Archive for The Body

Book Update: PUBLISHED!

by Jetsi

Greetings!  It is with great enthusiasm that I am formally announcing that “The Project” as it has been known for the last seven years, has finally reached fruition.  A week ago I pressed the submit button and The Modern Jedi Knight is now available as an e-book in the Kindle format from Amazon.com.  The Kindle reader can be downloaded for all platforms, phones, and tablets for free from the appropriate app store or through Amazon itself.

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Published!

The book is available for $3.99 USD and is a real bargain for being the equivalent of a 249 page paperback book.  I initially offered the book at $9.99 based upon a few other books from traditional publishers, both in hardcover and e-book format.  One book I just read in the last few days echoes many of the thoughts and processes that I describe in my book, although the author did not use Star Wars as a central theme.  Luke Skywalker and the Hero’s Journey were mentioned a few times, though.  This book I just read is available for $14.93 in hardcover and $11.88 in e-book format so I felt my product was competitive.  A pricing  calculator that took data from similar books and previous sales, along with the input from a few initial readers, said my initial price was too high so I lowered it and am offering refunds on the price difference to those who were first to purchase the book.

Even though I followed all of the protocols while formatting the book I do notice that there are some issues with paragraph indention that I am going to need to work on.  Otherwise, I am very happy with how the book turned out.  It appears that I will be able to edit the book and add new content, such as illustrations, at a later date for no additional charge to the reader.

With the project now completed, I am ready to begin working on the website once again.  I will be working on adding content to the Modern Jedi  Knight YouTube channel as well as adding regular content regarding current affairs and the Jedi as I did before concentrating on writing the book full time.  There will be other symbiotic projects that will be worked on as well.

I want to thank everyone who has already purchased the book and also thank those who provided me with feedback and inspiration to complete what turned out to be a truly daunting task.  Writing a book is substantially more difficult than I imagined the process to be.  And I am crazy enough to have two more book ideas, albeit much smaller projects, in the works.  I must be crazy.

Book Update for April 2014

by Jetsi

“…Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”  -Obi-Wan Kenobi to Luke Skywalker

Remember this quote when I give the following update:  I have not done any writing in April and will not write until after May 8th.

Is this good news?  Is this bad news?  Or is it just news?  Is it even news?

On April 4th I learned that my promotion at work was finally becoming a reality.  I started training that day for that promotion and began my actual classroom training on April 17th.  There simply has been no time to write between 8 hours of classroom instruction or work and then studying in the vast majority of my free time.

Why would this be bad?  Because I am not writing the book that I know so many of you are looking forward to.

Why could this be good?  This job promotion will allow me the financial opportunity to work on other aspects of this website and give me publishing options that I didn’t have before.  It will also give me many training options and opportunities that I can discuss here on this blog.  Also. once my training is complete I should then go from having no free time to having an ample amount of time to write.

With these changes I anticipate the book being ready by late summer or early fall if I will be self-publishing.  I will still be looking at other alternatives as well so that may cause some delay but it is too early to tell.

Lastly, I will be training on Star Wars Day.  I am not very happy about it as I had planned a Star Wars marathon by watching the movies in order while enjoying some of Yoda’s Rootleaf Stew and some blue milk.  I still will be making the stew for dinner and I recommend that you do the same but I will not have the luxury of watching that many hours of Star Wars.  There is always next year.

Thanks for reading.  I will give another update next month.

My, that is a long title.  But it is appropriate.  Let us dive right in.

I posted on Facebook and Twitter not that long ago that the chapter on the Jedi Mind, the longest and most difficult to write, was finished.  Then I watched the lost season of The Clone Wars on Netflix.  This made me have to go back in and do some editing.  So, the Jedi Mind is almost complete again.  As Han likes to say, “It’s not my fault!”  The changes are all for the better, I can assure you of that.  The additional information gained from some of those episodes tied in directly with the book very well.

Before I had started my editing to The Jedi Mind I had started on The Jedi Body.  I thought I knew how I wanted to proceed with that but the writing just wasn’t flowing from me and I felt I needed something to tie it all together.  And then, thank the Force, it was dropped right in my lap thanks to Rootleaf Stew.  For those who aren’t familiar, Rootleaf Stew is the meal that was served to Luke Skywalker by Yoda when he first went to Dagobah.  You can find the recipe by clicking here.  I have made this recipe and it is very good.  I will be making it again for International Star Wars Day in May but this time I will use stock instead of water and be more generous with the pepper and salt.  I don’t want to give too much away but if you look at the recipe it will provide some hints as to what you can expect from the chapter regarding proper nutrition.

