Meditate your way to wealth

Time is an illusion1. Weeks can pass in the blink of an eye, and minutes can stretch out for hours. My initial training in kung fu took place in a bubble of what I like to think of as weird time, both short and long all at once.

The limitations of our perspective, reduced to a single endless now, make it difficult to know ourselves in the round. I spent years thinking I knew what I wanted out of life. Later I realized that not only was I wrong about what I wanted, I did not know the first thing about what I needed2.

Sometimes I feel as though we are all living in Plato's allegory of the cave, only whenever we think we have escaped our shackles and emerged into the larger world, all we have managed to do is stumble into another room filled with different shadows.

Perspective is ellusive

Our senses lie to us, and so does our society. The message is always to move faster, to strike while the iron is hot. You have to hurry up just to keep your place. God forbid you get left out.

Maybe this new mattress is worth $2,000. Maybe a new car is the one thing that will help you transform your life. Maybe you are starving, and this snack pack of Cheetos is the balm you need.

Then again, maybe it isn't. Who can tell3?

Meditation is one of the few tools we have to gain perspective.

Meditation takes you to a place encompassing before the universe existed, after it has ended, and all the vast expanse in between. This space is usually called the present. While inhabiting that space, muddied waters become calm and clear4. We exist without fear, hunger, or HBO Go.

Mindfulness meditation isn't about letting your thoughts wander. But it isn't about trying to empty your mind, either. Instead, the practice involves paying close attention to the present moment—especially our own thoughts, emotions and sensations—whatever it is that's happening.

How to Meditate, David Gelles

New to meditation? Try this beginner's guide to get started.

The hard sell

I went on a vacation once, paid for by a timeshare company. All they asked was for three hours of my time. They took five, and by the end, they were agitated.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said the salesperson. "I won't be able to offer you this price again."

I always listen when someone tells me to act now, time is running out. They are absolutely right. Now really is a great time to take a seat, close my eyes, and breathe.

I shut the door behind me on the way out.

Remember to slow down, have a sit, and practice breathing.

Andrew Reeves is an entrepreneur, touring musician, and practitioner of eleven martial arts. He reached financial independence at age 28 and has dedicated his retirement to fighting crime and helping others.


  • 1

    Lunchtime doubly so.

  • 2

    What is a need, anyway?

    Serious question.

  • 3

    You can tell.

  • 4

    The opposite side of the same coin is sudden and immediate violence, which provides a different (but equally potent) kind of clarifying focus.

How often do you meditate? How much did your mattress cost? What life traps have you noticed and managed to avoid?


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