Tag Archives: Jedi Master

Be a Jedi Master

wisdom_yoda

 

Whether you have been on the Jedi Path for ten years or ten minutes be a Jedi Master. I am sure this sounds silly and wildly impractical. But really there is no reason not to seek to be the Master at this point. Failure doesn’t make you a failure, just another lesson. Success doesn’t mean the end, it is a continual process. So why not step up and simply be the Jedi Master you would like to be one day? Why not make one day, today? It may not be as difficult as it seems.

  • Embrace the Healthy – Physical health plays an active role in all our areas of wellness. But it is not the sole focus of the Jedi. Embrace healthy living. This means be aware of your intake on many levels. Food intake, sure, but also social intake. What are you digesting on a daily basis? What is your news feed and daily environment serving to you? Are you constantly bombarded with negative, hostile, and belittling behaviors and images? Embrace a healthy lifestyle. This means enjoying some exercise, adding some healthy snacks, getting your meditation on, and creating a more positive and nurturing environment for yourself. Take some time for yourself and seek to cultivate a daily life that pushes you in the direction you want to go. Don’t allow others to bury you under unhealthy habits.
  • Be Courteous and Respectful – A pretty simple concept, but one we sometimes forget to put into practice. The world can seem a bit overbearing and stressful at times. Yet it is still a wonderful and beautiful place. So don’t let the negative rule your focus. Instead meet each new situation and person as another chance to spread some goodness in world. Smile, offer a friendly greeting, be helpful. Perhaps the person deserves it or they don’t. Suspend judgment and simply treat all you meet with a general courtesy and respect. Accept them for who they are – a living being trying to make their own way in the world. A little kindness can go a very long way.
  • Accept the Challenges and Seek Out the Solutions – Life is a wonderful thing. You are alive and that is an amazing and beautiful thing. But it doesn’t not always feel like it. At times we are faced with some pretty tough challenges and we can forget to stop and appreciate the joy our world does offer. Accept the challenges which present themselves. Do not hate them, run from them, or regret them. Acknowledge them, embrace them, and accept them. Doing this gives you the power to affect change and overcome them.

    As such seek the solutions. Your focus is ever important in life. Don’t drown yourself in the problem, instead look deeply at it seeking the solution. When you encounter any challenge or obstacle, look for the solution to it. Troubleshoot, problem-solve, get elbow deep into it. Accept the challenge and find the solution.

  • Take the Time to Learn – When someone talks, listen. Take the time to truly learn their point of view. This is a great way to show courtesy and respect. But if you have a someone offering their story, their experience, stop and truly listen to what they are saying. If someone wants to show you how to do something, don’t let ego get in the way. Stop and accept the offer, the gift. You never know what you may learn. And yes, it may simply be how not to do something, but that in itself is still valuable. We all have experiences, lessons, and stories which can be of positive impact to other people. If you want to be heard, be the example. Take the time to listen and learn whenever the chances arises.
  • Keep the Basics at Heart – Appreciation and Gratitude are the most basic. Appreciate what you have and where you are at. You are not at the end of your journey, because you are still alive. Acknowledge that simple fact and own the moment, own the day, own your life. Remember that it wasn’t just you that got you to this point. Life has been a shared journey with many players. Some heroes, some villains, some offering the much needed comic relief. They all offer something of value and that should be appreciated. This moment isn’t promised to anyone, yet here you are, with a chance to make the most of it. So rock it out Jedi Master.

Beware the False Master

Patience Young Jedi

One of the most difficult lessons I had to learn was my short-comings as a teacher. It was a difficult lesson to accept because it affected another person. This reality can often be forgotten in an online environment. The Jedi Path is a lifestyle. It is how one approaches life. What they use to base their decisions in life off of. This is no different than any other lifestyle people embrace. As such I am yelling often and loudly – choose your mentor wisely! Anyone can create a Jedi group. Anyone can make the claim of Jedi Master. But it is a role should not be taken lightly. Jedi first, that is the key word. Live that and the rest will fall into place over time. But not all who inhabit the role of Jedi Master are what they claim. I wish I had been told as much, both when I was a student and when I took on the responsibility too soon. So here are some things to keep in mind when seeking out your Jedi Mentor so you can hopefully avoid such costly lessons.

