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Author Topic: Your Path--And Your Mental Disorder  (Read 23206 times)
Kasmira
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Religion: Buddhist and Daoist inspired something
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« Reply #27: October 15, 2010, 01:55:08 pm »

Your depression is a lot different from mine.  I don't have sucky emotions - I just feel EMPTY.

A blank page would be the appropriate journal for it.

That. Exactly that. And so, in that sense, my depression doesn't help with my spiritual practice at all. It distances me from my spirituality.

However, my history of depression has had a huge effect on who I have become, on who I am when I am not depressed, and on how I live so as to keep out of that hole. And in that sense, my depression has had a huge impact on my spirituality.

I will soon be taking refuge (a process roughly similar to conversion) at the Buddhist Temple I attend. The vows and commitments I will make as a part of taking refuge are very much affirmations of who I have built myself into as a result of my depression. There is a strong focus on living fully in each moment, on giving your all to everything you do, and the vows include not losing oneself in substances or practices that cloud the mind (a concept I extend to self-harm). More importantly, the first precept (paramita in Sanskrit) is dana which roughly translates as empathy/compassion/generosity. The first paramita is accepting a purpose to your existence beyond just yourself. This is what pulled me out of my worst period of depression and is still what I try and hold to when I'm at my worst and would otherwise simply let go.

So yes, my depression has had a significant impact on my spirituality in as much as it is intricately tied up with who I am and that in turn is the basis of what I believe. I would never be able to look at the world the way I do today if I hadn't been that empty or if that wasn't still something that was a part of me.
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