Did you know that you can actually use Jedi meditation techniques from Star Wars?
Ever since Jedi became an officially recognised religion in the UK, people have been trying techniques from Star Wars, including Jedi meditation. And many people have asked how to become a Jedi.
There are tons of life lessons from Star Wars.
And for my Galactic Credits, the absolute best lessons from Star Wars are about meditation.
Jedi meditation can help us to relax, to be more mindful, to have better mental health, and do discover our chi, which in Star Wars is called the force. [READ: Chi Meditation Techniques]
It is an empowering practice, which is why both Jedi Knights and Sith Lords practice meditation. According to the Jedi Order, Jedi Meditation is essential for self-discipline. Indeed, the Council of the Order created a five-sessions-a-day meditation training program for initiates and advises Padawans to meditate as much as possible [from the book The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force, by Daniel Wallace].
As a meditation teacher, I have actually taught Jedi meditation techniques to many people, which is quite natural for me because most of the philosophy in Star Wars is based on Zen [READ: Zen Meditation for Beginners].
Zen is a form of Mahayana Buddhism and is all about understanding the world directly, beyond thoughts and language.
Another influence on George Lucas’ Star Wars was Taoism, which is a religion based on being true to our real nature, living in harmony with the universe, and cultivating chi (the energy that “The Force” is based on). [READ: Taoist Meditation]
Combine Zen with Taoism and you get the philosophy of Stat Wars, encompassing everything from The Force to Jedi meditations.
In Star Wars, we learn most of the philosophy and Jedi meditation techniques via Yoda, who is one of the best spiritual movie characters ever.
In this guide I will teach you how to do Jedi meditations like Yoda and Luke.
First up, here’s my Youtube video on Star Wars meditations. The article continues below.
If you want to become a Jedi, young Padawan, book an online meditation lesson with me and I will teach you Jedi meditation.
4 Ways of Jedi Meditation
While I was editing this article I realised that there is now even a book about Jedi Meditation! And yes, it is official. It’s called Star Wars: The Jedi Mind: Secrets From The Force For Balance And Peace, written by Amy Ratcliffe, and it is available here.
1: The Basic Jedi Meditation Script
The following is the basic method of Jedi meditation. The script is similar to other forms of meditation (such as Buddhist Anapanasati and Vipassana). And it has similar benefits, such as increasing concentration, promoting the parasympathetic nervous system for relaxation, and reducing stress.
- It is best to practice Jedi meditation in a relaxing place where you will be able to focus on your innermost mind. During Star Wars: Rogue Planet, Anakin Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi have a conversation about Jedi meditation. Anakin asks, “Where do you go to meditate?” And Obi Wan Kenobi answers, “To a state of mind and body, where I reacquaint myself with simplicity.”
- Sit comfortably in a Jedi meditation chair (or, you know, any old comfortable chair). Place your feet shoulder-width apart. Make sure your spine is straight but relaxed. Tuck your chin down a little to elongate your neck.
- Close your eyes and focus your mind on your breathing. Breathe in for two counts. Pause for two counts. Breathe out for two counts. Pause for two counts. Continue likewise. Focus your mind on your breath moving around your body.
- After a short time of breathing meditation you will begin to feel inner peace and relaxation. You will know when you get to this point because you will feel relaxed. When this happens, “Reach out with your feelings,” as Obi Wan Kenobi says to Luke Skywalker. Feel the space around you.
- Notice how you can feel a sense of calm and space around you that seems to touch all things. As Obi Wan Kenobi says, ““It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” When you are quiet and at peace you will feel the Force. Once you feel the Force, meditate on it. Focus your mind on the peaceful energy that binds the universe together. Continue for twenty minutes.
2. Reach out and feel the force
As Yoda says, “My ally is the force. . .”
But what is the force?
The “Universal Life Force” is also called “Qi”.
Qi is vital to a lot of different spiritualities and religions and is used in alternative medicine.
The life force is the primordial energy of life.
Energy creates life, makes it grow. Without energy, there is nothing.
Yoda teaches Luke to feel the force. And all aspiring Jedi must do the same thing.
So if you want to become a Jedi, you need to feel the force.
The best way is by meditating on chi. Simply close your eyes and feel chi all around you.
3. Use Jedi Meditation To “Unlearn what you have learned”
“You must unlearn what you have learned.”
This quote is one of the essential parts of Yoda’s meditation techniques.
