To most observers, Star Wars is just a fantasy that encapsulates us in an alternate reality where the universe is the playground and a typical Hollywood plot line of good and evil battles it out. However, beyond the special effects, there is some incredible insight to be found throughout the Star Wars series.
INTRO: Yoda. The great Jedi master and arguably the franchise’s favourite character. Yoda’s mission is to train his young Jedi in how to master their minds and connect with their innate inner wisdom. The Jedi are students of The Force, warding off The Dark Side to bring balance to the universe.
Such a battle for balance is not unlike everyday life where there is a constant tug-of-war between The Dark Side -- being fear, hatred, attachment and selfishness -- and The Force -- truth, respect, humility, discipline, patience and selflessness.
When applying these lessons to our everyday life, it is not hard to notice the power of these forces in play. As a result, as the pace of the external world accelerates and becomes more consuming, we are pursuing more ways in which to find balance. Training the mind has now become as important -- if not more important -- than training the body, as it is our minds that shape the reality we experience.
In essence, we should look at the mind no differently than a muscle. It has a big role to play, but we have to be careful not to allow it to control us. Our beliefs are just opinions, they are not hardwired; they are 100% malleable and flexible, just like our bodies. We have the ability to grow and adapt our mind depending on how we train it. As such, we can assist the mind in losing its rigidity. The mind can then be used as the amazing tool it was designed to be; to create, navigate moment-to-moment situations and problem solve. Most of all, having a mind that’s flexible to life’s constantly changing landscape allows The Force to prevail – as Yoda would say.
Qigong and meditation are the tools often used to enable us to gain more control of the overactive mind, with the backbone of the practice highlighted by Yoda’s words, “Where your attention goes, the energy flows”. It is the practice of this concept that enables us to focus our attention on bringing more balance, peace and harmony into our lives.
With this in mind – pardon the pun – let’s share some of Yoda’s wisdom.
A Dozen Quotes from Yoda
“Do. Or do not. There is no try”
“Watch your thoughts, young Anikan, you are focusing on the negative”
“Fear leads to anger which leads to hatred which leads to The Dark Side”
“More focus on the now instead of the future and the past”
“Less mind more feel, learn to trust your instincts”
“Meditate on your thoughts and feelings and the answers will come”
“You must unlearn what you have learned"
“Living a lie destroys your energy”
“Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose”
“The Jedi use their power for the greater good; selfless. The Sith use their power and passion to serve their own inner needs”
"You will know good from bad when you are calm, at peace, passive”
May The Force be with you.