Monthly Archives: June 2012

Day 12: Defeat

Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

As much as things change, they stay the same. And now I find myself in a familiar situation in which hard work and taking chances are not and have not produced any viable results. A reminder lesson of defeatism which I just cannot muster right now. So re-grouping time. Hopefully next week I can turn things around. For right now – me time.

Day 11: Rambling

Those who fear something give it power over them. You are limited only by your fears.

“Take a chance! All life is chance. The man who goes furthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.” – Dale Carnegie

“Not everything faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” – Vincent Van Gogh

“Yes, risk-taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise, it would be called sure-thing-taking.” – Tim McMahon

You can Dream or You can Do; or so people will say. What is it you want from life? How do you wish to live? Do What You Dream. You can always point out the bad, live in the past, and not let go of previous mistakes. Or you can shake that off, learnt he proper lessons, and move forward stronger, wiser, and comfortable knowing not even that could hurt you or hold you down for long.

I chose the risk. I chose the scary path. It has a lot of thrones, I have plenty of scars from it, but I wouldn’t trade it away. And I refuse to give-up just because things weren’t perfect and shiny. You have to face it, acknowledge it, accept it, and it is then that you can change it – make it better, make it worth something.

Day 11: Rambling was originally published on 365 Jedi

Day 11: Rambling

Those who fear something give it power over them. You are limited only by your fears.

“Take a chance! All life is chance. The man who goes furthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.” – Dale Carnegie

“Not everything faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” – Vincent Van Gogh

“Yes, risk-taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise, it would be called sure-thing-taking.” – Tim McMahon

You can Dream or You can Do; or so people will say. What is it you want from life? How do you wish to live? Do What You Dream. You can always point out the bad, live in the past, and not let go of previous mistakes. Or you can shake that off, learnt he proper lessons, and move forward stronger, wiser, and comfortable knowing not even that could hurt you or hold you down for long.

I chose the risk. I chose the scary path. It has a lot of thrones, I have plenty of scars from it, but I wouldn’t trade it away. And I refuse to give-up just because things weren’t perfect and shiny. You have to face it, acknowledge it, accept it, and it is then that you can change it – make it better, make it worth something.

Day 10: Hard Head vs. Hard Place

One of the core elements of Jedi Philosophy states to Conquer Stubbornness. The accompany thought is this, “Do not see a duel as a choice between winning and losing. Every duel can have many, many outcomes. When you concentrate solely on winning-as in everything else-you sully your victory. Winning becomes worse than losing. It is better to lose well than to win badly. And it is always better to end a duel peacefully than to win or lose.” – Jedi Rekpa De

I do not see the relation between Stubbornness and Winning or Losing. Or more to the point, I think this issue has a much more practical and applicable view. Sure, win well, lose well, generally, don’t be an @$$. Earn it, fight for it, give your 100% and let the outcome speak for itself. And I am all for the stubborn tenacity to fight to the very end, so cares if you are losing, who cares the score, give 100% until the end.

For me I see Stubbornness being a much more personal issue. One that relates much more to a willingness to be wrong. I have known people that no matter the evidence you put in front of them, you were never going to change their mind, view, beliefs. It is a complete unwillingness to even consider a new approach, a new idea. For me, the issue or problem of Stubbornness is Close-Mindedness.

I think there are many times when you need that tenacity, you need to be unwilling to give-up, you have to have that bull-head to break through obstacles and barriers. An unwillingness to just deny, forget, or drop your dreams, goals, or hard work. However, even in this we, as Jedi, must keep an open mind. We must keep the big picture in mind, and be aware of the path we are committing ourselves too.  You need to be able to acknowledge and accept the direction you are taking, why you are taking it, and the potential consequences (good or bad) for adhering to it.

So again, within Jedi Thought, we see a necessity for balance. It is not a Don’t Do This Ever type philosophy. It is a do not go over-board and blind yourself philosophy. We look at it and we can say yes, there are times when being stubborn has a good and needed effect. However we cannot allow that to become close-mindedness and refuse to pay to attention to new input, evidence, and/or data.

You want to be grounded, but you never want to bolt yourself down unwilling and unable to move forward because of stubbornness. A time and place for all things – for Jedi we aren’t so much stubborn as grounded firmly in practical and empirical concepts. We temper stubbornness with adaptability – with a willingness to listen to new ideas, evidence, and so forth.

Having a hard head (being stubborn) can be a great strength, but only if tempered, only if you do not close yourself off to the ever-changing and ever-growing world. You must be able to grow and adapt as needed.

