“Your training is nothing. The will is everything. If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, you become something else entirely. Are you ready to begin?” –Ra’s al Ghul

Echelon Two: Willpower (Rakuzhin)

The arduous process of becoming a Sith Lord is above all a triumph of the will – mûkazuzhin, as we call it in our Dark Tongue. The main reason so few can attain such an exalted title is because they lack the strength of will to climb the mountain where the Masters dwell. The vast majority of men learn to be content on the plains, in the foothills or at the base-camps, because when they tried to climb to a higher station they were defeated by adversity. Only rakuzhin – willpower – can drive the Sith disciple through all adversity to attain the summits of power.

Meditation

1. Void Meditation: Zazen, or Void Meditation, is the basic mind-clearing technique of a Sith Master which will make you into an empty vessel for the Dark Energy of the universe. Read the first 13 pages of the Zazen Guide for Beginners. Perform Zazen at least once daily for a minimum of 15 minutes for two weeks. Describe your experience in your holocron.

Mental Weapon Meditation: Willpower 

The first mental weapon of the Sith Master is Willpower (Rakuzhin).

Sit in seiza, half-lotus or lotus position and meditate on the Rakuzhin mental weapon using the following shagzuwat (hand position, mudra):

 

This hand position represents the focusing of your will to a point. It will be a mental trigger for your willpower mental weapon, which you can use whenever you need to summon more willpower for a task.

Now energize your willpower with the “Breath of Fire” (Zargnazak): breath rapidly in and out of both nasal passages, mouth closed, using equal intervals on the inhale and exhale. Do this for 3 to 5 minutes. On the final inhale, hold the breath for 30 seconds, then exhale slowly. Do you feel the Force energizing you and honing your will?

Do this exercise daily as part of your exercise routine for at least a week. Extend the sessions to 5-7 minutes or more if you can, and submit a video of yourself demonstrating it, and your overall exercise routine to Google groups.

Sith Stare

Physical Activity

Choose one activity to do regularly as your main physical willpower-building exercise. This could be jogging, hatha yoga, hiking, bicycling, weightlifting, a martial art, a competitive sport, or what have you. Join a regular group if this helps you, such as a yoga or martial arts club. Set goals and establish a routine.

Habit Reprogramming

We are all creatures of habit. We do many things on auto-pilot, according to a routine, and this is not necessarily a bad thing. Remember, willpower is a limited resource. Habits are a way to conserve our mental energy for more important decisions. If you consciously willed everything you do routinely, like tying your shoes or making coffee, you would have less willpower for other tasks.

The important thing to ask about your habits is are they serving your goals? Are they empowering or disempowering? How many of your habits did you intentionally develop, and how many were programmed into you by others, who don’t have your best interests at heart? Was your smoking habit your choice, or a product of peer pressure when you were younger? Is your addiction to a certain junk food something you decided was good for you, or was it something induced by some catchy advertisements when you were at an impressionable age? …

The advertising industry earns billions of dollars and employs leading experts in human behavior in an effort to program new habits into the minds of the masses. They bombard you with jingles, images, movies and words that are precisely engineered to get you to develop a new habit of buying their products. And it’s incredibly successful. When you see “Joe Six Pack” buying his favorite beer every Friday or a parent purchasing bags of candy for Halloween, you are seeing programmed habitual behaviors that are clearly not in the interest of the person doing them. …

For the student of power, the aspiring Sith Lord, this is not an acceptable way of being. To reclaim his own mind, the Sith disciple must evaluate his habits objectively, and ruthlessly remove or alter any that are not empowering. This is much easier said than done, but you have to begin somewhere. So begin with the following exercise:

Exercise: Evaluate your life and identify your mental and physical habits. Alter or eliminate one habit for a week. For example, you could stop smoking, drinking coffee or watching television, masturbate with your opposite hand or eliminate dairy products from your diet. It is better to make a small change than to try to make a larger change and fail – you should condition yourself for success, not failure. Willpower is like a muscle; the more you exercise it the stronger it will become. Repeat the process with another habit for another week. Record your results in your holocron.

Habit Forming

The other aspect of habits that must be mastered on the path to Sith Lordship is

Saber Meditation

The Saber Meditation is an exercise to empower the mind, control the body and channel Force power through your weapon. You will need a lightsaber, sword, staff or other long weapon to do this exercise.

Go into your Rakadwan and put on your Acolyte uniform. Take your saber or weapon of choice and sit in the seiza position: on your knees, buttocks on heels, toes pointing backwards, back straight.  If this position is painful for you, you will need to practice or get thicker padding. Sith prefer this position for meditation because we can quickly spring into action — we are warriors, not Jedi navel-gazers!

Hold your blade straight out with both hands and gaze at it. If you’re using a lightsaber, make sure it’s turned on. Quiet your mind, relax and stay absolutely still. Don’t go into a trance; just follow your breath, be aware of your surroundings and ignore any thoughts that come into your mind. Think of your saber as a lightning rod, channeling Force power from the universe into your body and mind. Feel your power growing with every inhale.

If you are new to meditation, it will take practice to be able to hold this posture for more than a few minutes. Do the Saber Meditation daily until you are able to do it for at least 5 to 10 minutes without movement. If you are more advanced or have the will, do a longer meditation. Show us your power!