belong to the snake race. It was ten years ago. Since I'm not a believer I consider this as bullshit (or rather something I am not able to judge see undecidability state below). But suppose that I was a believer who should I believe ? Many people just chose the beliefs that are convenient to them not by truth. When there is no proof of thruth I just don't believe. It doesn't mean that it is false. In probability inferential domain there are 3 states of truth and not only two like in binary math: probably true, probably false and UNDECIDABLE and this MOST OF THE TIME. But in this last case people will just chose the hypothesis that suit them: this I do not call Truth seeking sorry !
  8. Be carefull with meditation. If you do it long enough, you might
    start to levitate and you could float out the window and never
    be seen again... Back in the "70's TM people used to actually
    believe they could levitate... Who knows, it might be true... :eek:
  9. One of my associate who was a former marine officer has had a pool accident during a training. He was physically in coma but he said he was seeing his body under the water while "he" was floating above :D. Since I know him very well I do believe in what he said. It doesn't mean that I extrapolate over that into extra-beliefs. It's fact although against my former belief It would be unscientific to deny it. Now a person who doesn't know my associate must rationally be suspicious and should not consider this as fact or truth.

  10. Good post Chaos - a lot to think about.
    #10     May 22, 2003