Tag Archives: jediliving

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.

Opie Rambling: Beware the Jedi Group that does not value your Investment.

So as happens I was involved in a dust up in a Jedi group on facebook. Surprise surprise, I know. And I grateful for it added to my chapter on choosing a Jedi group for the book I am working on. But it also brought forth this Opie rant which I felt like sharing. Lets set the stage….

A topic about emotions comes up within a Jedi group. You however a counter view and an exchange of views from two Jedi ensues. You invest your time and opinion. Another topic on Jedi Service and how to best do that comes up. Again you engage with various Jedi investing time, thoughts, and effort.  You care about the Jedi Path and those silently watching, reading, and reflecting on the various opinions offered. However the Administrator feels these “debates” make his group look like “other Jedi groups” which have arguments. So the administrator deletes the last 16 hours worth of discussion.

A couple things. First even incorrect views are teaching tools. The worse decisions in human history give us stark reminders of what not to do. Why these are bad things. And why we should really think before we act. Also the Jedi Path encourages the inquisitive mind. Question! If I tell you the Jedi Way is about punching people int he face that annoy you. You should really question that. Obviously something doesn’t add up.

Second, sweeping dirt under the rug. Throwing trash in your closet. Yeah, these don’t clean your room. They do not make your house better than your neighbors. You are ignoring issues. You are treating the symptom. Setting up the exact problems to resurface. You can only hide dysfunction for so long. Just ask the 1993 Houston Oilers (or last year’s 49’ers). You have to address the underlying causes to truly improve your group. Not simply delete things you personally don’t like to see.

Lastly, each member of a group has a life. They have limited time. The fact they chose to invest it with you is a wonderful thing. When they take time out of their day to offer their two cents it should be valued by the group. Whether agreed with or not is another matter. But certainly we can all agree that sharing our opinions within a group is an invest of time and energy. In a Jedi group we can be confident in saying it is also done with intentions of growth and education in mind. Intention and result being two different things of course, but I digress.

It is simply important in my opinion to invest your time with a group that will honor that investment. Maybe they don’t agree, but certainly they give your words time and thought. They protect your contributions to the group. And continue to honor you commitment to their organization.

10 Things You Should Not Sacrifice for Jedi Training

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Whether you consider yourself a teacher of the Jedi Way or especially if you are looking for a Jedi Mentor there are 10 things you should not sacrifice for training. Master or Padawan your training relationship is important and should not cost you these ten things. Now these also VERY much apply to Jedi Websites, Groups, and Training Programs. Also while I am speaking to the Student – if you Jedi Mentor feel this list applies to your student(s) time to consider a change.

1. Freedom.
Routine check-ins are a part of training. So is adhering to the rules and ideals of the Jedi Path. But you are always free to walk away, choose a different mentor, go to and participate at any Jedi Site you so choose. Possessive behavior almost always points to an extreme internal insecurity. If your Jedi Group.Website has a no training at other places policy/rule or not allowing outside views – you need to question that. It is cult-like behavior to isolate people. Controlling behavior suggests that the person does not feel comfortable with him or herself, and this definitely needs to be worked out before he or she commits to any long-term relationships (romantic, educational, or otherwise).

2. Yourself.
The Jedi Path is about change. But it is about changing into the best version of you, not changing the essence of who you are. It is about not being defined by your past, but embracing and becoming the person YOU want to be. Do not change yourself for ANYONE but yourself. As a Jedi Mentor I assume students have made a choice to live by the Jedi Way and seek the change that comes with that. But if you become uncomfortable with certain requests, or worse demands, to change your behavior – Speak Up. This is a lifestyle and path of personal wellness and betterment. If you don’t like the person you are becoming, cut ties, and reflect on what you do like about yourself and run with it. All relationships require some compromise, but these are things like using Google Hangouts instead of Skype which you prefer. The right person will like you for you and will want to cultivate the best version of you (not change who you are).

3. Happiness.
If someone does not enhance your life and add to your joy, then what purpose do they serve in your life? Again, applies to all relationships. Being a Jedi is about Finding Your Bliss. As a Jedi I am a million times happier than any point in my life. My life is far from perfect and yet I feel joy, bliss, and happiness on a daily basis. If your Jedi Mentor is not helping you reach this – time to seek out a better training environment. Now, it won’t be all sunshine, puppies, and balloons. Your Mentor will need to be tough on you sometimes – such is the teaching role. But you should be able to determine if a relationship is adding to your happiness or just making you miserable. If unsure, ask those that see you daily. Ask them if you have been smiling and laughing more or less than usual.

