I was having a conversation with some lovely Jedi last month, and I’ve been thinking on something Alex Bird said about the Jedi code, and the way we analyze it. He stated that we almost always demonize the first part of each line, making those traits something to erase or be ashamed of. Emotion, ignorance, passion, chaos, and death: these occur naturally in our lives, and not terrible things. The other half is what does not come naturally. Peace, knowledge, serenity, harmony, and the Force all require work: they are what we try to transform the first half of each line into.
So often in the Jedi community we reject emotion in favor of reason without compassion, we refuse to admit our ignorance as we cling to appearing knowledgeable, we smother passion as uncool, or destructive. We reject chaos and mess, even though it is part of the process of growth, and we ignore death and the ending of things, groups, ideas, because we believe they should last forever.
What if instead of rejecting our natural state as something to be embarrassed of, or to hide from public view, we embrace our difficulties, failures, and starting points? Embrace emotion in your search for peace. Forgive that you are ignorant as you learn to seek knowledge. Explore your passions as you work on your serenity. Understand chaos to find the harmony. Accept death to understand the force.
Take a deep breath, settle in. Take another breath.
Think about the ways in which you get stuck. Did someone call you out on a behavior, and you felt defensive, or angry? Did you become uncomfortable hearing people talk about experiences different than your own? Did the stress of your life, or the workings of your own brain derail your Jedi calm today? Did you hurt someone you care about on accident, or fail to live up to your own expectations?
Whatever you are feeling, whether it’s stagnation, shame, hurt, or defensiveness, gather it up as you take in your deepest breath yet, then let it go on the exhale. Feel the tension train out of you. Continue to breathe in awareness and breathe out acceptance. Feel free to recite the Jedi code, or any part of the following code that I’ve altered for this meditation below.
I am emotional, but that’s healthy.
I am ignorant, but that is natural.
I am passionate, but that is motivating.
I am chaotic, but that is human.
I will die, but I am here now.
Repeat this as many times as you want or need, and spend time in this space. Be aware of your failings and difficulties, but accept them as part of your journey, not obstacles to your progress. Whenever you are ready, wiggle your fingers and toes, stretch a bit, and come back to the present moment.
Was this a helpful exercise in accepting difficulty and failure? What did you think of this altered version of the code? Did it make for a good meditation? Why or why not?