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    Dear Friends,

    I’ve noticed (finally) that everyone, from the Academies students to the forum members here, and I’m sure many people who participate more on other sites, are extremely busy. I myself suffer from this terrible malady, but during a few minutes reflection time a few days ago, I’ve come to the conclusion that this outbreak of rampart activity is potentially a threat to any formation of a fully offline Jedi Community, as well as to our individual training.

    So, what I am proposing is that those who wish to, take a look at their lives, list out what they think is keeping them too busy to train, and perhaps we can all take a look and see if we can come up with some strategies to help each other reallocate our time and priorities so that we can train more effectively.

    Who wants to start?



    You’re never too busy to train. That’s a ridiculous proposition. You might be too busy to go to forums, too busy to read posts, or to participate in online classes. But never to train – you can build on what you have learned, work on your self-understanding, meditate (which you CAN do while busy, for the record), act in service to others, and exercise the most fundamental of our principles in your everyday life.

    This may come as a shock to some, but 99.9% of Jedi training is APPLICATION. You can learn the vast majority of Jedi teachings in a few years, but putting those into effective practice and living as a Jedi beyond the safety and comfort of your learning environment is hard, and takes many more years. That’s where the training comes in – it’s in realising what you have left to learn, what you have learned, and what you can do to hone the skills you do have when you don’t have opportunity to learn something new.

    And, as many of you will find as the years progress, there are times when you’ll never truly understand something until you’ve spend a lot of time practising the earlier aspects, and seeing how they connect together. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been talking to Chris (Brandel), and he has said something that instantly forms a connection between one teaching and another in my mind, allowing me to take the next step forward. It’s easy for us all to think that being a Jedi is simply about learning and knowledge, but more than that, it’s about applied understanding – what you learn out there, ‘in the field’. Yes, there are revelations. If you haven’t picked up on that, you will.

    But yeah, there’s no such thing as no time to train. If you don’t feel you’re training when occupied by non-Jedi concerns, you need to re-evaluate how you apply that which you have already learned.


    I’ll have to agree with Aslyn on this one. It is during the busiest times that I find the application of my training coming through, and I can also see where any deficits are and thereby find ways to correct them.


    What about our students though? How many of them have cited being too busy over the years to complete assignments etc? Heck, instructors get too busy to do things in a timely way too.

    I’d like to see more application of the Jedi principles as part of peoples lives too, heck, that’s one of the reasons I’ve retrained and moved into another industry. I think that strategies to help people overcome this would be useful.


    Exactly.  It’s as if this “everything is training” is an excuse to avoid organized, structured training.  And that, it could be argued, is why the community as a whole hasn’t gotten far on the road to more formal training – it requires too much of a time commitment. 

    These are what have hindered me this past month or so.
    1.  Moving.  I’ve had to do a majority of the packing and unpacking without much help from my wife while working full time.  That’s killed my free time because it’s such a slow process.
    2.  My wife.  She’s going through an intense personal growth process.  Between that and her mental illness she’s been unable to do much of anything around the house, leaving that responsibility with me.  Also, I have to spend time with her, supporting her, helping her through her journey.  That takes a lot of time also.
    3.  Lack of organization.  With the free time I do have, I am usually too disorganized to know what I should do to best utilize my time.  The problem is that it takes time to decide this, and I don’t often feel I have the time to organize things.  I know that I would gain time in the long run, but it’s just been too hectic to take the time. 

    So, to try to balance this I try to do work at my full time job.  I check the forums, read homework assignments, and also keep a book around for my own personal enrichment.  Since I’m a fast reader I can get a lot read in small 5 or 10 minute breaks at work.  I also keep a small notebook and pen on me at all times so I can write down little insights that come to me throughout the day.  This further encourages me to notice the small things, maximizing my time while at work. 

