Depression is the big D word lately. It appears that this ominous condition is reaching epidemic proportions in north American populations. In practice I would say that at least 50% of my clients have encountered some form of depression in their lives and have proceeded to take pharmaceutical medications to cope with their struggles. It also appears not to have any discretion for age or sex. I've treated young teenage girls and boys right to retired seniors.
Q: What is depression? Why is it seemingly so invasive in our western society today?
A: Loss of Core Connection Plain and simple.
Walk down the street in any downtown North American metropolis and just observe city folk. I do this often as I walk extensively everyday. There seems to be a void in many people's faces. An emptiness that is so pervasive you can't miss it and not think "Why do people look so absent, almost robotic ?". It seems people are very closed off emotionally, to the point that I have witnessed just this past month someone pass out on the sidewalk and no one even flinching in reaction to help.
We have lost our connection to our inner PRESENCE. Our source of all JOY. In essence our CORE CONNECTION has been blocked, suppressed, and neglected by our MIND'S and the conditions we have placed on ourselves. Conditions based on limitations and learned patterns of belief by our parents and society.
Your inner joy is ALWAYS present. Your CORE is the source of all your creation. All your circumstances, experiences and manifestations are dependent on your center. The circumference does not determine your HAPPINESS. The circumference does not determine how rich or poor you are, your career satisfaction, the quality of your friendships and intimate relationships, nor how much you weigh.
YOUR CORE determines all of that. When you live from the truth of your core, you manifest abundance from the core.
So yes depression is real. But primarily in the MIND and mainly from the mental constructions we build based on past conditions and limitations.
Feelings and emotions of sadness, apathy, greif, anixety, anguish and many others are also very real. But they are not PERMANENT. They are transient. To emote means to move, transition, or change. Your feelings are not YOU. You experience them, and you feel them, but they are not your CORE truth. It is when we IDENTIFY with our emotions that we suffer, feel threatened, less than, insecure and above all FEARFUL.
Eckhart Tolle is a living success story of how intense depression can be healed. He reached the point of contemplating his own life on numerous occasions. Until one day, he literally awakened to the insight that perhaps all of the depressive thoughts were not him. But were the fabrications of a mind riddled with egoic contentions, pain bodies and false beliefs based on external forms.
Your inner truth is not a tangible form. It is the living force that animates you. It gives you bliss, enlivens you, animates your whole being and never betrays you. Your mind on the other hand has another agenda. Your mind is the processor or CPU that will absorb anything you program it with. We are all prone to negative conditioning and so therefore keeping the mind free of these "viruses" is almost impossible. But if we can detach from the mind, and the conditioned thought processes then we can CONNECT to the living eternal truth within!
But how???? I can just hear you all scream.
Start with the BREATH! Your only choice really.
It is the direct link to the inner living truth and knowing we all possess. When you perform breath work you come to an awareness of your inner stillness. When we get still enough we are then able to hear the all knowing voice of our inner sage. We come to know that EVERYTHING is ok, and perfect just as it is. Because we feel the JOY of our eternal CORE being that can't be bought or substituted by anything else.
How to Breath to Beat the Blues:
- Set aside at least 10 minutes to be in complete stillness and quiet. Just before you go to bed or 10 minutes before hopping out of bed is best.
- Sit your butt down on that cushion and come to an awareness of your breath. Listen to the quality of your breath at first without changing anything. How do you breath? Where is the breath initiating? How does your upper, middle and lower abdomen move in relation to the inhalations and exhalations? Once you know how you breath, then you may explore and proceed to lengthen the breath and deepen it.
- In the beginning I would suggest that you choose 2 words that you mentally say , one for the inhale and the second for the exhale. I.e: In/out, Ah/Om, or calm/release.
- Pay attention to the pauses between each inhale and exhale.
- Follow the breath every inch of the way. Meaning: be aware of the full inhale, pause, then feel the full exhalation and don't rush to begin the next breath. Feel it in its ENTIRETY.
These are basic tips to assist you with mediation and your breathing practice.
In future posts I will expand on more breathing exercises and share my knowledge of Pranayama- or the yoga of breath.
For now, I wish you stillness, bliss and love