4. Fun.
Above all else, you should have fun. Can you joke openly and freely with your mentor? Do you feel like a kid at times during training? A relationship always comes with disagreements from time to time, but you should never give up fun in a relationship. Life is stressful enough. Learning a new lifestyle carries its own challenges. You have to be able to have fun too.

5. Your dreams.
Seriously. Living as a Jedi is a dream in itself. So why would your Mentor being trying to dream-crush any of your other hopes? I mean, maybe if they are about world domination or something. But all relationships are about trust, communication, and support. If someone is making you feel like you should just be a grocery bagger and never dream beyond that? Our dreams define a good part of us. To give them up is to give up a part of ourselves.

6. Inner peace.
This is a core of the Jedi Path. Cultivating Inner Peace is mandatory. So if your Mentor damages your calm? Time to run away quickly. They obviously are not there yet and need to focus on their own training. So if they are pumping out negative energy time to find a new training partner. Jedi Mentor should reflect the calm within.

7. Your desire to explore.
Exploration is core to our path as well. All Jedi Students are like cookie monsters of knowledge. So yes, there will be restraints. Your mentor will look to slow that devouring of information. But never at the cost of exploration or an exploring spirit. In fact your mentor (or Jedi group) should have materials for you to explore and compare to their own view. And if you express a desire to explore outside their view, it should be encouraged (with stipulations and addendums perhaps 😉 )

8. Your other relationships.
Your relationships with friends and family should not have to suffer just because you are training to be a Jedi. It is possible some in your life may not like or respect your new lifestyle. You’ll need to exercise mindfulness in determining that. But No Jedi Mentor should be restricting or sabotaging any of your relationships. Training requires contact, but it should not be your entire life ot the exclusion of others. Family and Friends are core to the Jedi Ideal of Social Well-Being. A confident training partner won’t need you to ignore all else and focus only on them. They should understand that life needs attention and you’ll need time away to handle the crazy things that arise in the roller coaster of life.

9. Your spiritual/religious beliefs.
I don’t care what “ism” you follow as a Jedi – your spiritual and religious beliefs are for you. they are your’s and your’s alone. No Jedi Mentor should seek to convert you. Or tell you that you are not a Jedi because you don’t X, Y, or Z. Spiritual Well-Being is core to the Jedi Path, but it is for each Jedi to discover, explore, and determine for themselves. Your mentor will help. They will help question and offer new concepts to consider, but your choice should always be respected.

10. Communication.
Every relationship requires a deep commitment to truly listening to the other person and understanding his or her thoughts and feelings. Without Communication you have nothing. True learning will not take place. You cannot learn form or teach those that lie to themselves. If they are unable or unwilling to truly shut up and listen to what you are saying then it is a waste of your time. Your feelings and concerns are valid and should be given full attention. Talk, Listen, Communicate. If you feel you can’t or just aren’t being heard – you guessed it – time to move on.

(I am counting this as Jedi Circle – Exercise: Day 2. Exercising my mind and understanding of Jedi ideals. plus I want it out there so I am held accountable to this as well. This article is inspired by one I read on powerofpositivity.com which was more about intimate relationships. Wanted to see if I could approach the subject as a Jedi.)

Jedi Circle – Exercise Day 1

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This is the first topic in the Jedi Circle and thus the first one I’ll be tackling. Exercise. It is one of the Five Habits and carries a very broad use. Exercise can be applied to all areas of our well-being. Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Spiritual, all can be exercised in one form or another. But before I get into the topic specifically I wanted to talk briefly on the Five Habits or more to why they are called such. When I was developing the Jedi Circle for a long time I called these the Five Practices. Which is true enough, but I felt it was missing a key point of these practices being daily. During a conversation I was asked by a fellow Jedi how I kept up my practices on a daily basis and I mentioned that they were basically habit. It is just what I did when I woke up. Thus the title was renamed to enforce this concept. Exercise, Meditation, Acceptance, Acuity, Assiduity. These are daily things Jedi work on which formulate into habit.

Now as I was developing the Jedi Circle “Exercise” was actually listed as Physical Fitness for years. It is a core aspect of being a Jedi. Physical well-being. That is a very broad field and most think Body Builder, then they think Unnecessary and then they move on to something less taxing. This working out is only one aspect of physical well-being and that doesn’t mean power lifting. So knowing I need to really approach the topic with more depth I gave physical wellness its own category and changed Physical Fitness into Exercise.