    As I’m getting more things organized in the apartment I’m able to spend more time on other things.  So my focus is slowly shifting from the apartment to the academy and my other part time job.  It also helps that my wife has passed her biggest hurdle, or trial if you want to look at it that way.  The only thing that remains is quitting smoking which will commence in the next day or so.  With her major trial passed, she is able to do more around the house taking the pressure off me.  I now feel like the end is in sight and I’ll be back to normal in another week or so.  That’s also when my friend returns and I will be free of the hour and a half I spend every day driving to his house and feeding his cats.  I can’t wait!  :-)

    So, solutions?  Organization.  Focus.  Trying to avoid ruts so as demands on my time change I change with them.  Also, I’ve broken things into smaller, prioritized tasks so the most important things are taken care of. 

    To summarize, yes, training can be applied all the time, online and off.  But if this academy is to survive and help people in their path, people need to be active.  Otherwise it will die like all the others before it.  I’m amazed at those who made it to the end of this first novice term.  All have their own time demands yet they made the time to meditate, read lectures, try out force exercises, and explore their self.  And from all the comments I saw, they got a lot out of the experience in their offline life as well – which is the whole point of this academy.  So we can’t let busyness be an excuse.

    Exactly.  It’s as if this “everything is training” is an excuse to avoid organized, structured training.  And that, it could be argued, is why the community as a whole hasn’t gotten far on the road to more formal training – it requires too much of a time commitment.

    I admit to finding this ironic, primarily since I’ve supported organised training since day one, and keep getting shouted down about the whole thing. So, to be honest…

    Sandra, I have to say, it’s not as though we don’t make provision for students. I’ve had several e-mail me and ask if it’s okay for them to start their assignments late, since they’re already on the course. I’m fine with that, and if it came down to it, I’d tutor a student 1-on-1 regardless of my own commitments, because that’s more important. When we become instructors, we take on obligations to our students – if we abrogate that responsibility as a consequence of our own life demands, we shouldn’t do the job, and step aside. And if students have too many demands on their time, they can talk to us about provisions for their training, because that’s ALSO important. Perhaps that in itself ought to be impressed upon the student body early – this isn’t something you pick up and put down, and that we’ll do whatever we can to facilitate successful training.

    As for application, the problem with your idea is that you prefer specific application. So, in this situation, you do this. That’s a bad idea, simply because students can’t always relate to that. In Nursing, I have to concern myself with death and a lot of stuff most of you will never be witness to. If I started focusing my applications on that, you’d never understand it. So, what we do instead is offer methodology for application: provide examples, yes, but give students the mechanisms of application, so that they can apply particular principles and/or techniques regardless of the situation they’re in – they adapt because they’ve been taught how to do so.

    The primary issue as far as the Academy is concerned, in this regard, is simply that the vast majority of the practical stuff that can be applied (particularly with regards to psychological mindset, in itself constituting about 60% of Jedi training) hasn’t been reached yet – by ANY student. Moreover, the way we’ve put together the training system doesn’t allow for consistency across the board – I’ve already had two students point out to me that we need more interdisciplinary crossover. We can’t even begin to look at the true practical applications that students can adopt until such a thing is dealt with. That and the fact that we’re still teaching the rudimentary basics – actual Jedi Principles and Methodology hasn’t been touched on as yet. They’re learning basic energy work from you and Andrea, basic Meditation techniques and Self-Realisation – all useful, some fundamental, but nothing purely Jedi in methodology training. We’re getting to that.


    Ok, I’ll have to agree with Alex on that one, too.

    But, more that what I have to say, I asked Adona Mara to look at this and tell me her thoughts. This is what she said:

    “If you think you’re too busy to train, or to apply your training in your life, then you shouldn’t make the commitment, since you’ve indicated, by saying that, that it’s not a priority …

    This is why some people can’t be Jedi, even if they’re talented enough …and others, with lesser talent, can be … because they’ve made training and growth a priority

    It’s not about always being able to get your assignments in on time .. or, for an instructor, always getting assignment comments and grades back on time …

    It’s about putting your priority into learning and growth and doing what you’re able to do to the best of your ability …  if you have any talent at all, it’ll be strengthened if you commit to strengthening it.”

