Jedi Meditation: “The Living Force”

kanan“Even as they spiraled ever deeper into the contorted paths of the future, of unfolding conspiracy, of the myriad webs of possibility, he remained aloft in present radiance, the throbbing life of the planet seeping into his awareness like intoxicating drink, like the warmth of an ethereal sun. Somewhere, deep in the galaxy’s center: a dark weaver tangling a treacherous skein, wrapping knots within knots, spinning illusion and deceit; his presence a vague certainty, a shadow of a shadow, the portent of things yet unrevealed. Here, in the now: the Force pouring endlessly over the edge of its infinite fountain, reshaping, renewing, rejoicing, resounding in soundless chorus. It was a place long forgotten but suddenly rediscovered, an awakening so subtle that it left not a ripple in the broader currents yet so profound that his very marrow thrilled with it.” –Ruth Baulding, Lineage Book IX

We talk about the force a lot as Jedi. We split it into light and dark, living and unifying. We talk about the ways in which we interact with it, teaching apprentices and applauding masters for their ‘mastery’. We talk about ‘finding the force’ and ‘feeling the force’ as if we need to search it out, pin it down, and demand that it reveal its secrets to us. All of this is irrelevant.

We come up with all these words to describe the Force, but all of them fall short because the Force is no less (and perhaps more) than the sum of all existence and experience. When you think about it like that, as something to be studied from the outside, not only do people become intimidated or struggle to plumb its depths, but we put up barriers between ourselves and the truth. Everything and every moment is the Force, 100%. No matter whether you are in deep meditation trying to solve a problem or wrestling with darkness, as Obi-Wan was in the quote above, or full of fluttering nerves and joy over a new crush; whether you’re stressed out at work or laughing with friends, asleep or awake, in the most lifeless concrete jungle or deep in the Amazon, the Force is everything.

Qui-Gon tells Obi-Wan to be mindful of the Living Force, but what he really means, beyond the human-made divisions and labels is just this: Live the Force. Be Mindful here, now, always.

So here is your Jedi meditation. This is the most fundamental meditation because it is a fundamental aspect of our beings as humans, let alone Jedi.

Be, and appreciate this moment. Whether you want to go find somewhere quiet, or comfortable, or some place that sings to you with peace and energy, or even just wherever you are right now, at your desk, walking to work, stuck in traffic, brushing your teeth… pay attention. Pay attention to what it feels like to be alive in this moment in this place. From the tiniest movements of the hairs on your arm to the sounds of the world around you, take in this moment in time. No need to grasp at it or try and catalog everything around you. Just be in the here and now. Let all of those little stresses and cares and worries drop away, recognized, but unimportant as you feel that undercurrent of clarity and peace, that breath of fresh air, the ever-present sensation of being the center of your universe and yet indistinguishable from the rest of the universe in all it’s immensity. Take in the feeling of existing in the Force.

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