August 22, 2013 at 10:06 am #40989
I was listening to ‘The Soul in Depression” on Onbeing.org, which discusses the effects of depression on the soul. It provides a very unique understanding of depression not as sadness perse but as a lost of vitality that can actually bring us closer to our soul. One of the interviewees Anita Barrows, whom is a Buddhist and has suffered from depression, stated that depression has a point. However at the same time, she feels that the Buddhist embrace of inner darkness can be terrifying and even dangerous at the depths of clinical depression but she honors the interplay between darkness and light as the commonplace feature of life.
I am experiencing my first bout of depression in my life. It’s been about 9 months now. It isn’t severe enough to be called clinical depression but at times it has felt rather overwhelming. At times, I don’t want to get out of bed, other times I don’t want to engage with family or friends, other times I don’t care what happens to me, all the time I feel exhausted, overwhelmed, anxious and fearful, most of the the time I feel like I am in a fog and completely unavailable even to myself, other times I feel like I can’t taste anything, my senses are numbs, my desires or appetites are gone, and on rare occasion have just wished for death. I actually started feeling depressed when I begin mediating and joined a Shambhala center. I stopped pretty early on. I was going to places within myself that I was not comfortable with. Now, I have begun the healing process and am seeking professional help. I am gaining clarity for the cause of my depression and trying to befriend it more. I was denying it, thinking it was just something I would get over. I was also feeling rather ashamed because being depressed went against who I felt I was. I feel deep down that this depression was and is very necessary and is for my healing. It has forced everything to be on hold and all I have is the darkness of my inner self. Navigating this has been hard and uncertain but deep, very deep, I feel some certainty that all will be well. I have been considering meditating again and diving deeper into Buddhism but I am afraid that maybe this isn’t the time for it. I’m afraid it may make my condition worse. I have been listening to the Metta Meditation as a fellow forum participant Matt suggested but can’t seem to actually do it only listen. Could it really be dangerous as Anita Barrows suggest? Or are there some aspects of Buddhism that I can practice while going through this phase of depression and healing? Also sometimes I wonder if it is really depression or just emotions I have kept buried for so long that are finally surfacing. Is this just pain which is part of the healing or is it depression in addition to healing or is it depression due to healing? In other words am I confusing old buried pain for depression?
Here is the interview if anyone wants to listen to it: http://www.onbeing.org/program/soul-depression/224.
Thanks for your help!
August 22, 2013 at 12:09 pm #41001
Perspective and Definition
Why, then, ’tis none to you; for there is nothing
either good or bad, but thinking makes it so: to me
it is a prison.
I can only add perspective.. no authority here
You are seeing deeper than ever before because you have never wanted to see all inside you before
I think something that could help is a story that I will type to practice my typing..
**Gentle old wise man in the park… who ****legally renamed himself after a Buddhist named Tilopa but told me “but, I am not a Buddhist”
I tell him
“I have all this stress and frustration about the way I was raised.. why still do I have this at 40+yrs old.. ”
He replies Because you like to feel that way.
So, I tell him
“I need to have compassion for my parents childhoods and how bad their lives must have been to ignore their child etc”
He replies No, you need compassion for you
I bring up that story because it is very possible you are looking at what you see inside you from a “Wrongful Perception”
unpleasant – neutral – unpleasant
The foundation of happiness is mindfulness. The basic condition for being happy
is our consciousness of being happy. If we are not aware that we are happy, we are
not really happy. When we have a toothache, we know that not having a toothache
is a wonderful thing. But when we do not have a toothache, we are still not happy.
A non-toothache is very pleasant. There are so many things that are enjoyable,
but when we don’t practice mindfulness, we don’t appreciate them. When we practice
mindfulness, we come to cherish these things and we learn how to protect them.
By taking good care of the present moment, we take good care of the future.
Working for peace in the future is to work for peace in the present moment.
——Thich Nhat Hanh
Depression is repetition
the best buddhism I have ever listened to is from an awesome woman who is very old also
Pema Chodron – 2 divorces and all the other pains and disappointments led her to be one of the most loved Buddhist Nuns in the world
Thich Nhat Hanh – born in Vietnam and was a young man when the bombs were dropping killing people all around him.. His work during the war led Martin Luther King to nominate TNH for a Nobel Peace Prize .. he surely does deserve it
Buddhism is thinking… thinking differently for sure… contemplating everything … turning it to joy because the opposite hurts…
Buddhism helped me see a “Sameness” in all of us.. we all work to overcome our culture and conditioning and programming…
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August 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm #41003
I did want to add something that I recently took notice of
“FUN” forum.. last post FOUR WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKs ago .. YIKES
People get stuck focusing on the problem instead of the solution imhoYou must be logged in to reply to this topic.
August 22, 2013 at 12:44 pm #41006
Thanks for your input! I do agree that we should focus on the light and the lighter sides of things. But sometimes you have to go through the dark before you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. If anything Buddhism pushes us to embrace this inner darkness while other religions sugarcoat life or fight against this darkness. I think Buddhism is the light in the darkness, which doesn’t attempt to distinguish the darkness but to shine some light on the darkness for a deeper understanding.
The links you gave seem really interesting. I am going to check them out. I am a fan of Thich Nhat Hanh so thanks for that quote. For me it wasn’t a matter of focusing on the toothache but pretending like the toothache wasn’t there until the tooth became infected and now needs removal. I am in the removal process.
As far as the “Fun” forum on Tiny Buddha not being updated, I really like that. The internet is full of fun things and funny sites. I frequent them plenty. I am an avid watcher of Youtube videos featuring babies laughing, animals doing silly things, parodies, pranks, etc. Laughter is medicine. However, I enjoy that the focus here is on deeper issues. In our individualistic American society, many people don’t have an outlet for their pain or have discussions about their problems. You pay professional people to listen to you. Such is the case with me. We lack community in America. It’s all about pretending to be okay. So I am glad that people can find a community like Tiny Buddha to open up and share their experiences and help others in the process. It’s not depressing ranting like on the FML site but people who are genuinely interested in understanding their problems and finding solutions. And people like you who want to help!
Thanks Once Again,
ZenhenYou must be logged in to reply to this topic.
August 22, 2013 at 12:46 pm #41007
In my experience I found, and still do, find certain types of meditation very unhelpful when I was in an anxious state. Personally I think any type of mediation that is about focusing or reinforcing thoughts can be tricky because you can get into a pattern of focusing on the negative thoughts – which is not the intention of the exercise.
That’s not to say that you won’t find types other styles of meditation useful. For now, set down the things that you find difficult and look for things you find helpful.
It doesn’t mean that you can’t return to these exercises at a later date, it just means that right now they are not working for you.
Maybe for now, you just read Buddhist books that sooth you or you find helpful?
I really hope that you feel better soon, it must be very difficult to be in such a dark place.You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
August 22, 2013 at 3:04 pm #41015
unpleasant – neutral – unpleasant
unpleasant – neutral – pleasant
One thing I really like about Buddhist Philosophy is we are not told about a boogeyman hiding who will get us if we do something or do not do something
a really cool movie that sort of gets into Buddhist and Eastern Philosophy in a drama style
Peaceful WarriorYou must be logged in to reply to this topic.