Depression | Ajahn Brahm | 25-06-2010


Ajahn Brahm: So I’ve had a request for a talk
for this evening. It’s a very worthwhile request. They were looking in the, the library of talks,
either on the internet or in the library for a talk to help one of their friends with depression.
And even though I thought I’d talked about that subject before, maybe I haven’t devoted
a whole talk to that subject. So for the sake of people now and in the future, this evening’s
talk will be on the Buddhist attitude towards depression. It is a worthwhile topic because as everybody
knows that depression is one of the great diseases in our modern world. It causes a
great deal of suffering and many of us will meet the depression either personally or one
of our loved ones in the course of our life. And it’s also well known that the Buddhist
attitudes are very effective in countering the problems of depression. You only need to mention that our former premier
Geoff Gallop when he resigned because of depression at the height of his political fame and ability,
he actually came to see me and he credits Buddhist teachings and eastern philosophy
as getting him through his depression. And so that you know we do have the goods.
So what are those goods which actually heal and help with peoples’ depression. Well first
of all, because I’ve given talks on depression before or at least mentioned it, a psychiatrist
did pull me up to say, and I’m going to mention this at the very beginning of this talk, that
there are severe forms of depression. I’m talking about very clinical bad cases of depression
which should be treated by a qualified doctor first of all. The sorts of depression which
I’m talking about this evening are those ones which are not so severe as to totally incapacitate
you. However, the other types of depression which
one still has most of one’s mental faculties, one can get out and about but one still has
this deep sense of greyness to one’s life called depression. So if it is severe please
go and see a doctor. But if it’s moderate, mild, or to prevent it happening in the first
place, please listen to what I’m about to say. And contemplating this before I came in here,
I could sort of see like three major causes of depression in our world. First, and especially
in our modern world, it does seem that depression is a modern sickness, it didn’t seem to have
so much incidence in the past and I think one of the reasons is, is because the inherent
negativity and fault finding in our society. So that’s one of the first things I’m going
to talk about, to how to counteract negativity and fault finding. And secondly it is a direct
consequence of the amount of craving and desires we have in our modern world. We tend to think
we need so much more, both materially and socially than maybe in the past. You know,
we’ve lost the sense of respecting simplicity. And lastly, and more profoundly, just because
of some of the nature of existence can be very depressing and it’s this last particular
aspect which very easily responds to what you just did a few minutes ago in meditation. So there’s the three parts of this talk. The
negativity and fault finding. The over…the over indulgence in cravings. And also something
more profound about the nature of life itself. But the first one is the first part which
I often talk about and Buddhists often help with saying that a lot of the problem with
depression is because of an inherent negativity and fault finding which is in our modern society. You look at your life that when you are at
school people are always judging you and often negatively. Not everyone can come top of the
class, not everybody can sort of get one of these medals and everybody else tends to think
they are a loser. Not everyone can find a nice relationship
with the boy or the girl that they love and so even at that time when you’re searching
for a partner in life it’s just so hard to get what you think is the perfect partner
and again people in relationships thinks they’re losers. And in life you try to get a job, you try
to do well in your career, you try to get on in the world and people are pushing you
and sometimes they ask you, you know, you’re 40 50 years of age, what are you doing, you’re
sort of…you know you’re serving burgers in MacDonald’s is that all you’re doing, you’re
a failure, you’re a loser. Isn’t it the case that people are just so critical and want
to put you down even though you may be able to serve the best veggie burgers in the whole
of the MacDonald’s chains of restaurants. But what does that mean. It means that there’s
so much negativity in our world, always people pointing out the faults, pointing out your
faults and what happens when you get married, well you have a nice relationship for the
first couple of years yeah people love each other then they start pointing out the faults. There’s one of those great stories that a
person who got married and used to say as the father in-law took the daughter-in-law…no
the father-in-law took his new son-in-law aside, so you probably love my, my daughter
very much. Yes I’ve just married her, she’s beautiful, she’s charming, she’s wonderful,
even the way she puts her finger in her ear to get the wax out is charming. And he said
that’s what it’s like when you get married, everything you do is just loveable. And the father-in-law said but in one or two
years time you’ll start to see the faults and defects in my daughter but please son-in-law
always remember this, always remember if my daughter did not have those faults to begin
with, she’d have married someone much better than you. [LAUGHTER] And that’s actually a very profound thing
you’re saying there because look you know how can you expect to get a perfect partner
when you’re not perfect. So isn’t it the case because we’re so fault finding that’s one
of the reasons why relationships have a difficult road, why it’s so tough to keep a partner
because we’re always finding faults with them and they’re finding faults with you. You know
what that does, that sucks, that takes all the happiness and joy out of marriage. So where is all this negativity and fault
finding coming from. It’s actually almost..it’s brainwashed into us since we’re very young.
