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Mindful Meditation for Better Trading - Logbook
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Mindful Meditation for Better Trading - Logbook

  #11 (permalink)
Live Your Bliss
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Thanks for your reports IQ. I hope you don't mind if I join you in sharing on this thread...

I did an hour sitting today, and it was the best part of today. Just staying with the breath, melting into it, the ego dissolving... along with whatever inner knots there were. Came out feeling refreshed. Felt like inner washing... felt soothed, fresh, happy. I also practiced anapana in the car later. Inner Silence is very peaceful...

"...the degree to which you think you know, assume you know, or in any way need to know what is going to happen next, is equal to the degree to which you will fail as a trader." - Mark Douglas
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Anagami View Post

Thanks for your reports IQ. I hope you don't mind if I join you in sharing on this thread...

.
.
.

Inner Silence is very peaceful...

The more the merrier!

Thanks for adding to this diary.

I meditated only for five minutes today, mainly because I sprained my back early morning while lifting my younger daughter (right now the pain is unbearable - as I have reached work in my office (unavoidable client meeting) I have a wedge fashioned from a towel under me, a cushion to hitch my back on and am trying to not move at all till the pain heals - a good time to meditate by observing the pain but all I currently am doing is gasping with very short breaths of pain.).... Will post the meditation report soon, however.


Last edited by iqgod; March 6th, 2013 at 04:41 AM.
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  #13 (permalink)
Live Your Bliss
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iqgod View Post
The more the merrier!

Thanks for adding to this diary.

I meditated only for five minutes today, mainly because I sprained my back early morning while lifting my younger daughter (right now the pain is unbearable - as I have reached work in my office (unavoidable client meeting) I have a wedge fashioned from a towel under me, a cushion to hitch my back on and am trying to not move at all till the pain heals - a good time to meditate by observing the pain but all I currently am doing is gasping with very short breaths of pain.).... Will post the meditation report soon, however.

Hey IQ,

sorry to hear that. If I may make a suggestion as a veteran of numerous pulled backs (not to be confused with pullbacks ): eat lots of raw pineapple. It contains tons of enzymes / anti-inflammatory stuff. Your back will heal so much faster if you do.

"...the degree to which you think you know, assume you know, or in any way need to know what is going to happen next, is equal to the degree to which you will fail as a trader." - Mark Douglas

Last edited by Anagami; March 7th, 2013 at 11:14 PM.
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Until recently I thought I was past the need for meditation even though I've practiced it informally one way or another since I can remember. Practices have included what comes naturally (lying in bed and clearing the mind) through practices associated with Bhagavad Gita (initial impact of a university education) and George Gurdjieff & P. D. Ouspensky (later), Carl Jung (in order to cope with the material world) and finally trading. At this stage if I had to choose a religion it would be Buddhism.

It seems to boil down to when I'm mindful I trade well, when I'm not I don't.

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Mindfulness: Thoughts of Recovery

The first realization comes after lot of deliberation.

Even though the mind seems to be a mysterious realm, we all know what needs to be done - what it takes to arrest the addictions of the mind to trade well.

In fact the first stage of 'recovery' of the mind is a critical do or die phase as if we have a bullet wound and the first thing is to stop the bleeding (a trader bleeding his account to death).

The first stage was intervention.

The first stage was assessment of the situation we have dug ourselves into.

The first stage is to arrest that bleeding IMMEDIATELY.


However sustaining that 'present moment' has been difficult for me.

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings."

Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)

Finally we come to realize that fate is not what drives men to their decisions and actions, but rather the human condition.

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Mindfulness: Life Management

The aim of mindfulness meditation always has been to work on the habits and patterns that work to derail my trading - the subtle identification (maybe labeling, but that is not the aim) and the recovery.

Keep asking your mind: Why?

Why do I pull the trigger early?

Why do I consistently buy tops or sell bottoms?

Why do I exit early and not allow a target to be taken out?

Why do I hesitate to pull the trigger?

Why do I want confirmation upon confirmation upon confirmation?

Why am I aiming not to make money primarily but trying to be right and being ok with losing money and being right rather than getting out with that small loss as I 'had planned'?

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Mindfulness: Life Management: part 2

To define this in a single line is "to take adult responsibility for my life".

To be become a better trader I seek separation from my old patterns that do not work but still certain parts of the mind cling to.

What did this "Stage 2" so to speak require of me?

- discipline

- practice

- a heightened responsibility that I will not let the past rob me of the present

Thus, losses will not prevent me from taking the next valid trade.

