“We are born with what the Taoists call the Mind of Tao, but the conditioning of society distorts it and replaces it with the Human Mind. Taoists believe that before we can resurrect this hidden Mind of Tao, we need to go into a process of Thawing, a de-conditioning of the ideas we already consciously and unconsciously hold” (The Tao: Finding the Way of Balance and Harmony by Mark Forstater, p.60).  Following the Tao can teach a trader to … [Read More...]

Wild Wisdom, Insights for Traders: White Tiger Crouching


shadows like stripes across the path white tiger crouching --Terry Chitwood The white tiger is the path, black stripes across a white body, symbolizing wholeness like the yin/yang symbol from Taoism. The white tiger’s fierceness, born in the deep jungle, sharpened by the will to survive, radiates from its body. As if formed from a forge, the white tiger’s claws grip the black earth like steel. Eye of the Tiger To be as grounded in your … [Read More...]

Zen Kernels, Insights for Traders: A Thousand Raindrops


A beam of sunlight touches the falling raindrop turning it into mist: a thousand raindrops. --Terry Chitwood In alchemy, once the Philosopher’s Stone is developed in an individual, one of its operations is multiplicatio (multiplication). An example from Zen literature is the tenth Zen Ox-Herding picture where the sage walks joyfully into the village with flowers blooming spontaneously on both sides of the path behind him. Spiritual … [Read More...]

Zen Kernels, Insights for Traders: White Cloud Breath


I breathe the white cloud into the blue sky.   Now, the cloud breathes me. --Terry Chitwood Send your spirit into the market, blending with the order flow, discovering its rhythm, waiting for the precise moment to take the trade. As light as a feather ride the market wave, rising and falling, faster, slower, waiting for the wave to dissolve . . . then: exit the trade. Breathe in; breathe out. Questions When you are in tune with the … [Read More...]

Zen Kernels, Insights for Traders: Reflections


new-fallen snow reflects the sun shadows disappear --Terry Chitwood Light dissolves shadows, casting out negative thoughts from the darkest corners of our minds, helping our fears disappear, and allowing truth to be revealed. In trading, fear creeps into the mind like a thief, stealing our peace, disrupting our plans, magnifying our doubts. Fear creates black holes in our minds, swirling traps of negativity waiting to ensnare us. Spiritual … [Read More...]

Zen Kernels, Insights for Traders: White Lightning


white lightening against a black sky awakening --Terry Chitwood Black and white thinking, the bane of traders and logicians everywhere, easy to do, easy to see, leads  to the gates of the Underworld, home of the hidden Hydra—its guardian. Cut off one of its heads and the Hydra grows two more (black and white). So black and white thinking is an archetypal process (e.g., the opposites) designed to trap you in dualism. A New … [Read More...]

Zen Kernels, Insights for Traders: Blooming in Winter


red lotus breaks through the ice blooming in winter --Terry Chitwood Many traders live in their heads, embracing their intellect at the expense of their feelings. Encasing their emotions in ice, they view trading and life coldly, relying on reason instead of heart, becoming human computers who lost their souls. Dance How can they find souls they don’t know they lost? They can listen to the sound of one toe tapping, and start to dance. … [Read More...]

Zen Kernels, Insights for Traders: Leaving No Footprints


my footprints on the path melt in the morning sun --Terry Chitwood   Footprints define you; they show your identity. When you leave no footprints, the market can’t stalk you. Becoming nothing, going nowhere, you become mist, leaving no tracks, being impossible to pin down, like a whisper in the wind. No Thoughts Never show your hand playing poker. Never show your intention trading the market. Become loose, flexible, difficult to find. … [Read More...]

Zen Kernels, Insights for Traders: Gems


emerald grass each blade a gem --Terry Chitwood What could be more ordinary than a blade of grass? And yet, in the poem, each blade is a gem. This refers to a blade’s internal essence (otherwise lawnmowers everywhere would have a field day shattering gems). Sorry lawnmowers, a blade’s internal essence is indestructible, and yet—unique. Grass Hey Terry! Grass is grass. No, grass isn’t grass. There are a variety of grasses and they come in … [Read More...]

Celtic Images, Insights for Traders: The Otherworld


beyond the veil flowers bloom in winter --Terry Chitwood In the dusk, a shimmering light glows dimly, beckoning you to enter, enticing you with the faint smell of spring, with a beautiful melody barely heard, with the caress of a dew drop on your left hand, leading you to slip through the veil between worlds, the touch of the veil as soft as butterfly wings—flying you home.   Spirit The Otherworld, the realm of nightly dreams, breathes … [Read More...]

Zen Kernels, Insights for Traders: Raven Moon


raven perched within the halo of the full moon --Terry Chitwood The raven, a guide to help you walk the moonlit path, a messenger of the gods calling you into divine service, calls your name. Enter the night; find the light. As a raven with moonlit eyes, spiral down into the dark depths of your psyche and retrieve the cup of overflowing light. Drink the light, turning your body into phosphorescent brilliance. This process describes the … [Read More...]