Archive for September, 2012

…so I seem to be running into things from my last bout with religions and spiritual paths. You see, when it comes to taking up a new religion and/or lifestyle, I take this time of growth and development VERY seriously. For instance, with this JEDI-Path, I read through the workbook, takes notes, and then I document every little thing that happens to me. From blogs, to sketches, and etc.

I found that working on my own as one of the ONLY new students in the Jedi Institute was very relaxing. Everyone else had already moved on past the introduction, and therefore I was able to write whatever I wanted, say how I really felt, and not feel totally self-conscious about the things coming out of my mouth.

But right now I am feeling distraught and slightly agitated…>.>
There is a new student that, not even within the last 18 hours has posted everything in the Introductory workbook and will be moving on to the courses soon. That’s fine as I understand that everyone has their own pace, but after reading through his answers and what-not myself, I am actually kinda mad!!!
To me, it feels like this guy did not even take the time to really read through the workbook. It sounds to me like he did not even bother trying to take this seriously because he could not even manage to answer all the proposed questions from each individual exercise! I mean…it’s just…it’s juts kinda annoying when someone sits there and says that going through all of that is a mere waste of time!

If it’s such a waste of time, then why is he even there to begin with?! I mean, I get loving the warrior aspect and wanting to become stronger, and I understand that finding your spirituality is a HUGE step that many people take in order to better themselves. But to just stick your nose up in the air and disrespect your instructors by NOT following the directions because it is a waste of time?! Ungh…makes me really miffed. I’m not even faculty and it makes me mad!!!

And poor Master Yoshio is ‘trying’ to get this guy to see that maybe he should be looking for balance within his intuitive types, and the Master is also trying to ask the guy the questions he failed to answer in his two-sentence posts.

Or maybe this guy or kid is doing just fine and maybe I’m just the odd one out…

…maybe I’m the problem here. Who knows?

But I feel as though I have had a lot of anger in me lately when it comes to this Jedi-Path.
for instance, I decided that I was going to head back to the Facebook Group (The Jedi Church), to see what type of insightful things were being discussed.
I was just blown away by all the silliness I saw.

Alright…it’s one thing to have humor in religion or spirituality, THAT’S FINE.
But when you have threads of people yelling at each other because one guy is posting Christian things on a Jedi thread, or because someone was mentioning the possibility of a Sith Church, that’s just a little too much. And when 5 other people are posting how they just broke up with someone, or someone is posting very vulgar information about how they want to have sex with someone but then edit it to add Jedi terms to refer to their penis…that’s when I start getting agitated.

The occasional funny star wars meme or photo is all in good fun and it eases the atmosphere. But that place was so appealing because it offered deep intellectual discussions once-upon-a-time…and now, it all just comes off as trash. No wonder none of my friends post there anymore.
I wanted to mail Paladin Carl to address this issue…but I guess me must have hope that maybe one of the 200 Star Wars Enthusiasts on that page might actually be on there because they were truly interested in becoming Jedi.

I don’t know why I have had all these bad moods lately…but yeah…
Now I just feel like a jerk for ranting about all that.

Advice?

Intro to Spirituality:

Posted: September 29, 2012 in IJRS Courses

1. Where have your spiritual beliefs originated? For instance, were you raised with a religion, or were religious and spiritual topics rarely addressed in your house? Have your spiritual beliefs changed over time? If so, what contributed to the change?

—I already have the feeling that this is going to be a really long answer. So please bear with me here. My parents have been divorced since I was 5 years old. I lived with both of them as they had shared custody. So I would see my Dad every-other-weekend, and I lived with my Mother for the remainder of the time.
My Father’s side of the family was mainly Roman-Catholic (as far as religion goes). So while my Grandparents were alive, they would take me to church with them, and tried to raise me as Catholic (even though I went to a Methodist Pre-School).
My Mother on the other hand was not highly religious until I turned 8 years old. Then she realized that she had done a lot of wrong in her life, she feared an eternity of damnation, and so, she contacted a church, had the Pastor come to our house to try and convince my sister and I that God was our path, and soon, we were going to church every Sunday as Baptists (I even got Baptized a few months later).

I wanted to follow my Mother and Sister in their religious path, but, Christianity was always lacking something for me. I hated how the Church used ‘fear’ as a way to convert people. There were a bunch of other things I did not agree with as well, such as the hate against gays and others (for God knows not hate but only love…or so I thought), the giving of your WHOLE paycheck every 3 months for GOD even though the only thing that happened was the Pastor got a new car >.>
I also did not like the fact that my specific Church (because I know that not all Church’s are like this) wanted me to change my WHOLE lifestyle JUST because the things I did (such as reading Harry Potter and playing Yu-Gi-Oh!) was going to buy me a one-way-ticket to Hell.
Finally when the Pastor told me to burn my things and be purified, I gave him a piece of my mind and was kindly asked never to come back to one of his sermons.