Profits will not cause me to jump in a bout of overconfidence into an invalid trade unconfirmed by the market.


THIS HAS NOT BEEN AT ALL AS EASY AS IT SOUNDS.



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Practice and getting on our feet

For a mindfulness meditation logbook intended to improve trading this journal may seem to have gone in many different directions.

However, believe me, trading well requires so much rearrangement of our internal furniture that the project seems overwhelming.

Sometimes insights are beyond expression.

However every session helps.

A faint light appears at the end of a long tunnel.

That is where a the trading profits, peace, harmony and a stress-free world beckons.

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A Realization

It was a painful realization - though it may be surprising why it was not obvious - that I liked the thrill that trading had to offer.

One session revealed (breath in... breathe out) that it was not trading profits I was seeking... it was "cheap" thrills.

This may sound dramatic as I am obviously improving as a trader but trading requires all bases to be covered! Its hard! Its tough! But it needs to be done!

So let me confess here.... the pull of trading for me was the rush, the full-blown adrenaline rush, a psycho in my head - trading was almost an addiction and it has the power to destroy me.

Trading has been an escape, a cunning deceitful and arresting addiction, a lure to stray from the accepted, a desire to become an outlier. When actually all the focus must be on is trading profits. I am almost hesitant to confess here given the intensity of the thoughts that get stirred up during the practice but this journal is a springboard. I am trying to be honest, and no other place allows you to be as honest - thanks to @Big Mike.

Also my trading progress gathers only the amount of momentum I put it.... what I see is what I give. Hence I decided to confess for the benefit of the community - actually for my own selfish benefit, but putting it here may make others see light too.


However practice has made be acutely aware of these things, which is a work in progress, and I am grateful that I am taking responsibility for all my actions - cutting losses short, letting profits run - not always, but slow and steady improvement.

There was no permanent winning till this was the case. There was only piddling wins and huge losses. Being wrong was not an option. It is the ego who loved the thrill and it would extract the full flesh from the bone marrow. I have realized it finally!

The behaviors that I had! Oh groan! Here is a list:

- Holding on to losers

- Getting out of winners for the rush of the quick small profit

(Note: Both are the two sides of the coin of "Not following the plan"

More:

- Not doing the right thing - entering quickly (hesitating)

- Allowing the ego to crush correct behavior and not taking the next right trade if this one fails.


Once in my zone I suddenly realized where all this was taking me!


In the next post I will outline HOW I made the transition from the above faltering steps to prayer, meditation and being in the zone with unshakable confidence that I now proudly possess once that I have witnessed destruction's trail and how I no longer fall prey to it.

I am the architect of my own destiny.

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A Lighthouse


This post is intended (without sounding grandiose) to serve as a lighthouse for fellow sailors who are swayign on similar lines.


Note that out guiding light here is THIS MOMENT.

Reflect on this for while.

What is this - this present moment?

Unless we come to terms with this present moment we keep replaying the past over and over - we have been so ensconced and engulfed by our fragile ego that we would rather be right that take the risk of admitting that we made a mistake!

Sounds silly on paper but at that tiny moment we let something overtake us - we are not in control!

How do we stay in control?

Though every person my come to his or her own terms with this - the generic answer exists.

The answer is allowing that one last moment of mindful sanity to spark off the control module - the real I in us and let him do the driving.

Our 'addictions' for the lack of a better word here are extremely patient and sneaky and live within us.... we are perverse and twisted unless we keep an eye on ourselves!

We destroy ourselves in that one insidious moment (extremely important for scalpers) and then we keep destroying oursevles over and over and over by allowing a single moment to snatch us away into tragedy.

Do I over-dramatize it? But it is liek this inside our mind!

Investor or scalper - the destructive path is well worn!

The bad thing is - We cannot outthink or outfox 'beings' that live within us. We have to proceeed stage by stage and extinguish them whole and complete.

The process requires ruthless discipline.



Those who can do the homework and the testing and the verification are the kings.

But those who can live the moment and have the inner courage, unshakable confidence, no matter what they really want to do - would you be lazy and comfortable, live in the shadow of yoruself by saying that if I would have taken that trade then I would have made money - see my cleverness? But the truth was you were not in that trade. The truth of the present moment is irrefutable. That is where the trading profits lie.

Those who can follow a plan to the N are the masters.

Those who seek refuge in psychological comfort need to keep coming back until they get there.

There are no two ways about this.

Trading well means knowing oneself well and then conquering the deficiencies that keep coming in the way.

The profits then are a byproduct of having traveled the path. Unless this is done its CouldaShouldaWoulda.

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