What is a Jedi?
So many people want to say “I am a Jedi” however if you ask them to write a one page paper about what a Jedi is to them you tend to get lots of movie Quotes but nothing or an original thought.
A Jedi is a person who sees their life as a life of meaning and purpose. The meaning of our life is attuning ourselves with the universal life source, and to use its power to guide our actions throughout the day. Our purpose is to use the power entrusted to us to help others who are placed within our life. In the movies and in the books they make this look cool but in reality things rarely look as glamorous.
Jedi are attuned with the Universal Life Source. Through this attunement we learn how to strengthen, energize and even heal ourselves and others. The Universal Life Source also allows us to strengthen our intuition which is what is necessary for creating our sphere or responsibility. The sphere of responsibility is what makes the difference between the Jedi and the rest of the population. Our Sphere or Responsibility is essentially a 6st sense above and beyond our normal 5 senses. Through our sphere of responsibility we know or feel what is going on around us which is what helps us in dealing with situations.
When a Jedi walks up to a potential fight they use this 6 sense to feel what is going on and know how to best deal with the situation. If a person is about to through down then the Jedi uses their senses to react to the situation before the person launches a full blown attack. When a Jedi comes across a person in Distress the Jedi uses their connection to the Universal Life Source for guidance to know what they should or should not say. In many ways Jedi and Empathic Individuals have much in common and in truth Jedi could learn a lot from empathic training.
We are there to prevent situations from going physical or if need be we get physical to prevent serous injury or even death. We are the people who will fight so the weak will not have to. We are the people who will help a person in lying in the middle of the street at 2:00 in the morning because if we do not then we know the next car that comes through will be full of drunk drivers and will kill them. We are the people who would help a person out of a burning car because we know if we don’t then odds are the person could day. In short we accept that others are more important then us and are willing to keep others safe. I know this aspect of the Jedi path may not seem appealing to others however if you are not willing to accept this aspect then the Jedi path may not be the path for you. Thankfully in most of our lives one or more of this situations may not present themselves but should one or more of these events take place the way you respond to it is what makes the difference between the true Jedi and those who only think being a Jedi would be cool.
Sadly some people mistake the Jedi Order for the Boy Scouts of American with scouts looking to earn merit badges. Yes helping others is always a good thing, however this should be done as a individual offering kindness not because one is a Jedi. If a Jedi wants to stand at a street corner to help little old ladies cross the road then great, however doing this does not make you a better Jedi nor does not doing so make you a bad Jedi. Personally I highly believe people should help others whenever they feel the need to and working with homeless shelters and habitat for humanity are 2 wonderful places to start.
There is a lot to consider before one decides to walk the Jedi path. One needs to ask themselves if they are really willing to put in the work to become a Jedi. One needs to know that being a Jedi is neither easy nor is it glamorous. There may be risk in being a Jedi and we need to ask ourselves if the risk is worth it. The Jedi path requires a great deal of reading, meditation, strength training, and cardio vascular training and of course hours in the dojan preparing for what if situations.
Traditional Jedi Principles
1. The force is used to serve to save lives not to take them.
As Jedi we call upon the force to aid in our lives especially when we are protecting others. We are not judges, we can not decide who lives or who dies, and we do not have such authority. Our goals in conflict resolution are merely to end the conflict with as little for as necessary. To take a life, is a great ordeal that not many are prepared to deal with, the cost of taking a life is high, even soldiers and law enforcement are never truly prepared for this. No matter what the crime may be to take a life will have effects on your life.
2. The force should never be used for personal gain.
Personal gain is difficult to deal with. With gain come perceived power and other influences. We are here to maintain harmony and balance if we tip the scales in our favor we will interrupt the harmony of life around use. Things that we feel may be little changes or adjustments could have extremely powerful ramifications.
3. Every Jedi has a vote in making decisions for the community.
So many Jedi boards have councils and this and that are these things really a good thing? Yes and no depending on the situation. During times of distress councils are good for limited amount of political issues as possible, however as most of use to not have to worry about saving the world from the “Evil Empire” such councils are not necessary. Even if we all go to one community would you really think 10 people controlling the events for thousands? Would 10 people be able to speak for a large group? The dangers of such power could destroy the entire Jedi Order. Looks at SW3 for example. If the council did not try to take Papitine by force, and when through the proper channels to get him out of office the great tragedy could have been avoided, however Mace (who is my opinion was a great sith in training) took it upon himself and 3 saber masters to take the power by force. Perhaps his intentions where pure, however the manor of it done was not. I would venture a bet that Anakin himself would have come up with a better plan if given the proper motivation to do so. The council acted without the consent or feed back from the order, thus they are responsible for destroying the order.
