Monthly Archives: September 2015

10 Things Jedi Knights Do Daily

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1. Up Early.
As a Jedi we have a lot to do. That means getting an early start on the day. To be clear this has nothing to do with AM or PM. It simply follows the old saying, early bird gets the worm. Jedi Knights are up and attacking the day, that is the Jedi Way.

2. Knowing Our Goals.
A Jedi Knight knows what they want. They have a clear idea of how to get there. They can see it. They have a map. It is like visualizing your success. Having a clear vision of where you are and where you want to go. You have to see where you are going – it helps immensely in getting there.

3. Food is Energy.
What type of energy are you consuming? Jedi Knights understand that a clean and well-balanced diet helps keep them moving forward with the right energy. Be mindful of what you are shoving in your mouth. Make smart choices and eat well. It makes a difference.

4. Exercise is Focus.
Jedi Knights have a habit of physical activity. They exercise regularly and make sure they fulfill the practice once a day in one way or another. This doesn’t mean hitting the gym on a daily basis. It just means staying active and moving. Leave a car to sit for too long and it will rot. Part of good maintenance is keeping your moving parts moving. Been sitting at the computer for a couple hours? Get up, move, and enjoy regular exercise.

5. Sleep.
Are you amazed Jedi sleep on a daily basis? Hey! So do you, right? Already on your way to being a Jedi Knight. The point here is sleep is core to functioning at high levels. You need the time to recharge and let the mind process things. As the Dalai Lama said, “sleep is the best meditation.” It does wonders for emotional, mental, and physical health. So like all Jedi Knights, make sure you are getting your Zs in.

6. Acceptance.
Jedi Knights are well-versed in the saying, “don’t worry about things you cannot change. Don’t worry about the things you can change.” It is about knowing and accepting yourself. Acceptance is peace. Learn to accept the things within your ability to control and alter and the things which are beyond you. It grants a certain level of peace of mind which really helps in prioritizing things in your life.

7. Routine Evaluation.
Routine is good. Schedules are core to productive work. Yet do not fall into stagnation. Make sure you evaluate your routines. Make sure your priorities are lined up in an effective manner. Don’t just assume, but take a look at what you have put together and what you need to move forward. This is something Jedi Knights tend to on a yearly basis.

8. Keep a Good Atmosphere.
The company you keep, the environment in which you live, work, and play. The company you keep it vital to your overall health. So make sure you are keeping good company. Keeping people in your life that elevate you. People that encourage and support you. Negativity begets negativity and if you keep that bombarding your life daily, it will have a impact. So be mindful of what environment you create for yourself.

9. Financial Well-Being.
An often looked over aspect of wellness is Financial. Jedi Knights have a good relationship with their money. It is vital. Not only for fun things like going to Jedi Gatherings. But if you want to be able to help good causes or people in need, that often requires financial stability. The unfortunate truth is money plays a big part in the world. And in order to create lasting impacts, often money is required. This isn’t about being rich or saying Jedi Knights are well-off. It just means having a good sense of your finances and keeping a smart and well organized budget.

10. Embrace the Mistake.
Jedi Knights have long learned to embrace the mistake. To forgive the self. To accept the past as a valuable learning lesson and tool. Failure is not the end and doesn’t mean you should just give up. It is part of the process. No successful person, let alone Jedi, became so without mistakes and struggles. It is just a matter of looking at them properly and understanding that they are our teachers. So forgive yourself, embrace the mistake, and move forward smarter and wiser for it.

Welcome to the Jedi Community

I have been in the Jedi Community actively since 1999. Before that I haunted the websites and chats for four years (1995); reading, contemplating, testing (practicing exercises and ideas via trial and error). Because of this I find it hard to fully grasp what it must be like to find the Jedi Community. The questions, concerns, perhaps excitement and enthusiasm. Regardless I’d like to offer some thoughts and hopefully clear a few things up as you begin your exploration into this path/philosophy. Some of the things we will look at is the Jedi as a religion, the complexity of the online community, and what we here at the Jedi Academy Online focus on for the Jedi Path. I’ll seek to keep this short as possible.