Also going with The Jedi Body chapter is this offer I received in my email a few days ago.  It is for 38 Bodyweight Exercise ebooks, all for $37.  I purchased it immediately when it became available.  I did so because I was already looking a few of the ebooks but hadn’t gotten around to pulling the trigger on the sale.  But when I saw that the entire bundle was less than the one ebook I really wanted I knew I had to buy it.  My intuition served me well in this matter.  Take a look at the bundle by clicking here but don’t delay, this deal ends in a few days.

Thanks for reading.  I will be posting another update in a few weeks.  Until then, may the Force be with you!

Should a Jedi be Vegan?

by Jetsi

A few weeks ago I did a review about The Book of Jedi by Dogen Elohim Altieri, and in this review he mentioned that Jedi should be Vegan/Vegetarian.  With a daughter who has recently decided to go Vegetarian on moral principles I thought I should look into this a little more.

Most Jedi who follow a Vegan (from this point on Vegan will refer to all forms of Vegetarians, including octo-lacto, etc.) diet do so because of the Jedi Code as re-written by Luke Skywalker that says that Jedi respct all life, in any form.  Vegans and I will agree that commercial food lots that hold their livestock in small pens and feed them an alien diet full of drugs are very disrepectful of animals.  However, people have spoken with their wallets and livestock raised humanely in large open fields and fed a native diet are now available in grocery stores at a small premium to conventionally raised meat.

So if the animals are being treated with respect while alive and throughout the butchering process I ask the question, is eating an animal a form of disrespect?  I say no.  It is a biological fact that the human body is designed to be fueled by animal products and my point is that it runs optimally on a diet that imitates the diet of the human race prior to the advent of the agricultural revolution (discussed here and here as the paleo/caveman/evolutionary/primal diet).  Like the story of the frog and the scorpion, it is in our nature to eat other animals so there is no disrespect in doing what we are designed to do.

So, what can we do as Jedi to respect the life of all of our food (remember, plants are alive as well!)?  The first thing you can do is buy the right food.  Buy organic and free range.  Buy your beef and bison grass-fed and finished.  Let your chicken not eat Vegan and live on a diet of bugs and larvae like they are meant to.

The second thing we can do is recognize the sacrifice the animal (or plant) has given to become our food.  Say grace if you are so inclined, or do like the Japanese do and say “Itadakimasu” (literally means “I will receive” but said in thanks prior to eating) or something equivalent.  Give thanks again when your meal is complete, to what you just consumed and to whoever created the meal for you (yes, you can thank yourself!).

The third thing we can do is be mindful while we eat.  Pay attention to the food as you put it into your mouth, truly taste it as you chew it and swallow it.  Do not sit in front of the TV, or the computer, or the iPad, or be on the phone while you eat.   Be here and now and enjoy.

You can still be a Vegan Jedi if you so desire.  Just be certain to do it smartly and get all of the nutritional components that you need.  However, don’t feel pressured to do so to live up to the Jedi Code.

Are you a Vegan Jedi now, thinking about it, or were you one in the past?  Let me know what you think!

Pull back your focus

by Jetsi

Have you ever noticed that all day long we spend an inordinate amount of time focused on one small spot?  The monitor you are reading this on, the screen of your smartphone or tablet computer, the television and game console all demand our attention to be brought on to one small area.  How can you be mindful when all of your focus is on a 3.5 inch digital screen that is held in your hand?  How can you be receptive to the Force when you don’t even notice the significantly-less-than-subtle things that surround you?  Could Attention Deficit Disorder actually be a symptom of our overattentive technological environment, a result of our inability to see “the big picture” and a lack of time with our natural environment (the Force, Mother Nature)?

Is this having any ill effects on us and the human race?  It sure is.  So what is a Modern Jedi to do?  I have been thinking about this for the past month or so and have tried to incorporate measures to remove my screen and focus fixation.

While going on walks, for example, I will find something on my walk that fits comfortably in the palm of my hand and won’t cause any problems if dropped, such as a small rock or pine cone.  Then, while walking and keeping my focus on the horizon in front of me, I gently throw the rock up in the air with one hand and catch it with the other hand.  The rock enters my field of vision but I don’t actively track it and I let my peripheral vision do the work.  When talking to someone I look directly into their eyes but I try to keep up with everything else I am seeing as well.  While watching television I also look through the window and the patio door that flank both sides of the screen and I do something similar while on my computer as well.

