There are numerous lessons that can be divined from the Star Wars saga, some obvious and some more subtle and Amy Ratcliffe discusses some of these lessons – specifically mindfulness – in her new book The Jedi Mind, which she chats about over at StarWars.com.
Mindfulness is as much a part of the fabric of Star Wars as the Force itself, guiding characters to pause, reflect, and get in touch with their feelings as well as their surroundings. So it seemed like a natural fit as Amy Ratcliffe was exploring the topic for her new book, The Jedi Mind. Part self-guided mindfulness primer and part appreciation of the practice of mindfulness woven throughout the Jedi teachings, the book is paired with beautiful illustrations from artist Christina Chung to give readers bite-sized meditations on everything from letting go to looking inward.
StarWars.com: Fictional stories can be such an important tool for understanding our own feelings as well as universal experiences and ideas. What inspired you to start thinking about mindfulness and how it’s exhibited in the Star Wars saga?
Amy Ratcliffe: It started with meditation. Pausing to meditate and breathe opened the door to mindfulness for me. It’s just one of the many ways to practice mindfulness, but it’s the cornerstone for me. Whenever I would meditate, I would think about the Jedi. Specifically, I think of Qui-Gon Jinn dropping to a seated position and meditating during his battle with Darth Maul in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. The first time I saw the movie I was so surprised by that. Like, “Buddy, what are you doing right now?!” But as I sank deeper into the world of Star Wars, I realized how much sense it made for Qui-Gon — specifically Qui-Gon — to pause when he had a chance and be in the moment.
Then as I thought more about that I considered the Force and how the Jedi teach others about it and the things Jedi say about the Force. Obviously the Force doesn’t exist in our lives and mindfulness is not called out in Star Wars, but they pair together beautifully.
We’ll be sure to bring you our review of this fascinating sounding book as soon as we can.