First, this is a lifestyle path, not a religion. George Lucas stated in 1999 that he found Star Wars as great way to explore many of the concepts of religion via a new means. That he wanted to inspire the young and old to ask the big questions and take a deep look at the religious concepts in our world. Basically to explore and better our spirituality. “I didn’t want to invent a religion. I wanted to try to, explain in a different way the religions that have already existed.” – George Lucas

Just to be clear, this doesn’t mean one can’t use it/label it as their personal religion (often called Jediism). It simply means Jedi is not a religion as a whole. Jedi is an open and diverse group of individuals which share many religious beliefs. Some Jedi are Christians, some are atheists, some are agnostic, some are Buddhist, some call themselves Jediists. We have a variety of cultures and religious beliefs which are accepted and embraced here at the Jedi Academy Online. There is no need to change your religion and you are certainly not asked to make Jedi your religion. While we will be exploring concepts of spirituality, looking at different beliefs and religions out there, this is done to better help us understand our personal beliefs and strengthen our spiritual ideals.

When I first started in the Jedi Community it seemed rather intimidating. Seemed everyone knew everyone and I was on the outside with no way in. Times have changed, conversing on the internet is much more the norm, so this may not be the case for most people. However some places (websites) in the Jedi Community are much more active and confrontational than others. Here at the Jedi Academy Online we have a little Welcome Area, we have a small community, and a rather mellow atmosphere. Yet places like the Force Academy have a huge message board, a lot of information to explore at once, different aspects, and generally a very active forum. Different Websites/Groups/Communities take different approaches as well.

One website may not work for you as well as another. You may find the interaction between aspects a highly desirable and useful element, having hot debates as a required element to progression. Force Academy would be more your speed. Yet you may want a specific focus on Jedi as religion, with rites, rituals, and ceremonies so places like Church of Jediism may be more your flavor. Real Jedi Enclave focuses on certification and community, offering core practical guidance with a heavy focus on interaction between members. And of course you may find that mixing and being a part of more than one place is something you enjoy the most. If you have concerns on what place might be right for you feel free to contact any of the Administrators here at the JAO and we can explore that with you giving you in-depth knowledge on places based upon experience.

The last thing I’ll touch on is what the Jedi Academy Online focuses on. Jedi Philosophy for Everyday Life. Here we learn what it means to be a Real Life Jedi Knight. We learn this isn’t about lightsabers, this isn’t about Force Powers, instead it is a focus on bettering ourselves so we may better the world around us. Real Jedi Training consists of Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Well-Being. It means improving ourselves through the study, practice, and living of Jedi Ideals and Philosophy. We take the inspiration George Lucas created and use it as he said, a stone to explore the deeper layers of ourselves and the world around us. We use it to grow as individuals who are in a position to help others. We use it to become Real World Jedi – living by the philosophy is a practical and applicable manner to our everyday lives.

Seeking Real Jedi Training

((Repost from old Jedi Academy Online Website. Will see more of these as I save and transfer information over to the new site.))

When I first poked around the Jedi Community in 1995 I was hoping to find a Jedi Master. In 1997 and especially in 1999 I figured twenty years was surely long enough from someone to have lived as a Jedi and be able to pass it on to me. It may go without saying, but I was extremely disappointed. Most were kids like myself. Some placing themselves in Master positions because there was no one to say otherwise. Those originally inspired by Star Wars seemed to have gone off to other paths and were too busy endorsing those. Be Taoist, Buddhist, Wiccan, join the Freemasons, for people like myself no Jedi existed. I did my duties, my due diligence. I studied the other philosophies and religions. I looked into becoming a Stoic. I was given the chance to join a Buddhist Temple. Comparative Studies was not something I shied away from. In the end I simply wanted to be a Jedi and no other path fulfilled that desire.

