Archive for training

Greetings to all my fellow Jedi!  With a pot of Rootleaf Stew simmering on the stove top, I thought it appropriate to get a post in.  So, here is the March update!

First off, as you can see by the pictures attached, I had an opportunity to visit the Yoda Fountain.  If you are unfamiliar with the fountain below I have included an excerpt which I pulled from the 421st revision to the book, or was it the 501st or the 1,138th revision?  Needless to say, between all the adventures and additional revisions I am losing hope that the book will be completed in time for Celebration this year.  However, just past Celebration is Star Wars Day, so that is my new target.  If I get it done before then, I will consider that a big bonus.  I have made great progress towards completion in the last few weeks, plus I had some insightful inspiration occur to me while cooking my stew just a few minutes ago that I can’t wait to share with everyone.  Regardless, I have made what I consider to be the final revisions to the first 5 chapters (except for the new addition below) so I can now include them in proposals in an effort to get this book printed by a traditional publisher.

Now, to the Yoda Fountain.  This small excerpt is in a part of the book where I try to explain the following two questions.  Why Star Wars?  Why the Jedi?  I want to go through this at least one more time to possibly clean it up and revise it some more but I think this is pretty close to how it will appear in the book.  Enjoy!

But just in case all of those reasons were not enough to convince you of the need for heroes in general and specifically the Jedi, let me tell you a story about an experience I recently had.  It was just a short time ago in March of 2015 (it was on Pi day, to be exact) when I went on a pilgrimage to the Yoda Fountain.  For those that are unfamiliar, the Yoda Fountain is a 26 inch “life size” bronze statue of Yoda sitting atop a fountain in a small alcove at the entrance to Lucasfilm, which is located in the Presidio area of San Francisco and just a short distance from the Golden Gate Bridge.  It was a beautiful day in the Bay Area, with high cirrus clouds to diffuse the intensity of the midday sun.  My journey to the fountain involved a hike of over seven miles from the light rail station at the Civic Center of San Francisco.  I enjoyed my stroll through the neighborhoods of the City by the Bay even though the trip to the Presidio seemed to be entirely uphill.

Shortly after entering the Presidio area I found the statue after a little searching and took the obligatory tourist photos and selfie, but instead of the other tourists who came and quickly left, I stayed in the small courtyard for a little more than an hour.  While I was there I must have seen at least 100 people stop by and visit their favorite Dagobah resident.  They were ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, fans of all ages, ranging from a few months of age to some octogenarians.  They were of all ethnicities and races, and I personally heard Russian, French, German, and the Queen’s English being spoken.  And out of all of these diverse groups of people, all of them, without exception, began to smile when they rounded the corner and caught their first glimpse of Yoda standing atop his burbling fountain.  Their happiness was a palpable vibe that was joyous and overpowering, and you didn’t need to be a Jedi to feel and experience it.  People feel happy and secure and like they are a part of an order when they are around Yoda.  That is why we are drawn to the Jedi.

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First off, welcome to all of our newest Facebook members.  I wish I would have had the time to do something when the page surpassed 1,000 likes (you can find out why I didn’t in the next paragraph), but I hope to be able to celebrate the next milestones with a little more pomp and circumstance.

Progress is slowly being made on the book. I had to spend almost 3 weeks away from writing as there was an issue with this website that could have resulted in the entire website being deleted due to mysql database problems. For some reason the databases suddenly were experiencing exponential growth in file size and I was exceeding the Terms of Service limits. I tracked the problem down to the forum (What forum? The one you are carrying inside your rusty innards!) that I had locked away. Some malicious bots had gotten hold of it, I think, so it was easier to destroy than fix. I decided a few years ago that I would never make the forum operational so there is no real loss. Anyways, I am still pressing to be done by Celebration in the ebook format at the least.

Besides all the website updates provided, I have also procured some more website addresses, namely beajedi.com and also .org. Along with my first and local website, milehighjedi.com, these automatically redirect to this site for now. I wanted an address that was shorter, catchier, easier to remember, and that could be put on a t-shirt (pomp and circumstance, perhaps?). I am thinking of a new logo as well, I just need screen time to try it out. I will put it out for reader response when I have the opportunity.

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Lastly, I just had the opportunity yesterday afternoon to play the new Star Wars Battle Pod arcade game. Having never played it before, I was quite surprised to find I was at the top of the leaderboard when I stepped out. I am pretty sure I heard Darth Vader say, “The Force is strong with this one.”  Then again, maybe it resets every day if they turn the power off.