But why would you want to unlearn what you have learned? Because knowledge is a paradox.
Human beings are limited by the things they think they know.
On Degobah, Luke tells Yoda that he cannot lift the X-Wing out of the swamp. It is “impossible”. Why is it impossible for Luke to do this? Because, as a human with no knowledge of the force, it seems obvious that such a feat should be impossible to Luke. But Yoda knows that Luke could potentially lift the X-Wing out of the swamp. So why doesn’t he?
In Luke’s mind he is living in a world where it is simply impossible to lift huge objects using the mind. So Luke determines that he cannot do it. And it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Yoda then lifts the X-Wing out himself to prove to Luke that such things are possible. But even when Luke sees this miracle, he cannot believe it.
“That is why you fail,” says Yoda.
Luke fails because he knows that it is impossible to lift a massive ship out of a swamp using your mind (the force). And because he “knows” it is impossible, it is impossible for him in that moment.
To “know” is to limit the possibilities of your world. Stop knowing. Unlearn what you have learned.
When we learn Jedi meditation (and more traditional meditations), we realise that the things we have “learned” are just thoughts in our heads. Learn that “Luminous being are we”.
4. Connect with your Luminous Being
Yoda explains to Luke that we are not this “crude measure” but that we are “luminous beings.”
What is a “luminous being”?
Luminous means “lit-up”. So naturally, Yoda is saying we are made of light.
We are not physical entities. We are pure energy.
Here’s a mind opener: Your light is your consciousness.
Yoda is telling Luke that our physical form does not confine us but that we are an infinity of energy channelled through the miracle of consciousness.
But how do you become that energy?
Or rather, how do you realise that you already are that energy?
This side of the force is actually based on Daoism, an Eastern religion that teaches that life is made of Qi and that health and wellbeing are based on how we manage that life force within us.
How Jedi Meditation Stops The Fear, Anger And Hate That Lead Anakin To Darth Vader
One of the main benefits of Jedi meditation techniques is that they stop anger.
Yoda explains precisely why this is so important: “Once you strike down the dark path forever will it dominate your destiny; consume you it will, as it did Obi Wan’s apprentice.”
The story of Darth Vader / Anakin Skywalker is, in some ways, incredibly realistic. And we all go through what Anakin went through, at least to some extent.
We might not have Darth Vader’s strengths. We might not be able to move objects with the mind. But we do have the same enemy as Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader. I’m not talking about Emperor Palpatine, but rather our thoughts, fears, hatred and anger.
As Yoda says, “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Yoda foretells Darth Vader’s fate because he has “Seen much fear” in him.
This is one of the best yoda quotes and it is very true.
Fear, anger and hate are the enemies of us all. When we are afraid, we have two choices: we either overcome our fear (as Luke does) or we are consumed by it, as Darth Vader is.
Darth Vader fears to lose his love, a love who just so happens to be called “Padme Amidala.”
Did you know This Secret Star Wars Meditation Mantra?
George Lucas liked to stick random philosophical references into Star Wars. One place he did that is in the name Padme Amidala.
The name Padme Amidala comes from the Buddhist mantra Om Mani Padme Hum.
Padme can be translated as meaning Lotus (as in Lotus flower, and also as in the Boddhisvata Jewel-Lotus, who symbolises compassion). Amidala comes from the Amida Buddha of the Pure Lands beliefs (1).
Padme Amidala represents the notion summed up by the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra, which is a mantra (chant) used in Buddhism. It means, “The Jewel Is In The Lotus”.
Padme’s character represents the idea of living with right intention (compassion) on the right path towards enlightenment, as taken from the Noble Eight Fold Path of Buddhism. (2)
So long as Padme is alive, Anakin Skywalker stays on the right path, the pure, Jedi path. If she were to stay alive Anakin would move towards enlightenment (he would become a Jedi Master). If Padme dies, Anakin Skywalker loses his purity because he loses his compassion, falls off the “Noble Path” and becomes Darth Vader.
But it isn’t Padme’s death that causes Anakin Skywalker to become Darth Vader. It is his fear of her death.
Fear is the issue. And another thing Jedi meditation helps us with is fear.
The problem for Anakin is not reality, it is not the fact that Padme is ill, it is his fear of her death. That’s why he turns into Darth Vader before she dies.
Fear is a delusional mode of thinking that is a construct of the mind. This is something we learn when we practice fear meditations.