Knighthood in Six Months or Less. Oh! Or Jedi Knight in Ten Easy Steps. Yeah, any shortcut promised is a shortcut in results. If you truly want to live your life as a Jedi it will take time. You want to be a Jedi Knight? It will take time. Have you been a Martial Artists for twenty years? Same amount of time. Philosophy Teacher for a decade? Same amount of it. Star Wars fan for two days? Same amount of time. What is that amount of time? It actually varies. Different groups simply have different standards. And some people learn and apply at different levels. But at the very least you should expect two years of dedicated training with a specific group/teacher before you even start hoping for that Knight title. Anything less is robbing you of valuable experience as a Jedi; and throwing you to the wolves without Liam Neeson there to save you.
Don’t accept shortcuts either. Your previous life experience certainly will play a part in your training and life as a Jedi. But it doesn’t make you a better Jedi. It adds to your knowledge and flavor as a Jedi – especially when you become a mentor. It is information and experience you can still pass on. But the only thing that qualifies you for is being the awesome and unique Jedi that you are. Knighthood is a matter of experience specifically living as a Jedi (and all our crazy stipulations of the Path). So don’t sell yourself short. Put in the time and effort. The investment is worth it.

Selfishness and Abuse. Some points should really go without saying, but I have found that is rarely a wise idea. Ask “stupid” questions. Say the things that go without saying. Speak openly and freely. So this hopefully clear. Using the “Master” role as a way to dominate others, to make sexual advances on students, to basically prop themselves up in a juvenile fantasy. This is all a no-no. No one is getting rich by being a Jedi Master – nor should they be trying to be. Jedi Master does not translate into sex god. It is honestly just a bigger hassle – um, I mean – responsibility. It is a recognition that you have put in so much time and have lived the path so completely that Jedi is just who you are. The stumbles and falling flat on the face has slowed down a lot. There are no benefits to it – unless you do really enjoy more work. Than plenty of benefits to be had.
This is a simple one. The training relationship is an intimate one as it is. Any “Master” trying to twist that for them needs to be dumped, reported, and slapped in the face with a real lightsaber. Since those don’t exist, I guess a dueling saber will have to do or an iron. Don’t turn a blind eye to inappropriate behavior. Speak up. Sometimes people just get to carried away. Know you boundaries and when they are crossed say so. An actual Master will apologize and acknowledge their mistake. They will ensure not to cross that line again. Again, of course, if it is a big violation – One Strike your out rule.

Hypocrisy. Jedi Path is not a do as I say not as a I do path. Now hypocrisy in the Jedi can actually take a little while to see. Big things are easy to spot (as we listed above, for example). But it is the little things that reveal a False Master. One example, online conversations have a general etiquette. Private messages are private (excluding, sexual harassment, threats, etc.) for example. This is especially true in the Jedi Community because we all have bad days. Now if I am going through a particularly difficult moment and I seek out the Jedi Master to vent and seek advice from I want that trust to be honored. Thus I use a private message system (e-mail even). Now I have seen “Masters” take private messages and spread them around. Sometimes to a select few (a council of some such) or worse they post them publicly. This automatically shatters the trust and respect of the position they claim. Especially when they do so only to make themselves look good. Now, how do you know “private” messages will be honored as such? Because they say so? Because they’d never do that to you? Come on. That is a fool me once, fool me twice set-up right there. They acted against the staple of the Jedi Path. Trust, Respect, Honor the Jedi, Honor the Student. The “master” in this example has shown that another’s privacy means nothing if it suits the “master’s” personal goals.
Some things will only be visible once you know the details of the Jedi Path. Such as the Jedi Rules of Behavior and the Jedi Circle. Of course, be sure you don’t mistake Devil’s Advocate with hypocrisy. Jedi teachers will often question or even tear down their own teachings (in debate – rarely in action) to help a student formulate their own thoughts and views on a particular topic. They challenge the student to not simply echo someone’s words, but to have their own understanding and experience with the subject. If you are in doubt – ask. Ask for an outside opinion. Grab a Jedi Knight and be like – yo! Is this copacetic?

