Tag Archives: realjedi

Are Jedi Real?

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A fair and valid question, despite the obvious – NO! Star Wars is a movie! – answer that may screamed at you or from you. First, yes real Jedi do exist. Now before people get all listing reasons as to why not, there are two main things to consider. The first is simply that mythology and story-telling (a.k.a. Fiction) has been a way to explore the human experience. It is a way to dive into reality by dissociating a bit. Allowing people to touch on some of the more bigger topics in a way that feels safer and is a bit more engaging. Star Wars and thus the Jedi are no different in this. They are reflections of our reality. They look at the human experience and allow us to explore several concepts of morality, spirituality, and so forth. To say Jedi are purely fictional is to deny the very real-world inspirations that aided in their creation (e.g. Samurai, Knights Templars, Stoicism, etc.). Concepts such as Peace, Knowledge, Serenity, and Harmony are very grounded and accepted as real. Even the Force has been used by a lot of major religions to introduce people to spiritual concepts.

The second thing to remember is that fictional inspiration does not automatically negate validity. You can be inspired by a story. This is the whole principle behind Aesop Fable’s and Jesus’ parables. I mean, if someone changes their life for the better because of A Christmas Carol would you say their new life isn’t real? Sure, I get it. Calling yourself a Jedi is a bit further than just living a life inspired by the films (or tv shows, books, comics, games, etc.). Yet really that is just labeling the lifestyle. When you live your life by clear guidelines and a Code having a label helps people make sense of why you do what you do. Why are you bending yourself into a pretzel? Yoga. Why are you kneeling in front of a half-naked man nailed to a cross? Catholic Praying. Why are you sitting in front of a wall doing nothing for an hour? Zazen. Why do you live the way you do? I’m a Jedi. We are paying homage to the inspiration and keeping it very close to the heart so that we do not lose our way. As the movies shows us, falling to the dark side can be pretty easy. Which again, fiction as a reflection. How many times in life do we see people lose their way and wander a dark path? We realize, as George Lucas once wrote, our focus determines our reality, so we have chosen to focus on the light also labeled Jedi.

So are Jedi real? Yes. Since the mid-1990s the online Jedi Community has worked to make it a reality. Something more than just fans reciting the Jedi Code and quoting Yoda. Building an actual lifestyle that is positive and beneficial and true to the inspiration. Here is a quick breakdown and see if anything seems fake or fictional to you.
Main Practices: Meditation, Physical Fitness, Diplomacy, Awareness, and Self-Discipline.
Main Tenets: Peace, Knowledge, Serenity, Harmony, the Force.
Main Traits: Patient, Objective, Reliable, Grateful, Helpful.
So what sticks out as fake or unrealistic? Maybe the Force? But what is the Force? What is meant by it? Even within the Star Wars universe, what is the Force and is that idea so beyond our own universe? Midiclorians? Mitochondria could be a real-world view. Remember that the Force is never truly explained within Star Wars (I have a whole midiclorians don’t ruin the Force rant – I’ll spare you for now). The point being that even using the terminology “the Force” doesn’t diminish the idea being conveyed and explored. We can see  elements of a very positive lifestyle being expressed within Jedi ideology. Really touching on five key areas of personal well-being (physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and social).

The Jedi Path, world-betterment through self-betterment wrapped up in Star Wars terminology/inspiration. So yep, we earth-bound movie inspired Jedi are very much real with very real practices and ideology. And if that speaks to you, I hope you’ll join us on this amazing journey. May the Force be with you.

Creating a Jedi Mood/Day

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Or Five Steps to Creating a Light Side Day. I am really horrible at naming these silly things. Okay, sappy Jedi time….

Step One: Stop! Number one Jedi practice time – deep breath. Take a minute. One minute. Just close your eyes and take some deep breaths. Got more than a minute? Get a glass/bottle of water and find a nice view. A tree, a bird singing, the lights of your cityscape, a park, the clouds in the sky. Pick something and just enjoy a moment of quiet for you. Enjoy your water and then go attack the day like you’re Obi-Wan and the day is Darth Maul.

Step Two: Lightsaber Duel! Okay, you may not be able to do this. Maybe bust out the lightsaber and simply practice Form One (Shii-Cho, Way of the Sarlacc, Determination Form) for a little. Okay. Some may not be able to do that right now either. Okay. How about just quickly rocking 5 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, and 15 squats? Bam! Just a little something to get some blood flowing. Here – I’ll start….. Okay. Your turn.