Lots of things fall under the umbrella of exercise. Play Table Tennis for hour – exercise. Some may scoff, but we all have our own level of fitness. I spend about an hour and half every morning on physical exercise. I also spend about twenty minutes in my day on awareness exercises. I look to exercise my mental faculties as well, which takes a vary of forms. Logic puzzles, reading, learning something new. I seek to exercise my emotional well-being. Exercise covers such a broad spectrum of the self that it really serves as a great habit for the Jedi.

Throughout the week I’ll be looking to talk a little on various exercises I use in my day. And how you can use them as well. Time management is a factor and thus a lot of my exercises are two birds with one stone. With a little common sense you can adjust these to fit your life as well, if you are so inclined. But more than talk I will look to get a video or two to demonstrate these exercises. That is all I have for today. It is a busy day. Exercising my priorities. ;)

Jedi Circle – Exercise Day 1 was originally published on 365 Jedi

You are not the First…

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During an interview for the Jedi documentary (American Jedi) it was said that I was one of the founders of the Online Jedi Community. I was horrified. It simply was not correct. In the early years as the Jedi community was beginning to develop I was there. Quietly watching, reading, and looking to learn what I could. I didn’t really participate. I just mostly read and applied. It was trial and error even for those who were creating websites and gaining a following.  But I was just a kid who wanted to be a Jedi Knight. A shy kid that would sooner be a doormat than risk confrontation. So I corrected the misunderstanding. There, yes, founder? Far from it. I was an observer, a student at best. I knew what I wanted to be and that I was far from it. I would need help and guidance. But I was a bit too timid to ask anyone vocal in the community at the time.

It wasn’t until 1999 that I really became active in the Community. Being a voice in debates and talking up applicable Jedi Ideals. In mid-2000 I created my own website after I was given the Jedi Master title from the Force Academy. I used homestead and ez-board as my site-builder and message boards. It was a fun little project and I had a nice little following. About five for so people that dropped in regularly. Of course the major boards in 2000 were seeing around 200 members a day, but the small community worked for me. Again, I was never looking for the spotlight or to be a leader. I just wanted a nice Jedi Community I could grow with. Eventually I simply joined as many Jedi websites as I could. Go all in for training. I also enrolled in college to help my Jedi studies. I majored in Philosophy, minored in Sociology, and took a side of Eastern Religion classes to round it out. Eventually I closed my forums and change the purpose of my site. No longer a place to share ideas, but simply to be a signpost for the growing Community. I had links and logos of the various sites you could join and train at.

Over the course of my time I received various titles. But I continued to submit to various training programs as I found them. I always knew there was someone else out there who had been doing it longer than myself. Even people who some considered my peers were actually people I looked up to because I knew they had more experience. We may have started near the same time, but they were active, engaging, and that gave them experience in the online community. Even recently someone commented that they had been following the Jedi ideals over 30 years, closer to forty. I was inches away from sending them a private message inquiring about training under them.

The reason I am writing this is because it is important to remember that there are many people out there who have been following the dream for years. Just because you read a book on Yoga doesn’t mean you open your own Yoga school. And you especially don’t do it right next to a Yoga school that has been running for over a decade. Same applies to the Jedi Path. If you are new and seeking guidance in how to live as a Jedi then feel free to partake in the many groups that exist. But please, pretty please, do your homework. Ask questions. Make sure there is some linage there, some experience. Because this recurring trend of so-called Jedi opening Schools for Jedi when they haven’t even been on the path for a month is wrong, irresponsible, and dangerous.

The Jedi Path is a lifestyle. It is physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual. It is something that affects how we live. How we approach life and those around us. When I first set out to learn the ways of the Jedi, as it were, I was very open to the process. Unfortunately that is a dangerous thing when you are talking online. Offline groups you have a bit more to judge character and qualifications. So you need to be very careful when picking a Jedi group to grow with. Ask questions. Seek qualifications. Make sure you aren’t their trial run. To be a mentor is a big responsibility. It is tough. It takes time and effort and is a huge commitment. This is especially true for Jedi Mentors. So don’t settle and don’t risk your own growth on some group with no qualifications. Demand the best. You deserve it.