Around the same time that I left “Good Shepherd Baptist Church”, my Dad came out to me as an Atheist. He said that so many bad things had happened in his life that, if there were a God, then he would have been a little more caring for his people. He said that people could live life happily without religion…and for once, he had said something that actually inspired me. I wanted to be an individual and find my own Path, and, if I did not find one, I wanted to be happy knowing that my life could be good without religion as part of my life. So I went on a Journey!!!
To make a long-story-shorter (but still long), I had many friends of many different religions. I went to Church with a guy friend, and really liked the funny-and-friendly-atmosphere…but still found that the Christian community was not one for me. My Best Friend is a Mormon, and she gave me a book of Mormon so I could read. That also proved to be a no-go. I read about a bunch of other things as well…Alien-cults, Satanism, Buddhism, Modern-Mythology-Believers, and finally, I came back around to something I had not touched on in a long while: Wicca.

I had first investigated into Wicca when I was in Middle School. It was introduced to me by a friend that was a couple of years younger. She wasn’t HUGE into the The Craft, and naturally, kids like to exaggerate…so she made it sound like this dark and secret society of gothic misbehaving (lol). When I figured I might want to try it (back then) my male-friend told me that if I tried it then he would never speak to me again…so I dropped.
Then in high-school while I was still searching for my own Path (and on the verge of making my own religion just for the heck of it), I met a girl that I had a HUGE crush on. So not only was this my ‘coming-out’, but this girl was a Wiccan. She explained the religion as very free, very earth-oriented, very loving, and very friendly. I then began researching, found the basis of it to be similar to my personal beliefs (on how everything has a spirit, and there is The Divine which is not man nor female and because we cannot connect directly to The Divine, we have its male and female persona’s: The God and Goddess), and everything just kinda went from there.
I started buying books for beginners, started shopping for candles and supplies, bought incense, did a lot of things that kinda seem silly now. Because, while I agreed with the more God-oriented parts of wiccanry, and I believed in the more meditative and communicating with nature…um…the spells and rituals, and things you have to do on the Holidays, and etc. It was a bit much. And a lot of it seemed, really, really silly.

I mean, not only was I not allowed to discuss my personal beliefs at home (because my Mother did not agree with it, and hated it), but because I lived with her, it’s not like I could run around my yard naked, or cast circles in the house. There was a coven that was 45 minutes away from me, but I could not even join until I was 18, and by then, I still did not even have a car! My Mother nor Father was going to take me, and the religion itself was just too…happy…to bright for me.
Even when I started trying Nocturnal Wicca, I still ran into the same problem of not having the proper supplies, not being able to get the proper supplies, not being able to do the rituals due to certain restrictions, and it all just went downhill from there.
I did certain things…like trying to pray, trying to interpret my dreams, and trying to listen to the spirits of the earth through meditation. So it’s not like I just gave up. But over the years, even that little bit stopped happening…and I thought I had just given up on having a religion altogether. But then I found JEDI.
And we all know how the rest pans out from there.

2. How do you know when you are doing the right thing vs. the wrong thing? Do you base this on external laws (like the 10 commandments, or the laws of your country)? Do you listen to your conscience, even though it may go against the standard ‘rules’ of society?

—All people, I believe, listen to their conscience at one time or another. My conscience is what guides me at least 80% of the time. While naturally I am a good citizen of the United States, and therefore abide by my Country’s laws, there are the smaller things in life that are generally guided by my inner thoughts and feelings.
I will say it now…I am a chronic liar. Well, not in the way you would think. I use ‘white lies’ to stay out of drama. Like, for instance: A co-worker that I do not care for, told me she got into a car wreck, and told me not to mention it to anyone else at work because they would make fun of her. So when my friend asked me what was wrong with that girl’s car (because he had seen her drive up to work in her boyfriend’s vehicle), I told him that I did not know because this girl and I barely ever speak.
So I lied…but I lied because I did not want to say what had happened, because not only would that go against the promise I made the other girl, but then I would have to listen to that other girl gab on-and-on because sure enough, she would get made fun of. Lying helps me avoid drama…because I don’t like that girl mentioned above, she is really annoying and has no idea about what real life is really like. That, and she really does not respect herself or her own body…so yeah. She gets on my nerves. But I deal with her, and ‘pretend’ to care about her problems because I don’t like making enemies.

So yeah…but…I also have a HUGE guilt complex. HUGE!!!
If I do something so much as take the last cookie without permission, I will go crawling to the person that made the cookies and beg for their forgiveness because I did an awful thing. It’s stupid…but it’s just how I am. That’s why Taz knows that she can trust me…because, if I did anything wrong, I could not keep it a secret from her.

But when I do something that I know I shouldn’t…my stomach starts to hurt, I get a migraine, and honestly, I just want to cry. I feel so depressed and sooooo sad when I do bad things. Sometimes the stress gets so great that I accidentally throw myself into a seizure. So, my body will let me know if the choice I made was the wrong one.

