Today in light of the reflection “Fickleness, yet Discipline” the focus of my service will be on the second of the 16 Teachings in our Doctrine:
“Jedi maintain a clear mind; which can be achieved through meditation and contemplation. Our minds can become unduly troubled and concerned with the happenings of the world. We must work on overcoming our individual issues through training and diligence.”
How often do we find our minds wandering between periods of clarity and murkiness? I chose this particular teaching because in the last few weeks it has leant particular relevance to me. I hope that in talking about it you too find some relevant teaching for yourself.
I try my best to maintain a clear mind, to ensure clarity of judgement, but now and then I fail to live up to that ideal. They say that psychological preparation comes through a combination of both set (what you think about and how you think it) and setting (the environment you are in). While this likely ignores certain subtleties I find it a useful guide in determining my own performance – in particular mental performance.
When I say mental performance I am primarily meaning things such as enthusiasm, patience, stress, frustration and so on. For myself I tend to go in periods of waxing and waning periods of mental performance, this waxing and waning could also be looked at as a shifting point along the axis of Fickleness and Discipline.
For me to attain a level of clarity, that is to say to keep my mind disciplined I find that both set and setting must be right. I often find that despite my desire to continue with, for example, work I remain unable to do so if my setting isn’t right. If I do manage to go about it often times I do so poorly or certainly not as well as I might otherwise perform.
This fickle swaying between clarity and mugginess is one of my dragons and perhaps it might be one of yours. So take care with your time, ensure that both your set and your setting are an ideal place to maintain a level of mental, emotional and spiritual clarity.
Before we say the creed I would like to end with a secular invocation to the human condition that particularly has meaning for me, but hopefully you will also find it helpful.
May I remember to;
Breathe slowly when I become stressed.
Change scenery when things become too much.
Look for the beautiful when I become bored.
Spend time outside when I am anxious.
Eat responsibly when I am hungry
And smoke mindfully when I am restless.
May The Force be with you all.
You might find it useful to create short prayers like this for yourselves, but let us now end this service with the Creed.
I am a Jedi, an instrument of peace;
Where there is hatred I shall bring love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
I am a Jedi.
I shall never seek so much to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
The Force is with me always, for I am a Jedi.