At school, in the playground, you know going out together, we’re just so fault finding
to the point that people start to believe all that negative input to their brain. I’m
not beautiful enough, I’m not charming enough, I’m not intelligent enough. I’m not this enough.
Until we eventually believe it and of course that’s a huge amount of depression which comes
up because we are not good enough. I still remember this when I first came to
Perth the very first year this thirteen year old girl came to see me. Her father organised
a meeting, she wanted counselling, she’d been to all the other psychologists, psychiatrists
or whatever in Perth and this was the last resort to go and see a Buddhist monk. They
must have been desperate in those days to come see a Buddhist monk. Because we didn’t
have much of a reputation and I asked her what’s your problem and she took a long time
to get it out of her cause you know when people really feel they have a big problem and they
just don’t want to share it with you especially a thirteen or fourteen year old young girl. And eventually I got it out of her. She said,
looking down at the floor feeling so embarrassed, she said ‘my nose is too big’. Now you know,
you girls you know that, you know where she’s coming from, that to her every time she looked
in the mirror she saw her nose and it was too big. I tried to use like a scientific approach
to her problem, you know I mentally I measured her nose and I’ve seen many noses in my life
and I measured it in my mind and I told her, lady that your nose is pretty average. It’s
not the most beautiful nose, it’s certainly not the most ugly nose, its just a nose, it’s
average ok. But she wouldn’t accept that for her it was the biggest problem because it
was right in front of her face. I didn’t, I didn’t actually help her, but
she helped me to understand the negativity of fault finding. You can see a nose and you
exaggerate it simply because you’re looking for faults. It is that nature of our human mind when it
hasn’t been proper trained to always see what’s wrong in things, rather than what is right.
And that attitude causes a lot of depression. I’m gonna have to ask you to excuse me those
who come here every week for the last ten or twenty years, many of you have heard these
stories before but because this is a talk on depression and many people are gonna hear
this for the first time. One of the classic stories is that story of the two bad bricks
in the wall. On Tuesday night I was in Brisbane, first time I’ve been to Brisbane to give talks,
and one of the people there in question time he said Ajahn Brahm I’ve read that story,
I’ve heard it many times, can you please tell it again…I just wanna hear it live. [LAUGHTER] So I told that story and it’s a deep story,
simple but it actually points out what I’m talking about. The story of the two bad bricks
in the wall, twenty six years ago, twenty seven years ago when we moved to Serpentine
to build that monastery down there we had no money, we were broke, and because… we
owed money for the land, there were no buildings on that property. So I had to learn how to
build. And I was theoretical physicist before, ok, in my head doing sums all day. Now I had
to get out there and get my hands dirty and mix concrete and lay bricks and put on a roof
and do plumbing. Everything we did. And even to this day, if any of you going
into that main hall in our monastery, I am the builder. My name is on the building license
for that. And it’s still standing so that’s pretty good. [LAUGHTER] So in particular, this story I had to learn
how to lay bricks. Laying bricks was not a simple thing to do, it may look easy but it’s
so hard to get everything level. But, as most people would be I was a perfectionist. I had
to make sure that brick was perfectly level before I went onto the next one. Sometimes
one corner was high, you’d knock it down and another corner would go up. You knock that
corner down then it would go out of line. You knock it back into line thinking it was
finished, you notice one of the corners was high again. It was just one of those jobs which, where
you couldn’t get everything in the right place but you kept on trying until you got it. It
took a long time but it didn’t matter cause I wasn’t being paid. So I could take however
long I wanted. And when I finished that wall, that first
brick wall, like anybody else you were proud, finished, you stood back to look at it and
admire it, and it was only then when it was finished I noticed that two bricks were crooked.
