Jovi's Training Journal

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Kol Drake replied the topic: Meditation & more Star Wars

I think the thing that I look forward to the most in Episode VIII is Jedi training - whether it's part of the active plot or covering what's happened in the past. It's one of the things I really liked about the now non-canonical EU books, and the void has only begun to be filled. There has yet to be the equivalent of an I, Jedi in the new canon. The Luke-centric YA book The Weapon of a Jedi started to address this gap but it was limited, and I'm definitely looking for more. I also wonder how it will affect us, the Jedi, the fans who are looking to the fiction for inspiration on how to improve our lives. I don't think anything will change any core ethics - that wouldn't feel true to the spirit of the originals. But I do wonder what nuances it will bring to our approaches and philosophical discussions.


I too am wondering what the 'Disney approved' training for a Jedi might end up being.
Right now we have the 'approved canon' of the cartoon, SW: Rebels -- which sort of goes along with the 'old school' movies of a mentor teaching a student. But with episode VII, we also now have at least two characters having their minds probed (scrambled) by the gothy boy Kylo and somehow 'activating' Jedi 'powers' to one degree or another. I suppose patience will tell all in the end.
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Jovi (oak) replied the topic: Brief Meditation Update

Today I technically meditated twice. I did an unfocused 10 minute meditation in the morning, and this evening did Day 19, standing 10 minute breath-counting meditation. This morning's was primarily restorative, and had only a soft mindfulness focus. This evening I did thr breath counting while standing. Noticed that a tiny bit more effort was required in order to make sure that I was breathing efficiently and not holding tension (in my neck especially). Though tired, I didnt have any lapses in consciousness. I had one distracting moment when my cat decided she wanted my attention. Otherwise it went well.

I am looking forward to starting the next meditation exercise set. Breath counting isnt as relaxing or restorative as the unfocused general meditation. I don't know how much more my skills will develop with just this one approach, and I'd like to work on othet texhniques too.

I would totally like to write more about all the things that have been going on - combat activities, more Star Wars media, and awesome discussions with women in the Jedi community - but it will have to wait until another time so I can put my thoughts together in a coherent fashion (I'm tired and it's late). More to come.
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  • David (Phoenix)
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David (Phoenix) replied the topic: Re:Jovi's Training Journal

Personally I don't find breath work restorative. Instead for me, it's training. You'll find one day you are caught in the middle of the storm (school, work, family issues) and you don't have time to run off and do ten minutes of restorative meditation. That's when your training in breath work comes in. Doing a few simple inhales and exhales will help your body shift to feeling centered until you navigate the storm your in. The breath work is meant to be a trigger to quickly get you centered and calmed. That's just my interesting opinion though lol


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"...who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. " ~ Theodore Roosevelt
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Jovi (oak) replied the topic: Re:Jovi's Training Journal

Thanks - I agree, I wasn't really expecting it to be restorative. I'm following the Meditation Journal for Force Realists (hence the day#s), so I was just saying I'm looking forward to changing things up. I'm trying to get back to doing a daily practice, which I'm tracking via the Insight Timer app and my journaling. Focusing on getting the exercises done has thus far meant I haven't always remembered or had time to do an additional meditation. So thinking about it, I might change my focus to making sure I do daily mindfulness meditation, and then work to get the exercises in.
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Jovi (oak) replied the topic: Moving & Standing Still

Yesterday did sitting meditation, Day 20. Nothing major to report about it, breathing smoothly, with ease determined on how fast I counted my breath. A few thoughts crossing my mind, but managed to kept everything moving. Today I meditated in the morning, standing breath count meditation on the subway (Day 21). A standing meditation on a moving train isnt terrible against a wall/door, though I was focused on not breathing too weirdly. The counts took a bit of focus but weren't as hard as earlier attempts.

Today I also got back to the gym (finally). It had been a few months. I did suprisingly well for where I had left off, able to run at a light pace for 6 minutes without interruption initially and then with subsequent 1, 2, and 3 minute runs over the next half an hour. For me this was diagnostic because I'd been out of the game for a while. I did it as the intro session to Zombie Run 5k, a program I'd started before but never completed. Last time around I advanced a little too quickly (partly the fault of the program itself) and pushed through calf strains that I didnt recognize as an actual injury. But the zombie narrative is helpful to compel one forward, so I gave it a try, a little wiser this time. If it doesn't go well (signs of overuse/strain or even if it leaves no time for crosstraining), I can easily switch to another program.
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Jovi (oak) replied the topic: Inspiration

What does inspiration have to do with a Jedi? Before today I wouldn't have thought they had anything to do with each other. In druidry inspiration is called "awen" and is an important force (no pun intended). It's basically channeling creativity, if creativity were an intelligent thing. But I couldn't think of a Star Wars context for it.