Day 10: Hard Head vs. Hard Place was originally published on 365 Jedi

Day 10: Hard Head vs. Hard Place

One of the core elements of Jedi Philosophy states to Conquer Stubbornness. The accompany thought is this, “Do not see a duel as a choice between winning and losing. Every duel can have many, many outcomes. When you concentrate solely on winning-as in everything else-you sully your victory. Winning becomes worse than losing. It is better to lose well than to win badly. And it is always better to end a duel peacefully than to win or lose.” – Jedi Rekpa De

I do not see the relation between Stubbornness and Winning or Losing. Or more to the point, I think this issue has a much more practical and applicable view. Sure, win well, lose well, generally, don’t be an @$$. Earn it, fight for it, give your 100% and let the outcome speak for itself. And I am all for the stubborn tenacity to fight to the very end, so cares if you are losing, who cares the score, give 100% until the end.

For me I see Stubbornness being a much more personal issue. One that relates much more to a willingness to be wrong. I have known people that no matter the evidence you put in front of them, you were never going to change their mind, view, beliefs. It is a complete unwillingness to even consider a new approach, a new idea. For me, the issue or problem of Stubbornness is Close-Mindedness.

I think there are many times when you need that tenacity, you need to be unwilling to give-up, you have to have that bull-head to break through obstacles and barriers. An unwillingness to just deny, forget, or drop your dreams, goals, or hard work. However, even in this we, as Jedi, must keep an open mind. We must keep the big picture in mind, and be aware of the path we are committing ourselves too.  You need to be able to acknowledge and accept the direction you are taking, why you are taking it, and the potential consequences (good or bad) for adhering to it.

So again, within Jedi Thought, we see a necessity for balance. It is not a Don’t Do This Ever type philosophy. It is a do not go over-board and blind yourself philosophy. We look at it and we can say yes, there are times when being stubborn has a good and needed effect. However we cannot allow that to become close-mindedness and refuse to pay to attention to new input, evidence, and/or data.

You want to be grounded, but you never want to bolt yourself down unwilling and unable to move forward because of stubbornness. A time and place for all things – for Jedi we aren’t so much stubborn as grounded firmly in practical and empirical concepts. We temper stubbornness with adaptability – with a willingness to listen to new ideas, evidence, and so forth.

Having a hard head (being stubborn) can be a great strength, but only if tempered, only if you do not close yourself off to the ever-changing and ever-growing world. You must be able to grow and adapt as needed.

Day 9: Brick Walls

Currently trying to put together surprises for the Jedi Foundation. Try to advance the use of media and such. But I just keep running into brick wall after brick wall. Software issues, hardware issues, ignorance issues. Once I fix one problem another pops up and I don’t know how it magically appeared. There is no logic to it.

So instead of beating my head against these brick walls I am going to take a step back. I am going to watch the EuroCup. I am going to workout, meditate, and then I will go feed the homeless. After that I shall back back, sit down int he front of this computer – resist the temptation to play Mass Effect (because the fixes to the ending really made a difference) – and start training (classes) so I can gain the skills necessary to complete this project idea.

There is one area I will not be able to correct however. As it requires that I go out and not only buy a new computer, but has a hundred dollar expense on top of that. And I really just do not have the ability to pull that off right now. It is economics 101 – spend money to make money; I get that, but it is just outside my ability currently.

This isn’t anything new really. As a Jedi I have always been challenged by the things I have wanted to do. And it has always required me to learn on the fly. I want a website – but know nothing about making them. Take some tutorials, practice with some templates, and learn enough to put images together and create something from nothing (without the aid of programs like MS Frontpage). WordPress, Facebook, twitter, all learning curves for me. And as such, never used to their full potential. Everything from writing books to software development – all learning as I go.

The Jedi Path has always challenged me in that way. There is no level to reach with the Jedi, no goal, to finish line. Once you reach one accomplishment it is on to the next. Got a decent website? How about academy? Social interaction? Materials? How is that academy again? Constant updates, you have to continually go back and re-examine your material and your features. Things quickly evolve and you have to be able to stay up with them.

The Jedi lessons from 1999 are all well and good in theory, but lack application, practicality, experience. Thus as we grow as Jedi these concepts and lesson must be updated. And that goes for lessons created in 2004, in 2008, 2010. It is why the Jedi Circle has been updated more then once. You have to account for and keep up with the growth.

And I promise you will run into brick wall after brick wall as you do so. But you know, as Da Vinci once said “Just as iron rusts from disuse, even so does inaction spoil the intellect.” Challenges, Adversity, these things help us grow. As a Jedi even in peaceful, uneventful times/moments we should be training, studying, keeping ourselves fit (physically, mentally), so that when these obstacles arise and we come to moments that test our resolve, we can find that strength within ourselves to not only face them, but overcome them.