4. The Jedi should work to support and maintain to the new republic, but not at the expense of Jedi ideals.
I have read this on several sites and I must agree. We should infect work within the government systems, but not be a part of them. Working for a government no matter whom great the government can lead to temptations of power or even neglecting one’s duties. Anakin is a great example of this. His relationship with Papitine leads him to his destruction. (Though again I do hold the Jedi council responsible for this as well)
5. If the Jedi are called upon to fight they will defend the helpless without hatred, anger, or thoughts or revenge.
With luck we will never need to enter conflict. In-fact fortnightly most of use will not have to enter a physical conflict. When there is no choice, and physical action is required it must be acted upon. When we enter physical conflicts keep your mind clear and focused, never lose sight of your goal. Anger, hatred, and revenge can be extremely powerful motivation, however it will cloud you mind. A clouded mind is difficult for 2 reasons. It could lead in you taking actions such as taken a life, or it could blind you and allow others to take advantage and destroy you.
Positive Aspects of a Jedi’s Character 5. Courage 8. Discipline 11. Love and compassion
A Jedi pursues a path of perfection. We train our minds, our bodies and our spirits as one unit. We do not slack from any aspect of ourselves. We are disciplined our training, our dedication and loyalty to the force, our family’s, and the Jedi Order is always on our minds, and our hearts.
Law of the land is what we must fallow. However laws of compassion are also taken into account. Our job is not to punish the guilty. Our jobs are to protect those who need protected. We are not Judges, juries or executioners. We are guardians and protectors. If you goal is to run around and right all the wrongs of the world the Jedi path is not for you.
Loyalty as mentioned before is a core value of the Jedi. Our loyalty is first and for most to the force. Our second loyalty is to your loved ones and friends, next the Jedi order. I know that many people will disagree with this in public, but agree in private.
A Jedi is responsible to protect those who need protected. Be it from words to physical actions. A Jedi does not allow people within their circle of responsibility to be harmed in any manor. There are 2 keys to defense that we must always keep in mind. The first is being physically fit enough to defend others, and the second is knowing how to defend yourself and others. If you are lacking in either of these areas you will not be able to defend yourself, let alone someone else.
Please keep in mind there is a huge difference between courage and stupidity. If you see 20 beating on one person have someone call for help before you try to interfere. Or if you see someone on the top of a 100 story burning building engulfed and flames and smoke and you are wearing a tank top and shorts do not enter the building. These actions look great on TV however in reality you will not have the happy ending. Have courage stand up for those who can not stand up for themselves. Also stick to the courage of your convictions. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. The people helping to save others during the summer of disaster that is courage. Standing up for someone who is about to get beat up on with a 3 on one that is courage. Standing up for others even when no one else will agree with you this is also courage.
Faith is extremely important in your lives. Have faith in the guidance of the force. Have faith in your friends and loved ones. Have faith in the Jedi order. Even when we disagree with each other over training ideas we still need to have faith that we will always be there fore each other when we are in need.
Are you fallowing the will of the force, or the will of yourself? It is not always easy to fallow the guidance of the force. We may not see its purpose for leading us in a certain direction, however there is still a purpose and we need to take its lead. This takes faith, and discipline. Actuality oddly enough it is listed between the two qualities on this list. Also never forget the guidance of your fellow Jedi. During difficult times I turn to other Jedi for advice.
Our path is not an easy path for anyone to just choice to walk. The hours of reading, working out, practicing are very long hours. Doing the right thing no matter what happens is also never easy, but something that we can not slack away from. There will be times in your training when you will want to slack off for a week and not train but in the end you will only be hurting yourself. If you choice to not workout, then your body will suffer. If you choice to go get stoned instead of training, then you need to see yourself in the mirror.
A Jedi is always attuned to his or her sphere of responsibility. Focus on nothing but feel everything. Focus on everything but keep to nothing. When I go out to the movies or the mall I am always observing what is going on around me. You really never know when a psycho will come out of the wood work trying to harm you or someone else in that area. Never be complacent in this area. Never grow sloppy. It is debated if a Jedi should drink or not, I say it is up to the Jedi. If a Jedi can go have a drink and still be able to protect themselves and others then have a drink if you wish. However if you can not handle what you drink then you focus will be destroyed resulting in possible death or injury to you, or someone in your sphere of influence.
This subject and never be talked about enough. We all have different views on training however I say stick to the core. Keep your mind, body, and spirit strong. Read to be informed of what is going on in the world around you. Train your body to be physically fit. Train your mind and body together for self defense. And train in spirituality to be come one with the force, or the God you serve.
We need to have love and compassion for everyone. Our friends, family other Jedi and even those who attack you verbally or physically. If you have no love in your heart of others then what good is this path of devotion? If you do not have love and compassion then why put yourself on the line to save others? This is one area I admit I have never spoken of much, and I am glad someone called me out on it. Unlike many of the other aspects I always assumed love and compassion where things we were all born with, and do not need to work on. I was wrong in that assumption. Having compassion for others in need is easy, however having compassion for those who attack you is not. It takes time, and dedication but this is an important area in your path that needs to be worked on. It may not be right for Jedi to cry, but I can tell you that I feel others pain more then I feel my own.
