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depression

In a book Im reading Ashin Tejaniya says about depression
"There are two ways to deal with depression. To beginwith you might have to practise samatha meditation in order to develop sama-dhi. As sama-dhi increases, depression will decrease. But even though the depression might totally lift for a while, it will always arise anew when the sama-dhi is gone and you are again confronted with the causes for depression.You can only overcome depression through understanding. The more effective way to deal with this mental activity is therefore to observe it in order to understand its causes and conditions. Only once these are really understood, will the mind be free of depression.For most people suffering from depression, it will probably be best to use a combination of both these methods.First they need to do a samatha practice in order to gain a measure of sama-dhi. With this relatively stable mind they can then practise vipassana-, i.e. they can observe and investigate the depression. When the emotions and feelings become too strong to look at, i.e. when the mind becomes agitated, they should again do a samatha practice till the mind is calm enough to do more observing and investigating.They might have to go back and forth like this quite often until the mind is strong enough to just be with the depression.It is very important not to expect quick results; understanding depression usually only comes after a very long time of regularpractice of accepting, observing, and investigating"

My first comment is that I very rarely develop Samadhi. Usually all I get is dull, bored and a sore back and leg. So not sure how to overcome that.
Second Im not sure what is meant by "investigating" the depression. So I sit I feel depressed. I notice Im depressed and how it feels heavy and unpleasant. Then what?

Comments

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 2016

    Meditation is not a cure for depression, though regular practice can reduce the likelihood of it occurring.

    It is good to be mindful of your moods, but it is difficult to do this effectively while depressed. Practising mindfulness of the body might be more helpful, it has a grounding effect. And are you familiar with the metta bhavana practice?
    http://www.wildmind.org/metta

    Shoshin
  • @SpinyNorman said:
    Meditation is not a cure for depression, though regular practice can reduce the likelihood of it occurring.

    It is good to be mindful of your moods, but it is difficult to do this effectively while depressed. Practising mindfulness of the body might be more helpful, it has a grounding effect. And are you familiar with the metta bhavana practice?
    http://www.wildmind.org/metta

    Your opinion is different to Ashin Tejaniya's then because as i quoted above it says in the book "overcome depression through understanding" The word overcome implies that it is in fact possible to cure depression.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Winklepicker said:

    @SpinyNorman said:
    Meditation is not a cure for depression, though regular practice can reduce the likelihood of it occurring.

    It is good to be mindful of your moods, but it is difficult to do this effectively while depressed. Practising mindfulness of the body might be more helpful, it has a grounding effect. And are you familiar with the metta bhavana practice?
    http://www.wildmind.org/metta

    Your opinion is different to Ashin Tejaniya's then because as i quoted above it says in the book "overcome depression through understanding" The word overcome implies that it is in fact possible to cure depression.

    The idea that meditation can cure depression is rather dangerous in my view. Depression is a serious mental illness and professional help and advice should be sought.

    Who is Ashin Tejaniya, I have never heard of him/her?

    Bunksdhammachick
  • The Sayadaw is a well known Burmese monk and teacher.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @Winklepicker said:...
    My first comment is that I very rarely develop Samadhi. Usually all I get is dull, bored and a sore back and leg. So not sure how to overcome that.
    Second Im not sure what is meant by "investigating" the depression. So I sit I feel depressed. I notice Im depressed and how it feels heavy and unpleasant. Then what?

    Hi and welcome. Don't worry about meditating so much if you're trying to deal with your self-diagnosed depression. Just go with basic understanding of the words 'investigate' and 'understand'. The thing is, if you meditate and you feel dull, bored and get a sore back and leg, then you can't concentrate and focus on exploring your feelings, etc. Keep it simple.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Be cautious of a possible miscommunication/mistranslation in the word. Most people experience what they might call depression at random points. That doesn't mean it is the same as clinical, diagnosed depression. Most teachers, monks, and meditators aren't going to claim to be doctors. I think most of the time they are addressing the every day depression and anxiety that people feel who are not suffering clinical depression. THEN it is possible to sit with those feelings and investigate them. That is what I do when I have those feelings and it works well. But I am not clinically depressed. I agree with @SpinyNorman that suggesting meditation can cure depression is dangerous. It can most definitely help with every day feelings that fluctuate. And it can help with those who are clinically depressed (or have anxiety disorders, etc) but that doesn't mean, I don't think, that every suggestion for "dealing with depression" is meant to be interpreted as something more serious than emotional ups and downs.