Which is why I have built this place. Real Jedi Training. Not the Tao te Ching with Star Wars terminology (no matter how much I may enjoy the Tao of Yoda). What we are looking at here is the experience of myself and several others who have endeavored to live our lives as Jedi. Every day we wake up and approach the world as Jedi Knights. Using our inspiration to help us navigate the world and seek betterment, both within ourselves and outwardly. It has not been without its obstacles and hiccups, but that is the joys of a young path. We have the foundations, not the masterworks. You get the foundational teachings. Solid ground for you to build from. What we offer here is nearly twenty years of experience with all that other junk to help support us. What junk you might ask? Philosophy major, certified meditation instructor, personal trainer, reiki certification, and so on. All irrelevant when it comes to the Jedi, but people like their established certifications. Personally I like to highlight 17 years survived in the Jedi Community. Leadership roles, Academic roles, online and offline in both positions. Certified with various organizations within the Jedi Community. But if you are concerned about specifics feel free to ask directly.

Material is the cornerstone of any organization. What do we offer? What do we teach? What is our teaching style? That is what will determine its true worth and value. Our Tier One Program is open for all. The curious, the skeptical, the earnest, anyone and everyone. Take a look at what we present and decide for yourself if you find it of any value. Oh. Where might you find it? Here.

Our focus isn’t some delusional approach. Star Wars is fictional. That is not a question. We understand where George Lucas drew his inspiration. We have studied that. But the Jedi has tied together a lot of lingering concepts and approaches uniquely as its own path. Like many paths it is similar. There are many similarities, just as there are differences. Buddhism and Taoism are two different paths, similar, but different. Islam and Christianity share similarities and differences. We have taken this path seriously and lived by it for the better part of our lives. It has made a positive difference in our lives. And we are simply offering that experience so others may learn from our pitfalls and successes.

So if you are seeking Jedi Training – just join our forums and jump in. There is no special code or special oath required. You want to be a Jedi? Then get to it. No better time to start then now.

Four Tips to Improve Your Jedi Training

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1.) Exercise: Mind and Body. You probably hear this advice all the time. Get out and get some exercise. Chemically you produce endorphin which, awesome. It provides a time to focus and clear the mind. A it addresses point number three by punishing the past you, gives a good experience for present you, and a nice gift for future you. Exercising is just good for you. But don’t forget that muscle in your skull. Exercise by reading and studying. Fictional or otherwise, pick up some books and experience and explore some new ideas, feelings, and concepts.
2.) No Days Off: Jedi is a lifestyle, not a job. You don’t get a weekend to forget being a Jedi. This doesn’t mean no fun of course. Plenty of fun to be had as a Jedi, of course. And there will be days where you just don’t want to do ANYTHING. But just before you go to bed a bit unhappy that you in fact didn’t do anything. Stop. Do one push-up and one sit-up. Pick up a book and read one sentence. Recite the Jedi Code in your head just once. Take a deep breath and remember point four. Now you can go to bed. Just one, you can do at least that. Because one is not nothing.
3.) Honor All of You: The Past, Present, and Future all factor into our lives. Acknowledge your past self. While you may not agree with past decisions, they have helped lead to to this moment. Be grateful for that. You are alive and in a position to doing something. You can drive towards your goal. Secondly, we hear it a lot. Focus on the present. Embrace this moment because it is very important. Indeed, “keep the mind here and now where it belongs.” Vital and plays a part to the person we usually hurt the most – our future self. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Be kind to that future you. Understand you will be there, your next moment depends on this one, so do right by it. Give your future self something to be grateful for. Stop hindering and harming yourself and start building the steps that you’ll use to get to the next level.
4.) Accept It: This is most important. Some might label this – Forgive Yourself. Either way the point is the same – realize that what is done is in fact done. You will make mistakes. You will have days where you do one push-up, one sit-up, and read one sentence, because you just couldn’t get going. We all have bad days, rough weeks, and sometimes horrible months. Do not let it define you. Do not get so down on yourself that you give up. Accept it. Forgive Yourself. Move Forward. Right now. You can make the decision to simply let go and move forward. Difficult? Absolutely. Impossible? Of course not. Will it take time? Yep. Effort and hard work? Yep. Will it be worth it? Ab-so-Forcing-lutely. So accept and continue towards your goal Jedi.

