Meditation lessons

by Christina on June 18, 2010

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…

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

John June 19, 2010 at 12:34 pm

"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)

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Claudia June 20, 2010 at 12:36 am

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

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Pye June 20, 2010 at 2:59 am

just wanted to delurk to say thank you for sharing

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Swapna Raghu Sanand June 23, 2010 at 8:30 am

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

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