Friday 18 September 2020

How buddha teachings and meditation can be helpful in Corona time for depression ?

- Posted on 17 May 2020

Deepika Deshwal—

Since the WHO declared COVID -19 Outbreak a global pandemic and with ongoing  lockdown having an impact on everyone’s mental health due to which many people may have gone into depression ,stress,anxiety.
Depression is something inevitable in the life of human beings. When a person is not able to handle depressive situations he can fall into major depression which has many bad consequences. When the nature and effects of depression described by modern Psychological studies compared with the Buddha teachings, it is evident that the depression is very similar to many aspects of suffering or Dukkha . Those aspects are Soka (sorrow) ,Parideva (lamentation) ,Dukkha(pain), Domanassa (grief),Upayasa (despair) which are symptoms with depression. So solutions from buddhism can be considered as holistic approach.
Mindfulness is the best way to overcome sorrow , despair lamentation ,grief,distress and of course  depression .
Another way by cultivating compassion . A compassionate attitude sustains one’s good health while feelings of hate ,anger and fear hurt the immune system . Inner turmoil is due to negative feelings like anger ,fear which disturb our peaceful mind so these should be eliminated . If we are genuinely able to feel empathy for others then compassion is the natural outcome.
Meditation is a therapy to cure depression. Regularly meditating on compassion can prevent depression . Meditation is the mental and physical Course of action that a person uses to separate themselves  from  their thoughts and feelings in order to become fully aware.
Successful meditation means not judging ,not thinking ,just being aware, at peace and living each moment as it unfolds.In buddhism purpose of meditation is to stop the mind rushing about in an aimless (or purposeful) stream of thoughts .
It is the way of taking control of the mind so that it becomes focused and peaceful.

For Buddha, the path to happiness starts from an understanding of the root causes of suffering. Those who consider Buddha a pessimist because of his concern with suffering have missed the point. In fact, he is a skillful doctor — he may break the bad news of our suffering, but he also prescribes a proactive course of treatment. In this metaphor, the medicine is the Buddha’s teachings of wisdom and compassion known as Dharma, and the nurses that encourage us and show us how to take the medicine are the Buddhist community or Sangha. The illness however, can only be cured if the patient follows the doctor’s advice and follows the course of treatment — the Eightfold Path, the core of which involves control of the mind.

In Buddhism, this treatment is not a simple medicine to be swallowed, but a daily practice of mindful thought and action that we ourselves can test scientifically through our own experience. Meditation is, of course, the most well known tool of this practice, but contrary to popular belief, it is not about detaching from the world. Rather it is a tool to train the mind not to dwell in the past or the future, but to live in the here and now, the realm in which we can experience peace most readily.

Buddha taught his followers the Four Noble Truths as follows:

Life is/means Dukkha (mental dysfunction  or suffering).
Dukkha arises from craving.
Dukkha can be eliminated.
The way to the elimination of dukkha is the Eightfold Path.(Right View/ understanding
Right Intention/ thought Wisdom
Right Speech Ethical Conduct
Right Action Ethical Conduct
Right Livelihood Ethical Conduct
Right Effort Mental Cultivation
Right Mindfulness Mental Cultivation
Right Concentration Mental Cultivation)
And main thing is that nothing is impossible in this world. If we have hope , energy ,aim we can do anything. So there is no need of negative thoughts , if think positive then the result would be positive.
Positive thinking, or an optimistic attitude, is the practice of focusing on the good in any given situation. It can have a big impact on your physical and mental health. So stay positive and stay fit.

Deepika Deshwal
Punjab govt law officer (Chandigarh High Court)
Phd student (Delhi University)
Arts Faculty


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