3. What are your beliefs about death? Do you believe we have one lifetime or more in physical form? What do you believe happens when you die? Where did these beliefs come from?

—Death is one of those complicated subjects that leaves you with worries, with fear, and with a massive headache because some things you just cannot really even begin to understand them or contemplate them.
I will say now that there are parts that I fear of Death, and parts that I do not fear. But when it comes to Death in general, I am not really sure what I believe.

In a sense, I believe in the Pagan religions that say that we are immortal souls that are reincarnated until we experience ALL things in life. Upon experiencing all things, we then return to the Source from where we came (The Divine and/or The Force). Therefore I do not imagine there to be a thing like Heaven or Hell.
If there is not a reincarnation after death, then I imagine death as just nothingness, as the state of nonexistence, and that’s what scares me and makes my head hurt. Because…what happens in nothing? Do you feel nothing happening? To have to cease thinking and being conscious is just too much of a concept for me.

But, if there IS a Heaven and a Hell, I have already accepted that by Christian standards, I will most likely go to Hell. That thought does not scare me, because as I have told other people, “Well, at least I will know everyone there!”

4. Do you believe in God of some kind? If so, what are the primary characteristics of this God? If not, why do you believe this?

—When it comes to ‘God’…I am still not sure what I believe. It’s just like with Death. It’s a concept that you just can’t begin to narrow down…not really.
I used to believe in the Divine Triad…there was the Omnipotent Source of all-things (which Wiccans called The Divine), but because that being was so powerful and so neutral, people could not connect with it, speak with it, therefore that omnipotent being then created a Male persona (The God) and the Female persona (The Goddess). In Christianity, this Triad would be God, his male persona: Jesus, and his female persona: The Virgin Mary.

That’s what I used to believe. I even used to pray to The God & Goddess many years ago.

But now I find that praying is hard, and while I do believe in the Source of our very existence, I do not think I would call it a God. I find that this Source is ever-present in ALL things, is all-knowing and openly shares its knowledge with all things willing to listen. I believe that the Source has power in working with fate and destiny…and I also believe that this Source has an anti-source because the Source knows not of negative emotions, but only of the positive ones such as love.

I believe that this Source also created all things for a reason. I just believe because it’s what my heart tells me is right after years, and years of religious study, college courses, and etc.

5. What do you consider spiritual practices? Which do you practice (if any)?

—Praying is a spiritual practice as it involves getting in touch with one’s God, therefore trying to reach out to not only their higher self, but also reaching up to a more powerful being for knowledge, guidance, and etc.
I no longer pray because I feel as though my words always came out very empty and were unheard.

I believe that meditation is a spiritual practice for that very same reason. Meditations delve into not only trying to reach out to one’s higher self, but also, a meditation focuses on a person in the present, removing their fears, doubts, worries, pains, and etc. through breathing and relaxing, and reaching out to communicate with The Source.
I practice meditation at least.

For my specific beliefs, my spiritual practices include meditation, exercising to keep my body healthy, practicing patience and love and clearing the negative emotions away from myself, better time-management and budgeting skills, and etc.
Basically anything that helps me become a better person and helps me live a better life is a spiritual practice to me.

Intro Creed Exercise:

Posted: September 26, 2012 in IJRS Courses

Question(s):

 

“What are your top 3 beliefs?”

—While I cannot say that all of my beliefs are faith-based, I can say that there are some core beliefs that I stand by and have always stood by with unwavering conviction(s).

1.)    I believe that everyone has a purpose in life.

2.)    I believe that everything happens for a reason.

3.)    I believe that life should always be treated like a learning experience and/or an adventure!

 

“Why?”

—I would like to believe that everyone has a purpose in life because the thought of wandering through life aimlessly is a rather terrifying one. For some odd reason I can’t wrap my mind around a possible concept that humans were put on the Earth for no good reason (if that makes any sense). It’s like trying to talk about the possibility of there being nothingness in death…it’s just waaaaaaaaay to complicated, it’s depressing, and it makes my head hurt.

 

Same with everything happening for a reason. I believe that without reason, nothing makes sense. Obviously water boils because it is hot, THAT is the reason. Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side THAT is the reason! It’s the same concept as above with everyone having a purpose…other than a few life experiences that prove to me that everything has a reason, something without reason is pointless, and I cannot wrap my mind around something that has no purpose and is pointless. It just fries my brain and makes me angry on the inside.

 

Lastly…I believe that life is too short to be filled with regrets as well as one should always be willing to accept the consequences of his/her actions. These two concepts come together as one to form my belief that life should be treated as a learning experience and an adventure!
While I will openly admit that there are many things in my life that I did WRONG and/or that I could have handled better had I been given the time or resources to really think things through, I do NOT regret a single thing that has ever happened to me. I believe that…through my errors I have become wiser. Through all the bad and harsh experiences in my life, I have become stronger. And through taking risks and trying new things, I have compiled a mass amount of experiences from which I can pull fond memories as well as lessons learned to make me a better adult.

