Buffet on Meditation
Sometimes I feel like the father from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. If you haven’t seen the movie, I recommend it for some good, hearty laughs. Gus Portokalos, the father, would manage to relate everything back to being greek in some completely convoluted, yet simplistic way. I seem to be developing a knack for the same. Just replace greek with meditation or yoga. I can see my kids rolling their eyes at me now. 🙂
My husband, Herb, went on a pilgrimage of sorts. He had the opportunity to attend Warren Buffet’s renowned annual meeting where almost thirty to forty thousand people descend in Omaha yearly. I would say it is a mecca for the value investor types. They get to hear and experience his humor and wisdom firsthand. As my husband relayed pieces of his experience to me, one story in particular caught my attention.
Warren Buffet quite eloquently described the benefits and rewards of value investing with the following story. He asked the audience to imagine a large group of people and then to put a line down the middle. One side remains more still, they pick a few investments and stay there. On the other side, the energy is frenetic at best. There is so much movement, searching, striving, buying and selling, over and over again. He went onto explain that the side that is frenetic has a much higher and layered transactional cost, not excluding the energetic and psychological cost that comes with such striving. The side that remains more still is free of the layered transactional cost, as well as free of expending all of that psychological energy. If you take the amount of resources that have been freed up and compound that over the years… Well to me that is simply freedom. For investors, it might also mean financial prosperity. He said that perhaps we need to look at success not only in terms of wealth created, but also in terms of resources freed.
I loved the story because it speaks to the wisdom that I continue to uncover through meditation. This is very much what is happening when we sit. Initially and periodically things may feel frenetic on the inside, but we practice staying, seeing and feeling without imposing, repressing or holding. Over time, we free up resources that otherwise were patterned to react quickly and often unconsciously. These same resources now become available for many things, in particular, savoring what is, rather than striving for what is not. Now imagine compounding this freedom over time. Liberation seems like a big word, but fitting to the analogy. Do I want to spend my life striving? Not really, not even in a spiritual way, because striving by its nature does not offer me the space to be or to savor. Striving keeps me bound to the frenzy. To quote my teacher’s teacher, Jean Klein, “Your striving has brought you to this moment, and now your striving is what is taking you away”.
For those who have seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding and in the words of Gus Portokalos, “And there you go” it’s all about meditation.