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Mindful Living, Mindful Shooting - Part I of a series
By Jeffrey47

As the title suggests, this series of articles is not about precision shooters
' physical skills, betting approaches, shooter-effectiveness percentages, or knowledge of the game.  At least not directly. 

I hope to provide something further to consider about the mental side of our practice.  As we all know, precision shooting depends on it.

We will discuss how mindfulness in our daily lives might bear on the quality of our precision-shooting practice and play.

"Many skilled players psyche themselves out of winning

because of all the stuff that they keep in their head." -- Mad Professor

We live in a multi-tasking world.  The mindset we occupy when thinking about one thing while doing another is probably the dominant mindset of our lives, even our culture. 

Certainly, it's a mindset through which a lot of what we do is constantly filtered.

For example, we may read the newspaper with the TV on, while we eat our breakfast. The phone rings and while we're on the line there's another call to take.  We navigate multiple windows on our computers.  We drive the freeways listening to books on tape. 

The list of activities we never fully engage in is endless.

In its proper context, there's nothing wrong with this multiple-doings mindset.  Our brains are certainly capable of it, and our ability, perhaps a need, to absorb layers of information from which to synthesize something new is a fundamental aspect of creative, artistic, intellectual, and even entrepreneurial pursuit.

Unfortunately, this dominant mindset of ours can be an impediment to shooting with the precision we strive for.

Mindfulness?  What is that?

When I speak of mindfulness I'm not talking about the experience people refer to as "being in the zone."  Mindfulness is certainly related to the zone, but there are distinct qualities unique to each. 

I view mindfulness as kind of a precursor to the zone.  I will be talking more about the relationship between mindfulness and the zone in upcoming articles.  Suffice to say for now, if  you don't attain at least an inkling of mindful awareness, you’re not as likely to be getting in the zone. 

Insight into the mindset of successful dicesetters is provided in articles and message-board posts right here on Irishsetter's site, of course.  Articles by Mad Professor contain some of the most illuminating discussions of these matters anywhere to be found.   See, for example, How to Get It and How to Keep It , and How to Get There From Here, Part VII .

MP refers to an "every-roll mind set" derived from a combination of "absolute concentration... raw intensity... and single-minded focus.”   Our attention needs to be on the dice and on having each one next fresh toss end on the same axis and primary faces they are set on. 

Consistency, MP reminds us, requires a "Quiet Mind," with no distracting thoughts, yet a full consciousness, but not a hyper-awareness, of  what is happening around you.  Success depends on living in the moment, and shooting and betting in the present tense.

MP even provides a bullet-point road map for maintaining an every-roll mindset as a dice hand progresses, highlighting the many functional benefits to be derived.

MP explains further that invoking this same every-roll mindset when practicing, conditions us to be able to do it more automatically in the casino.  Over time, it should feel be comfortable and totally natural.  You should be able to slip into it as easily as an old pair of slippers.  See, Current Practice...Future Profitability, Part IV .

Mad Professor makes it sound so alluringly simple; while reminding us in no uncertain terms just how difficult it really is.  Revisit those materials often, because the truths of which MP speaks will reveal themselves more fully over time.

There are still remaining questions, however.

      If the whole thing is so simple, why does it require such extreme dedication to achieve? 

      And if it's so obvious, why is it so easily overlooked when we play?  

      Why is there anything so seemingly mystifying associated with advantage play at craps anyway? 

    Why is there a mystery connected with getting whatever it is we're supposed to get?

    Hey, it's beginning to sound a bit like one of those things:   When you know, you'll know.

And to one extent or another, for each of us, it is one of those things. 

If the "every-roll" mind can feel like a perfect old pair of slippers, maybe our everyday mind is more like a starched white shirt and tie . . . or a strait-jacket.

If entering and maintaining a mindset different from the one we're accustomed to is the task, is it any wonder that it seems a mystery, as if we're outside looking in, even though everything's being explained so perfectly and in such excruciating detail? 

And is it surprising that this mystery can seem to crop up to block our path to the very skills upon which the promise of further progress depends?

Having a road map is useful in any journey.  But it can be easy to mistake the map for the road, or to misinterpret the scale and compass showing the distance and direction we are required to travel. 

From a new and different vantage point of increasing levels of mindfulness in our everyday existence we might better read the map's encoded directions; and penetrate the seeming mystery that stubbornly insulates us from further elevating our precision-shooting skills.   

Put another way, as we more diligently exercise simple mindfulness in our daily lives, we may be better able to achieve similar mindfulness when it's time to shoot the dice. 

In future articles, I'm going to explain what everyday mindfulness is to me, in practical terms, and more about why I believe it can be an important component for improving our dice skills. 

Let's see if working to raise our consciousness away from the rig may help to get it done at the rig and then at the tables. 

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