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Institute for Jedi Realist Studies - Connor's Journal - Page 43 - Institute for Jedi Realist Studies

Connor's Journal

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Jax replied the topic: Re:Connor's Journal

If you want to see us before you leave Katie, you are welcome to. David leaves Saturday but I will be here forever....or a little while at least. :-)
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Kai-An Tatok replied the topic: Re:Connor's Journal

Aw thanks! I don't think I'm going to have time, I'm visiting with highschool friends and working again (the joys of freelancing) this week, but thanks!

"Close your eyes. Feel it. The light, it's always been there. It will guide you." -Maz Kanata
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Jax replied the topic: Re:Connor's Journal

Cool! Not to totally hijack Connor's journal but I'm hoping we can swing down to your area when we go to Oregon next year (most likely).
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Connor replied the topic: Re:Connor's Journal

From my to-do list: Good Samaritan Laws for IN and TX

IN:
www.cprinstructor.com/IN-GS.htm
www.cprinstructor.com/IN-AED.htm

The Indiana law protects people certified as CFResponders and Paramedics/EMTs. Except for gross negligence and willful neglect, they are protected.

People who aren't certified should be careful.. I don't think they have the same protections as they do in most states. I will have a First Responder certificate, though. So, it won't matter so much.

TX:
www.cprinstructor.com/TX-GS.htm

This one is much better in my opinion. Anybody in good faith is protected UNLESS of willful negligence or idiocy. :P

Pretty straight forward!

House Rules: The only rules are Paradox, Humor, and Change.
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Connor replied the topic: Re:Connor's Journal

Today has been a whirlwind kind of day.

I had to get up early so that I could go and work on an audio project 45 minutes away from my house. That went well, but I was not a happy camper to have to get up early after sleeping in yesterday.

Today was Summer Cleaning day, I guess... Mother stood over me whilst I purged my room of half of my things. lol. It needed to be done, but she was a bother about it. Sometimes I feel like I'm still 16 in this household. I wonder why I'm choosing that...

The feel of an empty room is amazing, though. I feel like it has so many possibilities. HDIGABTT?

Tomorrow, I play a gig for some kids at a library in the morning. Then, I am going to teach some more. I guess I didn't realize how busy this summer would be. I may choose to slow it down next week. And, I'm going to the Lake this weekend for a solo fasting retreat and meditation silence (Thursday evening - Saturday evening). Should be good to get away from all this negative energy.

House Rules: The only rules are Paradox, Humor, and Change.
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Jax replied the topic: Re:Connor's Journal

It's hard for parents to let their kids grow up much of the time. Good time to practice allowance, out creating, and asking lots of questions. yay? lol
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Connor replied the topic: Re:Connor's Journal

Indeed, yay! haha.

But, I have found some time to get away and be alone at the Lake this weekend (till Saturday night).

I am just going to hang out and finish some write ups (the Jedi Gathering review, Phoenix's Bars review (for his site), and a couple of other things...).

Will be relaxing and nice.

House Rules: The only rules are Paradox, Humor, and Change.
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Connor replied the topic: Re:Connor's Journal

Just reporting in.

I'm at my lake house right now, taking in the lake air and getting away from my parents. Coming home from the Gathering + stress of work and being a children's counselor at a camp + parents harping on me about things... Ugh. It's so overwhelming. I am trying my hardest to stay above it and clear a bunch of things. But, I've been slipping into "comfort habits" like eating crappy things and not helping myself.

Whenever we are in pain, sometimes we like to revel in it. If we accept it, then we don't have to fight it and it becomes easier.

I want to rid myself of this attitude.

As I relax here at the lake, I am hoping my meditations will help me find a little clarity. :)

House Rules: The only rules are Paradox, Humor, and Change.
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Jax replied the topic: Re:Connor's Journal

:-) Sounds awesome.
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Connor replied the topic: Re:Connor's Journal

Jedi Gathering Reflection – Connor Lidell

UPDATE: So, it is Sunday night… a week after I left the Gathering in Colorado. At this point, I feel an unimaginable sadness. I am so depressed because I know it will be a whole month before I even get to see another Jedi. Then, after that, who knows how long it will be. And, you guys are my freaking family… how am I supposed to live without you guys? Shamus, Jacob, Jackie, David, etc… I miss you all so much already. I can feel our embrace through the Force, and I know that we will be together again someday soon. – Much love, Connor.

UPDATE: It’s now TWO weeks since the gathering started… I have had to retreat to the woods to feel ok writing this all out and getting these amazing experiences on paper. I will be posting this tonight, so hooray!

I am finally getting around to writing this, over 24 hours after decompressing from the amazing, life-changing trip. To give you a short indication of my experience, I really did not want to come home… And, I actually like being home a lot of the time. But, I met my family for the first time… That’s really something.

