Are (buddhist) monks/devoted meditators ever depressed

Fusions op, modified 8 Years ago at 7/7/14 9:17 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 7/7/14 9:17 AM

Are (buddhist) monks/devoted meditators ever depressed

Posts: 19 Join Date: 3/28/14 Recent Posts
How often are the people who devote their time to meditation depressed or in a sad state.

Or are they so detached from their emotions/feelings/thoughts that they very rarely suffer from these kind of things.

Please if possible answer seperately for the buddhist monks and devoted meditators
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Ian And, modified 8 Years ago at 7/7/14 10:56 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 7/7/14 10:53 AM

RE: Are (buddhist) monks/devoted meditators ever depressed

Posts: 785 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Fusions op:
How often are the people who devote their time to meditation depressed or in a sad state.

Or are they so detached from their emotions/feelings/thoughts that they very rarely suffer from these kind of things.

The only honest answer has to be: Depends on how deluded they are to begin with. And what they've been able to relinquish (to let go of in terms of unuseful self-views).

Also, depends on how quickly they realize a few of the truths taught through the Dhamma. Things like the three characteristics of existence and whether they have attained stream entry (i.e. through relief of the first three fetters of existence: seeing through the delusion of self view, dispelling doubt about the Buddha and the Dhamma, and relinquishing clinging to ritual).
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Simon T, modified 8 Years ago at 7/7/14 12:06 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 7/7/14 12:04 PM

RE: Are (buddhist) monks/devoted meditators ever depressed

Posts: 383 Join Date: 9/13/11 Recent Posts
Meditators that get into depression on the path, especially in the dark night, abound, including myself. I had a monk telling me his story of his early days of how he ended up in a depression and leaving the temple to go back home. 

After the death of his teacher Ajahn Mun, Ajahn Maa Bua recall spending 1 week depressed and crying. He told himself (I paraphrase greatly) "Here I am, supposedly an Arahant and crying like a baby. I will do what Ajahn Mun would have done and pick myself up and keep doing his work". 

Kenneth Folks got into a severe depression while being an Anagami, relying on antidepressant,  and depression stopped immedialty when he got Arahantship. 
Fusions op, modified 8 Years ago at 7/7/14 12:21 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 7/7/14 12:21 PM

RE: Are (buddhist) monks/devoted meditators ever depressed

Posts: 19 Join Date: 3/28/14 Recent Posts
Let's say it's true, that after long enough meditation depression and stuff will disappear:

Why does life/the universe/god only give us a life without depression/suffering after long enough practise, why can't we be happy to begin with and let it stay that way? Just a side question for the topic
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Simon T, modified 8 Years ago at 7/7/14 12:48 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 7/7/14 12:48 PM

RE: Are (buddhist) monks/devoted meditators ever depressed

Posts: 383 Join Date: 9/13/11 Recent Posts
Fusions op:
Let's say it's true, that after long enough meditation depression and stuff will disappear:

Why does life/the universe/god only give us a life without depression/suffering after long enough practise, why can't we be happy to begin with and let it stay that way? Just a side question for the topic

As V. Vajiramedhi says "We have life to have an opportunity to learn". 
Felipe C, modified 8 Years ago at 7/7/14 2:40 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 7/7/14 2:40 PM

RE: Are (buddhist) monks/devoted meditators ever depressed

Posts: 221 Join Date: 5/29/11 Recent Posts
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Florian, modified 8 Years ago at 7/8/14 3:38 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 7/8/14 3:34 AM

RE: Are (buddhist) monks/devoted meditators ever depressed

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Fusions op:
Let's say it's true, that after long enough meditation depression and stuff will disappear:


Something to consider: A body (in the sense of the organic processes which make up a living human being) can get hurt or become sick. A mind (in the sense of the psychological and emotional processes which make up a living human being) can get hurt or become sick.

Enlightenment is not a khandha that gets added to all the khandhas already in the mix that makes up a living human being.

Enlightenment is not a special link in the sequence of dependent arising.

Many people report improvements that co-incide with realizations. That does not imply causality.

If you get sick, get help. If you have pneumonia, while you still can do breath meditation, it is skillful to get the pneumonia treated. If you have depression, while you can still meditate, it is skillful to get assistance with dealing with the depression.

You don't get any extra points for neglecting your bodily or mental or emotional health.