Day 9: Brick Walls was originally published on 365 Jedi

Day 9: Brick Walls

Currently trying to put together surprises for the Jedi Foundation. Try to advance the use of media and such. But I just keep running into brick wall after brick wall. Software issues, hardware issues, ignorance issues. Once I fix one problem another pops up and I don’t know how it magically appeared. There is no logic to it.

So instead of beating my head against these brick walls I am going to take a step back. I am going to watch the EuroCup. I am going to workout, meditate, and then I will go feed the homeless. After that I shall back back, sit down int he front of this computer – resist the temptation to play Mass Effect (because the fixes to the ending really made a difference) – and start training (classes) so I can gain the skills necessary to complete this project idea.

There is one area I will not be able to correct however. As it requires that I go out and not only buy a new computer, but has a hundred dollar expense on top of that. And I really just do not have the ability to pull that off right now. It is economics 101 – spend money to make money; I get that, but it is just outside my ability currently.

This isn’t anything new really. As a Jedi I have always been challenged by the things I have wanted to do. And it has always required me to learn on the fly. I want a website – but know nothing about making them. Take some tutorials, practice with some templates, and learn enough to put images together and create something from nothing (without the aid of programs like MS Frontpage). WordPress, Facebook, twitter, all learning curves for me. And as such, never used to their full potential. Everything from writing books to software development – all learning as I go.

The Jedi Path has always challenged me in that way. There is no level to reach with the Jedi, no goal, to finish line. Once you reach one accomplishment it is on to the next. Got a decent website? How about academy? Social interaction? Materials? How is that academy again? Constant updates, you have to continually go back and re-examine your material and your features. Things quickly evolve and you have to be able to stay up with them.

The Jedi lessons from 1999 are all well and good in theory, but lack application, practicality, experience. Thus as we grow as Jedi these concepts and lesson must be updated. And that goes for lessons created in 2004, in 2008, 2010. It is why the Jedi Circle has been updated more then once. You have to account for and keep up with the growth.

And I promise you will run into brick wall after brick wall as you do so. But you know, as Da Vinci once said “Just as iron rusts from disuse, even so does inaction spoil the intellect.” Challenges, Adversity, these things help us grow. As a Jedi even in peaceful, uneventful times/moments we should be training, studying, keeping ourselves fit (physically, mentally), so that when these obstacles arise and we come to moments that test our resolve, we can find that strength within ourselves to not only face them, but overcome them.

Day 8: Judgment

I cannot stand holier-than-thou attitudes on War. The reason being because people prove to be too stupid to wield chance options responsibility. In America in the Vietnam War, we went to war over idealism. A case, from my point of view, of believing our own hype. Who knows what would have happened exactly if we had simply stayed out of it. We learned a lot of unfortunate military lessons through that war – but is that alone worth the cost? I cannot see anyone saying yes.

So the war was bad – Americans didn’t get why our friends and family were dying over there. And the anti-war movement began to catch. And you know who suffered for it? The Troops, the Soldiers, the kids who just wanted to fight for their Country like the heroes we grew up hearing about (WWI – WWII). It was about fighting for your country, because you loved the lifestyle, you loved the freedoms. And then it came a time when it wasn’t volunteer – it was a choice of honoring the draft or not.

As these kids came home, after time spent in hell simply dreaming of home. They were met at airports with people yelling at them, calling them names, throwing things, rocking cars they were trying to leave in. These individuals had fought for a country they believed in. Were they in the right? *shrugs* Each individual has their own reasoning. Was the Government in the right? I don’t think so. I think it was handled very badly. But for these individuals, these people, these human beings to be scorned, to be blamed, to be punished, when they come home for situations and reason that are beyond their control? That is just wrong.

War is never a good thing. It is a horrid thing. And while a side can prevail over another, winning always comes at a high cost. The reason this sticks out to me today is because for the past few years we find ourselves in a similar situation. A unwanted war where good  young people have been and are dying. People do not agree with the use and tactics. Which is indeed a debate subject with multiple views, but two facts remain. People are Dying. And self-righteous ignorant a-holes are pointing the finger at soldiers.

I fully Support Our Soldiers. By Our I go beyond America and include any Country which is or has been involved in the current Middle East strife. American, Canadian, British, UN, whoever. Soldiers tend to have their own reasons for signing up, these often revolve around family and personal values. I haven’t met a soldier who signed up simply to go kill some people – are they out there? I am sure. But my experience has been decent human beings, with people who love them, just trying to get by in the world. And I support them having all the support they need. Family, friends, strangers, and especially your Government which you are serving.