You are not the First… was originally published on 365 Jedi

I just wanna be a Jedi

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Recently I have changed a lot of things in my life. Certain projects I am involved with have really given me a grasp of what I want to strive for. It wasn’t until these projects forced me to be open and honest with basically strangers that I realized how much I had been hiding my aspirations. Now I am not going to pretend they aren’t silly. Say what you will about the viability of the Jedi Path, it still sounds strange to say I want to be a Jedi and instructor of the Jedi Way. We are talking about terminology that originates with a fictional order created for an entertainment franchise. Of course that hasn’t stopped me for the past two decades, but recent changes and really allowed me to talk about the Jedi Path openly and freely. With family members, with friends, and with other people who simply enjoy the fandom that Star Wars has created. And being able to embrace my path has really given me fresh perspectives from those close to me. This has really helped my motivation in being an example. I still hold that saying, I want to be a Jedi or even I am a Jedi is still silly sounding. But I fully believe that one day it will not be and even if it does, that it will mean something more than Star Wars.

There are plenty of personal wellness paths out there. The biggest trends I see nowadays are not even related to any sort of spiritual label, but simply in living a healthy and productive life. Spiritually tends to be a by-product of these paths. Something magical and greater than the self is discovered in the pursuit of personal well-being. And the expression of that is found in seeking Happiness and wanting to share that happiness. Finding and embracing joy in all the aspects of life. Those that have these general interests of well-being and use social media have seen this the most. The amount of mental, emotional, and even spiritual messages that get mixed in with fitblrs (for example) shows the interconnected aspects of these topics. Lifting and muscle building may be the goal, but soon it is realized that it takes a full commitment of the body, mind, and soul. It becomes a lifestyle and affects every aspects of life. It requires one to change how they approach life.

This is no different for the Jedi Path. It is a lifestyle. It takes over and affects all aspects of our lives. The Jedi Circle (one of those recent changes I was mentioning) lists the Five Axioms as Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Social, and Spiritual Well-Being. This is because Jedi acknowledge that these things are all connected. To neglect one is to damage the other(s). You have to get your mind right to succeed. This is about knowledge, this is about emotional content, this is about goal-setting, and it is about execution of your plan. In pursuit of becoming a Jedi you realize you cannot give half effort. If you do give half effort you end up realizing that you are missing out on something important and that you have to make a choice. This is either when people move on or come up with some absurd excuse like Grey Jedi. Few truly embrace the Path and simply give it their all. And that is because it does require openness beyond the net. Like any other path you cannot truly grow within it by practicing in the dark. You have to be able to dedicate the time to it.

The point of this post funny enough and the reason for the picture was because of this change in my life I have been forced to relearn the Jedi Path. I changed the Jedi Circle which means I have to commit a whole new format to memory. More than that I have to workout precisely how to manifest the concepts in my daily life.  Now I’d rather just be a wise old Jedi who has over two decades of study and experience under his belt. The truth is however closer to that I have 20 years of basically what not to do under my belt. The process, knowledge, and materials I have available now are just way more useful and beneficial than when I started back in the mid-90’s. The lifestyle has been beneficial to me, but I know it can be even more so. Which requires me to be the student once more.

So. Starting next week I’ll be examining the Jedi Circle piece by piece. Seeking to really delve into each topic. Keep the basics close to heart. I think I’ll seek to devote a week per subject. Which will drag out this re-training session to 25 weeks. Plus I’ll need to give time afterward to the process of bring them all together. A new journey begins. *sigh* Have I mentioned how I just want to be a Jedi and not do all this study and application stuff?

I just wanna be a Jedi was originally published on 365 Jedi

I am not looking for a friend, I am looking for a Jedi Master

I am not a huge Luke Skywalker fan. The character sort of rubs me the wrong way. Really it is just me think, grrr, I’d be a much better student and Jedi. But I the quote above fits me perfectly and my interactions and time with the Online Jedi Community. I should have just been quoting that from the very beginning at people. But as someone who tuned out Luke as much as possible, it never sunk in. Yet my mindset and approach from day one has been summed up nicely here. “I am not looking for a friend, I am looking for a Jedi Master.

Funny enough. I have found friends and not a single Jedi Master. I mean sure, plenty of people waving the title around like it is the Black Flag and they are Tortuga. But I haven’t actually met a Jedi Master. I recently correlated the dates of when I first began my online Jedi search. 1994 at CompUSA ditching sixth period class my freshman year of high school. 1990 was when I first saw Star Wars on VHS. And 1998 was when I fully committed to the online Jedi Community. So however you want to chop that up as a starting point, I have been doing this for a bit. I have met a lot of people. great people. Smart people. People with things worth teaching. I have definitely found some Jedi Knights in that time. And certainly I have found people who would be worthy of the title if they chose to follow the Jedi Path (I don’t believe in calling people Jedi, especially giving them rank, if they don’t follow the path). It is important to make note, because i think people get that confused. There are no Jedi Masters so this whole thing must be worthless. I fell into that trap once. I was disappointed and disillusioned. I just soldiered on. Kept reading, kept studying, kept living it as best I could, but missed a lot from experienced people. All because they were not Jedi masters.

