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Conflict and Contradiction


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This is currently how I am addressing my depression:


Medication - Mirtazapine 30mg and Cymbalta 60mg.


Therapist - Fortnightly sessions with a therapist.


Pyschiatrist - Appointment once every 2 months to make changes to my medication.


Group therapy - Attend weekly therapy groups addressing self esteem issues and mindfulness techniques.


Meditation - Once at day, at least 4 times a week. 30 minutes sitting, minimum. Sunday and Monday usually rest days, while Friday and Saturday are usually done at the Buddhist centre.


Buddhism - Membership with a local Buddhist society. Haven't taken the 5 precepts yet, although I live pretty much all of them (I sometimes break the 5th precept). I am considering officially taking the 5 precepts on Vesak Day next year, at the ceremony.


Mindfulness - Practicing Mindfulness in my daily activities as much as possible. Noticing subtle changes in how I conduct my life.


Mentor - Later this month I will be assigned a mentor, someone who has had a mental illness and come through it. This will consist of a once weekly catch up's. Looking forward to this!


I need to take these things more seriously


Exercise - Wish to regularly attend gym (I do go to the gym but my attendance is often down to mood at this time). I'd really like to get into weightlifting but I have no idea where to start.


Diet - Want to clean up my diet more than it is and start eating more vegetarian meals. I have a diet better than most, and I don't really eat junk food, but probably over eat or eat when I'm not really hungry. This year I've started to drink plenty of water instead of soda or juices and noticing difference in my hydration, skin etc etc. I'm happy with this. I could do with learning how to cook better than I can.


Cutting out Alcohol, completely - Don't want to drink anymore. Costs outweigh the benefits. It's as simple as that.


Sleep - Need to find a way of tackling my insomnia, ideally without the use of sleeping tablets. I take Mirtazapine mainly for the sleeping side effect, but I want to cut this out at some point because it drains my energy.

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“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.

Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours.

Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.

Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.

Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.


Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place.

Show respect to all people and grovel to none.


When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living.

If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.

Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.


When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.

Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”


~ Chief Tecumseh

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Taken from JourneyNow's post on my "How to deal with other people's suffering" thread.


  • I've realized that I'm more affective in helping others if I don't let myself sink into despair over things I cannot change
  • Kindness to others can help relieve their suffering, even for a moment, and can have unseen impact. There is always some way to be kind to some one.
  • Do things that DO help others, and focus on those. Small things are sometimes better than big gestures that draw attention to your different circumstances. And sometimes big things are called for.
  • People are more than their afflictions and suffering. Have compassion for their difficulties yet recognize them for their whole being


Outstanding! I'm going to look at this list, whenever I'm feeling down about other people's suffering, to remind myself what it is that I should be doing.

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Two things...


Spoke to a man from my group therapy, who I have MUCH in common with. I left one of the facilitators my number to give to him and he called me today. We have a long chat about our respective depression's and about life in general. It's really good for me to talk to someone like that, who is much older than me. It is especially so because he has been a practicing Buddhist for 25 years. I've only been attending the Buddhist society for less than a year, so I'm a massive newbie compared to him. It's nice to have some of my questions and issues answered. He also shares some similiar interests to me. He was a marine biologist and that is quite close to my line of work.


Secondly, I had somewhat of a mini epiphany. There was a guy I've noticed hanging around the main hall at the Buddhist centre and as bad as it sounds, I didn't really like his appearance. A bit pretty boyish and generally not someone I would associate with. More fool me! I got talking to him a few weeks back, turns out he's a really cool guy who I have alot in common with also. It's got me thinking about how I often view people negatively and what's really behind that. I judged someone based on their appearance and nothing that they'd actually done. So why did I do that? He obviously wasn't all those things as I later found out, and I couldn't really know if he was those things based on his appearance. I had projected qualities onto him, fictional, based on my own prejudices and ignorance.


What's behind that projecting of negative qualities onto other people? Are they things I don't like about myself? Am I challenged by him in some way? Perhaps I am. It's probably a mixture of both and maybe some other things going on. I want to explore this further and work out what is behind it. I believe that negative thinking of others only causes you suffering. I remember reading a quote by Pema Chodron that went something along the lines of "Whenever you think ill towards someone else, it is like picking up a hot coal and throwing it at them. Sometimes you'll hit them and other times you'll miss. You'll always end up with a burnt hand." Absolutely true, and I think we are all guilty of ill feeling towards other's based on our own prejudices and pre concieved ideas.


I want to tackle these kinds of thought with meditation, mindfulness and experimentation. Not only am I hurting myself but it generally doesn't represent who I want to be and the what I value. If I live life in accordance to my values and who I am, then I will have a much less conflicted and unhappy life.

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Attended meditation and a dhamma talk tonight. Body is finally getting use to sitting on a meditation cushion. I want to buy a better quality meditation cushion though. Meditation was not so hot tonight, mind kept wandering towards really random directions. Will attend another meditation sitting at the centre tomorrow.


Dhamma talk was excellent, presented by a Monk from the UK who I relate alot to. His style is very secular, light hearted and unconventional. His talk stressed the value of humour and playfulness in life.


Will do some readings over the next week regarding the concept of self, both from a Buddhist and a Jungian standpoint.

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I wanna travel again! I miss backpacking.