    If you want to explore using meditation as part of your therapy for diagnosed depression, then I would suggest finding a therapist who specializes in that who can help you. There are quite a few of them out there these days and they will know more about how to incorporate it safely rather than taking suggestions of those who are probably addressing more every day feelings rather than diagnosed illness.

    lobsterLiliWithQuestionsBunksdhammachick
  • @Winklepicker. I think you should first of all get a depression screening evaluation if you have not already done so. Find out what if any treatment may be required. The only caveat that I think is warranted is to be sure of the qualifacations and background of the clinician.

  • So I am completely new in the world of meditation but I have been struggling with depression and anxiety on and off for many years now. I recently came across a book that has helped me tremendously. It has helped me more than any therapist or medication. I don't know what sort of treatment you are seeking but this book is actually not related to any type of meditation (although it encourages it, which is how I got here). It has helped me a lot so I thought I should just suggest it. It is called "Feeling Good" by David D. Burns.

    It helps with "investigating" what causes your depression and why and how you have gotten here. I started feeling better just one week into reading this book. It answered so many of my questions.

    Bunkskarasti
  • @silver said:

    @Winklepicker said:...
    My first comment is that I very rarely develop Samadhi. Usually all I get is dull, bored and a sore back and leg. So not sure how to overcome that.
    Second Im not sure what is meant by "investigating" the depression. So I sit I feel depressed. I notice Im depressed and how it feels heavy and unpleasant. Then what?

    Hi and welcome. Don't worry about meditating so much if you're trying to deal with your self-diagnosed depression. Just go with basic understanding of the words 'investigate' and 'understand'. The thing is, if you meditate and you feel dull, bored and get a sore back and leg, then you can't concentrate and focus on exploring your feelings, etc. Keep it simple.

    I dont understand what you are telling me. I know I can't concentrate. What do you mean by "keep it simple"?

  • @LiliWithQuestions said:
    So I am completely new in the world of meditation but I have been struggling with depression and anxiety on and off for many years now. I recently came across a book that has helped me tremendously. It has helped me more than any therapist or medication. I don't know what sort of treatment you are seeking but this book is actually not related to any type of meditation (although it encourages it, which is how I got here). It has helped me a lot so I thought I should just suggest it. It is called "Feeling Good" by David D. Burns.

    It helps with "investigating" what causes your depression and why and how you have gotten here. I started feeling better just one week into reading this book. It answered so many of my questions.

    Thanks I have that book already. It is good but I also have a thousand other books all of which are helpful in some way. Books aren't the answer.

  • WinklepickerWinklepicker earth New
    edited September 2016

    Its really tiring the way people tippy toe around as soon as you mention the word "depression" as if they are too scared to offer any advice in case they make matters worse or incase they will get infected or something. It leaves me feeling even more isolated than I already am.
    Its just a mild depression guys. Its not that big a deal. I dont need advise about seeing doctors and getting evaluations and I dont need advice about the dangers of depression. If I did I would have asked. I just wanted my questions answered that was all but nobody seems to be able to answer them directly.

    1. How do you develop samadhi when all you feel is dull bored and sore?
    2. What exactly is meant by "investigating"? I have observed the feelings and it makes no difference so not sure what the point is.
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @Winklepicker said:

    @silver said:

    @Winklepicker said:...
    My first comment is that I very rarely develop Samadhi. Usually all I get is dull, bored and a sore back and leg. So not sure how to overcome that.
    Second Im not sure what is meant by "investigating" the depression. So I sit I feel depressed. I notice Im depressed and how it feels heavy and unpleasant. Then what?