I did not become a Jedi for the social aspect. Like everyone not a Jedi, I saw it for the silliness it was. To go around calling yourself a Jedi? Absurd. Borderline delusional. And online friendships meant absolutely nothing to me. No. I saw value in the concepts. I liked the lifestyle. I understood the depth of pain some Jedi characters went through and admired their ability to be even stronger for it. So I was not interested in buddy-buddy chatty time. It is why I never made an effort to stick around before 1998.  When it was chat rooms and role-playing and hanging out, I had no interest. My internet time was extremely limited. If I was going to spend on a computer with friends, well, my friends played DOOM and Warcraft and Monkey Island. Friendship I had and it was not what I was looking for. But….

It is something I found. For most of my online Jedi career, if you will, I have been considered stand-offish and prickly. Again, not looking for friends, looking for Jedi. I am not interested in popularity contest. I am interested in beneficial practical application that can be applied to my every day life.  All I could offer was me. Me as I am, online or offline. There is a difference of course. I cuss in-person whereas online I’d have to go out of my way to do that. My humor is a bit more dark and sarcastic in-person, which is hard to convey online. So the natural differences in writing and speaking present themselves, but I seek to be as open as possible so the difference between the two is as minimal as possible. The point being, when you do that people tend to respect it. And while my prickly reputation grew, so did my no BS policy, and people were able to respect that; even if they didn’t always like it.

Over time I came to trust people online. By 2002 I was on my way to the first Annual Jedi Gathering in Montana. Moved there that same year to be around other Jedi. I have been fortunate enough to make many friendships online and offline since my joining the Jedi Community. My major romantic relationships have been tied to the community. I have often life-long friends Id never had without the online Jedi Community. The emotions, the trust, the in-depth and intimate conversations allowed for relationships to grow. And out of that many friends were made. It is something I have been very thankful for. And I am glad to say I do not see and end to that. I have met new people and continue to do so. And the idea of those online meetings turning into fully realized friendships is something I enjoy and hope for.

I have yet to find a Jedi Master, let alone My Jedi Master. Never found my Yoda. The Jedi Community itself sort of took on that role and offered up a plethora of lessons, often mercilessly. The teacher known as life and experience can be a very harsh instructor. But a useful one. When you get kicked in the teeth by life, learn the lesson, so that you won’t have to repeat that lesson again. There will be others, but you definitely do not want repeats. But I digress once again.

I do not know if you, my one reader, came looking for a Friend or a Jedi Master. I am kind of mean to my friends. Brutally honest and giving a hard time. I am not a Jedi Master. Maybe one day, in twenty years or so. But what I can say is you will find a little bit of both at the Jedi Academy Online. Or in books, because my literary agent tells me I need to plug those. >_> Seriously though, Jedi we have. Understanding we have. Experience, Knowledge, and Empathy. Maybe you find lifelong friends in the Jedi Community, I hope so. If nothing else, I know you will find something of value. Information that will be useful to you and beneficial to you in your life. Maybe not a Jedi Master, but maybe a Jedi Friend.

I am not looking for a friend, I am looking for a Jedi Master was originally published on 365 Jedi

Real Jedi Training Advice

I was recently asked my opinion of Solo Training vs. Training Programs. A Jedi was wondering the best way forward and who’s program they should give a shot too. After-all our time is limited and we won’t get to try them all. Take it from a guy who has trained in over 20 different training programs in the Jedi Community. So in crafting a reply to him there was a couple points I realized I wanted to share to those that might be interested.

Jedi training is not something to take lightly. Not because it is difficult or complex. You are training a new way of living. The Jedi Path is a lifestyle. It impacts how you live. Example, you will be required to focus on physical well-being. This means a type of physical fitness daily. You will be required to meditate daily. More accurately, twice a day. Meditation is absolutely core to the Jedi Way. There will be things you will be asked to memorize which have a direct bearing on your demeanor. Goals, traits, daily practices, this is what Jedi training is about. So it is important you find a Jedi group that not only resonates with you, but has a similar focus on the Jedi Way as you do. So there are some things to consider when looking for a place to further your studies and training as a Jedi.