11. Love and compassion
Daily Activities of the Jedi
A Jedi lives a hard life; however it is a truly rewarding life. We are approaching a new year so I figure this will be something to consider before that day comes. I put together a small list of daily training things I have been doing that I feel may benefit others.
1. Chi Development(Attunement with the Force) Chi, Ki, Prana, living force or whatever else you wish to call it is life energy within us. Being attuned with this energy daily is essential to the Jedi path. We need to strive to develop life’s energy on a consistent, daily basis. High amounts of chi gives you more energy, a focused mind and better healing opportunities.
2. Meditation There are many types of meditations to consider. The trick is to find the style that works best for you. The most common one for beginners is mindful breathing. This is when you are completely aware of your breath, you breathe in for a 4 count, out for a 4 count, while watching your breath enter and leave your body. You are also breathing with your navel not your chest. Other types of meditations are no mind, walking, contemplative thoughts are image meditation. In our meditation section we have a few different types of meditations for those who are not fimular with meditations.
3. Mental Training We live in the age of information; a wealth of knowledge is available at the click of a button. Wikipedia is a great site with information on almost any topic a Jedi wishes to know about. I highly recommend reading Jedi fiction, Taoism, Martial Arts information, samurai, Shaolin monks, and books on the healing arts. (However that is just my opinion on topics, there are lots of other topics a Jedi may be interested in, there are just my personal favorites. As a Jedi you should spend no less then 30-45 minutes daily reading and studying different things on the Jedi path. This may require some time management skills; however it can be done easily. As a Jedi we are told over and over that there is no ignorance there is knowledge. Owning books on the Jedi way is nice, however to truly benefit from them you need to take the time, effort and discipline necessary to gain that knowledge. Like Yoda told Luke I will tell you, when you are doing with your daily studies unlearn what you have learned. What does that mean? It means do not use your studies as pieces of information useful in games like Jeopardy or Trivial Pursuit take the knowledge you have acquired and apply it to some aspect of your life. Apply what you have learned, do not just store it in your mind where it will not be useful.
4. Health in Nutrition This topic will be discussed in detail in the spring of 2006. As Jedi we need to keep our bodies in great shape. Exersize programs can not be stressed enough. Proper eating, sleeping, hygen and everything is a must. What you put into your body will effect it in some way shape or form, so be careful with what you put into it. Your body is a temple of living energy, do not defile this temple with unhealthy substances. In the physical training section of Force Followers United there is a generic workout for those who are looking to become more physically active in their lives.
5. Self defense No matter which Jedi path you choice to follow self defense skills are a must. Odds are you will never need to physically enter a conflict however I would rather be overly prepared for a situation, rather then under prepared. Aside form learning how to defend yourself you will also learn discipline, commitment, self esteem, confidence and mental toughness as your progress through the rank systems. There are many different styles of martial arts, at Force Followers United we have a list of some of the most common martial arts, in truth all the styles have their own strengths and weakness, and you just need to find the style that works best for you.
6. Jedi Paths Which path is the force calling you to walk? The paths of the councilor, where you help others work through difficult decisions? The path of the guardian where you are responsible for the physical welfare of others. Perhaps you are a Jedi sentinel, a combination of the 2. Or perhaps you are a healer, dedicated to helping others who are having physical or mental discomfort? Lastly perhaps you have choice another Jedi path, or service, or historian or something of that nature. What ever Jedi path you choice to follow make sure that same path is within your career goals as well. Combine your Jedi life with the rest of your actives. No use being a closet Jedi.
7. Enjoy Life This life is gift enjoy it as much as possible. The way of the Jedi is not easy, and at times it will not be fun, however we still need to find time to relax, enjoy life and spend time with loved ones. You may not be punching a Jedi time clock, however remember you are a Jedi 24 hours a day. While you are with your loved ones remember to keep focused on your sphere of responsibility and listen to the guidance of the force.
Training to Become a JEDI Knight
JEDI training is not easy but it is not as difficult as some people may think. For the most part it is actually fairly simple. Training falls into 3 groups and often combined together. JEDI strive to strengthen and balance ones self.
A strong healthy body is important. Yes we can use the universal life force to strengthen ourselves, however that does not mean we should neglect your physical health. Strength training and Cardio training is the basic level of this training. This can be done through a home exercise program, or working out at a local health club. Personally I prefer a health club because there is not nearly as many distractions at the gym then at the house. Normally when people envision working out at the gym they think of body builders however this is not often the case. JEDI seek strong lean muscle verses large bulky muscles.