DAY ZERO:
The trip began on Wednesday, June 10. I went to the airport after packing, and I took the plane ride to Colorado. Upon landing in Denver, I met up with David (Jedi Phoenix). We had a short conversation, and we bonded. Eventually, Jackie got off work and was able to pick us up. She lives a little south east of Denver, so the ride gave us a chance to talk. David has met Jackie before, and I met Jackie a couple of years ago myself. This part of the gathering was nice and comfy. Just a teacher and her students having a good time. David and I met Melody, Jackie’s baby. And, of course we saw Carrie, who is doing well. We ordered pizza, I chopped up a salad, and we watched Newsies! David had never seen it, so it was behoove us to educate him. I am still singing “Santa Fe” a week after. So good.

David and I slept in bunk beds that night. Very fun! Jackie has a little inversion device where you can lie down upside down. I didn’t try it, but I wish I had remembered to do it. David seemed to have a good time in his futile attempt at gaining an inch in his spine.

DAY ONE
The next day, battling the altitude with plenty of water and electrolytes, the Meyer clan made our way to Sunrise. We had a good breakfast that Jackie made. We hit the road in the early afternoon after going to a restaurant called Illegal Pete’s. There, I had some blessèd quesadillas! So freaking good. After that, we hit the road again to Sunrise Ranch.

The ride up to Sunrise was an event in itself. If you aren’t familiar with the landscape of Colorado, you should acquaint yourself in the near future. It really reminded me of Ireland… just less green. And, Jackie tells me that it was greener than normal (for this time of year). But, we saw the mountains and some smaller Colorado towns. Loveland was especially quaint. It was delightfully country and it reminded me of the small towns in Indiana and Texas.

Upon reaching Sunrise, we checked in. It was around 4:30, and Shamus had been sitting in his chair for 2 hours waiting for us… Shamus is really just that caring and awesome. I introduced myself to Jacob, Preston, Atticus, Katie, and all the other Jedi there! We were 11 in all, 12 if you count Carrie, 13 if you count the little-est Jedi Melody. Once we filled out forms and checked/settled in, we all had communal dinner and had our opening session.

I have to say that meeting everybody was something else. It was a little surreal… Like, it didn’t even sink in until much later that evening. If you haven’t experienced a gathering, let me tell you what it was like for me upon meeting these people. I have worked with them online for years now… I have been at IJRS since 2008-9 (around its inception), I was in the community in 2004… It’s been half a lifetime for me. But, I’d met 3 Jedi in my life until now. Gabe, Boom, and Jackie. Now, I was surrounded by 9-10 other Jedi. It’s crazy! You see these people and you think they are new but they FEEL like you’ve known them for lifetimes. Their shared viewpoints are like a breath of fresh air… like everything you’ve wanted to say to somebody for years can go unsaid because they already know what you’re going to say. The universe was aligned, and the cogs were turning.

I am going to go into each person I met at the Gathering now, so if you want to not do some heavy character description, move on to the end… (ALSO: NOTE: There is language!! NSFW!)

PERSONALS
JK Barger,
This guy fucks. I mean, really. Jacob is probably the coolest guy I know. And, when I say that, I mean he is really awesome. I can’t believe you’re real, really. Think about yourself: You have a vast knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism and the coolest parts of Zen. You have an incredible handle on the Jedi Lore (something I aspire to myself). Really, you have some skills that I really am working at getting. You are, in a way, a mentor for my intellectual self. On the flipside, though, your spiritual awareness is dope. You have a natural sense for the Divine, and I love that you’re so open to things. Your exam went very well, and I think you can safely bet that you’re going to be a very integral part of the Jedi Community as we develop and grow. Thank you so much for hanging out with me! Going on walks! Talking the talk too. Staring at the stars. Talking about love and life and the infinite. You really are the Master Jedi Librarian, both knowledge-wise and experiential. Be well and I’ll see you again soon!

Atticus,
Atticus is freaking incredible. You’ve never met such an introvert, but this guy knows. his. stuff. I enjoyed taking his class and I also enjoyed getting to talk a little with him. Atticus, you really are the embodiment of peace. When I look at you, I see the power of a Jedi just waiting to be called on. I know that if I was in a blink of trouble, you would be one of the first ones there to help me out if we were in the same general area. Haha. I trust you completely to be a stand up Jedi, following the ideals of your profession and hobbies. Thank you so much for coming and I hope to see you again soon!

Shamus,
OMG, this guy is a real smooth dude. This guy is a powerful entity. If you haven’t felt Shamus’s energy… it’s like a calm, centered energy, but one that also reaches out to hold you when you need it. He is smart, witty, and totally caring. He has skills in diplomacy that I could only dream of having… And, because of his total unassuming personality, it took me a while to catch on to his brilliance. Shamus, you make a really amazing first impression because I think of you as a reliable, honest, and stand up guy. And, those are all true… but it doesn’t even scratch the surface of the depth of your abilities! You have such intuition, such comfort and poise, such amazing communication skills… I really hope you find what you want from the Jedi Path and that we can be a contribution to your life’s journey! Love you, bud! See you soon too.