All the other bricks were straight, two bricks were crooked. So what would you do? What I
did was try and scrape the mortar out so I could reset the bricks so they could be perfect.
But the mortar was hard, you couldn’t scrape it out. And the other monk who was with me
at the time, Ajahn Jagaro, I asked him look can we afford, can we please afford some dynamite
so I blow it up and start again? Bulldozer would do, push it over. Because…that spoiled
the whole wall. Those two bad bricks, they ruined the whole thing. But we couldn’t, I was stuck with it, we were
too poor to do anything with it. So for three months, every time I went passed that wall
I saw my mistakes and I felt so sad. I’d stuffed up. And the worst thing about stuffing up
when you’re building everybody could see it, you can’t hide it. It’s a big wall, out there
in the open. So, every time there was a visitor, I would actually volunteer to take them around
so I could, you know, take them somewhere else so they wouldn’t see my mistakes. At
night time I’d have nightmares about that wall. I would, I’d dream of it, because I’d
really made a big mistake and everybody could see it. And it was three months, roughly,
I’m not quite sure it’s a long time ago now, about three months somebody else was with
me and they saw that wall and they said that’s a beautiful wall. And I just couldn’t believe
what I’d heard because for three months I’d been suffering so much with that wall and
they said it’s a beautiful wall. My first reaction was to ask them are you
visually impaired, are you blind, did you leave your glasses in the car? Can’t you see
those two bad bricks, the crooked ones. And what they said next just changed much of the
way I look at life and stopped a lot of inherent depression in myself. What they said was yes
I can see the two bad bricks, but I can also see the nine hundred and ninety eight good
bricks as well. And that really hit me, because I realised for three months I was blind. All
I ever saw was my two mistakes and I just could not see all the beautiful perfect bricks
which I had laid. And when that guy told me what about the nine hundred and ninety eight
good bricks that was the first time in three months that I could actually see the bricks
above, below, to the left and the right of my two mistakes. And I had to agree with the
fellow, it was a beautiful wall, once I could see the whole picture. And I realised why is it our psychology, where
do we get this from, that we just see our two mistakes and we become blind to everything
else we’ve ever done. Why every other part of that relationship, that life, that project
we just see one or two mistakes and that totally obsesses us to the point where I wanted to
destroy that wall, I wanted to blow it up. Now can you understand what depression comes
from? A lot of times, mistakes happen in life, tragedies occur, a loved one dies, you get
cancer, you lose your job, lose everything on the stock market. One day you’re prime
minister, the next day you’re not. [LAUGHTER] So you can see it’s very easy to get depressed
IF all you see is just that one event, that one or two bad bricks. So how do you overcome
that fault finding and negativity. Fault finding and negativity is just being obsessed with
what is wrong and being totally blind to anything else except the faults. And then you want
to destroy. You see that happening in relationships, girls and boys they come along, and they just
see what’s wrong in their partner. The things they do wrong, the mistakes they’ve made,
and they’re just being blind to everything else. The classic tale was when I was teaching in
Malaysia, and somebody asked me this question at the end of the talk. I have found out this
morning my husband has lied to me. My husband has lied. I can’t trust him anymore. Should
I get divorced? She asked me whether she should get divorced. Quick I asked her what are you
doing at this university. She was a lecturer on mathematics. So I saw an opportunity to
answer her question, I asked how long have you been married, she said three years. I
said let’s do some statistics. Three years is maybe one thousand days. Lets say for the
sake of this argument, let’s assume that on average throughout your three years of marriage,
your husband has said maybe twenty things to you every day, on average, which could
be right, which could be wrong. So he’s said twenty thousand statements to you since you’ve
been married and now he’s lied for the first time. The quantum probability theory on his
past record, the next time he opens his mouth there is a twenty thousand to one chance he’s
telling the truth. What do you mean you can’t trust him? [LAUGHTER] Isn’t that pretty good odds, twenty thousand
to one? If every time a politician opened their mouth with twenty thousand to one chance
they’re telling the truth, I’d vote for them, wouldn’t you? They’d be trust worthy. But
you can see what we’ve pointed out, that why is it that one lie, a real lie, they’d lied,
why is that given so much prominence that everything else is totally forgotten and ignored?
This is the stupidity of our human being which is just so fault finding and negative it hasn’t
got a balanced perspective on life. That lady wanted to destroy her marriage. Once I told
her that story they stayed together. It’s the same with you, you make one mistake, life
makes one mistake. If you make one mistake is that worth killing yourself for? You know
a lot of suicides happen because of see just two bad bricks in the wall, you wanna kill
yourself. You can’t see the nine hundred and ninety eight good bricks. That story tells
you what’s going on. And anyway, I can’t resist adding the beautiful ending to that story
of the two bad bricks. Once when I was teaching in Cancer Support Association over in Cottesloe,
they’re still over there. Teaching…teaching that story because sometimes going through
chemotherapy and radiation therapy can really cause a lot of depression. So I told that
and yeah you got cancer but there’s many other things happening in your life. Look at all
the parts of the body which haven’t got cancer. There’s two bad bricks there, two bad tumours,
what about the other parts which are beautiful, which are healthy? Look at that, it actually
takes away a lot of fear. And anyway I told that, one of these builders
came up afterwards and he said Ajahn Brahm please don’t be upset you made two mistakes
when you’re laying bricks, professional builders do the same, he said. But then he said I’ll
tell you a secret, and I’ve told his secret to millions of people…internationally. He
said…don’t tell me your secrets, they’ll be on YouTube next day…[LAUGHTER]. He said,
in the building industry where we make a mistake like that we call it a feature. We call it
a feature and we charge our clients an extra few thousand dollars for it. [LAUGHTER] So
those of you who’ve got features in your house, they’ve probably started off as mistakes. And I love that because this actually takes
what we’d normally be negative about and realising that that’s the feature of your partner and
of yourself, and that’s what makes them loveable. If they were so perfect they’d just be impossible
to love, there’d be no real meaning to that love. So it’s their imperfection, their features,
if you look upon it as a feature, it makes loving them more valuable. So that’s the first
story of overcoming depression, by realising that you’re just seeing two bad bricks in
the wall. You need someone to point out what else is happening in your life, in your body,
in your relationship. You realise you see the big picture and it’s not so negative any
more. Even just the other thing about negativity which is one of the stories which I tell more
often probably than any other story, and that is, is why people they look upon their past
and they get so negative about something which happened to you. You know, you might get depressed
because you got pinged by the police today for speeding. You might get depressed because,
you know, you’ve lost your job today. You may get depressed because this week, you know,
that your partner sort of dumped you. And why is it people get depressed like that? And I’ll tell you why. The two chicken farmers
story. My famous, favourite story and the reason why I keep repeating this is because
people need to know this, so they don’t suffer so much. Two chickens farmers, the first chicken
farmer went into the shed early in the morning to collect the produce from the night before.
Took in the basket and filled the basket full of chicken shit and he left the eggs in the
shed to rot and he brought the shit back into the house, stunk the whole house out, he was
a very dumb chicken farmer. There’s a meaning to this story so stay with me. Second chicken
farmer went into the shed with a basket and he put eggs in the basket and he left shit
in the shed because it would become valuable fertilizer later on. But you don’t bring it
into the house with you, you bring the eggs back into the house so he could make an omelette
for his family and sell the rest of the eggs in the market for cash. That’s a smart chicken
farmer, that’s what you’re supposed to do. And the moral of that story, and this was
told by Ajahn Chah, he said when you collect the produce of your past and bring it into
your present, what do you bring with you? When you collect what’s done today or this
week, what do you bring home with you? Are you shit collectors or egg collectors, and
you know what you are, you’re all shit collectors mostly. [LAUGHTER] You’re negative, when things happen to you,
you got pinged by the police, that’s what you tell your partner. Oh terrible day at
work, this happened and that happened. You have a relationship what do you remember about
what happened in your relationship? The thing, the time your partner just, you know, let
you down, the time your friend just stood you up, the time they didn’t ring, the time
they forgot. Isn’t that just collecting the faults of life?
Collecting the shit? And that particular simile meant, sort of look, what went wrong in life,
leave that alone, let that rot in the past, all the mistakes, all the tragedies, all the
things which went wrong. Why do we carry that around into our present? This is radical for
many people, even when people like you suffer the death of a loved one, it might be your
daughter, your son. Why do you put that in your basket and carry that around day after
day, month after month, year after year? Why is it that people just can’t let grief go?
