Into the Mouth of a Volcano

2015-0715 Into the Mouth of a Volcano

Excerpt of Article by Kate Spina | Elephant

When I started meditating, I didn’t have expectations that it would do anything for my depression.

I thought depression was treated by therapy and diet and exercise, not sitting silently and watching my breath.

However, as I’ve come to view meditation as an essential part of my daily life and embraced the Dharma as a path of practice, my whole life has changed, including my relationship to my depression. It has not gone away, it still arises, but it no longer knocks me down the way it used to.

For the last 25 years, I have had episodes of time where I feel like I have a wet blanket wrapped around my brain, muffling any wholesome thoughts – a well of tears that can’t be cried. A brain that tells me doing anything out in the world that requires taking my pajamas off is akin to throwing myself into the mouth of a volcano.

Neither the frequency nor duration of [depressive] episodes is constant. The time between them and the time of year they occur is unpredictable. Sometimes the episodes are brought on by a particularly intense life event; sometimes it’s just a Tuesday. The only thing I know for certain is that these episodes do arise.

In order to treat my depression, I’ve tried to change things on the outside; how much I exercise, what therapist I go to, where I live, what I do for work. That has all helped a little bit. But, when I started to change things inside, when my meditation practice began to help me change my relationship with my mind, I was able to treat my depression in a different way.

While these changes were organic and happened over time, I’ve begun to clearly see some specific Dharma tools that have helped me change my relationship with my depression. I now feel more functional and steady, even when I am going through a depressive episode.

To read the complete article written by Kate Spina, click here.


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Thanks to Kate Spina for writing the article; Elephant for committing its resources to the article; Google for helping me find the article; and all the other people who, directly or indirectly made it possible for me to include the picture and text in this post.

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