Naval Ravikant discussing meditation with Joe Rogan
I had not heard of Naval Ravikant until he popped up on Joe Rogan’s show the other week. He is a billionaire investor who became known on the web for releasing a series of short free videos on how to become rich and successful. I like his vibe and he seems pretty wise, and this ends up being a great interview.
Topics discussed include capitalism vs. communism, the problem with SJWs, why UBI won’t work, social media addiction, and why thinking about politics will make you miserable. At around 1:15:00 they begin to segue towards meditation, with the conversation proper starting at 1:17:30.
Ravikant practises Do Nothing meditation and gives some accessible analogies and a short guide. When asked if he focuses on his breath, he says he uses no object, and then says:
Every meditation technique is leading you to the same thing, which is just witnessing. And concentration is a technique to still your mind enough that you can then drop the object of concentration. So you could also try just going straight to the endgame. The problem with what I’m talking about, which is not focusing on your breath, is that you will have to listen to your mind for a long time. It’s not going to work unless you do at least an hour a day, and preferably at least 60 days, before you kind of work through a lot of issues. So it’ll be hell for a while, but when you come out the other side it’s great.
He then talks about jhanas (without explicitly naming them), and points out that craving such states will actually take one out of meditation. He gives the primary goal of meditation as finding peace:
To me, peace is happiness at rest, and happiness is peace in motion. You can convert peace to happiness any time you want, but peace is what you want most of the time. If you’re a peaceful person, anything you do will be a happy activity.
The whole interview is worth watching if you have a couple of hours free. If you have less time, skip to the part about meditation and enjoy.