 

“How did you come to those realizations?”

 

“What was a situation where this belief was exemplified?”

—I can only think of two times where my beliefs were exemplified through real-life circumstances. First of all: “Everything happens for a reason”.

Now, I’m not really one to talk about my childhood bluntly with others. Mainly because there is still some fear and some confusion that hides in my heart…but, I will admit that there was a shadow that loomed over me as I grew up. I had some really hard times, some that I was afraid I might never live to see another day afterwards. There is probably some trauma…I’m sure there are nightmares and habits that occurred because of my past that no amount of therapy can ever fix, but, one thing I did learn from that awful experience was that, everything happens for a reason.

Surviving that ordeal…those instances in my childhood made me a stronger and better person than I could have ever imagined. It made me realize what to do and what not to do in life. It taught me how I wanted to be treated and thus should treat other people the same way. I believe it gave me empathy, I believe that it made me more patient and understanding than I would have been otherwise, and, I believe that, overall, it made me grateful for the little things.

 

Secondly,”Life should be treated like a learning experience and/or adventure!”

I grew up in the same place I was born, and the farthest I ever lived from that very place was a mere 45 minutes. I grew up in a small town where I did not need to know the names of roads and buildings because it was just automatically engraved in me to know where I was and where I was going. So…when Taz said that she wanted to move back to her hometown (Indianapolis) within the capital, I freaked out!
I hated the city…all the noise and violence, and the fact that you had to take an exit just to get to another part of the same city was just crazy! We visited there every so often and even then my nerves would just spike because this place put me out of my element. But that’s when I realized that sometimes it was necessary to jump out of my comfort zone and try new things.

I mean, how else would I have learned my love for sushi had I not been brave enough to try it? How would I have figured out that I loved roller-coasters if I had not let a friend push me on the ride? How else would I have figured out that I was afraid of heights, loved scary movies, and enjoyed playing Airsoft had I not taken the necessary steps and risks? So…eventually I gave in and moved to Indianapolis.

It was a challenge. I had to learn the names of roads, learn what exits to take…I had to re-learn my way around, I was over an hour from my parents, so I had to get my own bank account, pay my own bills, keep track and budget my money better because Mommy and Daddy could no longer come and get me out of a quick bind if I ran into one. It took a lot of changes on my part in order to become comfortable here in the big city. But, I have currently lived here for over a year, and I have to say that I love it now! Living in Indy was a risk…but, it ended up being a HUGE learning experience for me, one that shaped me and made me a more responsible person in the end. It was learning experience that was brought about by my own desire to try something different, and it was an adventure!

Why Jedi?

Posted: September 25, 2012 in IJRS Courses

 

Why Jedi?

 

1.)    What first inspired you to seek the Jedi Path in your life?
I am not sure what first inspired me towards the Jedi Path in my life.
To an extent, I would like to think of it as a random calling that came out of nowhere. Because, I seemed to be content in having a religion merely dubbed as “Pagan” where I was non-practicing and my religion had no real focus. So why I suddenly decided that I needed more guidance in my life is a complete mystery and it was just a random event that just happened. Story of my life.

2.)    Were there any key events around that time that caused you to seek this path?
—Much as I would like to say that I was given a ‘sign’ or that something Divine led me to find the Jedi, my story holds no such thing. As it would happen, I was just sitting at my laptop while my girlfriend was doing her PT for the Army, and just randomly started thinking about my life and religion (because of some debate I saw going on over Facebook).
That’s when I started thinking that Religions were rather silly because, a person can make a religion out of anything then swear that it is better and/or more true than other religions, therefore starting debate and conflict between people’s. On that note, I started thinking about cults that were started over fandoms, then I randomly looked over at my movie rack, saw my “Star Wars” tapes (Episode I and II on VHS), and from there, I decided to see if they had a religion and/or cult for the Jedi.

It was then that I wound up on the page for the “Jedi Church” and began reading about the religion. While I had wanted to get more involved with The Craft (Wicca) recently because I felt like I needed more guidance in my life, I was rather unmotivated to do so because I felt like the path did not ‘complete’ me. I felt like, there were ways that The Craft made me a better person, but I also felt like The Craft was making me into a ‘different’ person and was driving me away from being my own individual self.

I will say that I have never been a total NERD over Star Wars (that’s my Big Brother’s department). But, I did know enough about the movie to be interested in it and to like the storyline. Also, in some of my role-playing games there were Jedi-related Guilds and Clans that I often joined because those were the ‘lawful-good’ kinds that were always very knowledgeable people and they were very friendly 🙂

But the more I read about the Jedi, their beliefs, and their religion…the more I started to feel…excited. I almost had this urge to just jump about, yell, and cry happily because the more I read, the more I began to feel that this was what I had been looking for all along. I don’t know why I felt this way…it just happened. It was just this miraculous moment, and the next thing I know I have paid 20 dollars to receive my Jedi Certificate, I have joined the Facebook Group for the Jedi Church, and sure enough, here I am now?