    It really is about committment. And, if people are easily dissuaded from continuing something that they started, then it really isn’t a priority to them. And, really, should it be? I believe in what this Academy is doing, sure. But, what do the students have to look forward to? They cannot “train” in any official capacity where they will go out and be accepted as Jedi Knights in the real world, or even in the community. For many people, though I don’t think those people are necessarily here, this is an online thing-pure and simple. It’s a second thought in their minds when they are planning their schedules. It’s not a priority because well… It isn’t real yet. Until it is made real, and honestly, I don’t see that happening for a very long time, there will be no way to retain students and have them commit to studies.

    Everything that we do is weighed on loss and reward. Sure, the students are enriched and rewarded with a better sense of self, meditation techniques, a bit of history, and maybe a technique or two to manipulate energy, but where are the tangible results? Where is the reward that they can see and stand on? There isn’t one because no one has made the commitment to see it through and build a real community.

    I’m sorry. I know that I sound overly negative right now, and I don’t mean to. I do believe in what this Academy stands for, and I know that it is an integral part in the grand scheme of things, but really… let’s face it, we can’t offer the students reality based rewards yet, and we will not be able to make people see the necessity of commiting to the work here until we do.


    Hmm, there’s been a lot of talk of commitment, which I agree with, but I think that we can help people prioritise their lives so they CAN fit training in. In Force 101 this term, I introduced the students to the concepts of disorganisation, in their lives, in their environments, in their thoughts, as a block to their progress. At least a couple of the students did a big purge of ‘junk’ from their houses, donating to charity, recycling, and the dump and freed up a good bit of excess energetic and emotional baggage on the way. This is one way that I think we can help the students become more organised.

    I think that there’s more to it than having enough commitment. It seems to me that our societies themselves (perhaps this is an Australian phenomenon, maybe you folks can clarify for me) that there is increasing pressure from a number of areas (work, family for example) to be constantly seen as being busy, like saying ‘I’m too busy for such and such’ is a badge of rank or something. An example I’m thinking of right now occured while listening (I didn’t do much talking) to a group of mothers when picking my older boy up from school a few weeks back. They were all listing off all the things they did for their kids and families and almost seemed to be bragging about it. I’ve seen similar things at the IT place I contract for as well, and clients sometimes when they are talking about what they are up to. It’s become this insidious part of our culture, this constant drive to be doing, doing doing. Then, because people are so busy but NOT AWARE that they don’t have to be, they don’t have ‘time’ to do the things they really want to do. I’d like to see us helping the students at least becoming aware of this problem, and ourselves, and everyone else we think might benefit from it.


    ***LOL!  I wrote this just as Inari posted the above post….

    Integrating Training into everyday Life is a skill that I’m still working-upon.

    I read what Jax said – and I had to nod in agreement.  You can incorperate training into your work life – I do that too.  But organization is really a skill that needs to be learned to really be able to train progressively.

    In my Personal 101 class we were asked to say what we needed to work-on for improvement – and also what our strengths were.  I think those questions and our answers are important – and those Jedi who do not start with fundamental Jedi training (or think they are beyond it) certainly lose-out on being as successful a Jedi as they might.

    Most of you know I run a rather complex business – under my direct day-to-day is the running of 3 locations here in Detroit.  There is another in Houston.  2 more in Minnesota that I need to keep in contact.  I don’t mean to sound snotty – but if I can find time? ???  I do think it’s priority and desire.  Some may simple not really have it at this time?

    That said – I learned a few skills I needed and continue to learn more about finding time for training.

    Part of what I needed to do was allow others to perform more duties so that I would not be drowning in work.  Becoming a Jedi helped me to do that.  I learned the world would not end because I was not everywhere all the time.  I took a step back and “allowed” others to help with the busyness of the business so that I had more time for myself.

    It’s paid-off.  We must let others help with the busyness of life so that we have some time for ourselves.

