Some meditation lessons that I'm trying to remember:
- Take care of duties first (to your children, relationships, family, job, etc): Once your ducks are in order, then a contemplative practice becomes easy. Richard’s example: Don’t leave your baby with a stranger so that you can fly across the world to go to a yoga/meditation retreat! Duty first.
- Be simple: Just sit and be comfortable (in whatever posture works for you... and yes, a chair is okay!).
- Sit up straight: “Sit as if you were awake!” Richard says. “If sitting with a bad posture, you will become encrusted with old thoughts… It’s impossible to be depressed if you sit up straight.”
- Avoid fidgeting: Fidgeting is the mind trying to distract itself.
- Let thoughts come and go: Observe them.
- Do not repress anger and desire (which will arise): These are extremely useful! But unfortunately, these emotions are usually attached to an object (i.e. a person), and then they become destructive. As Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Hold your anger.” Be mindful of these emotions/passions, and then they can be transformed (and detached from the object).
- Become a "residualist": Enjoy the “residue,” seeing perfection in the imperfections. Richard said, “What other people find ordinary and boring, we find fascinating and beautiful.”