Why does life/the universe/god only give us a life without depression/suffering after long enough practise, why can't we be happy to begin with and let it stay that way? Just a side question for the topic


Not just a side question. You just formulated the four noble truths in your own words, as a question.

Do you think this question is answerable? If there were an answer that was not a re-statement of the question, what do you expect to happen if you knew it?

Cheers,
Florian
Fusions op, modified 8 Years ago at 7/8/14 3:14 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 7/8/14 3:14 PM

RE: Are (buddhist) monks/devoted meditators ever depressed

Posts: 19 Join Date: 3/28/14 Recent Posts
Florian Weps:
Fusions op:
Let's say it's true, that after long enough meditation depression and stuff will disappear:


Something to consider: A body (in the sense of the organic processes which make up a living human being) can get hurt or become sick. A mind (in the sense of the psychological and emotional processes which make up a living human being) can get hurt or become sick.

Enlightenment is not a khandha that gets added to all the khandhas already in the mix that makes up a living human being.

Enlightenment is not a special link in the sequence of dependent arising.

Many people report improvements that co-incide with realizations. That does not imply causality.

If you get sick, get help. If you have pneumonia, while you still can do breath meditation, it is skillful to get the pneumonia treated. If you have depression, while you can still meditate, it is skillful to get assistance with dealing with the depression.

You don't get any extra points for neglecting your bodily or mental or emotional health.

Why does life/the universe/god only give us a life without depression/suffering after long enough practise, why can't we be happy to begin with and let it stay that way? Just a side question for the topic


Not just a side question. You just formulated the four noble truths in your own words, as a question.

Do you think this question is answerable? If there were an answer that was not a re-statement of the question, what do you expect to happen if you knew it?

Cheers,
Florian


thank you for your extensive asnwer.

Honestly, that would depend on the asnwer, it may satisfy me, it may annoy me etc.
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 8 Years ago at 7/9/14 3:59 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 7/9/14 3:59 AM

RE: Are (buddhist) monks/devoted meditators ever depressed

Posts: 3231 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Cycling through states of sadness, fear, misery, disenchantment, anxiety, irritation, and the like are totally normal things for everyone, including meditators, and, in fact, these are some of the standard things that enlightened beings cycle through all the time. They can get a lot better, a lot easier to handle, a lot more clear, a lot more spacious, a lot easier to navigate, a lot easier to see the true nature of them, but that doesn't mean they don't happen. 

On Birth depends Old Age, Sickness, Death, Lamentation, Pain, Grief and Despair, so said the Buddha.
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Ian And, modified 8 Years ago at 7/10/14 6:04 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 7/10/14 6:04 PM

RE: Are (buddhist) monks/devoted meditators ever depressed

Posts: 785 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts

On Birth depends Old Age, Sickness, Death, Lamentation, Pain, Grief and Despair, so said the Buddha.

Which plays back into what I mentioned above: "Depends on how deluded they are to begin with. And what they've been able to relinquish (to let go of in terms of unuseful self-views)."
Eva Nie, modified 8 Years ago at 7/11/14 9:39 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 7/11/14 9:39 PM

RE: Are (buddhist) monks/devoted meditators ever depressed

Posts: 831 Join Date: 3/23/14 Recent Posts
Have you ever watched a movie where there is no conflict, no strife, no adventure, and therefore no excitement at all?  Do they make movies in which all the characters sit around for 2 hours eating cake and strumming harps?  The answer is no because such would be boring.  It would be a totally stagnant nonlearning situation.  Why do people climb mount Everest or even compete with eachother over fooseball?  Why do we watch movies where people are sad and die, why don't we only like happy movies?  All the parts of life make life interesting, not just the happy parts.  The sad parts are what make the happy parts feel so happy.  Also, people don't learn much when happy compared to when under pressure and stress.  If you were happy all the time, how would you even understand what happiness is?  It's by the comparison between states that we understand them better.  There is much suffering along the way but at the end, you look back on it all and see how important it all was.  I don't think you can so easily see that early on, but later, it's like all of that was a huge adventure like Lord of the Rings or whatever.  You suffer, you fight, you change, you learn so much, you become more powerful in so many ways and at the end you look back and realize that all those emotions and trials were needed to get the benefits.  I don't think the 'universe' or 'God' makes us do anything at all, not be sad or happy or whatever. 

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