I do not support and did not support how America handled the whole Middle East issues over the past 11 years. I felt there had to be better options available. But I do not know, I don’t have a seat in the White House. What I do know is that blame with political decisions rests with the Politicians not the Soldiers. You don’t blame the messenger. To do so is ignorance.

Jedi are entitled to their political views. I have seen some horrid stances and comment made by “Jedi” and there is little I can do about it. They have the right to think that way. But when you have stances which cause you to point fingers and belittle good human beings, to bully people who have been and are already going through enough, you are no longer a Jedi. Because that is ignorance over-riding Jedi thought (objectivity, knowledge, guidance, diplomacy, etc.).

To condemn people for the decisions of another? There is nothing just about that.
Hate your Government if you must – but Support your Troops. And if you cannot do that, if you dislike the government so much you must blame all involved (which would include tax-payers) – go move to the country they are fighting. I respect those people a lot more than the ignorant on facebook making piffy remarks on their new iPhone highlighting their nativity.

Objectivity – Knowledge – Awareness – Learning – Wisdom; I just do not see anything in the Jedi Philosophy which would lead one to condemn human beings without being directly involved with the situation. Without evidence, logic, I just can’t see a Jedi putting the blame where it doesn’t belong. There is an argument for and against the military actions within Jedi Philosophy. A Jedi can make a strong case either way. But nowhere would that pass judgment on individual soldiers without intimate knowledge of said individual soldier. Thus at no time should a Jedi spit in the face of those serving with their personal political views.

Funny enough, it is always the Jedi that extol Compassion that I have these issues with. I guess it is that forgotten line of the Jedi Code – There is Compassion; Unless you act counter to my religious and political views. *sigh*
Stop with the judgment, start with the acceptance, and be kind to those that have not personally given you a reason to be anything else.

Day 8: Judgment was originally published on 365 Jedi

Day 8: Judgment

I cannot stand holier-than-thou attitudes on War. The reason being because people prove to be too stupid to wield chance options responsibility. In America in the Vietnam War, we went to war over idealism. A case, from my point of view, of believing our own hype. Who knows what would have happened exactly if we had simply stayed out of it. We learned a lot of unfortunate military lessons through that war – but is that alone worth the cost? I cannot see anyone saying yes.

So the war was bad – Americans didn’t get why our friends and family were dying over there. And the anti-war movement began to catch. And you know who suffered for it? The Troops, the Soldiers, the kids who just wanted to fight for their Country like the heroes we grew up hearing about (WWI – WWII). It was about fighting for your country, because you loved the lifestyle, you loved the freedoms. And then it came a time when it wasn’t volunteer – it was a choice of honoring the draft or not.

As these kids came home, after time spent in hell simply dreaming of home. They were met at airports with people yelling at them, calling them names, throwing things, rocking cars they were trying to leave in. These individuals had fought for a country they believed in. Were they in the right? *shrugs* Each individual has their own reasoning. Was the Government in the right? I don’t think so. I think it was handled very badly. But for these individuals, these people, these human beings to be scorned, to be blamed, to be punished, when they come home for situations and reason that are beyond their control? That is just wrong.

War is never a good thing. It is a horrid thing. And while a side can prevail over another, winning always comes at a high cost. The reason this sticks out to me today is because for the past few years we find ourselves in a similar situation. A unwanted war where good  young people have been and are dying. People do not agree with the use and tactics. Which is indeed a debate subject with multiple views, but two facts remain. People are Dying. And self-righteous ignorant a-holes are pointing the finger at soldiers.

I fully Support Our Soldiers. By Our I go beyond America and include any Country which is or has been involved in the current Middle East strife. American, Canadian, British, UN, whoever. Soldiers tend to have their own reasons for signing up, these often revolve around family and personal values. I haven’t met a soldier who signed up simply to go kill some people – are they out there? I am sure. But my experience has been decent human beings, with people who love them, just trying to get by in the world. And I support them having all the support they need. Family, friends, strangers, and especially your Government which you are serving.

I do not support and did not support how America handled the whole Middle East issues over the past 11 years. I felt there had to be better options available. But I do not know, I don’t have a seat in the White House. What I do know is that blame with political decisions rests with the Politicians not the Soldiers. You don’t blame the messenger. To do so is ignorance.

