I see that nonduality and depression is the topic of Jeff Foster’s new podcast.
Before listening to it, I thought I would see what comes up for me around it.
Big Mind – how does depression look to you?
About depression. He tells himself the world is against him, he tells himself he is a victim, so the mind and feelings respond with creating an experience of depression. It has to, because it’s job is to make his beliefs appear true to him. He then takes that experience of depression as yet another proof his initial belief is true.
About the label. There is an experience. He labels it depression. And the mind responds by making that label seem very real and true. It becomes a thing for him, an object, something solid, real, something to wrestle with, a problem. It starts as a sensation, then he adds to it with images and stories, the mind makes these appear real, and it becomes an object which he wrestles with.
Feedback. Depression is really just feedback for him. It’s telling him that he believes his own thoughts. First, his own thoughts about the world which creates that experience. Then, his own thoughts about the experience (labeling it depression).
Love. He doesn’t see it yet, but depression is love. It’s an invitation for him to see how he creates his own world, through taking certain thoughts as real. The discomfort in depression is an invitation for him to find the way out, and the only way out is recognizing what’s real.
What’s your advice to him?
Dive into the experience. Open your heart to it. Stay with the sensations, breathe. See what happens.
Bring attention to the sensations. What’s here in physical sensations? How does what you label “depression” appear in sensations? What happens if you stay with these sensations? Open your heart to them? Breathe?
Ask yourself…. Is it OK? Is it true it’s too much? Is it true it (what thoughts label depression) means something is wrong? Is it true it means you cannot function? Does it really say something about reality?
What’s some of the stories behind the depression? What’s wrong, according to your stories? Write it all down. Let the depression have an opportunity to speak and let it all out. Write down all the darkest thoughts. Let it all come out.
Then, select one. What happens when you take this thought as true? Who would he be without it? What’s the validity in it’s reversals? How is it to find genuine, specific, simple examples? How is it to let it sink in?