Train for Free. Online training should never once cost you money. There is a cost of hosting a website. Time and energy put into running, maintaining, and improving are worth money. So if you, without being asked, wish to donate to your home online “Order” then by all means. But you should not be asked for donations. And you should never feel obliged to pay anything for your time online. It is important to remember that Jedi is not the charity. Individuals like myself who host Jedi sites and put material out there do so because they find it a sound investment of their time and money.
It is an investment on both parties. If one is unable to support the cost, time, and effort needed to running a Jedi group than perhaps they shouldn’t be doing that. You, as a student, are investing your time, energy, effort, and trust into the training material. That is a return in investment for the group. Their materials are being used and should result in one more quality Jedi in the world. And let me assure you – that is well worth a little money in hosting fees a month. Only addendum I would add is offline training can get tricky. Some groups offer it for free. Some work off basic non-profit membership dues (look at Rotary or Optimist group for comparable concept). This is generally a very low and fair price that basically covers things like charity set-ups and refreshments. But use your judgment. If you do not feel comfortable paying than don’t.
Control Instead of Criticism. Jedi are not paper-cut-out copies of one another. We follow the same Path, but we are still our unique individual selves. We will not always agree with one another. Our experiences in the path will not always lead us to the same conclusions. Debates are going to happen. Disagreements are going to happen. However the False Master will not like this and will not be able to handle this and so they will shut it down. I have seen posts and entire discussions deleted. I have seen members get banned. Instead of simply addressing the concerns and issues of the members the “Master” incites control and demands obedience. They will use their administration rights to silence what they don’t like.
Make no mistake. Your time online is valuable. It is still your time, your effort, your thoughts. If you take time out of your life to read something, consider it, and address it then you have invested something into it. It may not be much, youtube comments for example may be a very minor investment. But your online Jedi training tends to take a bit more effort. And if the “Master” cannot honor that investment and cannot be trusted with it then do not put your time there. Invest you time where it is most valued. Not where it will be erased or you’ll be removed because the powers that be don’t like it.

Beware the Grandmaster. Really any oobie title is a sign of unnecessary ego-inflation. I personally have an issue with just the title Master. But at least Master can be and is often viewed simply as a honorific title. Once you go beyond that title, you are trending into the world of ego-trips and self-satisfaction. Temple Lord. Overseer. Grand Pumba of Jedi. Most will try to justify these titles as organizational. Though really look at the structure of the organization. Consider is it truly a necessary position? Generally speaking it is not necessary. But a way for people to feel a little bit more special. To get that little extra praise. Any Jedi I have talked to feels Jedi is enough. However in a group new and curious people do like to know who is qualified for what. Jedi Knight informs those who is capable of teaching. Jedi Apprentice lets people know they are in a structured training arrangement and have a little bit of experience in the path. Jedi Newbie (I don’t think that is an actual title anywhere by the way, just an example) allows people to know who is starting out and may be around their own experience level.
One title which you may see is Founder. I tend to give a benefit of the doubt and say it is there for records and history sake. Simply a notation in the logs to who put this ship together and invited others along for the ride. Note that it doesn’t take a wizard to create a Jedi group. So while thanks for their work and effort is appreciated, do remember it doesn’t make them any better of a Jedi.

Titles R’ Us. What is the point of being a Jedi Knight? It is minimal. The point is simply to live your life as a Jedi and to have reached a point where you are capable and comfortable with passing on the Jedi Way if you so desire. An overly attached view and stock in titles is not a great sign. Because it often highlights the mentality that Knighthood or being a Master is the end. Such people and groups miss the most important thing about being a Jedi – Living it. Living it well. I don’t know what to tell you outside of the fact that I find living as a Jedi unbelievably awesome. It is a great path to live by (the community not so much sometimes, but that is another post for another time). Don’t be focused on Knight or Master and if your mentors have that end goal view, take it as a caution sign. The Jedi Path is just about living as a Jedi in your everyday life. You really don’t need any fancy titles. Of course organizationally speaking (as we mentioned earlier) they do have there place. But titles aren’t the end all be all. No Master should have a focus on getting you to a specific title. That misses the point.
This applies to enlightenment as well. That should never be a stated focus. Jedi isn’t a path specifically designed for you to reach enlightenment. Can it happen? Absolutely. It will it happen? Who knows. That isn’t the goal. Spiritual absolution is not something that can be promised. It is as simple as this – Jedi is about living it. If you achieve something more form it – wonderful! If not – I fully believe the path itself will prove itself a worthy investment of your time and focus. But I am a bit bias in that.