Sorry for taking the long way around on that one. ^^;
3.)    How did you find this training? Have you received any other training elsewhere (online or off)?
—This training (and the website associated with it) was provided to me via Jax (who is my Facebook friend). We met through the Facebook Group for the Jedi Church where I had been posting regularly. She contacted me because I had asked about possibly gaining a master to teach me in the ways of the Jedi but was very unsuccessful in this because no one lives close to me and all were rather unwilling to teach me over Skype for some odd reason.
I have always been more of the type to be ‘taught’ by someone else and have a hard time teaching myself because I become unmotivated rather easily when I feel as though I am alone in an endeavor. But other than this website I have not sought and/or receive any other training.

4.)    How would you define a Jedi? What makes a Jedi different from others?
—Jedi is many things to me.
Through my training this far, I have learned that not only can Jedi be a religion, but Jedi is more of a lifestyle. Jedi to me symbolizes patience, healing, loyalty, justice, and truth. Jedi is what one calls him/herself when they have become attuned to The Force and accepts it as the universal truth, energy, and power that resides in all things and connects everything together as a whole.

The way I see Jedi differing from others is rather hard to explain. I would like to use a bit of wisdom from Tothian (another Jedi and Real Life Superhero that I conversed with the other day) when he wrote a topic which included a brief passage on Community versus Movement(s).
Jedi…as a religion…is a Community. I see it as a network of individual peoples all coming forth with their own ideas, coming together to try and make the practice better for all through different methods that produce similar results. It is a warm and welcoming environment, free of judgment and free from exclusion because someone might have a different opinion on how things work.
OTHER religions then, come off to me as a Movement. Being raised Baptist, I found that the slightest opinion that differed from the Church’s led to a house-call from the Pastor. I remember that because I drew pointy-eared heroes and read Harry Potter (and played Yu-Gi-Oh!) I was an outcast, and my Mother was asked to immediately burn all those demonic ‘things’ so that I might be purified in the name of the Lord.

Same as when I started getting piercings and would wear boy’s clothing. Finally, in the end, I was tired of the stares and the whispers behind my back. I snapped at the Pastor and was asked ‘nicely’ by the Faculty of the Church to “leave and never come back”. I feel like a lot of the older and more strict of religions are more like movements because they want all of their members to believe the same things, the same methods of things, the same working of things, all the same rules, and they want them all to live the same lifestyle as usually written in a book, script, tome, or scroll. Someone who does NOT follow these things is often threatened with eternal punishments and can even be excluded or banished from the church or religious meeting because they cannot conform to these standards.

I believe that Jedi are more accepting of all peoples…they allow people to learn at their own pace, conform their lifestyle at their own will, and only encourage people to try things, they never force anyone to do anything outside of their comfort zone.

Lastly, I believe that Jedi actually can fit into other religions (whereas usually, if you have one religion it is your ONLY religion because beliefs contradict each other). Again, Tothian agreed as he considered himself a ‘Christian Jedi’, whereas I consider myself a ‘Pagan Jedi’.
I can easily follow the Jedi Path while still practicing certain things from The Craft. Jedi and Wicca actually have a lot in common only some terms are different and there are some different processes for similar results.

5.)    What aspects of the Jedi do you aspire to? What attributes of the Jedi do you want to incorporate into yourself?
—The reason(s) I decided to follow the Path of the Jedi was because I felt as though I needed more guidance in my life. I felt and still feel out of balance with myself and with the world, and I aspire (through being Jedi) to master my emotions, become more patient, become more understanding of all things, and honestly, I just want to live a better and healthier lifestyle in a spiritual way. I want to become closer to the Ultimate Divine a.k.a The Force.

6.)    What does it mean for you to be a Jedi in your society?
—I’m honestly not sure how to answer this question.
I guess my best answer is that, I have found it hard to have hope in humanity these past 5-6 years of my life. When I moved to Indianapolis and looked around the type of people that lived in the big city, a pit grew in my heart and I started to feel dark things such as hatred and rage(s) that I did not know existed. I resented humankind and found that 90% of those that I saw were not deserving of the lives they were given because they were abusing it rather than believing it to be a gift and using it for good rather than evil. I took on the Jedi path to slap all of this stuff out of me, and clear those dark and negative thoughts from my mind and from my heart.
So to be a Jedi in my society would be a great increase to the noise control, the risk of heart-attacks in the area due to high blood pressure, it would help with the violence because I will keep control and not finally snap enough to punch someone in the face and/or hit them with my car. 😀
(not meaning to have humor in all this…but you really have to see the things I see to really understand where I am coming from).