Martial Art Training
As JEDI we commit to the protection of others, this is also done by many people who train in traditional martial art disciplines. In fact most traditional martial art schools make sure their that students know that they are expected to defend themselves and loved ones as well as protect the weak from those who wish to bully them. Traditional martial arts teach us techniques to nuturalize attackers and defuse situations quickly.
Traditional martial art studies also include a great deal of mental training and spiritual training. We learn about our martial art style as well as using KI to strengthen ourselves.
All JEDI need to possess a academic education. This best academy education is a high school diploma for those in the US or something similar to those of other nations. All JEDI need to know how to read, write and most importantly think. Understanding basics of history and science is also useful. Aside from traditional academic studies reading the extended universe books will also help one to understand every aspect of the JedI life. Through this reading one would logically conclude what topics were used in writing the extended universe books.
One should also strive to learn about the cultures, tradtions and spiritual paths of others . By understanding others believe systems and culture it is easier to understand them. Learning of other cultures is also extremely important especially if a JedI wished to cross borders and go to other nations. American JedI would be shell shocked in other nations that to not share the same standard of living as the American JedI do. JedI should also consider taking a basic psychiatry class and learn about conflict resolution
Taking a quick study of the varity of JedI Paths is also useful before one decides which path to follow Above all else as JedI we are guardians, however in reality we do not as guards for political figures or go from world to world to world to deal with conflicts so we need to follow other paths to be useful in this life. By understanding the other JedI paths and making a wise decision about which path to follow is useful when deciding what type of career to follow in their regular life. We may be JedI every moment of every day but being a JedI does not path the bills for any of us at the moment.
Attuning oneself to the universal life force is the goal of every jedI. There are many ways to achieve this goal. The most basic way of doing this is through basic sitting mediations, by focusing on ones breath it is easy to calm down the mind and body and take energy and information in from the universal life source. Another way of doing this is through yoga or qigong practice. Moving meditations are wonderful and for those who are not apt at sitting meditations this way is more effective for them In Taekwondo we learn poomse or forms as some may call them. In the WTF line of Taekwondo we learn Taeguek form with each one being associated with a different element. I often use my poomse as a way of tapping into the universal life source to strengthen and energize myself.
Part of spiritual development is being aware of and strengthens ones sphere of responsibility. The sphere or responsibility is how attuned one is within their surroundings. For some this may be only 3 feet for others it may be a mile By attuning with the force we are able to be more aware of surroundings and increase our sphere or responsibility.
JedI should also be certified first responders. Being a First Responder means that you are certified in CPR, and General first aid. The certifications time frames will change so one needs to keep up on their certification dates. The Red Cross is who all first responder training is approved though however many organizations such as fire departments offer the programs as well. It is also extremely beneficial to continue learning basics of first aid from using splints, knowing how to stop blood loss, what to do is a person goes into shock and even known what to do when a person gets poisend through eating or snake bits.
In the extended universe JedI of different speciality paths were paired with someone of that path, but others started their speciality path after then became JedI Knights in the real world it is the same. I give my students a basic understanding of the specialty paths as part of their training, however they have until they become knights before they need to decide which of the paths if any they choice to follow.
In one way the JedI Path is like the army. Every soldier in the army needs to go through basic combat training, however once they graduate basic training they then move on their MOS or specialy school. No matter what their specialty job they may be they are soldiers first and the same holds for the JedI path. I may be a JedI Healer, however if I need to physically interject myself into a situation to save a person I would certainly do so. I may enjoy healing rather then causing harm, however as a JedI I do what needs to be done.
Training for after becoming a JedI Knight
After one becomes a JedI knight there is not much difference in the basic of training. We strive to learn new things while still working on Mastering the older skills. As a Black Belt in TKD I have been taught 18 different poomse. I may only receive one new poomse to learn for my next belt test but I am expected to know each of the other 17 forms I was taught in the past Often the Masters enjoy calling older forms on promotional testing to assure that we are still working on them I often say that you really do not get your current form until you are a rank or two higher and it is true. A white belt doing Kibon 1 to test for their yellow belt will not look the same as a black belt doing Kibon 1. As a black belt I am expected to continue working on Mastering my older forms and techniques taught to me which in concept is the same of the JedI path. Some things may seem like basic training for the JedI Knight however that does not mean we should stop working on them. The only other difference is that JedI Knights are also called upon to start training the next generation. In a perfect world a JedI Knight will only have one student, however in the real world this is not always the case. In the real world when I started our JedI group I taught 3 people at one time and I am presently working on training a new member. The other 3 may not longer be under my teachings however until the day they day they are still my students.
I started learning more about being a JedI Guardian which for the most part was a larger varity of martial art styles and did not choose to become a JedI Healer until years after becoming a JedI knight which is why I do not recommand specialty training until after one becomes a JedI knight.