Kai-An,
Now Kai-An is a Jedi about to be Knighted. This is pretty amazing… I got to see a Jedi who has been through years of training. One who has moved out on her own. Started her own chapter. Has been in the community for a very long time… I’m just so impressed with her absolutely incredible demeanor. She is passionate, a little in your face in the good way, and she teaches Yoga like nobody’s business. Always willing to be a friend, I felt completely comfortable discussing the future of the Path and the universe with her in Hot Tub Council Meeting #1. Really blessed to meet you! Thank you for coming to the Gathering, meeting all us crazy kids, and sharing your vision. I can’t wait to see you in Martinsville and be there to support you in your Knighting.

Moonshadow,
Moon is the embodiment of the wise sage. She has been around for many years. In fact, without her, Gatherings would not really be a thing (in the way we know them). She really was the catalyst for those events. And, because of her efforts, we are now starting to see more than one main gathering in the US a year!! That’s incredible! Moon, you and I got to bond a little during our trip through the mountains. I am so glad that we got to talk and walk around Estes together. We also got to experience Bars together! You saw that power. It’s really amazing. I know how you felt about this Gathering, and I hope it has only strengthened your bond to the community and that we see you around for many more years! You have been and continue to be an invaluable contribution to the Jedi Community. I love you and I will see you in August! Deliver David to me safely. :P Don’t let him run your Bars in the car.

Memnoich,
I am so happy that we got to meet and kind of reconcile whatever problems we had. I know you apologized to me, but I didn’t really get the chance to formally apologize for being an ass! I’m certain that, over the years, I’ve said stupid shit on the forums. But, you inspired me to clean up my act and really take my studies seriously and without ego driving me. I am also inspired to take a chance on the outdoors. I have been camping! And, since I wrote my Sit Awareness course… I really have changed my view on Nature. Recognizing it as the very expression of the Divine has been very helpful in bringing me out of my shell. So, for those reading this, understand that Mem is a very inspiring person. He brings out the best in people, and he has amazing ideas for the future of the Path and the Jedi Community. I hope we can meet again next time I’m in CO!

Lars,
DUDE DUDE DUDE! This guy is my student. And, an amazing student he is. Really, he surpasses me in a few areas. But, I’m glad a whippersnapper like him can still learn a thing or two from me. :P He is a really amazing spiritualist, and I couldn’t be prouder of his skills on his feet. He has a sense for the outdoors and exploration. The wonder in his eyes really inspires me to continue reaching for my ultimate self. Lars, continue working on your assignments, and you will be an even greater Jedi than you already are. Of course, not much more needs to be said. The bond between a mentor and student is one that can often just be left unsaid. The energy informs us. And, we both know how good that energy felt. See you soon! Next time I am in CO, we will meet for a check up on how you’re doing. In no time at all, I expect to see you on the Knighting floor! (After me, hopefully… haha)

Phoenix,
Alright. Let’s chill for a moment. Take some Scooby snacks. David and I met in the airport, like I said. But, this dude was so cool. He comes up, and we just start talkin’ Jedi. We go see murals and bond over blueprint galleries (by the way, that wasn’t the main art gallery… whoops…). And, then we just have a great time. In fact, we had such a great time, that I’m not going to write anymore about it. From Bars, to Newsies, to ‘walks’, to failing at Lightsaber bracelets… How awesome can it even get?

DAY ONE CONTINUED
To finish out the first day, we had a lively discussion on the Code! We went down the line and everybody introduced themselves. They each gave me their best interpretation of one line of the code. We all learned interesting interpretations that we hadn’t considered before. I was psyched to learn and teach that first night. After the intro, Jackie came back from taking care of the baby and we talked about the weekend. We sat down and had a meditation on the code, going line by line in our heads and feeling the energy until we could work through our crap and make it a mantra. Mantra meditations are powerful. They are uncompromising and they provide good direction for our lives (as long as the energy of the mantra is good). After discussing how we felt, we went off and explored a little bit. Some of us took a late night stroll around the grounds. Some of us went to a family room. And, eventually, we all ended up in the same place! Then, we slept.

DAY TWO
So, Day Two was equally amazing! We all got up for early morning Zazen. It was pretty awesome! I enjoyed my time on the cushion. If I’ll be honest, it was the only morning I was able to get up for the early morning stuff. I’m not so much a morning person…

I realize that this is becoming extremely verbose! So, I will try to be more concise.

