The financial markets are stress inducing machines. (To say nothing of politics, today). Markets can generate anxiety for individuals even though markets themselves, don’t have emotions. I recently wrote:

Pausing to take a breath, and god forbid to let ourselves get a little bit bored can do wonders for our mood and creativity. This can allow us to sort real, tangible fears from those that are either simply a threat to our ego or so remote as to be not worth considering.

It is ironic that meditation has become a buzzword in the business and investment communities because one of the main byproducts of a meditation practice can be an acceptance for what we have in the here and now. Robert Wright author of Why Buddhism Is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment* in a recent excerpt in the WSJ wrote:

Regular mindfulness meditation can also undermine craving in a more general way. It can lessen the urgency of finding the next big thing by deepening your appreciation of things that you already have.

This is ironic because business today is about more: money, product, efficiency etc. One way in which a meditative practice does jibe with our work lives is the desire to get a little better every day. Robert Wright, again, in an excerpt in Wired talks about how the current practice of meditation jibes with the ancient Buddhist tradition. Wright concludes:

The object of the game isn’t to reach Liberation and Enlightenment —with a capital L and E—on some distant day, but rather to become a bit more liberated and a bit more enlightened on a not-so-distant day. Like today! Or, failing that, tomorrow. Or the next day. Or whenever. The main thing is to make progress over time, inevitable backsliding notwithstanding. And the first step on that path can consist of just calming down a little—even if your initial motivation for calming down is to make a killing in the stock market.**

I loved Wright’s phrase: “just calming down a little.” Meditation will not change your life overnight. But if it allows you to calm down a little in your job, your reaction to the stock market or in your interactions with your loved ones then you will have done your self a profound service.

*Haven’t purchased Robert Wright’s Why Buddhism Is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment but I plan to.

**If you have to choose between the two excerpts from Why Buddhism Is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment I would choose “Is Mindfulness Meditation BS?” in Wired.

This content, which contains security-related opinions and/or information, is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in any manner as professional advice, or an endorsement of any practices, products or services. There can be no guarantees or assurances that the views expressed here will be applicable for any particular facts or circumstances, and should not be relied upon in any manner. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax, and other related matters concerning any investment.

The commentary in this “post” (including any related blog, podcasts, videos, and social media) reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints, and analyses of the Ritholtz Wealth Management employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded the views of Ritholtz Wealth Management LLC. or its respective affiliates or as a description of advisory services provided by Ritholtz Wealth Management or performance returns of any Ritholtz Wealth Management Investments client.

References to any securities or digital assets, or performance data, are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others.

Please see disclosures here.

Please see the Terms & Conditions page for a full disclaimer.