SWTOR Inspired – Commission by Rayn44

http://rayn44.deviantart.com/

http://rayn44.deviantart.com/

These moments were never easy. Teachable moments is what his Master had called them. A time when both the Master and the Apprentice learn something valuable. Not just of the subject, but of each other and their relationship. Kirvin knew well the sting of failure, especially when you wanted to impress your Mentor. Arden had been doing so well lately. She had been receiving praise for her dedicated study and quick application. Her growth and skill were remarkable, but she was falling into the trap of over-confidence, arrogance, and looking down on others. So Kirvin had taken her to one of the tougher testing areas. It would probably be another 10 years before she ever saw this room again. Holographic diplomacy scenarios. Telekinesis Boulder Movement. Advanced Lightsaber Combat Scenarios. Advanced Knowledge of Meditation Techniques and Showing them under duress. Physical obstacle course. It was all very involved and not something she was prepared for. The lesson being that there was always more to learn. No matter how good you think you are there is another level you can reach for. No one is better than anyone else, just at a different stage.

This does not come without its risks of course. Blame can be quick to join someone in such a moment of defeat. It can turn inward and eat away at a person destroying their motivation and drive. Creating a habit of defeatism. A pattern of thought that no matter the effort, it just won’t be good enough. Or it can turn outward destroying trust and dooming a relationship. The key was how one approached the student immediately afterward. The Student has been torn down, the misconceptions they held have been shattered. Now the time comes to help them put the pieces back together. You cannot do it for them, they must find the valuable lessons and learn to pick themselves up. A lesson on failure, infallibility, and the Jedi Way to learn, grow, and move forward. To give the answers is to rob them of those core lessons and create a habit of dependency. Teaching them instead that they don’t have to think for themselves, but can simply turn to you for answers. A delicate time and Kirvin wondered if his Master had experienced the same doubt he was having. Wondering if he was capable of pulling this lesson off.
Arden was standing in the hallway as Kirvin exited the training room. He had given her time to process the events and consider the possible reasons for this exercise. Now was the time to help ensure a very promising Jedi was not lost to the inevitable defeat we all must face during our lifetime. She looked hurt, struggling with the utter defeat she just faced. Kirvin walked over to her and knelt down so they were eye level.

“All things have there purpose. Especially here at the Temple. The schedules on eating, the order of classes, these are all designed with the growth of the Jedi in mind. Likewise this moment right now has a purpose.”
“To tell me I am not good enough?” Arden pouted back.
Kirvin gave a small smile. “What you take away from it is for you and you alone. But know that what you take away from it will help shape you as a person and your future as a Jedi. That is the only hint I’ll give you. When you feel ready, we can talk about the answer you come to. Until then,” Kirvin’s signature grin spreading across his face, “lets go to this really great sweet shop nearby. It is where my master took me when I failed this test.” Kirvin began to standing up to leave and Arden’s eyes widen. “You failed this Master?”
Kirvin looked back still smiling “Come on Padawan. The shop doesn’t stay open forever.” Arden quickly caught up to his side “Yes Master.” Kirvin knew more explaining would be necessary in time, but that she had begun to grasp the most important hint. Failure was not the end. Even a Jedi Knight has experienced failure. The sting would last a bit longer and the lesson would hopefully last a lifetime. But for now they could smile, joke, and he could continue to help her grow into one of the best Jedi Knights the Order would have.

(( Drawing by Rayn44 :: http://rayn44.deviantart.com/ ))

I got Obi-Wan Kenobi! Which Star Wars Commander Are You? | StarWars.com

I got Obi-Wan Kenobi! Which Star Wars Commander Are You? | StarWars.com

naiku-haru:

Maybe it’s because I love Mark Hamill and his beard to bits, but I can’t imagine Grand Jedi Master Luke as anything other than “everybody’s favorite uncle who also happens to be a badass but doesn’t flaunt it”.

I also imagine younglings fall asleep during meditation a lot.