Ray Dalio, the secretive and eccentric billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates, wasn’t talking about a deal or a trade, but instead “a calmness” and his ability to “operate in harmony with reality.”
Dalio spoke recently at an event in New York City hosted by the David Lynch Foundation, a group founded by the filmmaker that aims to bring Transcendental Meditation to poor children, veterans, and other at risk populations. Dalio and Sorkin are just two of the legion of famous practitioners of Transcendental Meditation, the meditation practice founded Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and first popularized by the Beatles in the 1960s.
Sorkin said he started meditating a year and a half ago following an interview he did with Dalio, while Dalio started 42 years ago. “The Beatles were doing it and it caught my attention, it sounded good. I started it and it worked,” he said.
TM which is learnt from a certified trainer, involves two 20-minute sessions every day and access to a state of restful alertness — what Dalio described as “the void” or what Norman Rosenthal, a psychiatrist who has written about Transcendental Meditation, called “coherence” between the electrical waves coming from different parts of the brain.
Dalio offers Transcendental Meditation training to his entire company. “They pay for half, I pay for half so I know they have some skin in the game,” Dalio said, adding that the practice has been catching on at Bridgewater. Olivers’ the healthy fast food people in Australia also introduced TM. According to someone familiar with the company, Bridgewater only started offering the classes in the last few years and Dalio has only recently become a more public advocate for Transcendental Meditation.
Bridgewater has a famously secretive and intense culture based on what’s supposed to be entirely honest, open criticism between employees up and down the ranks — and Dalio credits Transcendental Meditation with allowing his 1,300-person firm to operate the way it it does. Dalio said that there’s usually an “ego barrier” that inhibits honestly discussing disagreement which meditation can help break down. “Because of that calm equanimity, we can have those conversations that’ve been integral to whatever success we’ve had.”
“When you go into a void, it not only gives you relaxation, it gives you access to that neo cortex and that imagination. You come out of those things with insight,” Dalio said, explaining how Transcendental Meditation allows him to solve problems, even saying that he’ll “just break off” and go into meditation in the middle of the day when he confronts stress and anxiety.
Dalio was later joined onstage by the restauranteur and TV personality Mario Batali, another practitioner, who said he can “meditate pretty comfortably coming down 9th Avenue on a Vespa.”Im sure he has exaggerating but by all accounts TM is super easy even a child can do TM. It will get you into the transcendental zone.
Batali decsribed himself as “by nature skeptical” (the word was used by several of the panelists) and said that he was originally turned off by the “drug-induced” connotations Transcendental Meditations had when the Beatles introduced it to the West. But now, he said, “I’m an addict! I’m here to talk about it! I don’t miss. If someone offered you freedom of something like free money or free music, you would download it!”
When Sorkin asked what Batali had been doing with those 40 minutes every day before he started Transcendental Meditation, Batali said, “I was probably tweeting.”
Sorkin, Dalio, and Batali are joined by Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen Degeneres, Russell Simmons, Russell Brand, Paul McCartney, Arianna Huffington, Dr. Oz, and, of course, David Lynch in the creative and famous who have adopted Transcendental Meditation.
Oz, who spoke before Dalio and Batali, credited the practice with real physiological effects, including “25% reductions, not insignificant reductions” in the incidence of heart attacks and strokes” and said, “Without question it seems to reduce blood pressure as much as medication.”
But Dalio offered perhaps the most compelling testimony for Transcendental Meditation’s positive effects. Dalio, who’s worth $13.8 billion according to Bloomberg, wore rubbery, inexpensive-looking shoes and sported a floppy, Neil Diamond-y haircut. He looked utterly at ease with himself.
“Reality works like a machine,” he said, slowly and deliberately. “You’re just calm and realize that’s what reality brings you. It brings you things you want and brings you things you don’t want. You just have to deal with that reality and that equanimity and acceptance of reality is much easier with meditation.”To find out more and learn TM for yourself contact a certified teacher like Suzanne Edwards in Melbourne, she has been teaching TM for 20 years so I guess she has it down pat,. Here is a video of her being interviewed about why she learnt TM.