The Solitare Meditation

One of the people I’m working with needed some help sensing the energies around him. I suggested “The Solitaire Meditation”.

It’s straightforward. Play solitaire and win.

Simple, correct?

Well, there are some hitches. Aren’t there in everything? For one, we define a win as knowing, before you start to play, whether you’ll win or lose. Did you believe you’d win and you did win? Then you score +1. Did you believe you’d lose and you lost? Then you score +1. Did you believe you’d win and you lost? Score 0. Thought you’d lose and you won? 0.

Do you recognize what we’re doing? Does it make sense? It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about knowing what will happen before it happens.

Granted, this precognitive training is only a few minutes into the future.

A few minutes into the future? Meh.

Months back a friend asked how I start my day. I shared I play four different games of solitaire each morning, one hand each usually. I’m not interested in winning each game, I’m interested in how winning or losing each game affects me.

My goal is to stay centered, not let winning or losing pull me off balance, fill me with pride, or crush my ego. I can tell by how I’m playing if I’m starting my day off-balance unawares. When I am and when I recognize it, I center, I focus, I slow, and lower my breathing. I shuffle the cards and play again. Sometimes I’ll be playing different kinds of solitaire for 15-20m before I’m centered enough I win every game.

But wait a second…didn’t I write above that it’s not about winning?

That’s right, it’s not, and I’ll get back to that in a second.

Train yourself to understand the future will happen no matter what you do about it – even if it means losing at something, even if it’s not what you want or things do go as you hoped – and you learn to accept whatever the future has in store for you. You don’t have to like it and if you can know what’s coming before it comes you can better prepare yourself for it.

That part, that understand-accept-prepare part, has to do with getting rid of your ego. Ego in the sense of “I’m somebody and I can do something about it.”

Lots of times you can and lots of times you can’t. And sometimes letting go of your ego is a real pain in the ass.

It can also bring you an amazing amount of peace, surety, and confidence. If you know what’s going to happen, even if you don’t like it, at least you’re better prepared for it and you can meet whatever it is with lots more confidence than if you didn’t know what was coming at you and got blindsided by it.

After you master winning or losing a few minutes into the future, push it further and further into the future. Time is a distance, like any other. Somebody somewhere convinced you that you could look down a street to an intersection but you couldn’t look down a street to what happened five minutes ago or will happen five minutes from now.

But isn’t that knowing if you’ll win or lose at solitaire before you pick up the cards? You can know what’s going to happen with the cards in five minutes but not down the street in five minutes? If you train to do one, you’ll be able to do the other.

Years ago I wrote about playing Russian Bank, a two-handed solitaire game, with Susan (wife/partner/Princess) and knowing who’d win just by the initial lay of the cards:

Susan (wife, partner, beloved, Princess, …) and I play a card game called Russian Bank, a two-deck solitaire. Each player puts four cards from their deck on the table face up to start the game and I can predict who’ll win (accuracy well over 90%) simply by seeing how the cards are laid out at the start. This accuracy climbs as the game is played, and I’m usually able to pick the exact point where the outcome is finalized and why. …

(if you have a real need, ask me and I’ll explain how it’s done)

Let’s focus a bit on that “knowing” part. Let’s chunk it down. How about instead of knowing whether you’ll win or lose, let’s focus on knowing which card should be played where.

I mean, if you can know whether or not you’ll win or lose, and that’s a few minutes out, it should be much simpler to know if the card you’re about to play should be played the way you’re going to play it.

Heck, we’re going from minutes to seconds. Probably less.

Now, if you’re really paying attention, you should pick up that if you know you’re going to win the game anyway, it shouldn’t matter which card you play when because you’re still going to win.

Absolutely, completely, uninterminably correct.


What if you don’t want to teach yourself to sense whether you’ll win or lose? What if you want to teach yourself to sense the energy of each card?

And not for the sake of being correct – remember, lots of this stuff is to get ego out of the way – but for the sake of knowing how to know.

Think about that. Knowing how to know.

If you can teach yourself to sense which card should be played, you can teach yourself to know which foods to eat, which cars to buy, which people to ask out on a date, which jobs to go after, … Hot dang but the list is endless.

And much of that involves teaching yourself to be patient (and if you don’t think being patient is a test of ego… The number of people who are impatient with themselves is staggering).

And think about this for a second. If you can’t be patient with your own learning – because that’s what this is, your own learning – why should you expect others to be patient with you when you’re learning. Now push it out one step further; If you’re not patient with yourself, can you truly be patient with others when they’re learning?

So, as Susan often shares, learn patience with yourself so you can be patient with others. As one of my teachers taught me, learn to listen. To be aware. To care. To pay attention.

To yourself first and you’ll be shocked how self-compassion becomes compassion for others.

As I explained to one of the people I study with, once you get your ego out of the way, a whole new world opens up to you.

And just so you’ll know, statistics and probabilities don’t account for such things as we’re discussing here except as outlyers. These are the things that get thrown out of research studies because they don’t fit the curves or “the norm”.

Remember what you learned about the difference between probable and possible? Probable means (for example) “Out of 100 attempts, it’s happened 80 times therefore if you do it 100 times you’ll probably succeed 80% of the time.” Possible means “We don’t know of anybody else who can do it but you can do it therefore it must be possible even if we don’t know how you did it.”

The real moral of this piece is Be Limitless. Some time some where somebody imposed limits on you, on what you could do, what you could be, what you could know, what you could feel, what you could believe. The Universe rarely imposes a “can’t” on its children except in the sense of “it can’t be done this way” and that “this way” part makes a lot of difference.

I learned long ago not to define myself by others’ limitations.

And to find other ways to make things possible.

One of my teachers gave me an exercise and I immediately responded, “Impossible! It violates the laws of physics!”

She nodded. “Oh. I see. Tell me, are there laws of physics nobody knows yet?”

“Well, of course. Einstein discovered laws that compartmentalized much of classical physics. Quantum is rewriting some of Einstein. Bohm demonstrated working alternatives to Thermo. It happens all the time.”

She leaned towards me and stared directly into my eyes. “Then use those unknown laws nobody knows of to do this.”


Be Limitless.

Welcome to the world of possible.


Joseph Carrabis
Joseph Carrabis
Joseph Carrabis has been everything from a long-haul trucker to a Chief Research Scientist and holds patents covering mathematics, anthropology, neuroscience, and linguistics. He served as Senior Research Fellow and Board Advisor to the Society for New Communications Research and The Annenberg Center for the Digital Future; Editorial Board Member on the Journal of Cultural Marketing Strategy; Advisory Board Member to the Center for Multicultural Science; Director of Predictive Analytics, Center for Adaptive Solutions; served on the UN/NYAS Scientists Without Borders program; and was selected as an International Ambassador for Psychological Science in 2010. He created a technology in his basement that's in use in over 120 countries. Now he spends his time writing fiction based on his experiences.

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