Deep into meditation training, I experience a familiar thought… is it Zen or depression?
After many years of yoga I’ve started to slow down. But is wanting to stay home and lay on the couch this new-found zen speed, or is it the slowness I’ve associated with depression? In deep meditation where I am building all sorts of new neural pathways, I reach the height of that state.
Mental illness runs in my family. Hospital stints, medication, addiction. I’ve been both depressed and have experienced OCD – I really only have two speeds, anxious or asleep. People often don’t notice when I am depressed.
I once told my teacher that I meditate “when I have nothing else, when I’m at my end.” He replied, “Why wait until you’re suicidal and barely holding it together? Why not meditate all the time and never get there?” Good question.
These days I know I’m not depressed – I can now feel the ME separate from these states. These days my doc tells me I don’t need meds – intensive meditation has shifted my neurology and my entire perspective. I can witness myself less affected by my thoughts and circumstances. Meditation has slain the sleeping giant. So hum, hum so. I am not my family, I am not their depression. Perspective is my Prozac. Meditation is my medication.