Step Three: Patience my Jedi friend. Time is a tool to be used, use it wisely. There is a time to press forward and a time to just allow things to unfold. Not everything happens when we want it to, but that doesn’t mean that it will NEVER happen. You have to be patient at certain times. Most of all you have to exercise patience with yourself. You are not infallible, you are not an all-powerful god, you are a perfectly flawed human being. So take it a day at a time, keep your focus on the present moment.

Step Four: Remember that you got this. It can seem overwhelming and crazy and just WAY too much, but You Got This. You will survive this and be better for it. Doesn’t matter what the day holds for you – because you are a Jedi and you are awesome. And you have a pretty good record thus far – survived 100% up to this point. So keep that up.

Step Five: Smile. Hold that for twenty seconds. Next, share that smile with someone today. Make it your mission. Sincerely wish someone a great day (or good, wonderful, nice, etc.). Hold a door open for someone. Give a big hug to the next family member you see. End every conversation with, May the Force Be With You. Okay, you don’t have to do that last one. But I telling you, smiles and confused replies to giggle with if you do.

Just be happy. I know life can be crappy. Very few of us are where we want to be, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be happy. So really, just embrace life (even for a day). Just take the good, bad, and the absolutely insane as a learning experience. Don’t judge it. Don’t label it. Just grasp the day, accepting it without judgment, and determine to enjoy it despite the struggle. Be happy Jedi – you deserve it.

Five Responsibilities of a Jedi Knight

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Public Service is a core responsibility of the Jedi Knight. This can take many forms as we have explored within the Five Goals of the Jedi. Training takes top priority for the Jedi as they begin the path. We touched on this before. You cannot truly help another unless you can help yourself first. You have to be in a secure place before you uplift others. Consider it like two people on the edge of a cliff. You want to help the other person get to safety, yet your footing is not secure. Do you risk both of your lives by helping the other person? Or do you make sure you get to a place that can support both of your weight and help the person get to safety then?

So when you are training as a Jedi we want to encourage fulfilling the Five Goals, but in small ways. Now that you are a Jedi Knight this opens up a lot more. Your training won’t take up as much time. This doesn’t give you more time to go back to video games and novels however. It is time that can be put to use. Time to get out there and start making a difference. How? That falls to you Jedi, but it is something expected of you. Maybe you help out at a food kitchen. Maybe you help out at a local animal shelter. Maybe you volunteer at the local after-school program (music instructor, coaching a sport, homework tutoring, etc.). Find something that works for you and speaks to how you want to make an impact in the world. Environmental causes also work very well. There is something for everyone and a time schedule that works for everyone. If work, family, and training only allow a couple hours a week for it, so be it. But make an effort, it is part of your duty as a Jedi Knight.

Adhering to the Core Ideals should go without saying, but here it is anyhow. Training is over apprentice, you are a Jedi Knight now. Your duty as a Jedi Knight is to adhere to the Jedi Circle. You don’t get the excuse of being a student any more. Hopefully you didn’t develop that habit of excuses. Sure, no Jedi is perfect and we do and will make mistakes. It happens, the misconception of infallibility and all that. Yet you are a Jedi Knight now. Your peers have recognized you as a competent and skilled Jedi. This means you have a deep responsibility to represent the entirety of the Jedi Way. You are fully trained and considered capable of training others to your level. This means people will look to you as the example. So adhering to our core ideals is simply a requirement at this level.

Breakdown the code into its base elements. Peace, knowledge, serenity, harmony, and the Force are the main tenets you’ll want to be able to explain clearly. These are topics you want to have an intimate understanding of. How does physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and social wellness play into the Jedi Path? Why is it a part of the Jedi Path? What examples within the fiction are there of these things? You are a teacher now. You understand the path and the why of it. How it applies to everyday life and the inspiration behind it. Of course this goes beyond just knowing, you must also live by them. You must promote them through your actions, not just your words. There are those looking and learning by observation and your actions will inform them of not only how a Jedi acts, but the quality of the Path itself.

Mentoring and Passing on Knowledge is one of the more rewarding responsibilities of being a Jedi Knight. There can be great joy in helping to guide a young Jedi along the Path and to Knighthood. Watching a person flourish in life and seeing them exemplify the Jedi Way will bring a smile to your face every single time. Having a hand in that journey? It is a great feeling. Yet it is a task that is very challenging. It carries a lot of weight and you are effectively assuming responsibility of another person’s journey along the Path. This requires that you be ready for such a challenge. Be prepared and have a clear idea of how to approach being a mentor.

