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    Modern version of the Eternal Knot by Charles Huttner
A View on Buddhism
Teksty w jezyku polskim     Deutsche Seiten

Quotations on:
Depression

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The Buddha

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.
When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.


His Holiness the Dalai Lama

There was an empirical study that found that people who have the tendency to use more self-referential terms (I, me, myself) tend to have more health problems and earlier deaths (the Dalai Lama had heard this the day before from another speaker in neurology at a symposium on Buddhism and meditation in New York City). These people have more involvement with the self. Being self-absorbed has an immediate effect of narrowing one's focus and blurring one's vision. It is like being pressed down by a heavy load. If, on the other hand, you think more about others' well-being, it immediately makes you feel more expansive, liberated and free. Problems which before may have seemed enormous would then seem more manageable.
From notes on a teaching

Perhaps, when we realize that our tainted aggregates are the cause of all our suffering, we might think that suicide is the way out. Well, if there were no continuity of mind, no future lives, then all right. If we had the courage, we could take our own lives. But, according to the Buddhist viewpoint, that’s not the case: our consciousness will continue. Even if we take our life, we will have to take another tainted body that will again be the basis for experiencing the suffering of suffering and the suffering of change. If we really want to get rid of all our sufferings, all the difficulties we experience in our lives, we need to rid ourselves of the fundamental cause that gives rise to the tainted aggregates that are the basis of all suffering. Killing ourselves is not going to solve our problems.


Ven. Thubten Gyatso

Buddha’s diagnosis of the cause of depression is not petty or discriminative. We all have self-cherishing, and if we allow it to take over our lives and block our love and compassion for others, we will be in danger of following that awful path into depression. Depression does not cause misery, depression is misery, at its worst. In the human realm anyway. Depressives may not believe this, but it can get far worse in other realms of rebirth.
To indicate our own part in the development of depression is not to point the finger of blame and cause guilt. If we can see that the cause is in our own mind, we will understand that the cure is also in our own mind.

Should you flush your Valium and Prozac down the toilet? No, not yet. Begin with small actions to help others - empty the garbage can without being asked, clean up your own mess in the kitchen, polish the shoes of others. Smile occasionally. Gradually build up the courage and determination to confront your self-cherishing mind and declare yourself a slave and friend of all living beings. Then you will extract more joy from cleaning up somebody else's mess in the kitchen than you will ever get from watching television. Not only will this lift your depression, it will place you on the path to bliss.

Gradually build up the courage and determination to confront your self-cherishing mind and declare yourself a slave and friend of all living beings. Then you will extract more joy from cleaning up somebody else’s mess in the kitchen than you will ever get from watching the football on television. Not only will this lift your depression, it will place you on the path to bliss.

:If there is a remedy when trouble strikes,
What reason is there for despondency?
And if there is no help for it,
What is the use of being sad?

So come what may, I'll never harm
My cheery happiness of mind.
Depression never brings me what I want;
My virtue will be warped and marred by it.
Nagarjuna


Sogyal Rinpoche, from Glimpse of the Day

There is a spark of hope, a playful humor about the posture we take in meditation, which lies in the secret understanding that we all have the buddha nature. So when you assume this posture, you are playfully imitating a buddha, acknowledging and giving real encouragement to the emergence of your own buddha nature. You begin to respect yourself as a potential buddha.
At the same time, you still recognize your relative condition. But because you have let yourself be inspired by a joyful trust in your own true buddha nature, you can accept your negative aspects more easily and deal with them more generously and with more humor.
When you meditate, invite yourself to feel the self-esteem, the dignity, and the strong humility of the buddha that you are. If you simply let yourself be inspired by this joyful trust, it is enough: Out of this understanding and confidence, meditation will naturally arise.

The more often you listen to your discriminating awareness, the more easily you will be able to change your negative moods yourself, see through them, and even laugh at them for the absurd dramas and ridiculous illusions that they are.
Gradually you will find yourself able to free yourself more and more quickly from the dark emotions that have ruled your life, and this ability to do so is the greatest miracle of all.
The Tibetan mystic, Tertön Sogyal, said that he was not really impressed by someone who could turn the floor into the ceiling or fire into water. A real miracle, he said, was if someone could liberate just one negative emotion.

Again and again we need to appreciate the subtle workings of the teachings and the practice, and even when there is no extraordinary, dramatic change, to persevere with calm and patience. How important it is to be skillful and gentle with ourselves, without becoming disheartened or giving up, but trusting the spiritual path and knowing that it has its own laws and its own dynamics.

Our problem is that inside us there's a mind going, "Impossible, impossible, impossible. I can't, I can't, I can't."
We have to banish that mind from this solar system.
Anything is possible; everything is possible. Sometimes you feel that your dreams are impossible, but they're not.
Human beings have great potential; they can do anything. The power of the mind is incredible, limitless.
Lama Yeshe

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

The best solution to purify the karma of having depression is to do the purification practice of Vajrasattva. As long as the karma isn't purified, you'll continue to suffer from depression again in future lives.

Everyday, practice with joyfulness. Whatever good thing you see or hear of others, whatever good thing happens, always rejoice: ‘How wonderful!’ – like a mother rejoicing [in the praise] for her child whom she cherishes more than her life. If you do like this, then psychologically, your mind is kept in happiness all the time – no depression, unhappiness … And you collect the most extensive cause of success and happiness when you rejoice. In one second you collect limitless skies of merit – the easiest way to collect good luck, merit, and fulfill your wishes for happiness, and you too fulfill the wish of all sentient beings for happiness.


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Last updated: March 28, 2010