This article was last updated December, 2017.
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We made a short post on Facebook that received a lot of attention, and we thought it was worth sharing here ("Like" us on Facebook).
In good-humored fashion, today has become known as Star Wars day, with people telling one another "May the Fourth be with you."
Staying with this theme, have you ever considered "the Force" is a symbolic representation of mindfulness?
Yoda is practically a meditation master, urging present moment awareness in lines like this:
"This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away...to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh! Excitement. Heh! A Jedi craves not these things."
In addition to living in the now, Yoda mentions craving. When you meditate, you learn to observe everything that arises in consciousness, including thoughts, emotions, urges, and cravings. You learn to see it all for what it is: temporary phenomena that come and go. You don't have to cling to any of it - grasping at what you label "pleasant," and pushing away what you label "unpleasant." You don't have to indulge any of it, and follow it down a path that results in conditioned behavior.
Yoda isn't the only character preaching mindfulness. In Episode 1, Qui-Gon Jinn tells Obi-Wan Kenobi:
"Don't center on your anxiety...keep your concentration here and now where it belongs."
Training the mind, and the consequences of letting your thoughts, emotions, and urges rule you, underlies everything in the Star Wars universe - from the first time we meet Luke, to Anakin Skywalker becoming Darth Vader (yes, I start with Episode 4 and end with Episode 3!).
One of Yoda's most famous lines (see the video at the top of this post), maps out the process from thoughts to suffering. This is something we discuss in multiple articles, including this one.
So, take it from the Jedi Masters, and learn to observe your compulsive mind and its non-stop activity. As we are fond of saying:
"You are not your thoughts, and you don't have to go everywhere they tell you to."
What are you trying to "cope" with? Stress? Anxiety? Sleep problems? Coping doesn't work - addressing the root cause does. We'll show you how.