Understand now that being a Jedi mentor is basically a full-time job. This is not something you get to check in on once a week for about an hour. This is not something you get to just throw assignments at and forget about. You need to play an active role in being a guide to another person. You are a role-model and it falls to you to represent that properly. Be sure you have your stuff in order before you take on this responsibility. Do not rush into anything and be sure that you take the time to fully make sure that you and your potential student are in fact compatible. This is a wonderful responsibility, but it must be approached with the right mindset. Which we will cover a bit later on.

Promoting and Representing Harmony is something Jedi Knights do through the integration of personal wellness and world-betterment. It isn’t about being separate from the world or the problems and issues we face in everyday life. We are not above the constant challenges everyone faces on a daily basis. What Jedi Knights have learned is to harmonize the core ideals of the path into the daily interactions. We do not ostracize others for the sake of the path. We are not running off to some temple in the middle of nowhere hanging out with other reclusive Jedi meditating on the Force all day. This isn’t what being a Jedi Knight is about. We are not seeking enlightenment nor are we Shaolin Monks. Being a Jedi is lived and honored through living the life we have. By being present and engaging with the life, friends, and family we have right in front of us.

Consider what harmony means in musical terms. It is the combination of multiple tones which hopefully blend into cords that are pleasant to the ear. This is the Jedi Way. To blend the multiple ideals and practices of the Path into our daily life which hopefully produce a positive and beneficial lifestyle. As a Jedi Knight you get to be a core representation of that now. How you live your life, what you do with it, how you integrate it with other lives around you, all of this becomes your responsibility. Not only to do this, but to do it in a way that shows the validity and value of doing so.

Continual Education should be of no surprise. You are a Jedi Knight! Congratulations! Now you not only get a boatload more responsibilities, but have much more to learn; aren’t you just overjoyed? One of the core ideals we spoke on before is knowledge. As a Jedi is this something that has value you to. So you will be expected to continue on with it. Now there are a variety ways of doing so. The first I’d recommend is a refresh course on mentoring and being a good role-model. As this will play into one of your new responsibilities as a Jedi Knight. Of course once you tackle that you can move on to other things. Such is current events or how to set-up a local meet-up group. How to find a good organization to volunteer your time to. Plenty of things for you to learn and continue to grow as a Jedi. New meditation techniques. Take a new workshop at a Jedi Gathering and learn a new self-defense technique. The main thing is that you continue to grow as a Jedi.

Being a Jedi Knight is a recognition of the time you have put in and the growth you have shown during that time. It acknowledges that you are become a very capable Jedi that is trusted to be a valued representative of the entire Jedi Path. That you are able to pass on the Way without damaging another in the process. As you continue to live your life as a Jedi you will still be faced with challenges in life. You will still have tough moments that will test very fiber of your Jedi ideals. Many life-changing events may be in the works for you. Marriage, children, divorce, new job, loss of your career, there is absolutely a huge and very long list of things that can upset the balance and calm you have developed over the years. As you face these events new lessons will present themselves to you. You will find your practices and ideas challenged and from that you have the chance to improve and expand upon them. There is no end to your journey of learning and that is the final responsibility that falls to up to upkeep Jedi Knight.

Ten Things to Help You Survive Jedi Training

Accept It! – You knew this was not going to be easy right? But life has a way of smacking us upside the head with our own expectations. But you know what? That is life. So take a moment for yourself. Put down the study materials and take your dog for a walk. Or go swimming. Or watch an episode of a tv show. Then deep breath and finish up your Jedi assignments for the day.

Don’t Quit! – Yeah, you are going to want to, I promise. The reasons vary. Sometimes it is the online community. Sometimes it is a poor choice in mentors. Sometimes you realize you were holding Jedi to standard that doesn’t exist. Or it may all be internal, not feeling good enough. Not feeling capable. Feeling like you just will never be a Jedi. Forget all of that. Deep breath – remember, you’ve got this. You have survived so much worse. You can handle this and succeed at it. So don’t run away, don’t hide, but continue on and live it.

Learn! – Knowledge is Power, Power is Change. Smart is Sexy. Whatever motto helps you. But enjoy the process. Learn to take pleasure in learning new things. Seek out new information. Don’t shut other people out. Don’t think you already know this. Don’t tune out because you have heard it before. Listen, consider, ask questions, seek for something new, find something to learn.

Focus! – Specifically focus on you. You are not the hero yet. It is not your time to be the mentor, leader, or savior yet okay Jedi? Relax. Don’t worry about what others are doing. Don’t worry about what some other site is doing. Focus on your studies and focus on your growth. You’ll have plenty of time to play Jedi Knight to Rescue later on. For now, get your stuff in order.

