Thoughts on Meditation

November 11, 2019

I forgot to add a VERY important disclaimer in my first entry - I am not in the medical field, I have no training or background in Zen or Buddhism, and I don’t want to mislead any of my readers about these areas. I am NOT an expert in any field relating to meditation, breathing techniques or medicine for that matter.

However, I have trained in martial arts for over 35 years, I practice mediation daily and I took up hot yoga about 5 years ago. My educational background is in business and finance. I started my own wealth management firm in August of 2001, and I still run that firm today.

I was listening on line this past week to a well-known motivational speaker. He was describing how to use breathing techniques and positive thinking in order to “prime” the brain and stay on that positive track. Then he said something like “this is not meditation. Meditation is trying to stop your brain from having thoughts-that is tough to do.” That stunned me. Even I know- from the seven years I have been practicing- that stopping your thoughts is not the correct way to explain meditation.

This is worth noting because to any beginner, in any type of endeavor, you need to have a clear understanding of the purpose and the process to get there. So, let me at least clear this part up.

I have done my research and practiced diligently, I do not agree that stopping your brain from thinking is accurate. In fact, according to the few books that I have read (and many hours of listening to old CD’s) that last thing you want to do is stop your brain from thinking, In fact, you want to let it go, let it meander until you bring it back with the breath.

I would like to reference John Kabat Zinn. I have read several of his books, starting with Full Catastrophe Living. One of his latest books, which I read last year in 2018, was Mediation is Not What You Think. I look forward one day to meeting him in person, or at least attending one of his lectures.

Now on to the business side of things.

I read a great report recently, called M&A Report, by FP Transitions. I interviewed two people from this firm last year, and they are mentioned In my book The Zen of Business Acquisitions. I wanted to share an important concept they discussed on financial buyers and strategic buyers.

A financial buyer is more interested in modifying the bottom line, the profit, by controlling expenses.

I have several clients in different types of business that have used this approach successfully.

A strategic buyer, on the other hand, are less concerned with operational expenses and more focused on the efficiencies and the ability to leverage the clients or assets of that acquisition.

In my opinion, and in my own experience, I believe that the strategic buyer has many advantages in the long term because they are not solely focused on money.

Of course, each acquisition depends on your objectives and your ultimate goal, in there may be valid reasons why the financial buyer is making the correct decision.

I simply want to end with this thought. If you were to rank the top 3 reasons why you were doing an acquisition, and money was not allowed as a choice, what would they be? And if you can’t come up with three good reasons why you would buy any business, maybe you have your answer very quickly.