David Kunin is an RN living in New York City and working in the field of community health.
How did this book come to be?
I started out a few years ago by writing "Spiritual Practice at the Poker Table." I was thinking pretty exclusively about sitting at an actual poker table and what kinds of spiritual practices one could engage in there. After a few months, I abandoned the project for over a year. I was trying so hard to write something really good that I stopped being able to write at all. When I came back to it, I was not quite so uptight about the writing, and I found the book just flowed easily into using poker as a metaphor. But it still didn't become anywhere near complete, and I abandoned it again. What shifted everything for me was a book by Elizabeth Gilbert called "Big Magic." There was some excellent advice in there about how it doesn't have to be perfect. But the best advice for me was about how to persevere until the project is done, even if it isn't perfect. For some reason, it was just a lot easier for me to write on the web instead of trying to "write a book." So I built a website and got it written. I love the old saying about a book never being finished; a book is abandoned. I think it is true. This book came to be after I wrote it and then abandoned it. Is it perfect? Hell, no!
How much must one know about poker to read your book?
Not much. I use examples that you might only get if you regularly play poker, but they are easy to skim over. The heart of the book has nothing to do with poker.
The author (that's me!) compares the game of poker to life and uses the analogy to introduce some basic concepts about spiritual practice. His goal, if it can be called that, is to "thin the layer between inside and outside." No particular knowledge of poker is required to read most of the book. Subjects include love, death, meditation and speculations on "What is a Spiritual Practice, Anyway?"