Meditation is a core component of mindfulness exercises.
This can be problematic for busy traders as it can lead to images of religious adherents sitting in uncomfortable poses.
That is quite a put-off.
However, while meditation is important, this image is far from the actual experience.
One way to get around any block that this image of mediation may create is to understand why meditation is used.
Then you can move on to understanding what it is and finally seeing how it works.
Three Types of Mindfulness Exercises
For a start, understand that mediation is just one of three types of exercises you will encounter in learning mindfulness.
The three types are
- Routines, and
- Keeping a journal.
Each of these are used in the Free Introductory Course for Traders.
However, once you have reached certain level of competency there is generally no longer any need to keep a journal.
Also, one way in which you will realise that you are beginning to genuinely understand what is meant by mindfulness is that it will become part of your everyday routines.
You will just do it. And you will undertake routine tasks in a mindful manner.
This means that as you begin to live a mindful life the only obvious practice that you will undertake in a conscious way will be mediation.
You will need to build time for meditation into your day.
This is why is it is such a core component.
Why is Meditation Used?
But just because we use meditation does not really answer the question as to why it is used?
The short answer is that we use it because it works.
For many people this is enough and perhaps it is a good exercising in acceptance to leave it at that.
But you may not be at that stage yet and still need to know how it works in order to see why it is used.
If we are totally honest then we must accept that there is not yet a complete and definitive answer to this.
How Does it Work?
However, we do know a lot and we can approach an answer in two ways.
The first I will label the scientific physiological approach.
The is based on the well understood observation that we experience different types of brainwaves.
These change depending on what activity we are undertaking and different brain waves are associated with different mental processes.
The most obvious differences are when we are sleep, compared to when we are awake.
Meditation causes changes in our brainwave patterns and this affects the nature of our thought processes.
There’s a pretty neat explanation of this from Ashley Turner in the short video below.
A different approach adopts a modelling on how the brain functions categorizing it according to different activities you may undertake.
Have a look at this short video and you will see what can happen and how meditation can reverse the chaos that can arise.
Make Acceptance your Goal
My understanding of how meditation works is certainly far from complete.
Instead, based on experience, I accept that it does, and concentrate on making it happen.
In other words, I concentrate on learning how to do it, rather than how it happens.
It’s a bit like the computer or mobile device you are currently using.
You probably don’t know fully how to works.
But it someone asked you to work it then you could point to a couple of buttons you press and links you click, or whatever.
You know how to make it work, even if you have only a vague idea of what is happening ‘under the hood’.
And it’s the same in so many areas of our lives.
We get on with making it work, even if we don’t always know how it happens.
And the better we get at making something work the less important it becomes to know all the underlying details.
And that is how I approach meditation.
It’s very pragmatic I know, but it works and it’s the best approach for busy traders.
Get the Free 15 Day Course on Mindfulness for Traders