Tao Te Ching (Chapter 35)
Hold fast to the great thought
and all the world will come to you,
harmless, peaceable, serene.
Walking around, we stop
for music, for food.
But if you taste the Way
it’s flat, insipid.
It looks like nothing much,
it sounds like nothing much.
And yet you can’t get enough of it.
(By Lao Tsu, interpreted by Ursula K. Le Guin)
The Sound of Nothing
Does your trading make a sound? Clicks of your keystrokes. Clicks of your mouse. Frantic calls to your trading desk when the Internet goes down and your backup Verizon Wireless USB modem on your laptop won’t connect to the web either. How about internal sounds? The sounds in your head. Is there negative self-talk? Meaningless chatter? What is the sound of the void? The sound of nothing. “[The Tao] sounds like nothing . . . .”
The Serene View
Place your mind in the quiet center of the volatility cyclone. While the market chaos swirls around you, stay serene. View the market through the eyes of the Tao. The market flows. Enter the market flow while remaining at peace. Hear the clear sound of a Tibetan bell in your mind announcing your next trade. Hold fast to the stillness and the next trade will come to you. “Hold fast to the great thought and all the world will come to you, harmless, peaceable, serene.”
Don’t Seek Excitement
If you are trading the market for a simulated high, you are trading for the wrong reason. Don’t become a trading addict. “Walking around, we stop for music, for food.” In this context music and food are used as distractions that keep you from following the Way. Don’t be mesmerized by the market and be sucked into its constant motion by frenetically overtrading. Seek to stay centered in the Tao. It’s nothing special but totally fulfilling. “But if you taste the Way . . . it looks like nothing much . . . And yet you can’t get enough of it.”