It’s well known that Ray Dalio enforces extreme “Principles” on the employees of his hedge fund, Bridgewater, and that recently, one of Dalio’s funds kicked everyone’s arse in YTD returns, by earning a whopping 38% in one of his portfolios, a ~ $50 billion fund.
But without context, Dalio’s proven 300-some Bridgewater Principles are just thoughts floating groundless in a sea of nothing.
Or at least they were, until today, when we found out this: Dalio gave $1.23 million to David Lynch’s Transcendental Meditation group.
Of course you know Dalio’s guru, David Lynch, the guy who leads a “shockingly peaceful inner life,” according to a 2006 New York Times article about Lynch’s life.
Lynch’s crusade to encourage young people “to quiet – and exploit – their inner demons” through Transcendental Meditation is as well-known as his belief’s are abnormal. Like this belief, for example, detailed in the NYTimes article:
[Lynch believes] that a mass demonstration of “yogic flying” — a so-called “advanced technique” in which meditators, seated in the lotus position, begin hopping in unison and theoretically start to hover — can radiate peaceful energy out to the world.
Here’s a brief refresher. Lynch’s drug of choice, Transcendental Meditation, goes back to the ’60s (of course), when adherents said it’s a natural alternative to mind-expanding drugs like LSD, says the NYTimes article.
You can view a 10-minute preview of a documentary about the practice by clicking here >
Anyway, “David [is] a huge promoter of T.M.,” says another Transcendental Meditation fan (who casually calls it, “TM”).
And as part of his promotion of TM, Lynch takes donations from people in order to finance scholarships for students who can’t afford the $2,500 price tag on admission to his “TM University,” to study what he calls, “consciousness education.”
Click here to watch Lynch explain why TMU is worth (“a lot more than!”) $2,500.
Frankly, we should have known Dalio, who it turns out, is a proud graduate who offers to pay for half of Bridgewater employees’ studies (all of it if they stick with it for longer than six months, which is a third of the time full behaviour modification takes), had special meditation powers based on this picture of him alone:
But we didn’t.
It’s doubly embarrassing considering that he doesn’t exactly hide his beliefs.
(Although there is one small matter of his allowing the promotion of this, a video interview of Ray Dalio talking about TM – and then taking it down. But luckily we still have his personal testimony, which we’ll show you later on. Point is, he’s a devout TMer.)
Anyway, as far as what quantifying what TM has done for Dalio, let’s refer back to the TM guru Dalio thinks is worth $1.23 million, David Lynch.
“If you were a burglar [and you did TM], you’d become a much better burglar,” Lynch told the NYT.
Of course now you get it. Oh that’s how Dalio became a billionaire hedge fund manager (because Dalio founded and runs Bridgewater, one of the biggest hedge funds in the world) – it’s just like the TM website says in its profile of Dalio – he’s a “self made billionaire,” he founded Bridgewater in 1975, and at some point before or after that, he got married to Barbara Gabaldoni, a loaded descendant of the Vanderbilt-Whitney family, the doubly-loaded (both the Vanderbilts and the Whitneys were from extreme wealth) family that founded the Whitney Museum. (See Barbara’s resemblance to socialite and heiress Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney) But it wasn’t the marriage that had anything do with his becoming a self-made billionaire.
It was TM that, as Dalio puts it, “is the single most important reason for whatever success I’ve had.”
And through TM, we too, can easily ignore gaping contradictions like his wife’s fortune. All we have to do is imagine that we’re Ray Dalio, who’d still be a billionaire if his hedge fund went under, and meditate.
Here’s some meaningless fluff to help lull you into not thinking for 20 minutes, Dalio’s personal testimony of TM, found in a pamphlet, An Introduction To TM:
I notice a difference from the moment I start to meditate. I can be stressed or tired and I will meditate and immediately I will get very rested and relaxed and the stress will flow off me. I’ll finish meditation feeling refreshed and centered, and that feeling will cary throughout the day. It’s a heck of a return on an investment of 20 minutes!
Getting sleepy yet?
I want to emphasise: TM is practical. Some people may think it’s exotic – that you light candles and burn incense. It’s not that – and it’s not some religion or dogma. It’s a practical tool that makes life go better.
I started meditating over 35 years ago, and I would say TM is the single most important reason for whatever success I’ve had.
FYI, another financier who’s a TM fan is Bob Jones, the CIO of Global Investment bank, who left his video testimony online.