7.)    What are your goals in your Jedi training for the next 3 months? The next 6 months? The next year?
—In the next 3 months, my goals are rather vague. I know that I want to have the Introductory Course done, and finish the majority of Force 101 and maybe even get into Personal 101. In the next 6 months, I am hoping to have a HUGE chunk of the Novice Courses done and out of the way. By the time I have reached one year, I am hoping that I have graduated from Novice to Adept, and am working through the Adept Courses. 😀
Personally though, I want to improve my meditation sessions. I want to be able to focus and stay still through the entire session so that I can get the ‘full’ experience. Also, I want to become more in-tune with The Force and be able to interpret its messages through my visions, dreams, and/or meditation(s).

8.)    What do you anticipate will be your biggest challenge to reaching these goals? For instance, do you have time constraints, family responsibilities, or health problems?
—I feel like my biggest issue with the training will be time.
Time is very precious and throughout the week, I get very little time to myself. Obviously, when I get off work at 3am (soon to be 5am because of peak), my body just wants me to fall asleep, and I will generally sleep until 3-4pm before I have to go to work again. This is because my job is so physically demanding.

Also, right now I am moving out of my apartment And getting ready to move to Germany in February (2013). This means that all my free time is spent trying to pack and/or sell my belongings, pack and/or sell all of Taz;s belongings that she did NOT store at the family hangar, as well as doing other things like buying needed supplies, singing up for a passport/ permanent residency visa, doing research, and etc.

Lastly, the only other thing that takes up that precious time of mine is my Girlfriend: Taz.
She is my number one priority, and on the weekends (my only days off), my whole day is spent Skyping with her. This time is very important to me because I can finally see her face, and in her own words, “It’s nice to know that I’m not just dating a voice”. So I obviously don’t have time to sit there and read big lessons while I’m trying to carry on a conversation with her.

9.)    After reading previous answers/responses to these questions, how do you feel about your Jedi path? Are you inspired, excited, or overwhelmed? Why do you feel this way?
—To put it simply and as bluntly as possible, I think that I made the right choice when deciding to follow the Jedi Path. If anything, I believe that training in the way of the Jedi is a good thing, and it will lead me down that road to becoming a better person.

Already I have had experiences through meditation which have inspired me, made me curious to learn more, and have me working harder to become more in-tune with The Force so that I may come to understand these visions that I receive.
Already I have found myself wanting to come home early from work just because I cannot wait to get started on the next lesson.

While parts of this experience can be overwhelming at times, and at other times it gets me frustrated and makes me wonder why I did it…most of the time I am excited to see what new and exciting things await me as I delve deeper and deeper into the ways of the Jedi. I have good vibes about it…and reading my responses only confirms that this is something I want to be serious about…it’s something that I want to do because I feel like I need this.

I have been practicing the last two meditations in the last 2 days after work, and I find that as my scores decreased (from the 40’s to the 30’s) that i had more and more trouble with these meditations that I had left to do in my Force exercises.

When it comes to being a physical intuitive, I feel as though my only link to communications with nature was trough what little studies I did as a Wiccan. While I always tried to communicate with nature and be one with plants and animals, I never seemed to get very far (though people tend to say I have a natural affect on animals and them loving me to death, that and I have this very strange connection with the wind. Not sure why.)
:/

The physical meditation went along the very same basis as “The bubble” did with the mental intuitives—starting at that place in nature, that is warm, and inviting, with a nice breeze, the sounds of running water, the smell of grass and wild-flowers, and etc.
Again, I found myself at “The Devil’s Gate” (see second reference to “The Bubble” for more information). Only this time, as the voice spoke and directed me in one direction, my body took a completely different direction altogether.

The voice was speaking of the warm sun and the nice breeze blowing through the trees when my body suddenly ended up in the water! For some odd reason I had deliberately jumped into the stream and was swimming around furiously, kicked and paddling like I was swimming away from something, and yet I knew I was swimming this way because it made me feel empowered, and it made me feel free. I was rebellious against the voice, choosing not to feel the warmth of the sun, but rather, the rush of cold water across my body, that delightful shiver as I touched the surface and the breeze swept by me. It was as if being like this suited me better, it made me stronger, and it made me feel more alive…
Then again, I was lost in the void of white as the forest faded into that familiar nothingness (I hate it when that happens).

The voice was telling me to focus on a part of my body that was tense or felt pain. I chose my shoulders…
Then the voice told me to choose a color for this pain: I chose red, because to me…red is angry, it symbolizes pain in commercials, and it’s the color of blood, which I always associate with a wound. So…while red may mean power and strength, to me, if ‘hurting’ had a color, it would be a dark red.
finally the voice told me to give this color and texture, and an image. Well, when giving the color a texture, the color itself became bumpy, and then those bumps turned into spikes. The spikes were all in line like a wide-range of pointed mountains with a dark background, making the red stand out even more. that’s when I found that, other than this texture…I was having a hard time giving this pain…this texture…this color an image :/

I thought of many things I could turn it into—a puddle of blood, raging lava, the grand canyon, and etc. But nothing that stuck for more than a second. Then when asked to communicate with this ‘pain’ and to ask questions of The Force, as usual…I ended up blank.