First activity we did was called Access Bars. It was a really wonderful modality modeled around energy points on the head that hold conclusions about how we live our lives. And, the bars exercise allowed us to clear a lot of those energies. Many people reported feelings of light-headedness, heat, energy, etc. I ran Katie Mock’s bars. She ran mine. Lots of fun!

Second activity we did was Yoga! It was your basic vinyasa routine, moving through downward dog, planking, and many other wonderful poses. I have incorporated some of them into my own exercises. Katie ran that section.

We then worked on some lightsaber forms for a bit of fun! The dulons and velocities can be used as a discipline practice. Important for Jedi to have discipline. So, while it can be “play”, it can also be training. Baru led us in some fun movement activities.

After lunch, we did more swordplay. Then, we had a workshop called Attunement. Attunement is a healing modality, but it is centered on the principle of moving energy radiation through the physical planes of the body. Namely, the endocrine system. I really enjoyed this exercise because it was about opening us up to the idea that energy interacts with our physical body, and our endocrine glands have a lot to do with our energy production and balance. I took it upon myself to buy a couple of Attunement books, and I have incorporated them into my practice.

Somewhere in there, we did some chanting! We went to the small chapel at Sunrise, and Baru told us about the history of the Ranch and the Emissaries of Divine Light. When we got inside, we did some toning to feel the spirit. Then, we did a couple of awesome spiritual exercises.

Atticus led an emergency medicine class! He’s preparing to launch a class that deals with the lay first responder… what the normal, uncertified person can do in the face of an emergency situation. The class was informative. ☺ I greatly enjoyed the subject matter, and I can’t wait to learn more as he releases this class.

I don’t want to give away all the details of all these classes, by the way. But, a majority of this information is available if you buy the recordings for 30 bucks. Contact Jackie for more information.

In the evening of the second day, we did a social meditation. I loved this exercise. The gist is: We sat in a circle and stared at one another until we became uncomfortable. Honestly, we weren’t uncomfortable. ☺ We were totally at ease with each other, and that’s amazing.

My apprentice, Lars, and I also did the exercise. We learned much in just a couple of minutes. Really fabulous.

DAY THREE

Preston led a great situational awareness class! Good review from the course when I took it a couple of years ago. However, I have much to learn in this area.

Baru led the most awesome self-defense class I’ve ever been to. It was great training. If you could get the materials to that class, alone it would be worth the 30 dollars for the videos. I’m serious. (Geesh, I sound like a marketer… I’ll stop that). Baru taught us concepts that will save our lives rather than try to teach us moves that we might misuse without constant training. Very wise, on his part.

We then had an afternoon of Sunrise activities and workshops! The Form was a cool physical dance of sorts one does with a partner. I did mine with Jackie. We’re exploring the possibilities in this dance, so it was fun to feel that energy. Then, Heartmath was fun! We had a great speaker talk to us about breathing techniques to use when we are feeling stressed. Her scientific studies showed that certain breathing techniques actually did reduce heart rate and sympathetic nervous system jolting. Emotion; yet Peace. Am I right?! Lastly, we did an exercise called Enneagram. It was a beautiful movement exercise that reminded me of stuff we do in theater classes… but for non-theater people.

That night, we relaxed and made Lightsaber bracelets. That was really the end! The next morning we did some talk about the Praxeum. And, that was good. We also got in some good discussion regarding Jacob’s Novice Exam. I was pleased to be a part of his process, and we became closer for it.

When I got back to Denver, I took an Access Bars class from David. That was awesome. I learned so much. Getting my bars run helped me make some great clearings before I had to go home.

The day of my return, I had some of the greatest experiences of my year. I played piano with a bunch of homeless guys on the street. I had a guy with a typewriter give me a poem about the Infinite. I bought some books from a really old book store, some of which are sitting beside me now. It was just so lovely. I never wanted to leave.

And, this brings me to the heart of my Gathering Reflection… the free form part. And, I don’t think it needs to be exceedingly long either. This is just where I tell you what happened to me.

Before this Gathering, I was seriously considering leaving the community altogether. In May, I had graduated college. I was going to move on with my life! Become a person of society. Somebody my mom could be proud of… But, that’s dumb, right?

I mean. I was going to give up what I had been working on for so long. And, most of it was because I felt I wasn’t making a real connection with the Jedi. It wasn’t tangible, in my hands, I felt alone. I felt like there was a wall between me and the community. A lot of it was because it had been 2 years since I had even hung out with a Jedi at all… I was losing hope. Too much drama. Not enough progress.

But, the gathering helped define my Jedi family.

I used the analogy, when we were doing the social meditation, that I had a foot outside the door all the time… so I could get away. But, with the gathering, I moved my foot inside the door.

Now, it’s time to go all in. Get serious. And change the world.

-Connor Lidell, Laxus Makarov.
Jedi Mystic

House Rules: The only rules are Paradox, Humor, and Change.
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