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far, far away, there were great men—guardians of freedom and justice—who were in touch with nature. These men were known as Jedi, and they had a deep understanding of how the world really works. A Jedi is not a Buddha. But many of the practices and concepts that are part of their art can be found in the Buddha’s teachings. In developing Star Wars, George Lucas has drawn on many religions, myths, and cultural practices from all parts of planet Earth. As we will soon see, the roots of the Jedi can be found in Asia. Clear Your Mind In Star Wars, we often hear Jedi masters, such as Yoda and Qui-Gon, telling their pupils to clear their minds or to "let go." This is one of the most basic principles in Buddhism. Through the act of meditation, those who want to touch the Buddha are encouraged to clear their minds of all thought and to become aware of the moment. This can be done through breathing meditation. When beginning breathing meditation, it is helpful to count from 1 to 10. This helps you clear your mind of other thoughts and pulls you into the moment. Once you are in the moment, the next thing is to be "mindful." This means that you are aware of what you are doing, of your body, of the moment. Breathing meditation was actually seen being practiced by Qui-Gon in The Phantom Menace. Near the end of the film, during the climactic battle with Darth Maul, the two become caught in a corridor of doors that open and close, apparently on a timer. As they approach the final door, Darth Maul gets through but Qui-Gon doesn’t. Instead of yelling at or
The Buddha taught that these are only concepts. He is quieting his mind and collecting himself. He is truly in the moment. theories. At the beginning of The Phantom Menace. If you are concerned with concepts. For us. this known as Right Mindfulness. beginning and ending. Seeing the true nature of things is one of the keys to being Jedi. avoiding being caught up in past and future. Our lives are so hectic that we are always being pulled in many directions at once.taunting Darth Maul through the force field. Obi-Wan says. Qui-Gon simply kneels. Obi-Wan begins thinking about things yet to come. . We get so caught up in what happened at work last Wednesday or what we are having for dinner tomorrow night when the guests come over that we forget to be aware of the moment. you can’t see the true nature of things. but not at the expense of the present. not true reality. To be caught up in concepts is to be out-of-touch with the moment. Qui-Gon tells him to keep his mind focused on the here-and-now. when Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are in the meeting room aboard the trade federation vessel. closes his eyes." He is teaching his student to be aware and mindful. We dwell so heavily on these first and last moments that we forget to live in the hereand-now. "But master Yoda says that I should be mindful of the future. Abandoning preconceptions. "Yes. and breathes calmly. What we believe is reality is subjective—it is what we make it." Qui-Gon replies. and focusing on the present are all things that Jedi masters teach their apprentices. There's No Time Like the Present One of the problems that we all face in the modern world is that we are always dwelling on the future and the past. the flow of time is very real and we are locked into a vicious cycle of birth and death. In Buddhism. In response. and ideas.
guiding him. A flower. Obi-Wan taught Luke that if he let go of his thoughts he could "hear" the Force speaking to him. We are all part of one another. The details of how this works have changed with the development of the series. that Luke and the rock are one in the same. Yoda teaches Luke of the interconnectedness of all things. and the gardener. he says that these micro-organisms speak to us and tell us the will of the Force. I titled this section "The Circle of Life. the Force was presented as a mysterious power that simply flowed through the universe. Finally. but also stardust. this interconnectedness of all things is known as Second Dharma Seal." but when we speak of interconnectedness. Later. the earth. This is where Lucas changed the concept a bit. the concept remains the same. for example. but the basic principle has stayed the same. we speak not only of living things but of nonliving things as well. In A New Hope. contains not only flower elements like a stem and petals. When Anakin says that he doesn’t really understand. But in The Phantom Menace it is presented as the result of a symbiotic relationship between living things and microscopic organisms called medichlorines that reside in all living cells. In the first three films. Star Wars: A New Hope. "When you learn to . Qui-Gon encourages him by saying. Everything in existence is interdependent on everything else. Everything contains everything else. He said that this is because everything is connected through the Force. But regardless of this change in position on Lucas’s part. in The Phantom Menace. Qui-Gon finds himself explaining this principle to young Anakin. As Qui-Gon explains this to Anakin. In Buddhism. it has been taught that everything in the universe is interconnected. both in Star Wars and Buddhism.The Circle of Life Ever since the first film. in The Empire Strikes Back.
this returns us to Right Mindfulness and being aware of and in touch with the moment. before they have time to know fear." he says. you must identify and eliminate all suffering. Yoda questions him about his mother. or hate. "Everything! Fear is the path to the dark side. A physical ailment can cause you to suffer. Right Mindfulness. Fear leads to anger. all thought. Nirvana is." The purpose of the practices taught by the Buddha—The Four Noble Truths and The Noble Eightfold Path (Right View. "What does that have to do with anything?" To this Yoda replies. Anakin . Right Thinking. In order to achieve nirvana. hate leads to suffering… I sense much fear in you. and eliminate suffering. Suffering can be caused by many things. Anakin responds by saying. come to terms with. when Anakin faces the Jedi Council. The desire for something you can’t have can cause you to suffer." Again. Exposure to things that can water the seeds of fear and hate that we all posses can cause you to suffer. The Jedi are aware of this and. Right Diligence. because of the danger posed by the "dark side" of the Force. Hate Leads to Suffering If you had to sum up the goal of Buddhism in just four words it would be "the elimination of suffering. they identify and train Jedi soon after birth. In The Phantom Menace. anger. you will hear them speaking to you. the elimination of not only all suffering but also all concepts. I think. Right Livelihood)—is ultimately to identify. As we already know. "Afraid to lose her. Right Action.quiet your mind. Right Concentration. in fact." What Yoda was telling him is that being controlled by fear makes it impossible to eliminate suffering and find happiness. Right Speech. anger leads to hate.
