greggorious wrote:What's the point in meditating then? I thought it was to see through the veils of ignorance, to look at suffering face on. Depression is pretty much the first noble truth all over.
The Point of Meditating (according to a Tibetan Lama/Master) is to "Bring the Mind Home".
The point is to still the frenetic activity of the active mind, and calm the thinking, steady the rhythm, and observe the events and activities of what arises.
Which is all well and good, if the mind has no tendency towards extreme states, which may necessitate prescribed medical assistance, intervention or therapeutic support.
There is no stigma here, no prejudice against depression, nor is there ever any criticism or contrary advice, regarding the need to take medication.
But when a person suffers from depression, it can be said that they are not "in their right Mind".
Which follows that their state of Mind is "wrong", or off-kilter.
It is hard to balance and calm something that is teetering on the edge of un-ease.
All medication has side-effects.
Therapeutic ministrations, also have side-effects.
Therefore, it should be no surprise that meditating also has side-effects.
For a person whose mental condition is stable and not given to depression, there can be set-backs, difficulties and obstacles. The Mind becomes more resistant to being calmed to begin with, and appears to become "noisier" and more difficult to control and Master.
This is because we Notice
our thought-processes more. We become distinctly aware of just how active our mind is, when we're not fully attentive. By meditating, we are actually training ourselves to watch the Mind. And it is by watching it intently, that we realise just how skittish it is.
This can be demoralising for someone who is not used to meditating. It can be a turn-off and can hinder progress.
But we are taught to persevere, and gradually, we become more able to control our thought processes, and calm our Minds.
However, a person suffering from depression can be so overwhelmed by the hindrances that arise - which can (as they have in your case) manifest in extremely powerful and frightening ways - that the experience leaves them feeling extremely discouraged.
This is when you need to examine whether the form of meditation you are undertaking is positive and conducive to your progress, and whether in fact, it would be better to concentrate on a different - but equally effective - type of Meditation, such as following an activity without a commentarial thought process. Focussing intently on the task you undertake but ensuring that you do not add a narrative.
I urge you again to perhaps discuss this experience with your therapist//counsellor, and enquire whether, at least to begin with, the alternative suggested method of meditation I have given you, wouldn't be more suitable.
It is no less worthy than Vipassana, and may indeed be far more beneficial.
I wish you well and hope you progess as you would wish.