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Guest Felix

Depression And Stress Related Problems

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Guest Felix

Tashi Delek!

 

In the so called developed world, more and more people are suffering from depression, stress related problems and mental diseases. The number of auto-immune diseases is also increasing.

 

What is the problem with the developed world? :( It looks out of balance.

Where lies a solution? How do we gain energy, joy and enthusiasm and how do we loose it?

 

By the way, do you see depression as a mental disease with chemical causes that have to be treated with medicaments, or as a sort of self-pity, which could be cured when one starts to think of others more then of himself?

 

I guess a Buddhist with such difficulties can be burdened with an additional problem, if one believes that he should be happy and full of enthusiasm all the time, but he can not make it. What kind of practice is most helpful?

 

How can we help a person with this kind of problems?

 

Respectfully,

Felix

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Tashi Delek,

 

Here is a take on it:

 

In the so called developed world, more and more people are suffering from depression, stress related problems and mental diseases. The number of auto-immune diseases is also increasing.

 

What is the problem with the developed world? :( It looks out of balance.

Where lies a solution? How do we gain energy, joy and enthusiasm and how do we loose it?

The biggest mistake of the developed world is that it seeks lasting happiness through samsaric phenomena. It blindly thinks that happiness can be bought! When it finds out that it can't, it becomes depressed, but it doesn't change its orientation. It keeps thinking that happiness can be bought, except that it must costs more! And "the grind" is born!

 

The solution lies in spirituality and a healthy lifestyle I reckon. Meditating. Letting go of egotistical and deluded beliefs and stop searching for true everlasting peace outside of ourselves, otherwise we'll constantly be disappointed, deluded and depressed...

 

By the way, do you see depression as a mental disease with chemical causes that have to be treated with medicaments, or as a sort of self-pity, which could be cured when one starts to think of others more then of himself?

Depends on the subject I would say. For some, little pills will be of a tremendous help in fighting depression, because they unfortunately have not created the causes to encounter the Dharma in this lifetime. For the more fortunate ones, encountering the Dharma and putting it in practice of course, will be sufficient to cure any type of depression I reckon...

 

I guess a Buddhist with such difficulties can be burdened with an additional problem, if one believes that he should be happy and full of enthusiasm all the time, but he can not make it. What kind of practice is most helpful?

It's normal not to be happy and full of enthusiasm all the time, even for one who follows the Buddha Dharma. Life is suffering. Meditation on the nature of this existence is helpul so as to stop thinking that there is something wrong with us (why am I not happy and others are? etc.). The 4 mind changings. Meditation on Bodhicitta, Tong Len, etc.

 

How can we help a person with this kind of problems?

Be a comforting hear to him/her, be Here and Now for him/her.

 

Respectfully,

Fred

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Guest Felix

Tashi Delek!

 

Thank you both for your answers. :bow:

 

What are the four mind changings?

 

Be a comforting hear to him/her, be Here and Now for him/her.
I agree, for some situations. But sometimes you can see people, who do not really lack anything - they are healthy, they have jobs, friends, but they are circling in depression, moving nowhere. Performing smaller “cosmetic†changes all the time, but without any real consistency and perseverance, they do not meet any deeper changes. Usually they are comforted when depressed, but this doesn't seem to help them to stand up on their own feet. And this might be the pattern for the majority of depressive people.

 

I agree, believing that happiness comes from outside might be the cause, and working on inner causes for happiness a solution for it.

 

"All the joy the world contains

Has come through wishing happiness for others.

All the misery the world contains

Has come through wanting pleasure for oneself."

(Arya Shantideva: Bodhisattvacharyavattara)

Respectfully,

Felix

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Hi Felix,

 

"About this mind...in truth there is nothing really wrong with it. It is intrinsically pure. Within itself it's already peaceful." Venerable Ajahn Chah

 

How do we find such peace? The four mind-changings (precious human birth (Sutta), impermanence, karma, and the nature of cyclic existence or samsara) are essential Buddhist reflections that help guide us toward this peace and create the aspiration to practice dharma. In essence, they provide the supreme motivation for us to continue or undertake our daily meditation practice. In this class, we will explore these four reflections, one per evening."