I just had a martial arts belt test earlier this week where I was surrounded by four assailants at the cardinal points and had to defend myself with a distancing kick as they came in.  Even though I successfully passed the test I can see that I still have work to do in expanding my focal area from a small point to my entire surrounding environment.

Have you noticed this fixation?  Have you done anything to try to correct it?  Do you have any ideas for other exercises that can be performed?  Let me know in the comments if you have anything to add as I believe this is an important problem that needs to be addressed and corrected as soon as possible.

Image courtesy of Michael Jaco

I just finished reading The Intuitive Warrior by Michael Jaco, a book about the experiences of a Navy SEAL and how he has learned to harness the capability to perform acts that many claim are impossible.  I found the book to be an interesting read, one that had me pause and reflect on what he had written on numerous occasions.  It is also a book that any Modern Jedi Knight could learn something from as his beliefs are very similar to ours.

The Intuitive Warrior chronicles the journey of Michael Jaco from his youth to entering the United States Navy as a diver, going through SEAL training, and then serving on SEAL teams and as a SEAL instructor before leaving the service and working as a security contractor in the Middle East.  For those that aren’t familiar with the Navy SEALs, the Navy’s Special Operations unit that arguably goes through the toughest training out of any military unit on the planet, you will truly appreciate them and their service by the end of the book.

Mr. Jaco goes into detail in the book about many experiences he has had through his life where he was able to save himself and the members of his unit through his developed sense of intuition.  This sense of intuition is what us Modern Jedi Knights would refer to as the Force speaking to us.  Regardless of what we call it, this intuitive sense is something that I have discussed many times on this website (click here and here and here and here and here and here, for example) and the information and evidence he provides is invaluable.  Later in the book, however, he starts to look at other things in the world from a different perspective and brings up some interesting thoughts on ancient but advanced civilizations like the Mayans and their calendar, purported myths like the Lost City of Atlantis, reincarnation and past lives, and additional extra-sensory abilities such as telepathy.

To be honest, the latter portion of the book made me a little uncomfortable.  I read the book with an open mind and paused many times to contemplate what Mr. Jaco had to say about many things and to process the information in my own way.  Mr. Jaco does provide very compelling arguments that do make you think.  The Modern Jedi Knight project has never been about developing the Force powers like we know of from the movies, shows, books, and video games.  It has been about learning real-world techniques and practices that protect us and the members of the human race from the predators who prey upon the weak.  The Modern Jedi Knight project is learning how to be healthy, happy, powerful, and enlightened.  I have had my experiences of intuition, synchronicity, and the feeling of the energy we refer to as the Force.  With no direct experience to the other capabilities and concepts Mr. Jaco talks about and knowing the history of those who have claimed the same and later been proved as charlatans and scam artists I do remain skeptical.

However, with that being said, I am reminded of the wise words of Yoda.  “You must unlearn what you have learned” comes to mind quite easily.  I also think of Yoda’s admonishment to Luke’s “I can’t believe it.” when he says, “That is why you fail.”

With all that being said, my overall review is a positive one.  If you are interested in the Force, developing yourself, and being of service to others (which you are because you are already reading this) then The Intuitive Warrior is definitely a book you should read.  The book doesn’t really teach you how to develop this intuitive sense in a classical sense but talks about it more as a recounting of experiences by the author.  However, when you pair that information from book with the training provided by the Modern Jedi Knight project it becomes a very valuable source of knowledge.  You can buy the book from the author or you can get an e-book version of it from Amazon.

Have you already read this book?  What were your thoughts?  Thanks for reading, have a great weekend, and we will chat more on Monday.

Meditations in movement

by Jetsi

Are you wanting to be a Jedi but don’t want to train in the martial arts?  Do you feel a conflict about learning to hurt someone when your essence wants to instead help them?  If so, there are other options.

One of my favorite ways to train the body without fighting is called parkour.  If you aren’t familiar, the concept of parkour is to get from point A to point B in the more direct line possible.  Or to imagine you are being chased by a hungry nexu with a mouth full of sharp teeth like the one you saw before the Battle of Geonosis in Attack of the Clones.  Your goal is to get from A to B as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Parkour is getting to be known for outrageous stunts and theatrics.  Purists would argue that type of parkour is called freerunning.  Here you can watch this short video which is a prime example of parkour serving as a moving meditation, and it is something that even a 41 year old Jedi like myself can train in.

