The greatest Jedi mind trick that was performed in the Star Wars films was not Obi-Wan’s move on the Stormtroopers where he told them that those weren’t the droids they were looking for.
Mindfulness, or being present is the greatest Jedi “mind trick” a Jedi possess. It takes real skills to just be aware of your current state and surrounding. Yoda in Empire Strikes Back described Luke Skywalker as someone who always looked away into the future. A Jedi he explains has the deepest commitment and a sharp mind, and not one that wanders around aimlessly.
The scene where the conversation takes place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIgud62CjFI
“Never his mind on where he was. What he was doing.” -Yoda-
Being absent minded is one of my biggest weakness. A weakness I am adamant in addressing. But, what does it really mean to be mindful in this age where distraction is at every corner we turn?
I find my mind constantly moving around, never staying still. Like a monkey that’s always looking for something new to play with but immediately throws it out the minute something else come its way.
Being anxious about the future or a mistake that I have made is one of the most common things I have to deal with internally. Creating imaginary problems in my head and allowing them to ruminate can be destructive.
Last year I was fortunate to have the opportunity of attending a weekend workshop where I was exposed to meditation. There are many forms of meditation. Sitting down, walking, standing, and laying down are some of them.
In that seminar, we mainly focus on sitting meditation. We kept our eyes close focusing on our breath, or run certain thought process which focuses on love, compassion, equanimity, and kindness. It was my first exposure to learning the concept of consciously bringing back my focus to where I was and what I was doing.
A misconception of meditation I’ve had before trying it myself was that meditation is supposed to destroy all of my negative emotions. Whatever anger, hate, jealousy, and bitterness that I have inside would be either suppressed or destroyed. An almost emotionless state of being.
What a pleasant surprise for me to find out that is not the point of meditation. Meditation is actually meant for us to allow these emotions to flow and pass through us. We ought to acknowledge our emotions but to never allow them to control us. Let them run their course, and allow them to go when they’re meant to.
If my point of focus while meditating is supposed to be my breath, then whatever thoughts that come my way, I need to let them go. Look at them if I have to but always bring my center back to what I was doing at that moment. Breathing.
Being aware of our breath seems to be such a powerful way of bringing us back to the present moment. You would notice things about yourself that you tend to miss out before. With that kind of self-awareness, it makes sense why a Jedi is always calm in some of the most stressful situations.
They’re not just reacting to things as they have prepared their mind to stay calm in whatever situation they are thrown in. Their focus is always in the problem at hand. Nothing more, nothing less.
There have been many instances where I end up not fixing a problem because I was worried about the possibility of another problem. I miss out in solving something because I was too caught up in a situation that has not even occurred yet!
A practice I aiming to cultivate this year is to do at least two meditation session a week. Along with the habit of counting my breaths every time my anxiety kicks in during the day.
Let’s not lose today due to the possibility of what tomorrow may or may not bring.