First thing is to your preference on isms. Jediism – the Jedi Religion, Jedi Realism, and those that have a disdain for isms are your choices. Now if you are specifically about following the Jedi as your religion, as a religion, then you’ll really want to find a place that focuses on that. Temple of the Jedi Order, Church of Jediism, are a couple of examples of places that specifically focus on Jedi as a religion. If you feel Jedi Realism is more your thing, basically view Jedi as more spiritual rather than religious (so one can still be a Christian and a Jedi) than there are groups which focus on that aspect, such as the Institute of Jedi Realist Studies. Now most of these places will allow you to cross-over. They aren’t going to kick you out for being a Jediist (following Jediism) at a Jedi Realist site and vice versa. But you may find yourself often facing conflicting views and sentiments. It does happen.

At the Jedi Academy Online is where you find my personal disdain for these glass walls. I don’t like isms within the Jedi Path. I do not support them and find them utterly pointless. That is my personal opinion, but it is one you’ll find enforced throughout this website. It extends from over a decade of fighting against segregation within the Jedi Path. Red Jedi, Grey Jedi, Jedi Realist, Water Jedi, Zen Jedi, all silly non-sense which actually has no bearing what-so-ever on the Jedi Way. So if you find these isms and such silly and just want to be a Jedi Knight – you have found a kindred spirit. Okay, moving on.

The second thing is your preference on training style. Different Jedi groups offer different approaches to Jedi training.

  • Your younger Jedi groups have an Apprenticeship only approach. Basically they put all training, standards, and promotions in the hands of those they have dubbed Jedi Knights. So if Apprenticeship is your preference, this is one of your options. I do caution mindfulness however. Question, explore, and make sure your mentor is a good fit. Especially with groups that do apprenticeship only, your mentor will greatly impact your training and standards. Too often students have been given the three months and done treatment. So just make sure you enter an Apprenticeship you feel good about and feel will help you reach the level of Jedi you are hoping for.
  • Academy-Style is the name for pre-structured training programs. They are often several different classes in Jedi ideology which were written way in advance, sometimes years ago. These programs vary greatly form Jedi group to Jedi group. This is a style that sits well for more academic minded students. For people who enjoy the school type atmosphere of training and learning. These are generally a one-size fits all approach however. So you have to find flexibility in your own understanding rather than the classes adjusting to you. The other downside is often these programs lead to stagnation. They are already done, they are already set-up, explained, and have been tried by several students long before you, so don’t offer much engagement for the Instructors running them. As such many of the instructors get complacent and the training can seem to drag or get boring.
  • Most programs these days offer a combination of these two set-ups. Offering a basic introductory Academy style course. When one finishes that moving into the Apprenticeship stage of training. A kind of best of both worlds approach. And it is this that can offer the best system. It is certainly something I feel is a good approach for the Jedi Path. You definitely need that One-on-One approach to help develop individual Jedi. But you also want to ensure that the Jedi Foundation is being set and the core ideals flow among all Jedi. If a group offers this you can at least feel comfortable knowing all your fellow Jedi learned the same base foundation that you did.
  • Offline Training. A lot of people seek to get some offline training. There are some offline Jedi groups, such as Chicago Jedi. But these are often few and far between. And the standards are much like the community, based upon whoever is running it. The training can be a mixed bag as well. So again, do your research. Be sure you vibe with the group and feel it is a place you can grow as a person.
  • The Jedi Academy Online – We offer a little bit of a different approach at the JAO. Well, it might be more accurate to say we offer a bit of everything at the JAO though not in the same way as others. Memorization, Academy, Apprenticeships, all of these can be found and are used at the JAO. In-person training is available for certain areas. We also hold yearly events. 2015 offers the Jedi Celebration which is a 4 Day Cruise to the Bahamas. Good times. Anyhow, we are also a lot more strict here. As much as I tell me before they begin training that I will be tough and often employ the harsh truth and though love tactics many seem surprised by it. I have a fierce protective nature of the Jedi Path and its future. Which directly relates to standards and how one represents the Jedi Path. So the JAO is tough on all of its students. We believe with being open and honest with our fellow Jedi, even if the truth might hurt.

