When I first started in the professional world, a few of my new colleagues introduced me to a card game that quickly became an addiction for me.
That game is called Pinochle.
It’s a 4-person card game where two teams (of two-players each) compete to win each round and every match.
I was so hooked that we would play not only every night after work, but oftentimes throughout the weekend. I recall one session where we played 24 hours straight! No sleep, brief breaks for food and bathroom, and all pinochle.
Our contests continued for at least a year, and we all got pretty good at bidding strategy, partner mind reading, and winning techniques.
And while I haven’t played in years, the one thing I remember most from my playing days was the enormous value of trump.
Without going into all the rules of Pinochle, in each round one suit is selected to be the trump suit. Whenever a trump card is played, it always wins over any other non-trump card. For example, if trump were diamonds, then if someone played an ace of spades, even a nine of diamonds would beat it.
No matter how high a card was played, if someone else layed down a trump card, it would win.
The interesting thing about pinochle is that before each round is played, the person who wins the original bidding for that round gets to select which suit is trump.
Much like in life, we always get to select trump. And here’s what I mean.
Life will always throw some crappy stuff our way. And while we aren’t responsible for what other people say or do to us, we are responsible for how we respond – including how we feel.
And very similar pinochle, we always have two minds (ala “suits”) we can react from: the mind of the ego (very weak suit), or the mind of presence (trump suit).
How we feel, and how we respond, are completely controlled by which suit we select. And most often, we choose the weak suit. How do we know which suit we chose? By how we feel.
If we feel anything other than a calm, sure, joyous serenity then we know we chose the weak suit of the ego.
But unlike Pinochle, we don’t have to be the winning bidder in order to select trump. We can pull out a trump card anytime we want. It’s simply a choice in the mind.
When awfulness and ugliness come our way, we remind ourselves that we don’t have to go to our ego to respond. As soon as we feel the pit in our stomach, we can say, “There’s another way I can react to this. I can choose my right mind of presence – the one that reminds me that my true nature is a part of divine oneness.”
From this place peace flows unobstructed. And we’re able to respond to the situation from a place of serene certainty. Whenever we lay down presence on top of whatever has come into our life, presence will always win.
Join me in Monday’s class where we’ll explore the nature of our two minds, and how we can practice choosing the “strong suit of presence”. I look forward to seeing you then.