    Hi and welcome. Don't worry about meditating so much if you're trying to deal with your self-diagnosed depression. Just go with basic understanding of the words 'investigate' and 'understand'. The thing is, if you meditate and you feel dull, bored and get a sore back and leg, then you can't concentrate and focus on exploring your feelings, etc. Keep it simple.

    I dont understand what you are telling me. I know I can't concentrate. What do you mean by "keep it simple"?

    I suggested you diagnosed yourself to fish for whether or not the depression you experience is deep or everyday sort. Just trying to clarify the degree of your depression. I tried to say that meditation isn't necessary to investigate your feelings. It isn't just observing them. It's figuring out when they started, what made you feel that way, and other questions about those feelings. Just everyday stuff (keep it simple). I also suggest you not get uptight when people are trying to help.

    dhammachick
  • I can voucher for meditation as a remedy for depression, though I cannot say if it will be the same for everyone. Another thing is that beginners will have to continually practice until they get to a point where a regular session can begin first. Meaning they will have to be able to meditate longer sessions without being irritated frequently. Once that is done then quality meditation can begin.

    Chances are you are not going to get sudden long lasting results from each session right away, it is probably going to be felt over time, on and off the cushion. There is something in meditative experiences that make an everlasting impression though, I am not sure what it is. It is like that serene, secluded, and peaceful feeling you get when you are out enjoying the outdoors. Somehow that same feeling made its way to you without you having to go anywhere or make any effort. A rewarding feeling from constant practice perhaps.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Part of the reason you are seeing the answers you see is because it is very common we have people who do suffer varying degrees of mental illness, and they want us to help them when it is not our place. Some times, people need doctors, and none of us here (for the most part) are doctors. We are cautious in giving advice to people who claim they are suffering these turmoils because we are not qualified and do not want to make matters worse without knowing them. Which can happen easily. Related questions are very common, and we hesitate to give advice about any of them because of that. The risk to do more harm is too great, and we can't know you from the previous person or the next person to know the difference.

    As for pain in meditation, try different positions. There is no rule about sitting on the floor or sitting cross legged or anything else. Sit in a chair. Lay on a yoga mat. Lay in bed. Sit on a bench. Walk instead of sit. There are many, many ways.

    Investigating is an ability to detach from your thoughts to a great enough degree that you can see them for what they are rather than being attached to them. And then you can begin to look at them and where they arise from and start digging into what causes the to arise the way they do. But that can be a very difficult journey and some people with depression, their issues arise from serious problems in their past that they will have to revisit, which can be painful and difficult without proper guidance from a trained person, whether it is a therapist trained in such things, or a meditation teacher in general.

    lobster
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @Winklepicker said:
    Its really tiring the way people tippy toe around as soon as you mention the word "depression" as if they are too scared to offer any advice in case they make matters worse or incase they will get infected or something. It leaves me feeling even more isolated than I already am.

    Ok I won't tippy toe around - with people suing at the drop of a hat these days, and the fact you are a name on a computer screen that we don't know, what makes you think we are going to give you medical advice at the drop of a hat? (And yes, "you don't need medicine, just read xyz book" IS medical advice).

    Its just a mild depression guys. Its not that big a deal. I dont need advise about seeing doctors and getting evaluations and I dont need advice about the dangers of depression. If I did I would have asked. I just wanted my questions answered that was all but nobody seems to be able to answer them directly.

    You've just posted AND snarked us out about what you want and don't want. And this is after some good advice has been given. Sure let's fall all over ourselves for more hostility........

    And the definition of "mild" is subjective. You have no idea what experience any of us may have with depression and other illnesses here. Respectfully, pull your head in and engage in a conversation where some people who may have much more experience than you in Buddhism can explain and point you in the right direction.

    Buddhism is a path with "homework" if you will. You can't expect to be spoon fed everything you want on demand. We're not Google.

    Steve_B
  • WinklepickerWinklepicker earth New
    edited September 2016

    @dhammachick said:

    @Winklepicker said:
    Its really tiring the way people tippy toe around as soon as you mention the word "depression" as if they are too scared to offer any advice in case they make matters worse or incase they will get infected or something. It leaves me feeling even more isolated than I already am.