Overall you just have to find something that vibes with you. This might take some time and a few trial and errors. And that is okay. Nothing says you have to stick with the first place you find or the first place you begin training at. There are many places that will gladly help you fulfill your goal of becoming a Jedi Knight. It is a desired outcome. We would love to add to our quality and numbers, but our focus is making sure you are actually getting benefit out of it. Remember that Jedi training is about world-betterment through self-betterment. The Jedi Way is about positive and beneficial results. The Jedi Community isn’t going anywhere. So take your time. Find your home. And then grow along with your chosen Jedi group.

Real Jedi Training Advice was originally published on 365 Jedi

Falling in Love Again

I think I am in an abusive relationship….. with the Jedi. lol Nah. Nothing so dramatic. I just tend to fall in and out of love with the Jedi Path. And if I am honest it usually has absolutely nothing to do with the Path itself, but the community. The people who are associated with the Jedi. That and the work. Ah man. So much work. I am light years behind on all the things I need to get done. The abuse comes when I hide form my duties for various reasons and than find that – surprise surprise – there is a pile of work waiting for me.

And so I tackle it while in my loving state. i burn myself out working non-stop until it is pretty much done. And then, in my euphoria for the Jedi, I venture out to experience the beauty of hard work with my fellow Jedi. That is usually when the depression and lack of work ethic begins to set in. This isn’t to suggest no one else out there is working. Certainly not true. Many Jedi are putting in the work. We just tend to defer on ideology and standards of quality. So that disconnect tends to put a damper on the spirits.

It takes a reminder that we are all seeking the same thing. The betterment of our path. And that there are many roads and ways to reach that goal. And each project is a step towards progress. My agreement and enjoyment certainly is not required for something to be of worth and help progress the path. Which is good, because that would mean all of my own work wouldn’t count. It just makes the road I am on seem lonely at times.

Though these spurts of love and dedication always make me wonder what i could accomplish if I simply stuck to it year around. Steady work/progress I mean. You consider a weekend of no sleep and continual work is 72 hours. But you could probably get better quality if you spread it out say two to four hours a day. Which basically gives you  18 to 36 days to get the same work at a higher quality. And if you just continue on, certainly more would get done. Because I am pretty sure I am working at a 144 hours per year so far. And the results are not looking pretty.

lol I had some big plans for 2015. Those are definitely not going to happen. But we will get some new plans and new formats. Woo-Hoo!! I should probably make that a disclaimer on the website. Welcome to the Jedi Academy Online – Opie’s Playground. He will change things around twice a year at random intervals with no real reason or purpose. In otherwords, Welcome to Jedi Pandemonium.

Meh. Actually I just wanted to write about how I have found my love for the Path again. Not sure where or in what. Which kind of sucks, because that would be useful information. Basically I have enjoyed the holidays. Allowed myself to get fat and lazy and in that have decided enough is enough and time to get back to the grind.

Vacations happen with the Jedi. Not so much with the Philosophy. Not at all in fact. But certainly at a certain point we do allow our practices to slip for a bit. It is a bit of humanity re-charging time in my view. A time to just plug back into what most consider normal. Which varies for different families. For mine it is lots of food, alcohol, and spiced with football and Christmas decorations. So this time of year I tend to travel a lot, eat a lot, drink a lot, and fall out of my daily routines of meditation and working out. But never for long. Which I love. These days the Jedi nature just cannot put up with vacation for long. I get about a week in and than my body and mind both start yelling at me. Get back on the daily grind or face the consequences.

I have no idea what those consequences are. Last time I stayed stuck in that mode for any given length of time was when I was struggling with my divorce and the idea of losing the girl I loved. Even then I had to make the effort to fight my desire to simply get back to the daily Jedi training. I forced myself to wallow and really sink as far as I could get before I felt willing to move forward.

Anyhow. Love acquired. Or re-acquired. Which means – New Spartan Race!!! July 2015. AT&T Park in San Francisco. Luke went through Dagobah once. Real Jedi need continual testing and training. =P

Falling in Love Again was originally published on 365 Jedi

Guilty Pleasures…

Tomorrow is my Spartan Run. As mentioned we hit the 2k mark (thanks to a patron who will double whatever we raise) which means full Jedi gear. I am a bit nervous. With football and thanksgiving I haven’t been training as I should. So this will definitely kill me. Also I am going dressed as a Jedi. For Tough Mudder or Superhero Scramble that is nothing. That is all good and wouldn’t draw too much attention as many people dress up. But Spartan Races take themselves seriously. They are all about the competition and being Spartans. Warriors. No shirt showing off the six pack abs. Granted this isn’t all people. Many go for fun. And it is technically a charity run as a portion of all ticket sales go to charity – Wounded Warrior Project this year. But even those people are in their lets get muddy clothes. Not a complaint, just venting a bit to help get me in the mindset to put on the smile even when exhausted and there are sideways comments made. *sigh* Just have to remember – Good Cause. Family Promise is worth helping.