Jedi are entitled to their political views. I have seen some horrid stances and comment made by “Jedi” and there is little I can do about it. They have the right to think that way. But when you have stances which cause you to point fingers and belittle good human beings, to bully people who have been and are already going through enough, you are no longer a Jedi. Because that is ignorance over-riding Jedi thought (objectivity, knowledge, guidance, diplomacy, etc.).

To condemn people for the decisions of another? There is nothing just about that.
Hate your Government if you must – but Support your Troops. And if you cannot do that, if you dislike the government so much you must blame all involved (which would include tax-payers) – go move to the country they are fighting. I respect those people a lot more than the ignorant on facebook making piffy remarks on their new iPhone highlighting their nativity.

Objectivity – Knowledge – Awareness – Learning – Wisdom; I just do not see anything in the Jedi Philosophy which would lead one to condemn human beings without being directly involved with the situation. Without evidence, logic, I just can’t see a Jedi putting the blame where it doesn’t belong. There is an argument for and against the military actions within Jedi Philosophy. A Jedi can make a strong case either way. But nowhere would that pass judgment on individual soldiers without intimate knowledge of said individual soldier. Thus at no time should a Jedi spit in the face of those serving with their personal political views.

Funny enough, it is always the Jedi that extol Compassion that I have these issues with. I guess it is that forgotten line of the Jedi Code – There is Compassion; Unless you act counter to my religious and political views. *sigh*
Stop with the judgment, start with the acceptance, and be kind to those that have not personally given you a reason to be anything else.

Day 7: Perishable Skills

When I was in the Police Academy they often used the term perishable skills. They would use this to denote that we had to keep up the practice on your own or are ability and quality would suffer. This applied from Arrest and Control skills to knowledge such as 10 Codes. I didn’t give it much thought at the time, but recently I was given an opportunity to apply for a Police Department (they invited me to test with them). In the process I noticed my knowledge had declined. Where I once knew the 10 Codes by heart, now I remember like 5 of them. Which means back to studying stage for me, especially if I process in the testing process.

I find this not only relates to the Jedi Path (and really a lot we learn in life), but is all too common in the Jedi Community. There is this set bar to reach. Here is some study material, here are some practices, okay good, now here is a test, already done deal – Jedi Knight. How many then continue those practices, continue to not only those practices but seek to go above and beyond? The truth is, not a lot. This is seen at Jedi Gatherings in a variety of ways. There is no progress, no improvement. People cling to “I can swing a foam ax around and shout, so I am a Jedi Guardian.” It is beyond embarrassing for individuals like myself. Especially when they do so in “Jedi Robes.”

In any case, the point is that the Jedi is a never-ending lifestyle of study, practice, and growth. You don’t get to leave the basics at the door. In fact my whole training system is a continual circle folding back into itself. Same core topics, same core ideals, revisited in different ways. Because this essence of the Path – there is the core ideals, but these things really do have levels of complexity. Peace in itself is not a single-facet element, neither is Knowledge. These concepts have multiple meanings and uses and can be approached in a variety of ways.

Thus for Jedi we have to continually keep up basic practices, basic exercises, basic ideals, going back to the basics and remembering to keep our skills intact or they will vanish on us and leave us open. I personally had to go through this with Meditation. I got to a point where I just stopped practicing Meditation. Hey, 10 years i the path, 10 years of practice, why do I need to continue it? I had survived days when I was busy and never got around to it. Thus – why continue? Well because it plays a core role in the development of a Jedi. And when you set aside the practice the benefits begin to wane – Perishable Skills, Perishable Results. And Meditation really does play a key part in many aspects of the Jedi – especially considering emotional and mental well-being.

Thus it is a reminder for me that the Jedi Path is a perishable skills path. There is no point you get to sit back and simply claim Masterhood. It is a continual growth and continual project. And as you grow, as you continue your practice and studies, the more you realize how young you were, and how much you have to learn.

You can learn things easy enough, but if you do not practice them, if you do not live by them daily, they will fall to the wayside and come worthless. Leaving you to start at square one. You cannot get so good at meditation or so great at physical fitness that you simply can stop and have the benefits last forever. It is continuous.

—======—

Yesterday I had a light work-out. A little jump rope, some push-ups, sit-ups. Nothing major ot worth noting. Today’s workout is as follows:
Jump Rope – 5 Minutes. 10 Burpees. 10 Push-ups. 20 Lunges. 1/4 Mile Run. Repeat 3 more times (4 Total). Cool down with active stretching.

Going to my old Jedi Meditation technique. See how that works.

And then the rest of the day will be spent working on a very important project (probably be the entire week). If this pulls through – new doors will be opening. And this will offer some new stuff for those at the Jedi Foundation.

Day 7: Perishable Skills was originally published on 365 Jedi