But there was one good thing that happened during the meditation. During the part with the light, where it was healing all pains and curing the stresses of the day, and etc. I saw a healing light. And…it’s funny, because it’s the same healing light that I used to see when we would somewhat ‘meditate’ in my high-school dance class.
It’s hard to explain in a sense…because my healing light, is like a ribbon. It’s like a long stream of smoke, bright, pure—it weaves in and out of my skin as if sewing up an open wound, as if patching a hole that was there and needs fixing. It goes through my skin, I feel it in my bones, then I feel it exit before it works its way up to another area. In my mind’s eye I can see it working, and it makes me smile, makes my bones feel warm and comfy. It’s…a ‘safe’ feeling if you catch my drift, and it’s something I am very comfortable with.

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But with the spiritual meditation, I found another lack of attention -span as I did with my first try of “The Bubble”. I found that no matter how hard I tried to lay there and to concentrate, my mind would wander off somewhere else, or I would space out to the point of not hearing the voice’s directions, and then I would come-back only to realize I had no idea what this person had been talking about for the past 3-minutes :/
It was rather frustrating.

Seeing the light above my head was easy as it’s something you practice early on in Wicca. This light is also considered part of your chakra in Wicca. It is the source of all your magicks and you use it as a way to absorb energies from the divine, watching the light descend from the top of your head, into your body, and then out the tip of your fingers to do the castings (which makes me wish I could find my old Witch’s journal so I could copy my sketches for you).
So seeing the light and acknowledging that it is indeed there is something that always comes naturally for me.

The part that I got lost in was the part about the web. I saw the light, absorbed the light, and tried to use it to cure the aches and pains in my body. But, the web that was supposed to be grounding me to the Earth kept breaking. Instead of feeling as if I was being held to a solid grounding (which I felt for 30 seconds or a bit more), I saw the web snap and I suddenly felt as if my body was spinning out of control, tossing the light within me for a loop, and driving it off it’s course for healing. While parts of me felt warm and healed as I came back to…other parts of me were aching even worse than they had before, and I knew something had gone horribly wrong.

A part of me thinks that perhaps I should start sitting instead of laying down for meditations.
Another part of me thinks that I should start relaxing more BEFORE meditations (such as taking a shower, changing into pajamas, and not debating on whether I should finish off that last bit of ice-cream from my last get-together with the bestie). I’m hoping that the pretty promo beads that I’m getting from Jax might just help me out with that wandering brain of mine, or at least help me see things more clearly, and/or keep things like the ‘spinning’ from happening again.

Ah well…practice makes perfect, right?

But with that meditation, I have officially finished the “Introductory Force Exercises” and I’m on to Personal next!!! Wish me luck! 😀

So I decided to take a break from my normal routine of doing part of the Introductory Course to ask a question: How do you handle religious differences in a relationship?

When  I first met Taz (she found me on a dating website), she knew that I was Wiccan.
I was not a strong practitioner of The Craft, but, I had my moments and days where I would light my incense, lay out some cards, or delve into the writing of some new spell I eventually wanted to try. I even ritualistically bound two of my friends that had planned on getting married, but they wanted more spiritual first.

Taz classifies herself as Catholic merely because that’s how she was raised. She doesn’t go to Church or Pray, but she does believe in God as the Christians have defined Him, and, having been raised a Baptist/Catholic, I understand when she talks about certain things she was taught, what she does believe within her faith, and what she thinks is bogus.
Either way…we have been living with a difference in religion for the past 2 years, but that’s because neither one of us was serious about binding ourselves to a certain faith or lifestyle. But now that I have begun talking the Jedi Courses and practicing them almost daily in hopes of creating a better life and lifestyle for myself, well, I’m getting nervous around her.

It’s like…I want to share my ‘divine’ experiences with her, and I want to be able to show her my drawings, explain the visions I had, discuss what I believe certain things mean. She even allowed me to quiz her on what intuitive type she was so that I might better understand her on a deeper level…but I just get so nervous bringing stuff up to her because she is always ‘laughing’ at me.
Mind you, her sister is Pagan—but not a strong practicing one. And her grandmother might as well have been a Witch because of her strong focus in herbalism, self-healing, spirits, and old remedies (even though she was Catholic).

But when I talk to Taz about my Guide of Wisdom, or when I tried to explain The Lighthouse to her…she just chuckles at me and kinda acts like I’m crazy. she laughs in a way that an adult chuckles at a child when they are playing pretend, and I kinda don’t like it.
I mean, I do not expect Taz to change her religious views and lifestyle for me…I would NEVER ask that of her let alone expect something like that! Either way…I wish there was some way to ask her to be more supportive of what I’m doing, and to really take my feelings into consideration (without her getting mad at me because she thinks I’m attacking her or something).

I really would rather this not become something that I have to do while she is gone because I become too self-conscious to do it while she is home.

