Slots and Meditation
Machines can be relaxing and stress-reducing
by Frank Scoblete
When I was a young gambler, I was disdainful of the slots and anyone who played them. I always thought giving the house such large edges was a sign of stupidity or, at the very least, rampant insanity. I steered clear of the slot aisles the way people will steer clear of someone with the bird flu.
Then I met Jim Hildebrand, who writes for this magazine, and he told me that he played slots because they were restful and meditative. I wrote about many of his ideas in my book Break the One-Armed Bandits! At his day-job he had to deal with people, and dealing with people was tiresome and, I would imagine, quite irksome at times. At the slots he could get away and relax; he could take himself into his own world.
Hildebrand’s viewpoint changed my perception of the slots and the slot-playing public. I realized that there were many reasons why people preferred the one-armed bandits to the table games of which I had been enamored.
Traveling through the slot aisles I always check out the people who are playing. Many of them do look quite relaxed and some seem to be in a world of their own. I have spoken to many slot players and a good percentage of them agree with Hildebrand that slot playing is relaxing and stress reducing.
That is at least true of the slot players as opposed to the video poker players who seem far more charged up. Video poker is not meditative—at least it doesn’t seem so from watching adrenaline-charged players pushing buttons like crazy.
Then I thought, “Is there a way to make slot-playing an actual meditation? Could one enjoy one’s gambling sessions and get a health benefit as well?”
Well, first things first. Is meditation really healthy for people or is it just a typical fad by Westerners to adopt some Eastern cultural activities to make them look cool, in the know and where it’s happening? After all, those years of the 1960s and the early ’70s saw hordes of glassy-eyed idealists sitting lotus-flowered, chanting away like maniacs. Were they really improving their health or just annoying the rest of us with their glassy idealism?
Some of you might be surprised to know that meditation actually has positive physiological and psychological effects on people—normal people such as you and me—and that must be true because there is a ton of scientific information on the Internet about it. You don’t have to be an aging hippie, dippie or yippie to enjoy these benefits—and these benefits can go hand-in-handle with the slot machines too! Yes, even stalwart conservatives such as Newt Gingrich and Donald Rumsfeld would get lasting health benefits from meditation. It’s not just for wild-eyed liberals and Al Gore.
Medical studies show that meditators have lower blood pressure and fewer instances of clogged arteries than non-meditators. Meditators who are over 40 years old have 70 percent fewer illnesses than their non-meditating peers. The research, over 600 studies to date, readily indicates that meditation is a good thing to do. It helps both mind and body. In addition, meditation does not have to be done out loud so you won’t be annoying people at the machine next to you if you decide to follow my advice.
Now gambling is also a good thing to do in my opinion and in the opinion of the advertisers of this magazine, although no scientific studies have been done to date about slot playing’s effects on the heart, arteries, and brain. Certainly slot players who smoke incessantly and over-indulge in alcohol can’t be helping themselves. But what about those slot players looking for a double-healthy pastime—meditation coupled with slot playing?
Here’s how to do it.
Meditation is done internally; slot playing is done externally. Go up to your favorite slot machine, put in $20 or $100 or whatever you want and load up the credits. Now hit the spin button. As the reels spin, close your eyes, take a deep breath, exhale; take another breath, exhale and inside your mind say, “Ah-ching,” which is what you want the machine to do—give you a lot of coins (or paper wins with coin sounds). Now open your eyes and see what has happened.
Then repeat the process.
Every spin of the reels is a moment of meditation for you. It is fun because as your eyes are closed and your mind and body are relaxing, Lady Luck , that fickle temptress, is deciding your fate. It’s like making love with the lights out, which is what many people do if their spouses are hideous-looking.
There is a thrill in the midst of your mediation. Each time you open your eyes, you are hoping for a nice win. But regardless of Lady Luck’s disposition on any given spin or any given session, using the Scobe Slot Meditation System (SSMS)—of course I named it after me!—is a great way to do something healthy for yourself as you enjoy those wonderful machines.
Now the only caveat to this great way of playing the slots is that after awhile you are going to be so rested and so relaxed and so damn healthy that you aren’t going to want to meditate anymore. That is fine. Give yourself 20 minutes of playing this way each and every session you have on the slot machines. Doing this once, twice or thrice a day will have wonderful effects on your body, mind and bank book. Oh, and, playing this way will slow down your pace and that is also a good thing!
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best-selling gaming author in America. He is executive director of the Golden Touch advantage-play seminars in craps and blackjack. Looking for great gambling products and gifts? Go to www.gamblersoutpost.com. His websites are www.goldentouchcraps.com, www.goldentouchblackjack.com, and www.scoblete.com in association with CasinoCity.com. His newest book is The Golden Touch Dice Control Revolution! For more information or a brochure, call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565.
Slots and Meditation.