Anyhow the main purpose of this post. Dragon Age: Inquisition. Between 49’er games, Thanksgiving at a 49’er game. Traveling from San Francisco to Los Angeles multiple times I haven’t had much time for my usual Jedi activities online. The site still needs a lot of work. The forums need even more work. My video project for fun has been put on hold. The Jedi Academy Online facebook group has not received any updates. And while this is mostly due to travel, family, holidays, charity work, and football, I have been giving my few remaining moments to DA:I.

Dragon Age is a very long game. The things that make a DA game great are all in there, but they can get lost in the sheer size of the game. The first character I created I spent 20 hours in the starting area (Hinterlands) alone, never realizing that I was not progress or getting to know my companions and basically missing out on the meat of the game. Most any review will tell you, when you get to 7 move on. Move forward from the Hinterlands, it will still be there but the game opens up story wise once you push forward.

However that is not my play style. I am an almost completionist. Meaning I don’t do everything, but I get pretty close. I certainly do all the obvious stuff. It bugs me to leave an area with quests left undone. So with my main character I have taken the approach of Jedi Patience. I have been simply tackling one area at a time. Taking care of all quests I can within that area before heading back to my base and talking with all my companions. You have to check in periodically as you get a lot of fun and interesting storyline developments and companion quests. Plus continually putting my Agents to work on the War Map. Need keep them working at all times.

Anyhow. Dragon Age: Inquisition is a game I have been waiting for. Unfortunately it fell right after the World of Warcraft expansion. Which was very enjoyable, but I don’t have that much free time. Only can have one game active currently. And it fell before the Star Wars: The Old Republic Revan expansion. Which I can technically play already as I have early access and I haven’t at all. Again – time for only one. And thus far DA has won the battle. A lot of good games out there, but Dragon Age is just more my speed currently. It gives me the big world I crave while being single player, meaning I don’t have to worry about finding a game or end raids or missing out on content because my Guild is small. Or having to PvP for 100 hours just to get gear so I can survive the next five levels which is much shorter than 100 hours.

Dragon Age has done well with itself. Providing an engaging story – though it has drop-off because of the huge amount of content and meaningless side quests. You can press through, rush the game, but the gameplay sort of stops you. As enemies will get very tough if you don’t invest at least some time in the extra content. Still it has proven very engaging. I thought the size would turn me off. My first character I felt close to simply putting the game aside. My time has been crowded and limited afterall. But then I realized I had simply approach the game wrong. Dragon Age 2 is a very fast paced ends way too quickly type of game. The story drives it and it does not diverge much from that. If you enjoy the story than the game is enjoyable, but it is very limited. It is short, but you are kept invested the entire time. In the time it took to beat DA2 I was still hanging out in the Hinterlands in DA:I.

For some the time investment and sheer size may be a turn-off. As mentioned, the story sort of drops off as you get caught up in the plethora of side quests. Which is not always a bad thing. Because the story requires some serious decision making. It tests moral values and will put your ethics on the line. And with no right or wrong answer. Some in your party will agree and some will not and both sides have valid arguments. There are simply tough choices to be made and rarely is there an option C to save the day perfectly. Sacrifices are sometimes required and it is not an easy thing to do. If you are invested in the game, characters, and story (such as myself) you feel the weight of each decision. And sometimes after I just made a very tough call and saw the ramifications I needed those mindless side quests.
“Go collect herbs for me. We are out.”
“Which ones? These ones right here? Five feet away from you? Are these the herbs you are unable to find and need so badly? Okay. No problem, I’ll collect them and get paid. But you know, next time, you might want to just walk over here and grab them yourself.”

It helps with taking that deep breath and coming to terms with the decisions made. When the game was being developed BioWare said two friends could play the game and when they talked about it seem like they were talking about two different games. And I can see why. There are plenty of decisions which close off an area to you and open up another. Choices have consequences for the story and gamer both. And it has thus far really presented choices not as Good or Evil. They are ethical choices with no real right or wrong answer. They simply are based upon your moral outlook. Do you hold to Consequentialism ethics? Deontological ethics? If you are unsure, Dragon Age may just help you find out.

And speaking of time. Mine is up. Until later.

Guilty Pleasures… was originally published on 365 Jedi