My thoughts on the Star Wars Battle Pod game, in no particular order, are this:

  • Having the fan blow in your face while on the speeder bike is immersive. Having the fan blow in your face while flying in a space ship is strange. Even more so when flying as Darth Vader in his Tie Advanced x1. That face hadn’t felt a fresh breeze in many years.  After a while it was getting warm in the pod so I wish it would just run continuously.  To really up the wow factor, maybe it should blow out scented air.  Forest and swamp from Yavin, Pine trees on Endor, a little ionized air on Hoth, whatever a Sullustan smells like while flying into the  second Death Star.  You get the point.
  • I was initially a little surprised by the graphics.  They reminded me more of a Nintendo GameCube as far as graphics power than something newer and more powerful.  But you only notice it during the intro and selection screens.  Once the action begins things are moving so fast that the graphics look great.  Or maybe it has something do do with the curved screen or just the immense size of the screen.  The pictures included allow you to really notice the curve of the screen and the graphics quality.  I wish I could have gotten better pictures but that was the vantage point from where I sat.
  • I would like to see a game like this developed with a little more open architecture.  In the game you basically are fine tuning the nose position of your craft as you fly around.  I would like to have the opportunity to take an arcade setup like this and make it an open world environment.  Something along the lines of the X-Wing series developed for the PC, perhaps.  Imagine a couple pods paired together, allowing head-to-head combat between Rebels and Imperials or allowing combat against AI if no one else was around.
  • I think the game is expensive.  It really never said what I was paying every time I swiped my Power Card but I estimate I spent $10 to play the game.  Could I feed the machine a roll of quarters  like I used to feed many of the arcade games of my youth?  No.  But it is definitely a treat worth playing at least once.

If you have the opportunity to play the game, I highly recommend giving it a whirl.  If we feed projects like this there is a good chance we will see other good things follow in its footsteps.  Have you played this game?  What did you think of it?  Let us know in the comments.  As for me, I will now put down the game controllers and get back to the keyboard.  Until next time, may the Force be with you!

Book Update for August 2014

by Jetsi

I nstar-wars-death-star-hologramow hold all the knowledge in the palm of my hand.

Don’t get too excited, though.

I have just completed compiling all my notes and creating the outline of the final few chapters.  Instead of them being on my PC, Evernote, my iPad, and my iPhone (in pictures, voice memos, and notes), everything is now compiled into one source.  And I went really old school on this.  It is on paper.

With this tedious yet so important task completed, I am in the final push to finish up the last few chapters.  With the first few chapters in a “highly polished” state I am also ready to begin courting publishers.  Don’t worry though, even if no publisher picks this up I will be self-publishing a limited number of copies and creating an e-book.

With the Padawans back to school and my work schedule changing to where I will have lots of time sitting in a hotel room to write I am now making the final push to completion.

It is not a massive amount of information but it does show that the finish line is near.  Thanks for your continued patience.  You will have your book soon enough!

Book Update for July 2014

by Jetsi

forceforchangelightsaberMy oh my!  The summer sure does bring about some busy times if you have Younglings in the house.  Even with the little ones and work I have been able to make some edits to the book.  These edits are thanks to the change by Disney/Lucasfilm to rename the Expanded Universe as Star Wars Legends and to remove its status as canon.

The change in status left me in a quandary for some time as I tired to figure out how to incorporate  these changes into the book and whether the loss of canon status was going to require me to rewrite significant portions of the book.  However, after some contemplation I realized that it truly didn’t matter and may even work to my benefit.  Throughout the book I am referencing Joseph Campbell quite extensively.  I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that the change from the EU to Legends happens tie in nicely with the underlying training theme of the book.

Another nice tie in with the book is the Star Wars Force For Change program.  This program allows fans of Star Wars to give back to the Republic while garnering opportunities for some pretty intense prizes to be given away raffle style.  As of this writing there are less than 2 days left to participate in the program.  If you wish to participate you can click here to make a contribution.  It will go to UNICEF, a very worthwhile cause.  You can forget about being in the movie, however, I am winning that one particular prize!

With the Younglings returning to the Academy in less than a month and changes to my work schedule and domicile I will be returning to writing more in the near future.  I understand that sounds like a broken record to those who have been following this for a while but I thank you for your patience and promise you a book that you will find enlightening and enjoyable to read.

May the Force be with you!

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!

Book Update for February 2014

by Jetsi

Catching up with a good book

Work continues on the Modern Jedi Knight project, slowly but surely.  I have gone through the first five chapters and made many small changes but I think it makes the book read easier, flow better, and it just does a better job of conveying the information I want to come across.  It is funny, but every time I think I have a chapter complete I come across some little nugget of information or have a small “aha” moment that I think would just be perfect in the book so I go in with another edit.   I am still writing The Jedi Mind but it is almost complete (until my next aha moment).