Five Things to Ensure Jedi Diplomacy

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1.) Pay Attention.
Simple right? First step in Jedi diplomacy is pay attention. This includes the people involved, the people effected, and the topic itself. What are people saying? What are they seeking to communicate? Is their tone an indicator or is it distorting the message? My favorite example is taking out the garbage. A parent, spouse, or roommate may request that you take out the garbage. Yet how they ask can make it seem more a demand, Or it may make it seem like they are upset, when in reality they are frustrated at something else and that tone carried over on accident. So pay attention and don’t rely on a single cue. Focus on the message as well as the intent, motivation, and the desired outcome. Allow information (knowledge my dear Jedi) to help you respond in the best and most fitting manner possible. So what is the first step in Jedi Diplomacy? … Just making sure you were paying attention.

2.) Do Not Bully or Allow Bullying.
Diplomacy isn’t about being so smooth you get your way very single time. Often it is about strategic compromises. As such be very aware of your end goal (what you seek to accomplish) and what you are willing to negotiate on. Do not bully your way through trying to get what you want without giving something in return. Diplomacy is about give and take, it is an exchange. You cannot and should not plop your lightsaber on the table and make demands. You’re not a thug. Intimidation and threats are not the Jedi way. It is unbecoming of a Jedi Diplomat to resort to such tactics and ultimately shows that you have a weak hand. Only those with nothing of value to offer (exchange) deal in the currency of violence and bullying.
Likewise, be mindful of those that resort to such tactics. Why have they fallen to such base actions? Scared? Insecurity? Not knowing the value of what they have to offer or that they even have something to offer? Approach the situation from a position of strength. Meaning secure in yourself, your goals, and what you have to offer in exchange for reaching your goals. Better no deal than being bullied into something you’ll regret.

3.) Do Not Ignore People – Build Consensus.
You are not an island. Those it can sometimes feel that way in certain negotiations. Do not shun those involved even if you may not personally like everyone involved. Create an open floor so that all individuals involved have a fair say. Allow them to provide insight and information. In turn use that to hep a consensus on moving forward.
You’ll never be able to make everyone happy. As mentioned, compromises (and thus sacrifices) will have to be made. There is nothing wrong with that, but you don’t need everyone’s love. You just need to get them to agree, which can prove difficult enough without trying to win their approval. So focus on the people involved, keep them involved, listen to them, and use that to build a common ground for all parties.

4.) Treat the Discussion with the Respect it Deserves.
You are the mediator. You are the one that is providing a way to communicate and reach a fair and agreeable point for all parties involved. So yes, Pay Attention. Listen. Being involved and give the discussions the absolute respect they deserve. Do not treat topics lightly and do not disregard the experiences and feelings of those involved. It isn’t about your agreement. It isn’t about your judgment. If something made someone feel upset or uncomfortable, do not debate that or deny that or write it off. Acknowledge it, respect it as valuable information that is relevant to the discussion and future discussions. You are not to play Judge so keep your judgments to yourself. Instead work with the information given and move forward with that knowledge.
Showing the proper respect to the discussion and the people involved will earn a level of respect itself. It will help improve your position and value as a Jedi Diplomat. And just helps any situation you may find yourself in. Which in turn makes your “job” easier to manage in the future. And if diplomacy is about one thing, it is about the long vision as much as the immediate result.

5.) Stay Classy. Create a Safe Space.
This starts with your language. How you communicate, your tone of voice, your body language, the words you chose, all of it creates a specific environment. Use your communication skills wisely. Use language that encourages an open, trusting, and respectful atmosphere. If you are working a negotiation to get a higher allowance (or pay rise) you do not wish to start off with hostility or a place of demand. Setting the tone is critical in dealing with any difficult situation. So be mindful of your tone and chose your words wisely.
Insulting (intentionally or not) someone you are seeking to negotiate with is going to set you back. You may be able to recover from a misplaced word, but it is simply better not to put yourself in that position. Digging yourself out of a hole you created takes away from the progress you could be making. Often it will result in extra concessions from your side which you really didn’t want to compromise on in the beginning. So create a nurturing environment that allows for open and supportive dialog. That begins with you, your words, and your tone. Create that place of respectful and open discussion that allows for consensus and fair compromise.