    Inari helped me a GREAT deal with organization.  (Suggesting a certain book at one point to a group – and also her Force101 lecture).  Simplifying my surroundings has been a constant project.  Yesterday I cleaned out part of my books.  Those I had not looked at or read in years and years – those Popular books of a few years ago – books I bought for a certain time or project – I am giving-away and in some cases throwing.  So far I’ve removed about 70 books from my house.  I am not done.

    De-Cluttering my life has been an astounding help.  I had no idea how materialistic I was or how it built hurdles – literally and figuratively – in my life on many levels.  I don’t think the Jedi needs to be spartan – but I certainly function better and better living with what I need and actively use or enjoy rather than stacking up the past needs/wants only to dust or take up space.

    I think the foundation studies of the Jedi need to be about the importance of training and how we can fit it into our lives.  Also – some people are not going to train – and that’s okay!   But I’m not sure they should be considered Jedi but possibly Jediists?

    I’m not even sure that many Jedi Sites even understand the concept of Jedi Training?

    But I do think training is something that is part of being a Jedi.  Being too busy is actually simply saying other things must take a front seat.  No judgement calls there, I think people should not feel they are “Less Than” for not actively training.  But honesty is important – and the distinction is not often made between those who simply discuss philosophy/spirituality and those who train.

    A Jedi finds time to train – a Jediist has other life things they need to attend-to or are not ready for training.  (And emergency situations do happen too!)

    Busyness – well – I guess we all know it’s valid but it’s also saying something about where the person is in their lives?


    Inari makes a good point.  Busyness is almost seen as a badge of honor, or at least something that’s expected of people, as if there is something wrong with you if you aren’t busy all the time.  I for one grew up in a busy family.  It’s a pattern that I learned very young.  I played every sport I could, while simultaneously training in karate.  I worked as soon as I was able, while still playing sports and carrying a college prep work load.  There were times when things slowed, down, like in the Marine Corps.  But even the last months of my enlistment I was working a second job.  And now I find myself having to resist the urge to run errands that aren’t exactly necessary.  It’s a pattern that’s hard to break, especially when many of the activities are required.  It’s a matter of learning balance and discretion, which isn’t always easy.

    Asta also makes a good point.  We can make all the commitments we want, but if we aren’t taught how to organize, how to prioritize, and how to cut the junk from your life, how can do expect to be very successful?  Especially when coming up against cultural expectations.  It takes time for someone to realize they are trying to do what is expected rather than what is right for them. 

    And what of people who are balancing family with Jedi training?  It was a lot easier for me to train before my wife got sick because I didn’t have to worry about her so much.  I didn’t have to spend hours after seizures helping her regain her memory.  I’m sure those with children can say similar things.  It’s hard to reason with a toddler so they’ll let you meditate in peace!  :-)  These aren’t situations that come down to commitment alone, people need strategies to balance family with training.  Organization can help a lot, freeing up time that was lost to disorganization. 

    There are many different ways to make things work.  We have all found little ways to help ourselves.  I think what Inari wants, and what I’d also like to see, is people sharing what they’ve learned so others can improve their lives too.  This isn’t necessarily about finding a deeper commitment, but helping those who have committed better organize their lives so the commitment is easier to fulfill.

    I’ve shared in meditation 101 that my simplest trick is to meditate when I’m going to bed.  I know this doesn’t take the place of sitting for 20 minutes during the day, but it’s a time I can consistently make.  Because of this I’ve been able to do a lot more meditation than when I tried unsuccessfully to meditate in the past.

    In addition I do my best to maintain awareness throughout the day so I’m learning about myself and learning how to adjust my reactions to the world around me. 

    As for organizing my life, we just moved.  As part of that process we’ve tried to find things that we no longer need or want.  I’ve gotten rid of a few boxes of books, and there are quite a few boxes of things that will be freecycled in the coming days.  Then we’ll be attacking the clothes and donating what we don’t need.  All of this helps declutter the house, which makes it easier to declutter our minds. 

    And now it’s time for a meeting so I better go.  lol 

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