I’ve been thinking about my Path with greater intensity lately. To give you some context, I recently took some time off to deal with some heavy personal issues. I’ve had a past with alcohol, and after starting down the Jedi path and almost five months completely sober, it recently came back and bit my hand. I would say I basically completely put down the Jedi Path for about two months while I (eventually) got a grip on what was going on and turned it back around. But I did not let it defeat me, and I learned from it. I learned a lot about myself, and what I hope to achieve in my life. And I decided I truly did appreciate what the Path helped me with during my initial five months, and that it is (for me, personally) completely worth sticking to and putting work into.
Since I have put myself back together, I jumped back in where I left off with my training. I found it difficult at first though, I admit that I felt somewhat guilty for the time I took off. So, when I started getting back into my daily routine, I found myself getting frustrated and trying to rush through things just to say I “got it done” and check it off the list. This is not the way to go about solo training. We learn nothing from this type of behavior. So, I took a step back, and slowed it down. I started easing back into things: a meditation session here, a bike ride there, and soon enough it didn’t feel difficult to get back to doing these things, and more, they became my daily routine. Which leads me to a sort-of “WOW” moment that I had.
I was going on a bike ride through the city park and I decided to stop by the fish ladder and just bask for a moment in the noise and intensity of the rushing water underneath the footbridge I was looking over. During my bike ride, I stopped along the way to meditate by the creek, just focusing on my breathing and the sounds of the water. Then when I continued, I started doing a sort of “moving meditation”. As I rode, I recited the Jedi Codes to myself slowly, keeping my mind focused on them. After awhile I allowed myself to think openly again and I started thinking about the Force, and how I felt it flowing through my whole body as I pumped the bicycle pedals as fast as I could. I felt hyper-aware, feeling the wind rushing past me, hearing different bird calls, the scurrying of squirrels in the bushes off to my side.
When I finally came to a stop on the footbridge, I was already in an inquisitive headspace. I stopped, closed my eyes, and just listened to the water, and tried to feel its intensity. When I opened my eyes, I found myself studying the huge boulders on the banks of the creek, unmoving against the unusually high, rushing waters. And I thought about how much time, and patience it took for those boulders to finally lay exposed there on the edge of the creek. How long it took for the Earth to build them to the physical size and weight that they’re currently at. How long they may sit there beyond our time on this Planet, perhaps barely moving only inches, if ever. How long it would take for even the intense waters of the creek to slowly erode them away.
As I rode away, I decided to write this. I’ve been meaning to sit down lately and just write a bit, for my own good. But I realized how closely this relates to my Path currently. I decided on a few things during that bike ride. One, I decided to write this article. Two, I decided to keep a handwritten daily Jedi journal, detailing the events of the day, how they relate to the Jedi Path, and also keep a log of my meditation and exercise. And the third thing I decided is that I need to take it slow, and exercise patience.
We are training to become Jedi. Assuming most of us have been immersed in the various forms of fiction at some point or another, we realize that the Path to becoming a Jedi is not a fast, easy one. It’s a long road that for some, never ends, and it is filled with difficulties, hardships, and challenges. I had to remind myself that it’s okay to go slow and build back up, instead of trying to rush into everything. In many ways, we must be like those boulders on the side of the creek, and learn to appreciate time, and patience as our allies. Through time and patience, we gain knowledge and experience and we, as Jedi, know that knowledge and experience are not things that are gained by rushing toward something. They happen naturally when you find yourself fully immersed and you’re no longer concerned with “how much time it takes”.
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this, and May The Force Be With You.
Corey Vaspra is a new California Jedi living in Northern California. He’s currently training and working on his own to walk the Jedi Path, but is a frequent face at our biweekly Jedi Chats! He’d love to meet more folks in the community and begin a dialog about the path, so feel free to email him.