Be Kind! – Be considerate and respectful to your fellow humans. Especially your teachers and fellow students on the Jedi Path. It will make a difference I promise. Courtesy and Respect go a long way. So be nice to those within your life.

Ask Everything! – Seriously, ask the most stupidest of questions. Engage. Follow through. If someone replies trolling you? Forget them. Any Jedi worth their salt will treat ALL of your questions with sincerity and respect. They will appreciate and enjoy every single question you present. It is something all Jedi Mentors want to see. So ask absolutely everything that comes to mind. Mentors may give you the answer or may help you find it yourself or may simply pause for a second as you realize the answer as soon as you ask aloud. All of that is find and acceptable, so ask.

Prepare! – Have an understanding of yourself and how your next day is shaped up. Make sure you have time to get things ready. If you don’t get them ready in advance. Clothes, food, homework, make sure everything is squared away or ready to be at the start of your day. Make sure you make time for some sort of breakfast. Don’t starve yourself or hurt yourself because you are “too busy”. That just means you prepared poorly. So get your stuff together – it will ease your Jedi assignments and required practices. You’ll be much more able to juggle them with life properly.

Sleep! – Hey Jedi guess how far you’ll get if you allow sleep to be sacrificed for fitting in training? Not far. You will burn out. Something will give and it won’t be a pretty event. So get your Jedi Robe wearing butt into bed and get a good night’s rest. Do a before bed meditation to ease yourself down. Put on soothing waves or music that helps carry you to snore-zone. Whatever it is, get it done. It will have a direct impact on your energy and how you approach the next day.

Water! – Drink plenty and plenty and plenty of water. Keep a water bottle with you. Stay hydrated at all times. It is important. Water intake is vital and another core aspect which helps your energy. So drink plenty of water throughout the day. Will you have to know where bathrooms are at all times, probably. Consider an exercise in Jedi Mindfulness. But water will help in keeping your head in the game and knock those Jedi assignments out of the park.

Meditation! – Don’t you dare forget the importance of daily meditation. I don’t care what technique you adopt, just take a deep breath. Fine. But it is a vital part of being a Jedi because it helps remind us of an important thing. That is all going to work out. It is going to be okay. You are going to be okay. It helps make sure your vision is clear and you can approach each day at the best you can be within that moment. So breathe, get your meditation on, and remember that you are going to smash this Jedi Training stuff. You are going to be a great Jedi Student and an even better Jedi Knight.

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.

Four Somethings of the Somthing

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Four Somethings of the Somethings – Entitled such because I have no idea. I just felt like writing. This is what came of that. So yeah….

1. Find Your Bliss.
Mine is Jedi. I know – weird. But when you look at the totality of the Path is covers all my little things that make me happy (from the daily practices, to the goals, to the general mission statement, I just enjoy it). So overall it is my Bliss and what serves as my truth, if you will. Your personal truth is for you. What is your sacred? We see underlying themes and concepts throughout human history and beliefs. Yet all have different flavors and focuses. What is your focus? What is your bliss? Once you have that there is little need to concern yourself with the warring “truths” out there (let them fight it out amongst themselves). Find Your Bliss and Live It. It goes a long way. How right. You are probably like – yeah, cause it is just that easy. Sometimes it is and the one thing getting in the way? Yep. You. Relax. Take a moment. What are the various things that make you happy? What do you enjoy? Why? How do these relate and play out in your life? Search for it and you will find it.

2. Befriend Your Thoughts.
A hard task when sometimes your thoughts are the meanest and most nastiest voice ever to exist. Some of the things you say to yourself? Shame on you. Or maybe that is just me. I know I can beat myself up way better than anyone could ever hope. So do not wage war. Instead turn those very strong thoughts into allies. Start developing the pattern of recognizing the negative thoughts. Face them, stop them, and then counter them. “Is that true?” Make it a new habit to acknowledge the flip-side. To be fair and honest with yourself. To not belittle yourself, but instead offer yourself fair evaluation. And remember – just because you think you did poorly, doesn’t mean you actually did. Listen to the input of others. And do not dishonor or disrespect their opinion by pushing it aside with self-deprecating thoughts. Instead listen with an open and fair mind. Let your thoughts not be your bully, but your friend. And when your fair thoughts are like – “Nope. You failed there blockhead. And here is why, because being fair…” acknowledge and grow from it. Use it to improve. Thank yourself for the good reflection and lesson. And get on to getting better.