5 Tips Before Searching for Your Jedi Master

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1. Search Your Own Self First.
Be sure you explore your own motivations, wants, and desires first. Be open and honest with yourself. This is vitally important for tip #3. You need to have a clear understanding of what you are looking for and what you are hoping to get out of it. Again, be honest with yourself and don’t be judgmental about it either. If you are looking for your Qui-Gon Jinn – know that from the beginning.
Having a clear idea of where you are at and what you are looking for is going to put you leaps and bounds ahead of the class. If spiritual wellness and study your main focus? Why or why not? Emotional wellness? Physical? Lightsabers? Robes? What are your motivations with getting involved with the Jedi Community? Heck! Why Jedi at all? Knowing these things, knowing yourself and why you have picked the path will make the whole process not only easier, but much more rewarding as well.

2. Accept Who You Are Now.
It is important that you accept where you are and who you are now. And understand that where you are? That is okay. But before you go trying to become the wisest Jedi Master or even just the most awesomest Jedi Padawan, you need to know and accept your starting point. We all had one, in anything we do. No one is just a master at anything. It takes time, study, experience, and practice. In order to get where you want to be accept where you are at now.
This has a lot to do with self-acceptance and even self-respect. We seek growth because we not only want to be better, but we believe we can be. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be bothering to read this or be pursuing the idea of becoming a Jedi Knight. We seek world-betterment and that starts with self-betterment. The first step is accepting where we are and being willing to grow from there.

3. Know What You Want.
“You don’t know what you ask for, but you ask for more.” – DMX An old quote I like to use to highlight when we are ignorant of our ignorance. As stated in the first tip, you have to have an idea of what you are looking for. A general concept of the direction you want to go in. The things that appeal to you and the philosophies you are hoping to learn about. This will help you to find the perfect Jedi mentor for yourself. Or in some cases help other more knowledgeable Jedi point you in the direction of a Jedi who would be better suited for you.
I have directed many Jedi to websites and mentors that have suited much better than anything I could offer. Their focus and what they were looking to get out of the Path fit well with other Jedi. That is the beauty of our diversity. Like all relationships, there is someone out there that is a good fit for you. The trick is finding them. That trick becomes much more easy when a.) You know what you are looking for and b.) you make use of the resources at your disposal (in this case the plethora of Jedi who will gladly help you find the right mentor).

4. Do Your Research
While you work on 1 through 3, read up on the community. Watch some Jedi videos on youtube. Partake in some email exchanges with known Jedi in the community. Do a google search or five. Engage with Jedi and various groups. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to get personal (especially with a potential Mentor). A Jedi Mentor will be advising, guiding, and generally boring you to tears with lectures. Make sure that is coming from someone you feel comfortable with. Trust and Communication are key so make sure you aren’t just throwing those at someone who became a Jedi Master the same day they joined the Jedi Community.
When you find that special Jedi who will bury you alive in homework and book assignments – ask around. You have been doing research yes? Inquire with a Jedi or two who’s opinion you have come to respect or at least you feel will give you an honest opinion. Get their thoughts and experiences with said potential Jedi mentor. Regardless of their view or opinion it gives you a better idea of what to expect and how that vibes with what you are looking for. Also a good way to make sure you aren’t in a  padawan party – joining twenty other “apprentices”. Training is a time commitment on both sides. A teacher with too many students simply runs out of energy and time.

5. Give It Time.
Do NOT get a Jedi mentor day one. Give It Time. Examine yourself, read some Jedi articles, poke around the community some. Any Day One Mentor is a pure crap shoot. You may get lucky, but more likely than not you are setting yourself up for a bad experience. Any Jedi worth their salt will want to talk with you. Get an idea of who you are and what you are looking for. They are going to have questions. Some of those might be very tough questions. They’ll probably give a day or two to observe. Or trust in another Jedi who may have already put you on hold while they vetted your sincerity and patience. Or merely while they talked with another Jedi about potential Apprenticeship.
Don’t rush. There is no rush. Apprenticeship will take you a couple of years at the quickest. A couple of days or a couple of weeks or a couple of months will not hinder you. In fact it may do the exact opposite and really help you excel as a Jedi Padawan. So don’t rush into anything and don’t push for a Jedi Mentor needlessly. Allow the organic process to unfold as it will. That said – you get nothing by remaining silent and not engaging. So, you know, be a little noisy and a little pushy. Make sure those rusty old Jedi know who you are and what you are looking for. 😉