When we do Jedi meditations, as Yoda advocates, we let go of fear. But Anakin cannot, and that is why he becomes Darth Vader.
If only Anakin Skywalker could have differentiated his fear of reality from reality itself, he never would have become Darth Vader.
That is perhaps the most important message in the entire Star Wars saga.
- Let go of fear, let go of anger, let go of hate, and you will live on the noble path towards becoming enlightened—towards becoming a Jedi Master.
- Allow your anger, fear and hate to consume you, and you will fall into ignorance and become a Sith Lord.
Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader’s story sums up many of the reasons why people learn to meditate. Meditation techniques, including Jedi meditation, are the best way to release your mind from fear, anger, hate and other delusional modes of thought. When we learn to meditate, we clear and purify our minds.
“But how am I to know the good side from the bad?” asks Luke.
“You will know,” says Yoda, “when you are calm and at peace.”
The Jedi meditate to cultivate the inner peace that leads them to become Jedi Masters.
What Star Ways Taught Me About Meditation, Life, And Philosophy
1: To do Jedi Meditation
Meditation is shown all over Star Wars.
Yoda, the Jedi master, is shown meditating many times.
Yoda advocates a clarity of mind and inner peace.
A master of philosophy, Yoda is always speaking of the importance of inner peace, which is obtained from meditation.
But just how does a Jedi meditate?
Learning to meditate is quite easy and can be self-taught—though there are many meditation schools and meditation teachers for those interested.
To do a simple meditation, go somewhere quiet, sit comfortably and focus your mind on your breathing. That’s it! Simply sit for ten minutes focusing on your breath, and you will calm your mind.
2: Remove fear, anger, and hate with Jedi meditation
Yoda says to Anakin Skywalker that “Fear is the path to the dark side” leading to anger, hate and suffering. Fear leads to the suffering of both the fearful person themselves (who suffers fear) and the people around them, who suffer from the negative actions of the fearful individual.
Though you could write a thesis on the dangers of hate, anger and fear, suffice to say that if you live your life in the shackles of these three great negatives, you will significantly limit yourself and live an unhappy life.
By letting go of fear, anger and hate, we create peace and love
To do this, challenge your fear with positivity.
To become a Jedi, we need to master our thoughts. The best way to do this is to use some positive thinking.
3: The Right Path (from Buddhism)
Star Wars is all about walking the right path.
Anakin Skywalker diverts from the right path and ends up becoming Darth Vader. Luke Skywalker walks the right path, saves Anakin Skywalker from Darth Vader and saves the day. It’s essential to make sure that every step you take is on the right path. Ask yourself before making a decision “Which path is this moving me down, the good or the bad?”
Stay vigilant with your mind, and you will guide yourself towards becoming a Jedi.
Another critical difference between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader is humility.
In the prequel Star Wars trilogy, Anakin Skywalker fails to show humility. He is offended by being told that is not yet a Jedi Master (in Revenge of the Sith) and, because of this, chooses to try to become more powerful by getting closer to Emperor Palpatine.
Anakin believes he is the most powerful Jedi in the universe and will do anything to prove himself right, but this only leads him to become a pawn of the Emperor.
Conversely, Luke Skywalker never craves power.
Both The Emperor and Darth Vader offer Luke the chance to rule the universe, but he doesn’t give in to temptation. It is Luke’s humility that leads him to success where Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader failed.
Humility is one of the twenty-four character strengths in Positive Psychology that lead to positive, happy and successful lives. Get past your ego, and you’re set for success.
5: Not believing? That is why you fail.
One of the most famous scenes in the entire Star Wars saga is Luke’s training on Degobah.
In this sequence, Yoda is teaching Luke about the force. Yoda asks Luke to use the force to move his ship out of the swamp. Luke tries but fails. Yoda then moves the ship, to which Luke says “I don’t believe it” and Yoda, in arguably his most famous quote, says “That is why you fail.”
Luke failed to have an open mind, to believe that something seemingly magical could actually happen.
This is the peril of a closed mind. It limits possibilities. Again, this is why we must “unlearn what we have learned” in order to open the mind. If we do not have an open mind, if we are not willing to open our eyes to alternative possibilities, we limit ourselves to our current mode of thinking.
Opening our minds leads to infinite possibilities.
Can you feel the force?
Have you tried doing the Jedi meditations? How did you feel after?
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Paul Harrison is a passionate meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison