by Lama Zopa Rinpoche
When feeling depressed you can think, "I'm exhausting so much of my negative karma to have depression that I've accumulated throughout countless past lives." Rejoice! You should feel great joy about finishing the karma instead of seeing the depression as something bad. As it's said in Guru Puja, living beings and their environments are filled with unbelievable problems and sufferings, coming one after another like rainfall, sufferings that are the results of negative karma. "Please grant me blessings to see my depression as exhausting the results of my negative karmic imprints, and bless me to be able to always transform bad conditions into the path to enlightenment." You can recite mantra while doing this meditation.
For example when you wash a dirty piece of cloth, the water becomes black with dirt. You don't see the black dirt as a negative thing since it means the cloth is getting clean. In the same way, when you practice dharma negative karmas can ripen causing you to get sick because you're purifying so much negative karma by practising dharma. So you should rejoice when you get depressed!
James's Comment: Not everyone is Buddhist (or maybe follows the Tibetan Buddhist path) but I find great comfort in this description of depression. Those of us with mental illness are burning off a lot of negative karma in order to help our overall spirituality and that of the world. I think this is why suicide seems so tempting to those of us with heavy depression. We are burning off so much heavy, negative karma that it can seem unbearable but if we stay strong and get through it with our mindfulness, compassion and spirituality then we can find a much more peaceful existence in our life and in the next for sure. That is my commentary on this Tibetan Buddhist perspective on depression.
-Peace to all beings-
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Posted by They call him James Ure at 2:59 PM