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Guest Felix

Tashi Delek! :bow:

 

You are right, with the right motivation no situation is difficult - so we have to generate such motivation. Contemplating the preliminaries (the four mind changes) can open the horizon and bring some light in one's cocoon. As Lama Zopa Rinpoche says, if one is able to see one's problem as ripening of the past karma, one can already rejoice about having one negative karma less - which brings one closer to Enlightenment. ;)

 

I have found another useful link: http://buddhism.kalachakranet.org/depression.html.

 

Respectfully,

Felix

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Guest Ani.Chödrön

Tashi Delek,

 

one possible form of help could be also to join a person in meditation on equanimity, Bodhicitta, tonglen and similar. If one is not a Buddhist, to encourage him/her to help the others and to make him/her feel good about it. I've read that taking care for a pet has also a healing effect, i guess from the same reason - it shifts one's focus to the others and creates good imprints on the mind.

 

I believe that consistency and patience are essential. It's good to keep one's focus on the needs of others, often renewing the altruistic motivation and dedicating any little effort for the highest benefit of every sentient being. We all need this training.

 

All the very best,

chödrön

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By the way, I forgot to mention how I came in contact with the Dharma in this lifetime!

 

I was basically feeling depressed about my life's situation (which I now know is not me ;-). As I went to my neighbor's house to help her fix her outlook express, she of course kindly inquired about how I was doing while I was doing so. So I told her I am basically doing ok, I guess, but although I have everything ( food, clothing, shelter, a car, a job which I didn't really like but still, a girlfriend (well, 10 000 km away from me but still...)), I was feeling depressed as I was lacking something essential in my life, but I couldn't quite figure out what it was... And so, out of her most generous, well advised and compassionate heart, she handed a book to me, saying that I should reat it, that it might make me feel better. I felt I was familiar with the book when I saw it. It was called: "Making your Mind an Ocean", and it was written by Lama Yeshe.

 

Ever since that day, I never felt depressed again... :-)

 

Kind regards,

Frederic

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Tashi Delek.

 

I would like to share my point of the view, now after I have read the book “ Métaphysique des tubes†of Amélie Nothomb. I always somehow thought that the depression manifests because of too much stress, activities, hard experiences...but, now I see it as unableness to adapt and to flow. It is the power of the inertion, the power of the “immovablenessâ€. Amélie Nothomb states that the power of the inertion is the strongest power of all powers and it is a power, which is in a quarrel with wisdom. We can see it for example in the cases, when some nation rejects the progress, which is not hard to achieve; when the vehicle doesn`t move, despite of the fact that ten men pushes it; when a child watches TV hours and hours long; and when the idea, which is proved to be harmful, keeps doing harm.

 

Best regards,

Simona

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Guest Felix

Tashi Delek.

 

Interesting reflection. I agree that it is inertia not curiosity, altruism etc. that prevails among beings, including human beings. Inertia is looming nowadays above the developed world like a misgiving of a declining era.

 

But what i find aggravating in the western theories and policies, is that they do not take in consideration causes and conditions, therefore the problems are very unlikely to be efficiently solved. One doesn't need to believe in karma, it is enough to have some common sense and broaden the perspective of time. :vieuxsmiley: History didn't start yesterday, as far as I know.

 

I don't have a deep insight either, but some things seem to be obvious at first glance. Many aspect of the contemporary society support passivity and make a comfortable bypass around any effort: TV, ready made philosophy, easy living... But, like an athlete needs to practice to be strong and supple, so our spiritual strength depends on our practice. :levitation:

We are born with different karmic predispositions, but if one is used to withdraw from any situation that demands effort, this can logically lead to disconnectedness from the world and consequently lack of motivation. (This includes engaging in highflying ideas and avoiding the modest tasks which constitute one's own life.) To my belief, engaging for the benefit of others is the best tool to fight inertia, passivity, depression and the like. Good heart grants meaning to one's life. Having motivation, one has a source of energy.

Yet, one has to believe in it. And in the contemporary western world most children are bereft of models of spiritual nobility. :,(

 

Respectfully,

Felix

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