Depression and Meditation

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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TheNoBSBuddhist
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Depression and Meditation

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:48 am

:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, may be why....

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cooran
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Re: Depression and Meditation

Postby cooran » Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:07 am

Hello NoBSBuddhist,

Please contact Bhikkhu Samahita directly and ask him these questions.

with metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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mikenz66
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Re: Depression and Meditation

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:08 am

Hi NoBSB,

Can you give us a summary of the video? It's hard for us to form any conclusions just from a title...

:anjali:
Mike

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TheNoBSBuddhist
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Re: Depression and Meditation

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:12 am

:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, may be why....

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mikenz66
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Re: Depression and Meditation

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:44 am


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TheNoBSBuddhist
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Re: Depression and Meditation

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:56 am

Basically, in a nutshell. he goes through the wording of the Metta Meditation, and divides it into bite-sized morsels, and expands on each point. He describes the Meditation in detail, and the methodology and motivation behind it.

But even at two-thirds of the way through, no mention of how this Meditation could 'cure' the condition of depression was made.
he does point out it can take months, even a year perhaps and that it must be practised diligently and regularly....but I'm wondering how practical such advice can be.

Am I therefore speaking out of turn if I say that the advice therein seems to be at odds with the guidelines you have quoted?
I know that it is not deemed skilful to contradict or question the words and teachings of the ordained here. But I personally am concerned about such statements.
How does such a video comply with them...?
(The question may be treated rhetorically, if you feel it best. or feel free to edit my post....)

I am not trying to create an argument or voice dissent here.
But I'm concerned for those who may be subject to such influence....

Am I making any sense?!
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, may be why....

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mikenz66
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Re: Depression and Meditation

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:03 am

The key point in the TOS is that if forbids specific advice in response to posts by someone suffering an acute illness that should be referred to a professional. A link to a website or video on a thread that is not answering such a question does not fall into that category.

Are you suggesting we trawl through all these threads:
https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=site% ... S:official
and check out the advice in all of the links?

:anjali:
Mike

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Mkoll
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Re: Depression and Meditation

Postby Mkoll » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:12 am

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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TheNoBSBuddhist
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Re: Depression and Meditation

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:13 am

Goodness, no....!

My primary concern is whether the claim is accurate or inaccurate. Therein lies the question.
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, may be why....

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TheNoBSBuddhist
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Re: Depression and Meditation

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:18 am

:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, may be why....

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waterchan
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Re: Depression and Meditation

Postby waterchan » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:29 am

I think it's more accurate to say that by the time one can practice correct metta meditation, one is no longer chronically depressed. But I would be hesitant to prescribe it as a cure. "You have depression. Metta meditation will cure it."
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)


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TheNoBSBuddhist
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Re: Depression and Meditation

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:46 am

:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, may be why....

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mikenz66
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Re: Depression and Meditation

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:10 am

And the clinical literature --- see the links above.

:anjali:
Mike

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TheNoBSBuddhist
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Re: Depression and Meditation

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:53 am

Thank you Mike, for those links.
I will gladly peruse them and see what they say.
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, may be why....

Feathers
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Re: Depression and Meditation

Postby Feathers » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:54 pm

I am at work so have not watched the video, but if I may chip in on the wider topic, and please forgive me if this post becomes a little rambling.

I have been diagnosed with, and receiving medical treatment (i.e. drugs) for depression since November 2007. There are better times, there are worse times, but it never entirely lifts. The roots of it go much further back than the diagnosis.

As soon as you get depression, you get bombarded with opinions. Therapy is best, meditation is best, drugs are best . . . you're lazy, you're a poor thing to be pitied, you're weak, you're strong . . . and the trouble is, a lot of this comes from 'experts' - a psychiatrist who is 100% medication-focused and a counsellor who is into meditation, simultaneously, is quite confusing!

My conclusion . . . or, well, my working theory, is this:

(i) Depression is a meaningless term. It is applied to everything from someone so ill they are in and out of hospital, to people who are going through a few bad months after a divorce, to people like me who are (apparently) permanently ill, but not in immediate danger of harming themselves. I personally believe there are as many forms of depression as there are people with depression, but even setting that aside, the category as it stands is way too broad.

(ii) Point (i) leads to bad treatment. The person going through a divorce could probably be helped by counselling and spared the multitude of problems that drugs can bring. The person in a severe crisis may actually be harmed by therapy (particularly now that the only form available on the NHS is CBT - if I get into my opinions on that, this post will become unreadable . . .)

(iii) How does this tie into meditation? I believe meditation can be helpful. I believe many aspects of spiritual practice can be helpful. They can also be hugely harmful. For me, my introduction to meditation was through a useless therapist, at a time when I could barely get out of bed, who was pushing me to modify my entire life, including building up fast to 1hrs meditation a day. I simply couldn't do it, I was too ill, and this added pressure made things even worse. Not only was the therapist pushing the wrong thing for me, she didn't seem to actually have much understanding of meditation - a brief read of wikipedia and some lurking on eSangha opened up a plethora of issues. I have a bad history with religion, so even if I had had the ability to meditate, to be simply thrown into it blindly was not helpful. This leads to point (iv) . . .

(iv) Meditation can take you inside yourself. Without proper guidance, it can be alarming. On the one hand, if it can be made as secular as possible so more people can benefit, that sounds good. On the other hand, doing that seems to be to strip away key aspects/ways of understanding and processing the experience. Moreover, even in a Buddhist framework, it may be misapplied. For example: I went through a very bad phase about a year and a half ago. Nights of really intrusive thoughts of suicide. One time I managed to sit with it, bring attention to the breath and the present moment, and calm myself. Another night I tried that again and it was terrifying. Fortunately I had the sense not to push it - I put on a trashy film and indulged in pure escapism. Had I been more committed to trying to be a 'proper' Buddhist (as opposed to surviving) I might have pushed that, tried to force myself through it, with bad results.

I don't think meditation should be dismissed as a tool to help depression - but nor should it be seen as the only tool, and it must be handled with caution, and above all, with attention to the individual. Someone else with long-term depression, superficially similar to mine, could come into this thread and write a totally different post - and not be wrong, just going through a different experience of depression to me.

I think that will do for now - I have some fairly strong views on therapy, the NHS, and on the merits (or not) of monks (and religious leaders, doctors, friends . . . ) expressing their personal idea for 'curing' depression, but in the interests of keeping this not too long and reasonably rational (and me getting on with my job), I'll leave it at this for now.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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TheNoBSBuddhist
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Re: Depression and Meditation

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:15 pm

The emoticon :goodpost: doesn't even begin to cover it.

Excellent response, precisely what I had hoped for.
Bless you friend, and much Metta to you. :hug:
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, may be why....

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No_Mind
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Re: Depression and Meditation

Postby No_Mind » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:01 pm

Feathers has summarized it wonderfully. There is virtually nothing more to add. I have had mild to moderate depression for about 20 years. I have never sought treatment for it. In a way I like being a slightly melancholy person. It makes me more creative.
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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Spiny Norman
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Re: Depression and Meditation

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:32 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Re: Depression and Meditation

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:34 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama


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