"[My relationships were] like I was in these movies where the script was only half-written. When I’d get to the end of this half-script, the other actors wanted me to ad lib. But I had never gotten the hang of that. That’s why these movies were always box-office failures. Six of them in the past twenty years. I always blew the lines." ~ from my horrible first novel "Learn How To Pretend." (unpublished)(obviously)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Zen, Mindfulness, and Depression

I wanted to recommend two resources for those working with depression and who may be of a Buddhist bent -- though that part doesn't really matter. The only obstacle would b e if you were fervently anti-that persuasion.

The first source is an audiobook from Sounds True titled The Mindful Way Through Depression.

The first section discusses depression, it's sources, and some recent findings on recurrence and alleviation. The remainder is a selection of guided meditations by Renowned Buddhist psychologist Jon Kabat Zinn. This has been a very useful and helpful book for me in dealing with my depressive times. Even just listening to the introduction has made me feel less alone and different in my suffering.

The next is Phillip Martin's The Zen Path Through Depression. It features short chapters on a variety of depression-related issues such as Pain, Death, Fear, Doubt, etc., along with helpful meditation ideas. I got it as an e-book on sale for a couple of bucks and it would easily be worth the full retail price.

Three other books I'd like to mention are ones I've been reading concurrently with the above have likewise worked well in reinforcing the ideas of mindfulness as a path through depression -- and even as a tool to help reshape the brain to avoid future bouts. These would be Thich Nhat Hanh's Peace is Every Step, Charlotte Joko Beck's Everyday Zen, and Mark Nepo's awesome daily devotional, The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have. I don't read them all every day, but at least one or two. they usually sync up and give me insight and reminders for the day.

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