Wall Street Brokers are Meditating—and We Should Try, Too

Why Wall Street is doing it, and why you might want to bring mindfulness to work. 

Keeping calm amid volatile markets—sounds like the hedge-fund managers’ version of: “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf them,” a popular saying by mindfulness pioneer Jon Kabat-Zinn. Indeed, if Wall Street brokers are learning the benefits of meditation—not to make millions but to tend to things outside of the traditional definition of success (like fostering creativity and lowering stress levels)—what might it do for police, Marines, or indeed, all of us?

What is meditation?

“Most people assume that meditation is all about stopping thoughts, getting rid of emotions, somehow controlling the mind,” says meditation expert Andy Puddicombe at the 2012 TedSalon.

“It’s more about stepping back, seeing the thought clearly—witnessing it coming and going—without judgment, but with a relaxed, focused mind.”

Getting Started 

There are many forms of meditation, but it’s best to begin with the basics. Here’s a seated meditation practice:

1. Take your seat. Whatever you’re sitting on—a chair, a meditation cushion, a park bench—find a spot that gives you a stable, solid seat, not perching or hanging back.

2. Straighten—but don’t stiffen—your upper body. The spine has natural curvature. Let it…