Please click here to view a list of suggested reading and continue to explore Zen and the Art of Being Jedi. . I invite you to learn more about Buddhism and explore its connection with Star Wars on your own. There are many others. The Force is about energy and vibration. It is not the aim of this article to convince you that the Jedi are space Buddhists. mind. We sometimes hold negatives within ourselves and never really learn how to deal with them.com This is a technique I use in my meditations. There are many aspects of the Jedi that are mystical and supernatural—the ability to move objects with the mind or the ability to see things before they happen. But many elements of Buddhism have been incorporated into the Jedi. May the Force be with you. First a clearing is done. and spirit. by self acknowledgment of their existence. To learn how to control the Force is to learn to summon and direct that energy at will. These are not principles or teachings of Buddhism. and it is very interesting to see how this aspect of Lucas’s sci-fi epic relates to our earthly culture.mindpowernews. If you are so inclined. More headlines at www. It may be of aid to someone. let them out.ultimately will allow his fear to get the best of him and lead him to the dark side. Conclusion A Jedi is not a Buddha. The aforementioned examples are merely a sampling of Buddhist principles that appear in Star Wars. always. for example. Express them. In meditation a Jedi can use the Force to channel energy through the body.
"I feel so tired." "I will never be able to feel the full power of the Force flowing through me." "I feel lost and not in control of anything." The important thing is to make up your own statements. There is no set time limit. I don't want to do anything." Continue letting out all the negative stuff related to your goal until you feel you have stated them all." "I feel great. If you want visualize the Force as light flowing through you as you make the positive statements and repeat them. I usually run for an hour on the treadmill." "I am at one with the Force." "I have no energy." "I feel the Force. Slow your breathing as you take deep breaths. Sometimes I don't ." "I can do anything I put my mind to now. "I am now and forever being energized by the Force. as the exercise is over when you feel it is over. This meditation has worked for me on many occasions." "I am now at one with the Living Force.Sit in a relaxed position." "I am energized and I feel great." "I cannot feel the Force. Then reverse and clear the negative energy you have brought forth by stating positive affirmations. You don't have to write them down or anything as they should be spontaneous statements that flow from the moment." "The Force flows through me. If the purpose of the exercise is to empower yourself then say how you feel about your lack of power.
49 KB) I give this to my new appentices as their first lesson and also posted the information at TOTJO for general use. If you have any questions feel free to ask. MTFBWY Attach file: meditation. When those words came from his mouth I looked at him like a dog does when it cocks its head in contemplation. how are you going to be able to respond properly to flow of the Force or even the attacks of the negative (Dark Side)? What about when you try to . performance issues before a test. This is the exercise I use to tap into the energy that is the Force and this allows me to finish my run. When I asked why it was important he replied with one word. yesterday.” If your mind is racing with the events of the day. This was. or just about anything. one of the first and hardest lessons I ever had to learn when my master first started instructing me in the ways of the Force. by far.feel I have the energy to do the entire hour.jpg (4. what you have to do tomorrow or next week or whenever. I figured I'd share it with my extended family here at TOTJF as well. “Focus. how are you going to focus on the Living Force? If your mind is too busy wrapping it’s self around the things we spend way too much time dwelling on. This meditation is very flexible and can be applied to healing. I hop someone gets some benefit from it.
you can still see the image in the dark of your mind’s eye. in a chair at a table in a quiet place with little to no distractions. Focus on the flame. “…concentrate on the flame. concentrate again on the candle flame for a few seconds. and fill your sight and mind with the light. so full of the candle flame that there is no room for another single thought. in chapter one. Releasing Stress and Finding Peace. then close your eyes and once again retain. Sit cross legged on the floor or if need be.” Let go of the thoughts of what’s for lunch. If you have ever looked directly at a light bulb or the sun and then closed your eyes. are not meant to be like ships blown where ever the wind wants to take us. Place a lit candle in front of you. We need the ability to focus ourselves at a moments notice. Quieting the mind is one of the first lessons I give an apprentice. The idea here is to fill your mind full of light. We have to block out the random thoughts that catch and take control of our focus. Hold on to the image of the flame for as long as you can. the image of the flame in your mind’s eye. as Jedi. we can not focus. color. that I will use quotes from while explaining this to you. open your eyes. if you can.” Let go of all the random thoughts about what you have to do or have done. We will be drawn off task. and shape of the flame. We. When you feel the image fading. If we do not have the ability to quiet our minds.meditate? Will you have a successful session if you can’t break yourself free from the concerns of the world? We have to quiet our minds. It should be all that matters at that point and time. I was taught a technique taken from a book by Rosemary Altea called. what’s on TV . It is an invaluable lesson. There is no way around this. You Own the Power. That is what you want to achieve by focusing on the flame before you. “Close your eyes and try to retain the image of the flame in your mind’s eye.
If fear tries to grip you. Most find it extremely difficult at first. It will not be easy. focus on the flame. This is a task that requires patience.” You will find yourself able to focus more readily after just a few times of using this meditation and be able to block out the distracters life throws our way. When anger stirs. . quiet your mind. take control your emotions. “Some of you. You have to discipline yourself and not give up. As life starts to overwhelm you. Quiet your mind. after a while. and such. Focus only on the flame. as it avoids any external distractions. see the flame.tonight. and with new vision. handle the situation that is laid before you. may be able to visualize the flame without use of a candle. although closing your eyes is better. Some may find the exercise easy to do with your eyes open. use the light of the flame to push away the darkness that is looming over you.
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