I am starting a new thread to discuss the book "Zen and the Art of Poker" written by Larry W. Phillips. Some of you might have read my thread on Marty Schwartz where I post highlights on parts of his book "Pit Bull." This is not going to be the same deal. I hope there will be open discussions on the poker rules put out by Larry Phillips for the mutual benefits to our trading. No book report. No money involved. No guruism. No B.S. POKER RULE #1: Learn to use inaction as a weapon. I am going to tangent off a little to get the context right. Please be patient. First what the hell is Zen? I think Buddhism uses many many different words to describe the same thing that is undescribable - our innate natural state of mind. Why is it undescribable? It's nature is beyond the grasp of our conceptual mind yet can be directly experienced. They DO NOT call it a higher conciousness - they call it the ORDINARY consciousness because afterall it is the natural state of mind. When people said they are "touched", often they felt it a little but don't know what to make of it. A lot of people think Buddhists are pessimists because they talk about impermanence of things and cycles of suffering but to the contrary the main message of Buddhism is that in the expanse of innate wisdom, everybody in nature is already Buddha free from all suffering. We cannot make our Buddha nature better or worse, it is already prefect as it is but the problem is we cannot recognize our own mind's nature. Buddha scriptures explained how we are like people stricken with proverty living in a house not knowing there are measurable treasures buried underneath. The keys to that are limitless (in scope) compassion and wisdom. OK that's enough on Buddhism. Everybody knows Buddhists practice meditation to enhance their recognition of one's innate wisdom. Actually the practice in general comes in two stage: tranquility meditation and insight meditation. Different lineage traditions have different approaches for the same names. I am not qualified to give any instructions but simple tranquility relaxation exercise cannot be harmful. A representative meditation of the first stage would be counting one's breath say from 1 to 21 repeatedly. Start off the exercise with the intention to better yourself and others. One can just sit comfortably, straight back, keep relax the arms and legs. You can put the palms of your hands on your knees. Breathe naturally and mentally counting the breath from 1 to 21. You don't need to push thought away. Just simply disengage from the chain of thoughts when you are aware you were distracted by them and go back to the counting. Do that for 5 min, 10 min or longer depends on your personal preference. Do not try to force things to happen. Or expect the practice to turn out one way or the other. More thoughts, less thoughts do not matter. As one of my teachers advised "nothing to do" - just relax and be natural. At the end you can dedicate the merits of the exercise to the freedom from suffering for all beings. I will not say anything about insight meditation because that one you really need direct personal transmission from a qualified teacher of a "live" lineage. A lot of people confused that tranquility meditation is the Zen. Actually the tranquility practice is simply setting a conducive stage for the recognition of the nature of mind. When the mind is tranquil, it is more "like" its innate state. So I think even though we are a little fall short, with experimenting the counting breath meditation above, we should get a sense of direction. I think the first POKER RULE # 1 "Learn to use inaction as a weapon" is absolutely utmost important to traders' survival. That is why it is rule #1. Most of the time, market is indeed random, one can only win consistently by avoiding activity most of the time and trade only the few times during the day when a high probability trade occurs. It is our job as a trader to wait more than we trade.