Well, I had a inspiration nearly smack me upside the head today in a project I'd been stuck on for months. I thought "holy crap it's awen!" But I think it makes sense as the Force too. Thinking about it, Jedi do get light bulbs turned on all the time, they're just typically not doing creative or writing projects when it happens. Think of all those "use the Force" moments when it's not a telekinetic or Jedi mind trick sort of situation - like when they actually have to find an answer to a problem. It's often accompanied by a statement of "search your feelings" or "trust your instinct" or other things you can hear Obi Wan saying in your head. And when the Jedi / Force-sensitive quiets their mind and listens, they get it. The thing they're supposed to do. The answer to the question. It's inside of them... and it's the Force.

I can't say mine came from a zen-like state. I wasn't in the depths of meditation when it happened. I sat down at a computer for an assignment that had to be submitted today, a relatively dense writing project that I simply wasn't wrapping my head around. I had to connect the dots between a number of things and it just wasn't happening, and had led me to procrastinate for months. So today I sat, caffeinated, stressed, a little (okay a lot) desperate. I had a little inkling to look up a previous dead end, which suddenly bore a tiny bit of fruit. And then it clicked. It clicked hard. I knew the approach, and it was totally sideways from what I'd been thinking/assuming.

It wasn't like that was it, story over, happily ever after. I still had to do a lot of work to put it all together, do more research, find more sources to back up my perspective, stayed at work a full three and a half hours late on a Friday night, but I did it. I still have to make it through my mentors' feedback and revisions. But it really feels like I did the impossible.

It was the Force. And it was me. And awen, and luck, and gods, and MBO I did yesterday, and whatever you want to throw in. And I am so thankful.
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Inspiration

We definitely need a "2 thumbs up" emotie for such posts. :meditate
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Jovi (oak) replied the topic: Meditation, Updates, and Positivity

Overall updates on meditation, fitness, and outlook, as well as putting things in perspective.

I have determined that doing seated breath meditation on a full stomach isn't so fun. Despite what I originally thought, I still have about another week to go of breath meditations before switching to another focus. I'm day 22 now, and did my seated breath meditation while tired and distracted. I've also finally started to regain the habit of an almost-daily meditative practice.

For Day 22, I changed things up this time in my breath counts, going from 4-4-16 to 5-7-8. The entire time it didn't feel entirely comfortable, like my breath was just a little too long or too short from what I wanted it to be. No yawning. I suspect that was because my belly was full, making full diaphragm movement harder. I noticed my mind wandering once, but it is wasn't a significant problem.

Fitness-wise, I went to the gym twice this week, both with cardio. Also did formal yoga sessions twice this week. Stage combat practice is back to a weekly thing again. And the remaining days I've worked to get extra walking in. One of those efforts (today) led us to some accidental sightseeing and a restaurant that's now among our favorites.

I started reading the Dharma of Star Wars, and although I'm only a part of the way in, I think my takeaways from that could easily take up a whole post. So more to come on that.

Today I also identified the need to recognize and document the joy in my life. It's hard to keep the positive things in perspective when anxiety and sadness butt in as a result of life stressors and brain chemistry. I think documenting the positive (likely on my personal social media) will help remind me to appreciate all the good I have and notice it more. There's also always a little tiny something good even in the worst of days. I'm also hoping that fostering this appreciation will help encourage more radiation of lovingkindness. I started tonight with some photo documentation of all the lovely things we encountered. More updates as this project unfolds.
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David (Phoenix) replied the topic: Re:Jovi's Training Journal

I also really enjoyed the Dharma of Star Wars. I look forward to seeing a post on it :-) Maybe, if you want, you could start a discussion thread. I'm sure others would love to jump in and discuss!


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"...who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. " ~ Theodore Roosevelt
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Jovi (oak) replied the topic: Re:Jovi's Training Journal

I'd be interested in doing that when I get farther in. I'm going through the book very slowly so I can digest all the concepts.
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