    Ok I won't tippy toe around - with people suing at the drop of a hat these days, and the fact you are a name on a computer screen that we don't know, what makes you think we are going to give you medical advice at the drop of a hat? (And yes, "you don't need medicine, just read xyz book" IS medical advice).

    Its just a mild depression guys. Its not that big a deal. I dont need advise about seeing doctors and getting evaluations and I dont need advice about the dangers of depression. If I did I would have asked. I just wanted my questions answered that was all but nobody seems to be able to answer them directly.

    You've just posted AND snarked us out about what you want and don't want. And this is after some good advice has been given. Sure let's fall all over ourselves for more hostility........

    And the definition of "mild" is subjective. You have no idea what experience any of us may have with depression and other illnesses here. Respectfully, pull your head in and engage in a conversation where some people who may have much more experience than you in Buddhism can explain and point you in the right direction.

    Buddhism is a path with "homework" if you will. You can't expect to be spoon fed everything you want on demand. We're not Google.

    Firstly nobody in this thread has asked for any medical advise so not sure where you got that idea. Maybe you're getting your discussions confused? I asked two simple questions nothing more. If you extrapolate from my questions that somebody wants medical advise just because they happened to mention the word "depression" well you're confused.
    Second the only person being "snarky" and "hostile" is you dear. Clearly you're not well practiced in metta or you wouldn't feel the need to react to your own explosive attack thoughts.

    Its seems like people are parroting something they have read called "how to deal with depressed people".
    Again I asked two questions. One was about samadhi and one was about investigation. Nothing at all about curing depression or medical advise etc etc

    lobster
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited September 2016

    Perhaps you misunderstood dear -Second Im not sure what is meant by "investigating" the depression. So I sit I feel depressed. I notice Im depressed and how it feels heavy and unpleasant. Then what? - that's asking for advice. And you're asking about depression, which is an illness, therefore it's still medical advice.

    Snarky =

    • Its really tiring the way people tippy toe around as soon as you mention the word "depression" as if they are too scared to offer any advice in case they make matters worse or incase they will get infected or something

    • Its just a mild depression guys. Its not that big a deal. I dont need advise about seeing doctors and getting evaluations and I dont need advice about the dangers of depression. If I did I would have asked. I just wanted my questions answered that was all but nobody seems to be able to answer them directly. - you did write that yes?

    Clearly you're not well practiced in metta or you wouldn't feel the need to react to your own explosive attack thoughts.

    Clearly you don't know me or anyone here and don't want to. Ciao

  • WinklepickerWinklepicker earth New
    edited September 2016

    @dhammachick said:
    Perhaps you misunderstood dear -Second Im not sure what is meant by "investigating" the depression. So I sit I feel depressed. I notice Im depressed and how it feels heavy and unpleasant. Then what? - that's asking for advice. And you're asking about depression, which is an illness, therefore it's still medical advice.

    Snarky =

    • Its really tiring the way people tippy toe around as soon as you mention the word "depression" as if they are too scared to offer any advice in case they make matters worse or incase they will get infected or something

    • Its just a mild depression guys. Its not that big a deal. I dont need advise about seeing doctors and getting evaluations and I dont need advice about the dangers of depression. If I did I would have asked. I just wanted my questions answered that was all but nobody seems to be able to answer them directly. - you did write that yes?

    Clearly you're not well practiced in metta or you wouldn't feel the need to react to your own explosive attack thoughts.

    Clearly you don't know me or anyone here and don't want to. Ciao

    You're absolutely correct. I dont want to know you. You sound like an arrogant nasty piece of work. See the thing is if you dont like what you read in a forum you can actually choose to ignore. You can read into my posts whatever you want. If you decide that for you its "asking medical advise" then thats what it means for you. Again it is not what I asked at all, it is your own angry twisted perception. As Ive already noted you are the only person I see on the attack and being hostile. ciao

    lobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Winklepicker said:
    Its really tiring the way people tippy toe around as soon as you mention the word "depression" as if they are too scared to offer any advice in case they make matters worse or incase they will get infected or something. It leaves me feeling even more isolated than I already am.
    Its just a mild depression guys. Its not that big a deal. I dont need advise about seeing doctors and getting evaluations and I dont need advice about the dangers of depression. If I did I would have asked. I just wanted my questions answered that was all but nobody seems to be able to answer them directly.