They’re shit collectors. Now this is part of your personality and you
need someone to really give you a kick up the backside and this is why I mention the
shit to really make this a hard teaching. You need to hear this to realise this is what
I’m doing. So why not just let that rot in the past, the pain, the difficulties, the
disappointments and instead carry the happy moments you’ve had. I mention that in the story about my father
when he died. Instead of remembering his death, I caught his life like a concert. At the end
of a concert I never cried, I never felt sad when the concert was over, because I remembered
the concert, not the ending. And the same way that when a loved one has died and they’re
no longer there for you, why do you remember what’s been taken away, why can’t you remember
what you’ve had, all those wonderful years you’ve had together with your beautiful wife,
with your great father, that this child has actually come into your life for six weeks,
and you’ve been able to love them and they’ve met you, they’ve come, they’ve visited you.
Why not remember that instead of the tragedy of their death? Why not collect the eggs and keep the eggs,
rather than the dung and the poo? Now when you see what you’re doing, now you
can understand why people do get depressed, because they tend to, tend to incline towards
the faults, towards the negative and they collect that. And look if you collect too
much shit anyone would get depressed, and people think life sucks, life is terrible,
life is awful, look what’s happened to me. And all you’re seeing is a part of your life,
you’re seeing the two bad bricks of your past and that’s what you’re carrying into your
present and into your future. Instead of seeing all the other nine hundred and ninety eight
good bricks from your past. And if you look, and if you look with a, with
a fair mind, an open mind, you’ll find that just about everybody in this world, hardly
any exceptions to this, there’s nine hundred and ninety eight good bricks to every two
bad bricks. The beautiful, happy, successful moments of your life far outweigh the faults
and problems of things which go wrong. The problem is though we just take the good stuff
for granted, we don’t collect it, we don’t cherish it. Instead we just cherish what goes
wrong and the faults. This is our nature, we have to change that nature if we’re to
overcome the depression. So please don’t you be a shit collector. Just make a determination,
I’m going to leave that in the past. You can do this and for anybody who keeps telling
me no you’ve got to learn from the mistakes of the past, no that does not work. Ask any
professional psychologist, you learn much more from the successes of the past not the
mistakes. Look, for example your relationship, your
marriage, if you keep remembering what went wrong in your relationship you know you’re
on the, the way to divorce, separation. Cause what you do, you sort of start blaming, your
fault, no it’s your fault. You just make it worse. But what happens if you let those thoughts
go and you remember all the beautiful times when the relationship was a wonderful time,
the great moments you had together. What does that do? That means you appreciate the relationship,
you appreciate the partner and you will actually learn what works. And you’ll repeat what works.
And if you had a nice time together, decided just to go off together to Broome or somewhere
just for the weekend, you had a great time. If you remember that you’ll do it again. You
learn from successes much more than you’ll ever learn from mistakes. And also you avoid
this terrible trap of depression. However there is painful times in life. You
know there is times where the person has just died, you have lost your job, you are sick,
you’ve just been told that your biopsy results have come through and you have got a cancer.
But there’s another of the great stories which Buddhism helps with, the great story of the
Emperor’s ring. This too will pass. And that just solves so many depressions because you
can allow it to go, you don’t keep it. That particular story of the Emperor’s ring,
there was a young man became an Emperor and every time his kingdom was going well he would
hold parties and celebrations. Every time things were going bad in his kingdom, economy
down, sort of credit crunch, people just upset at his tax reforms or whatever, every time,
every time things were going difficult for him, he’d just stay in his room and get angry
and depressed. He’d sulk. And eventually his advisers had to try and teach him what to
do. And you can’t…these people in power, you can’t actually tell them directly, because
once you get into power you get arrogant. You have to actually use psychology to teach
people a lesson. Especially like an Emperor. So the ministers were wise enough to know
how they could help their Emperor without telling him directly what he was doing wrong.
