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We continue our series of posts with questions and answers. In this eighth post, we hear one question.
Many of us experience chronic depression. Earlier in the retreat you talked about what is feeding that depression. For me, there is also an underlying biochemical component. Do you think I should not need medication and heal from the practice only?
The session takes place on August 16, 2007 during the Stonehill College retreat during the U.S. Tour. The retreat theme is Mindfulness, Fearlessness, and Togetherness.
I’m not prone to depression myself, and I’m quite experienced with the windmills of my mind and how to work them or silence them. Often, people who suffer from anxiety and depression, wishing to recover from it, tend to forcefully find out where the cause of it is. Where the fear and negativity is residing. That’s a conundrum, really, for the depression has created a barrier around that source, see what I mean? Shutting off from feelings that are distressful, is a part of human nature, in flight mode.
Usually, the fight mode is suppressed due to victimhood, and so the loop is perpetual in the human unconscious parts of us.
From my own point of view, I feel that active attempts to nurture one’s vulnerability and sensitivity to the onslaught of external triggers and signals, and inner ones as well, are helpful in coming nearer to the place inside of us, that allows for surrender to tears, expression of anger and sadness, in a way that doesn’t continue that loop. There are safe ways to express one’s inner fury, without the need to fall into shame or blame. Once one enters the affinity with oneself in one’s own heart, which is an essential part of autonomy within, fuelled by compassion, there’s no need for adding more to the misery within, but a fertile soil is present to plant seedlings of loving acts, for oneself and others