    1. How do you develop samadhi when all you feel is dull bored and sore?

    By being persistent and consistent in your practice (nothing happens over night ) ...also you could try adopting another approach, if the one you have been using is not working for you, that is if you have been doing the same practice of months or years and have had no beneficial long term changes occur, ie an increased sense of well being...

    1. What exactly is meant by "investigating"? I have observed the feelings and it makes no difference so not sure what the point is.

    First it might pay @Winklepicker for you to get to understand (and then tame) "Monkey mind" ....(The video clip is only one and half minutes long and well worth a listen)...

    When most of us first start to practice meditation we "want" things to happen more or less instantly... have "patience"....

    And if you want more information on the "Monkey Mind"

    Metta :)

  • possibilitiespossibilities PNW, WA State Veteran

    @Winklepicker said See the thing is if you dont like what you read in a forum you can actually choose to ignore.
    Please follow your own advice as stated above. Funny how you seem to think it only applies to others.

    Maybe you ought to listen to folks here and practice patience and tolerance when you don't immediately get the answer you are looking for. You seem to miss the point that those who responded were actually trying to help you. I find your response to be rather ungracious.

    The text that you quoted is IMO a layman's view of depression, likely based on an outdated definition.
    Regarding your question re "investigating", the answer is in the text: " to observe it in order to understand its causes and conditions. Only once these are really understood, will the mind be free of depression."
    IMO, this view is based on the idea that depression is brought on by thoughts rather than as a result of a physical condition, the latter being a more current explanation of the phenomenon. You cannot overcome a physical condition (and allow the mind to be free of it) by simply studying and understanding it.

    I was on anti-depressants for 20+ years. Stopped them 18 months ago when I began a daily exercise routine and then changed to a whole food vegan diet. Exercise produces endorphins. A lot of our commercial food contains toxins. Google it.

    Maybe when you are more mindful about how you treat your body, your mind will be more at ease and vice versa. Following the Buddhist precepts may guide you to a more fulfilling lifestyle.

    lobsterWalkerShoshin
  • <3 Sorry I can not help you but I offer you my extreme thanks for the lovely mantra. I will be using it as a password mantra on my journeys to the hell realms ... EH MA HO (how wonderful) <3

    You sound like an arrogant nasty piece of work.

    metta

    I will be using the first component as a pleasing greeting, to show my understanding and the second to get the lesser demons scurrying out the way. They are repulsed by any metta. As I am journeying to the Tantric Hell realms on a regular basis, this will only get me to the top layers. I really appreciate your and the 'arrogant nasty piece of work' aka @dhammachick inadvertent advice. Bravo @dhammachick ...

    Hope you find what you are looking for. If you need any demons, I may have some to send your way, (the least I can do). Peace and blessings and my heartfelt thanks.

    Lobster Hell Realm Picnics Inc. Souls for sale. Troll kicking services. Dharma distortion mirrors available ... >:)

    ... and now back to the samadhi and metta o:)

    dhammachick
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Winklepicker said: You're absolutely correct. I dont want to know you. You sound like an arrogant nasty piece of work.

    Takes one to know one...

    See the thing is if you dont like what you read in a forum you can actually choose to ignore. You can read into my posts whatever you want.

    I read every single post, and I know what I want.
    But I don't expect a new member to come in, start throwing their weight about, bullying other members with rudeness, disrespect and some sense of entitlement that thinks simply because you post a subject, it means you own the thread.

    If you decide that for you its "asking medical advise" then thats what it means for you. Again it is not what I asked at all, it is your own angry twisted perception. As Ive already noted you are the only person I see on the attack and being hostile. ciao

    I think one thing you certainly need to work on, is you arrogant temper.

    Ciao.

This discussion has been closed.