I mean…she says she doesn’t care what I do religiously or even lifestyle-wise because (quote),”You believe what you believe. And who am I to judge you for that?’
I know she doesn’t judge me…but that the same time, I don’t like being anxious, and I don’t like having to avoid discussing certain parts of my day because she laughs at me. I mean, this is the woman I’m moving to Germany with and will be marrying. So goodness…what to do, what to do?

 

I guess what I’m asking is…how do you handle something like this?
How do you live happily in a household with 2 different religious views?

 

I mean…when it came to children, both Taz and I agreed that our child would find his/her own religious path. We would give them the tools necessary to do the research, but, in the end, that child would have to put forth the effort to go out and find that path, that calling that is right for them. This was a solution that suited us both and I wholly agree with it…so at least we aren’t at a difference when it comes to that (in case that was to be brought up later).
But for the here and the now…what should I do?

I decided to try out “The Bubble” Meditation again as a little celebration over my next 2-days off from work. And needless to say, things went a little better this time, though I still feel as though I am missing something and/or not getting the “full experience” with this specific meditation.

First of all…
When the voice in the track asked me to find a place in nature, I always come back to the same place. It’s a small little opening in the woods back home, in Deming Park. I call this place,”The Devil’s Gate”. It used to be part of a garden, and it was easy to get to via a labyrinth of trails leading down a long, winding hill of stone steps. Then, when you walked across a small stone bridge that sat above a stream, then you came to this stone platform.
There seemed to be an altar in the middle of this platform, and then a small opening that sat about 3-4 feet above the platform on the other side of the altar. It’s opening was encased by an arch with a demon’s head in the center. The rest of the opening was covered by trees—thus, to me when I first stumbled upon it (at age 7), it was dubbed “The Devil’s Gate”.

I had only found that place originally because my summer camp group had gotten lost on the trails. Once I left that place, it took me 6 years to find that very same spot again, but things had changed. The Demon’s face was gone, the archway was shattered. The bridge had been destroyed and the only way to get to the altar (no vandalized) was to cross a fallen log and go around from the other side.

But this place has always been comforting to me…and only my most significant of friends are shown its location when I decide to go. So that’s what I envisioned…listening to the gurgle of the stream, the chirping of wild canaries, and envisioning the small purple clover that likes to grow within the area. I could see sun glistening through the opening of the trees and it’s warmth was accompanied by a gentle breeze. It was nice, pleasant, homey, and it felt safe.

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Then I was in a bubble of light…no longer in the forest.
For some odd reason, every time I make this bubble, the forest around me disappears, and I am in a white void. A infinite space of nothingness…just…white.
I find that, once I have made my bubble, it’s easy to feel the warmth from it, easy to expand myself within it, and easy to fill it with love and positive emotions. But…the hard part of it is leaving my physical body. I never can seem to manage what the track wants me to do. It’s when asked to release myself and have that outer-body experience that I realize that I was never in a forest, that I’m not floating in white space, but I’m on my bed…and I feel heavier than I did before.
I don’t know why my body always wakes up and loses its focus right at this point. It just does.

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But then the track mentions how love radiates in this bubble…and that my love can touch anyone or anything that I will it to. That I can be with anyone I choose, and it’s in this moment that I smile, because I think of my girlfriend: Taz.
It’s amazing to me that we are together after these two years of constant struggle, actually, it’s amazing to me that we are together at all because I always thought that she was out of my league. Looking back on that moment when I saw her on webcam and instantly lost hope of ever being able to date someone so beautiful, I chuckle because in less than six months, we will have been together for three years AND I’m moving to Germany with her. So while in this bubble…I was holding her close, I was pulling her close to me and smiling as I stroked her face and could feel the softness of her skin against my hands. While I knew that she was so far away from me in this moment…while in the bubble, it was like the image of her had become real, and if only for an instant, I got to give her a kiss and tell her how much I love her.
I think that perhaps that was my favorite part.

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And lastly we come back to the image of Wisdom.
Well…my buffalo man was back, but this time, there was more. There were other images surrounding him. Women…spirits with horns though otherwise they were all humanoid. Their mouths were agape as if screaming or even singing, but no sound escaped their lips. Their hands were crossed over their chest, and they flew from my bubble off into the void of nothingness that I’m always so trapped in.

Then the buffalo opened it’s mouth…and when I peered inside, I saw a man. His face was heavily tattooed, eyes were  a bright golden Amber, and he just gazed at me as if there was something he wanted to say but the words just would not form. And in defeat he slipped his ‘mask’ back on and became a buffalo man again.
It seems to me that when the mask is on, it functions like an animal’s face would. But at will, he can take it off to reveal his face. It seems like he was human, but then ‘promoted’ to a more ‘divine’ form with the will to change his appearance based on the need.
It’s just the vibe I got from it.

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But that about sums up tonight’s experience. I’m not sure whether I should try it one last time or just move on :/