3. You Are Not a Caged Monster.
Do not run from yourself. You are not some monstrous beast to be punished or feared. You are a perfectly flawed individual just like the rest of us. As equally as screwed up as the rest of humanity. Congratulations. The simple fact is we all have an area within ourselves we do not like to confront. However that is the true darkness. Allowing our fear to create ignorance and dark areas within ourselves. Your emotions are not your enemy. Pain is not your enemy. Sometimes these things do not feel good at all. They make us cry and really make it hard to love and befriend ourselves. But that doesn’t change with ignoring it either. Embrace the entirety that is you. Acknowledge and Accept. And then, and this is the important part, Find Your Bliss, Befriend Your Thoughts, Laugh at the Absurdity of it All, and Determine Who You WANT to Be – then go be that. If you can dream and see yourself as the Hero, be the damn hero. It is well within your ability. The only thing holding you back is you. So step out of the cage and be who you chose to be.

4. Laugh at the Absurdity of it All.
Life doesn’t care how serious you take it. The sun will rise whether you worry about it or not. The stars in the sky care nothing for your stress and complaints. So you can go through life in a very serious and overly stressing manner. The day will not alter. Likewise you can be a bit more carefree, smiling and laughing at the interesting twists and flow of life. The universe will continue on either way. The real question is not how will your attitude effect the world, but how does you attitude affect you? Which would you rather be as the universe continues on? The one laughing or the one stressed? I mean, come on. Even this article has to make you want to laugh. “Oh. There is Opie with his self-help non-sense again. And he calls this Jedi. BAH!” Or maybe I just wrote out another example of the previous. In any case – the universe continues on. Have a laugh or two – the stars will totally appreciate it.

Your Insecurity is Most Disturbing

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Courage is not dependent on previous acts of courage. If I am terrified of heights, but climb a tree to help someone down than I have shown courage. It does not take away, diminish, or in anyway reflect the courage it takes to be a Police Officer, Military Soldier/Infantry, Fire Fighter, Search and Rescue, or any other profession which seems more heroic on the surface. Courage not simply something regulated to combat. In fact speaking for peace requires a lot of courage as bodily harm and death are tools often employed against such advocates.

Courage is not allowing Fear to govern your life. Across the world courage has been shown in social issues. Being from the united States we have plenty of examples of Social Courage. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. showed courage. Jane Addams showed courage. Ghandi showed courage. This does not mean George Washington showed less courage crossing the Delaware. This does not mean First Responders to terrorist events like 7/7 and 9/11 were any less courageous.

It makes me wonder how insecure people are they have to lash out at those being courageous for a fight they don’t understand. Caitlyn Jenner has faced ridicule, threats of all kinds, and continues to be insulted by uneducated bigots. But she knew that. She knew that embracing her own image and doing so while tied to one of the most public families would bring a wave of criticism, attacks, and condemnation. Knowing that, knowing a large chuck of the world was not educated and enlightened enough to accept people for who they are and would lash out, she made a courageous choice. She chose not to be ruled by fear or hate or self-denial. She chose to face real consequences and repercussions for simply being true to her self. That is the very definition of courage. “The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.”

And you want to know something? That does NOT take away from any one who has been, is currently, and will be Brave. The continued comparisons and ridicule people face for social courage only serve to prove how much courage is necessary to stand up. In some parts of the world doing so is in fact a death sentence. That does include parts of the United States. Standing against social ignorance and bigotry is not easy, it is not safe, and it is not a minor issue. So the next time you see a picture of some soldier bleeding and a snide comment about courage – remember they are merely proving the point. It is not easy. You are brave. And one day the world will pull its head from its @$$ and recognize that. It is a long fight. Ask anyone involved in equal rights. You’d think the world would it get already – it is all glass wall non-sense. We all bleed. We all feel. We are alive and just trying to do the best we can. But it seems a hard lesson for the world to learn. So continue to be You. Continue to be Courageous.

 

For years I dealt with the online Jedi Community. I fought with them, I argued, I drove myself crazy trying to get them to understand. That was my mistake. Because over the years something became very clear. And that is what is above. At first I was wrong, then I wasn’t doing good enough, then they could do it better. The whole time I kept moving forward and the cycle has continued. Because as people get to where you were, you have already moved on. And once again you are wrong. The secret is not to pay attention to that back-chatter. To simply keep moving forward. Not to give-up because others don’t understand where you are at. It is YOUR journey. Your benchmark is your own standards. Keep grinding, keep pushing, keep moving forward.