If you think back to Luke and his training on Dagobah you will also notice that Luke was training in parkour long before it was known across the world.  Luke’s parkour-like training taught him to be mindful of the moment and to be ready for anything while also conditioning his body by increasing his strength, endurance, mobility, and his sense of equilibrium and proprioception.

Should a Jedi find himself in a situation that could escalate to violence it is certainly acceptable and even preferred to remove yourself from that situation.  The skills learned from parkour would definitely give the Jedi an edge in an attempt to escape.  Plus, ff you do train in the martial arts some parkour training will still serve you very well through its conditioning and mindfulness training.

Want to learn more?  American Parkour is a great reference spot for the beginner and they even offer some tutorials online and through DVDs that you can purchase and study at home.  Or you can search for local groups in your area.  Either way, get outside and get moving.

Why we choose to be Jedi

by Jetsi

Peter Van Uhm at TEDx Amsterdam

Every now and then you stumble across something and it is explained so clearly, so perfectly, so succinctly that it answers all questions and puts to bed all doubts.  Such was the case of the video of General Petrus J.M. “Peter” van Uhm, a Four-Star General of the Royal Netherlands Army and the current Chief of the Netherlands Defense Staff who gave a short speech at TEDx Amsterdam in 2011.

Watch the video and think about what he says.  Think about how you feel as you watch it.  It sure sounds like General van Uhm is a Jedi to me.

Mindfulness in action

by Jetsi

Meditation doesn’t have to be boring.  Just check out what these people are doing as it requires an intense mindfulness to the moment.  This moving meditation is the next step after becoming proficient in sitting meditation.  For the less adventurous you can simply practice mindfulness while training in your lightsaber technique or other martial arts and physical activities.  You don’t have to put yourself on the edge of death to be mindful but you do have to be mindful to put yourself on the edge.  That is where the Jedi lives.

A mother’s intuition

by Jetsi

Padme with her children

We are all familiar with the concept of a mother’s intuition.  When your mom asked you what you did, even when she didn’t know that you had broken the Death Star cookie jar while trying to get out some cookies without permission, that is just one example of a mother using her sense of intuition.

How does a mother develop this sense of intuition?  Is it the same connection shared between siblings from multiple births?  Is there a chance for those of us who don’t give birth due to biology or choice to gain this amazing capability?  Let us find out!

A mother gains her sense of intuition to her child or children while pregnant with them.  The child is tethered to the mother through the umbilical cord and they share life together, much like siblings who share a multiple birth do.  The close proximity, the sharing of space and fluids, creates a connection.  Think of this quote of Yoda from The Empire Strikes Back:

 For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.  Life creates it, makes it grow.  It’s energy surrounds us and binds us.  Luminous beings we are, not this crude matter.  You must feel the Force around you; here, between you and me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes.  -Yoda

Think of the wonder of life as a child grows in the womb.  Starting from a single-celled embryo it quickly divides and replicates it’s cells.  Identical twins start from that same single-cell while fraternal twins start out just like you and I do, only with a roommate.  The umbilical cord is another physical connection between two different lives.  Life creates the Force and makes it grow.  But the Force also creates and sustains life.  They work in tandem with each other, one not possible without the other.  It is through this connection that mothers and their children and children of multiple births gain their connection to each other through the Force.

So can men and women who don’t give birth get “mother’s intuition”?  Can this sense of intuition expand between a mother and child and be used by everyone?  The answer to both of these questions is a resounding YES!  How so, you may ask?  Through your training as a Jedi, of course!

The first step is to increase your connection to the Force through training, including but not limited to meditation and proactive mindfulness training.  From there you train the body, in the process of doing so you experience pain.  Then, at some point in your training your understanding of compassion and empathy will blossom and this quote will take on real meaning for you:

Mystically speaking, there’s no difference between you and another person. This explains why you can’t hurt another person without hurting yourself, nor can you help another person without helping yourself. You share the same Source energy (Force) with everyone, and consequently, you must begin to think and act in a way that reflects your awareness of this principle.  – Wayne W. Dyer

The connection that you share with the Force is shared by every other thing in the universe.  And without the Force you or the Universe wouldn’t exist.  We all share a connection through the Force because we, just like the universe we live in, all came from one “cell” or origin.  So once you understand your connection to the Force and others you realize that holding a person’s hand over an open flame causes you pain as well.

When you understand this and make the connection you will gain your own sense of intuition, whether you are a mother or not.  Surrender yourself to the Force and when you do you will also have “just taken your first step into a larger world.”