Next trip I'd like to go to Central Asia. Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Yep yep. Oh oh! And Iran! Or maybe Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos? Hmm too many places I want to see before I get old and no longer can rough it. I don't like traveling around touristy sort of places. I'm not interested in sitting on a beach with a beer with a bunch of Western tourists. I don't want to relax. I don't want comfort. That's boring to me. That's not traveling, that's a vacation! I'm very purist about my travel. Too many people go to countries and don't get their hands dirty. I'm a travel extremist.


Will probably visit head over to the Eastern states later this year. Wanna go to a music festival and see Beck. I'll either go to Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne.


That should pacify my itchy feet, for a now.

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Hey Society,


Sorry I don't match up to your ideals. I'm sorry that my life hasn't gone the way it has supposed to. Apologies for not valuing the same things as the rest. Apologies for not really knowing who I am and needing a bit of extra time to do so. I know you love to judge me as being unambitious or just "needing to grow up". Perhaps I'm doing something that more people need to do? Perhaps I'm doing the healthiest thing? Perhaps it is YOU who has got it all wrong. Perhaps people are filling that hole with material things, labels etc in the hope that makes them more into a "person"?


I apologise for the fact that I can be so easily labeled "unambitious" and that's perfectly acceptable. People are so readily allowed to judge my life. Yet, to me at least, most of you are sheep. You live your life in a daze, doing unhealthy things out of habit, consuming as much as possible and replicating the socially accepted way to live. Congratulations! You think you are a unique person? You think your life has been replicated by a billion other people? You graduate in degree, even though you aren't even remotely passionate about it or learn virtually nothing. Yet, you walk around as if that piece of paper makes you a better human being. You meet, date and marry someone who you apparently will love forever. Like we've never heard that statement before! Every horrible divorce started with those words. Next up, you work yourself into such a debt, so you are shackled to the pursuit of earning money. You "own" a bunch of things you think you own, but you don't really own it. You don't even own your own body. You're renting it for the duration of your life.


I apologise for being idealistic and not living in the "real world". What exactly is the "real world"? The real world is poverty, starvation, war and homelessness. That's the conditions that most people live under in this world. None of us are living in the "real world".


I apologise for taking responsibility for how I feel, the way I am and the depression I suffer. Sorry about that. I didn't ask for depression but I sure as hell am going to do something about it. Sorry for not supressing it with alcohol, drugs, food and unhealthy habits. Sorry for taking up numerous strategies to tackle it, at the expense of other areas of my life. It's not my choice to go through this process, it's something I have to do. I apologise for sometimes taking on too much or being too eager.


After 10 years of depression, I'm over it. I don't want it anymore.






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Feeling fat, tired and lazy. I REALLY need to start looking after myself better too, which is making me feel worse about myself. I've started to put on weight and my diet has slipped alot lately. I wish I had someone to go to the gym with, or someone to nag me to go to the gym. I don't. I'm on my own in this, like everything else. It's all down to me and my own motivation. No excuses.


Got alot of stuff to do this weekend. Gotta go to the gym, have a therapy appointment, going group meditation and run some errands tomorrow. Have to open and close the bookshop/library tonight on my own too. I hope I know what I'm doing. Sucks because I'm going to miss my living Buddhism class with a touring monk that I like alot. Oh well, I guess that's part and parcel of taking on work at the Buddhist society.


Wish I had more energy/motivation than I do. I probably should go to the doctors for a blood test but I'm freaking that it will be something bad.

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I believe I'm a good person, but how good exactly am I?


Am I as good a person as I believe? Why then do I still have negative thoughts about some people, despite that same thing stirring up indignation inside myself when I see another person doing it to someone else? Maybe I'm not really that good after all and maybe there isn't much that seperates me from those I stand against.


I don't like this part of myself, at all.


I've got more questions than I do answers at the moment. Pretty much sums up my life right now.

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What's it about Jonty. BTW, I think you are too hard on yourself.


Hey Silverbirch,


Basically I've been having an issue with having a certain philosophy and actually embodying it. I've been reading a lot of books recently, trying to come up with a new perspective on life and how I want to live it, according to my values. Things that really resonate with me and that I wish to start living accordingly. However, when my depression flares up I immediately revert back to old habits and thought patterns, abandoning what I thought I stood for quickly. My mindfulness allows me to sometimes to cut in and make a more skillful decision at times. This is not always the case though.


Is it that I'm not ready to let go of those habits and thoughts? Does a part of me enjoy indulging in them and that's why they are the first thing I revert back to, even though they cause me harm? Or is it a case of time? Perhaps as I get older I will slowly start to embody the qualities of the person I want to be? Maybe change will be a lifelong journey and not something I can complete in a year or even two years. Or is it a case of I don't totally believe in the ideas in the first place and I only keep them on a superficial level?


Am I making any sense? Is that too vague?


I feel like I am rambling...

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Disinterested and unmotivated. Hurt my back yesterday just to make the situation a little worse. Missed several calls from my mentor today, which is ridiculously slack of me.


Have an appointment with my pyschiatrist later this afternoon. My 3rd pyschiatrist this year. Hopefully she's decent, cos I was just starting to "warm" to my last one. He was one of the top pyschiatrists in my state too. Apparently they rotate the people between the clinics accross my city, so they don't build up too good of a relationship with you. I dunno if that's true.

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So sorry I forgot to check this post Jonty. Yes, I can be the same. I'm certain it has to do with actually embracing a program whereby you do certain things when you wake in the morning, etc. and put certain things into your day. I know that at one time for quite a number of years, I would do a morning reading from books from the Hazeldean? series, and then write a list of what I had to do that day. Right now, I spend way too much time online but as the weather is improving, I'm getting about more.

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