It isn’t official yet but I am fairly certain I will be learning about a job promotion on March 5th.  If I get this promotion I will be pretty busy with training in April and working on a quasi-relocation in May.  The good news is that my trips in March have A LOT of time sitting on the ground so I should have plenty of time to work on the book.  Whether I can get it completed in five weeks is hard to see at this point but it would be quite an ambitious project.  Therefore, right now I am projecting to have the book out in late May or Early June.  The book will be released as an e-book on Amazon while I pursue other publishing options.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, send me some positive energy to help me make the final push and turn the first stage of this project into a reality.  Then I can get back to daily writing and working on the next stages of this project as well.

 

May the Force be with all my fellow Jedi!

 

If only I were a Besalisk

by Jetsi

Image courtesy of StarWars.com

Things would be much easier, and get done much more quickly, if I were a Besalisk like Dexter Jettster and had four hands.  In theory I would then type two different things at once.  But alas, I do not have that luxury and stuck with the limitation of having only two hands.

Time for a history lesson.  Not too long ago and in a galaxy very close to us there was a man who decided to take what he had learned about trying to be a Jedi in our modern world and share it with others.  In the course of writing the book, however, he quickly realized that he wasn’t ready because there was still plenty of things to learn.  With a half a book written he put it on the back shelf and decided to explore the areas where he felt he was deficient and write about them.  From that point, over 5 years ago, this website was created.

If you remember the website in its initial creation it was quite the sight but quite a horrible site.  It has changed many times since then, to its current incarnation.  I do have a few small tweaks I would like to make and a few portions of the website to finish but that has been sidelined for now, read more about why below.

When I was first writing the book I wanted it to be available by Celebration IV.  That deadline passed and it changed to Celebration V and then Celebration VI.  I am not going to make that one as well, although I have been trying.  Life and the Force just sometimes have other plans.  But one things I realized is that I can ‘t split my writing up and effectively write the book and keep this blog updated.  So now I am leaving the choice to you.

I am going to get this book out.  I am going to try for traditional publishing methods but if there are no takers I will provide it as an e-book through some online portal such as Amazon.com.  It will have plenty of illustrations and expanded information about the principles discussed on this website.  But if I am going to get this book out of my head and into your datapad I need to be able to devote my full attention to it.  So there are basically four choices:

  1.  Leave the blog and Facebook and twitter account alone and write the book
  2. Forget the book and devote my time and attention to the blog
  3. Try and do both at the same time like I have been and not produce much content on either platform.
  4. Concentrate on the book but provide links to relevant information via the Facebook and twitter accounts.

So, the choice is yours.  You can leave a comment here on the blog or go to our Facebook page, like us if you aren’t already doing so, and answer the poll I am putting there right after posting this.  Speak up and make your voice be heard!

This is a play on the quote by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet;

I think too many people are more concerned with the title of Jedi than by actually being a Jedi.  They seem to be more concerned with what the martial arts training and the lightsaber than the self-reflective and compassionate diplomat that are the hallmark of a true Jedi.

Instead of the Jedi we could be training as the medieval knight, the samurai, the ninja, or the Shaolin monk.  No matter what path you choose, however, you still end up at the same destination.  All paths up the mountain end at the summit.

Don’t get too wrapped up in calling yourself a Jedi.  That is an ironic statement to come from a website aiming to train you as a Modern Jedi Knight.  But the true paradox is that as you advance in your training as a Jedi you will associate it as “Jedi Training” less and less.  It really is training in being a good human and humanitarian.

Resilience

by Jetsi

Every Jedi will stumble and fall at least once in their lifetime.  We have plenty of examples of the movie Jedi, such as Anakin’s fall to the Dark side, Luke’s failure at the cave in The Empire Strikes Back and his attacks on Darth Vader and the Emperor aboard the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi.

Never give up!

The stumbles can be internal, external, or both.  But the cause is the same, which is the ego getting in the way of channeling the Force through mindfulness.  Fear, anger, hatred, revenge, or physical hostility all come from the same location, the ego.

So what is the solution?  Continue to meditate and get used to being mindful so you can carry it over into your everyday activities.  When eating, eat.  When walking, walk.  Don’t cloud the Force with memories of the past or thoughts about the future.

Every Jedi will stumble and fall at least once in their lifetime.  The difference between the Jedi and the Sith?  The Sith remain fallen while the Jedi pick themselves back up.

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!