Friday, June 18, 2010

Meditation lessons

We are spending the weekend meditating. Both Saturday and Sunday... all day. I am nervous.

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.”
Hope these help get me through the weekend...


  1. "residualist", nice one! ... including how we see reality in all our little judgements that always seem to have other possibilities of seeing "truths" another way ... " thinking, thinking, thinking" (Chiang Mai monk admonishing students)

  2. Duty first is SO important, glad you remind us and that you post.

  3. just wanted to delurk to say thank you for sharing

  4. Liked all the tips, particularly where you've talked about being a residualist and sitting straight without fidgeting.