They presented him with a ring, a gold ring, which was very simple except for the words
which were engraved on the outside – “This too will pass”. Now I’ve told this story for many years and
actually one of you, don’t know if you’re here this evening, and they actually came
up and they actually went to the jeweller and they got a ring like that and they actually
did engrave those words around their ring so they could remember it too. The Emperor’s
Ring, they actually exist in Perth. At least one person has one. And they gave this ring to the Emperor to
wear on all occasions so when things were going wrong he’d look at the ring – this too
will pass. And just knowing it will pass, reminding yourself of that obvious truth,
means you never get so depressed. And I’ve told that to many prisoners in jail,
especially when they first go into jail. And that’s just so humiliating, it’s one of the
most humiliating times of a person’s life, they’re a prisoner, they’re in jail, they’ve
been publicly humiliated, they’ve done a crime, and they’re wearing this green, and they’re
treated just like with no human rights, subservient to the prison officers. It’s one of the most
awful moments of your life. And it is terrible, look it will pass. You know, two years, five
years, ten years, the time will come when you’ll walk out of that jail. And the time
will come you look back on that experience way in the past, it’s gone, its finished,
bear with it, it will pass. And you know it does pass. The radiation therapy, the chemotherapy, it
does pass, the sickness it pass, the grief, the tears, they do pass. You know it’s gonna
pass. So remembering that takes away a lot of the pain. Knowing it’s not gonna
last. But the best part of that story is, that Emperor would look at that ring during
the good times, the prosperous times as well. This too will pass. Now this was the brilliant
part of that story, it meant when things were going well, when you have a beautiful relationship
with your partner, when you’re healthy, things are going well in your life, the economy is
prospering, your football team is winning, when that happens remember – this too will
pass. That’s not being negative or depressed. What
that means is actually when things are going well you never take them for granted. You’ve
got this beautiful relationship with a great person, you don’t take them for granted, you
work your butt off, to look after that relationship, to cherish it, to care for it. You really
work hard to make sure that prosperity lasts as much as it could…can. Because one of
the problems with failure, people take it for granted. They don’t put effort or care
or love into their relationship. Sometimes that’s what happens when people
get married, they get that ring on their finger, the wedding ring, and they think right that’s
it now, we’ve committed we don’t have to work. And you know that’s just the start of the
work, you always have to work. Never take anything for granted. It will pass and you
keep working hard. And that way the prosperous times lasted longer than ever, which is another
way of overcoming depression. Remember, this too will pass. Simple but just so powerful. The next little story of how to overcome depression,
it was, why is it that just whenever we are criticised we hear it straight away. When
we’re praised we just dismiss it. Which causes us what we actually eat, you know what we
eat in our mind, what we actually hear. We hear junk food all the time. Depression, depressive
stuff, criticism, the things you do wrong. Praise which is healthy food for the mind
we just reject it all the time. I think I told this story a couple of weeks
ago, or three weeks ago, when I got the John Curtin medal in 2004. I had to give an acceptance
speech. When I gave that acceptance speech, I said, and some of you were there at the
time you may remember this, I said I’m quite surprised I’ve got this award. I never expected
it and I’m sure there are many other people in our community who work much harder than
I do who deserve it much more than me. And anyway I couldn’t get this without all these
other people behind me, people like the committee of the BSWA Buddhist Society, my fellow monks
who look after me, all of you…I couldn’t have done this by myself so really I don’t
really deserve it but thank you anyway. And that was the sort of speech which I gave. One year later I thought well people come
to my medal ceremony I should go to another person’s ceremony, it’s like karma, you know
what you get you should give. So I went to next year’s ceremony when it was Professor
Joske. He was the head haematologist at St Charles Gairdner Hospital and the reason why
he’d got the John Curtin Medal for that year was that he had seen that being a haematologist
that people who were going into Charlie Gairdner’s Hospital for chemotherapy, radiation therapy,
were getting top class treatment but they were walking out of that hospital without
any care. So what he told us was that he decided to
kick out a few people from the rooms. And these rooms in a hospital they’re just, they;re
like gold dust. He used his authority to kick out a few people and he turned it into the
Brownes Alternative Therapy Centre, where you can get reiki, homoeopathy, foot massage,
anything weird you can get it in that place. [Laughter]. And sponsored by Brownes Dairy.
And when he did this, all of his peers thought you were going crazy, you were going a bit
troppo, because all this sort of stuff was not really recognised by mainstream medicine
and here was a big professor who was putting his reputation on the line. So that anybody
who had radiation therapy or chemotherapy could go there afterwards and get some reiki
or get a massage free of charge. And I knew what was happening, I know the
way the mind works. I don’t care whether reiki works or homoeopathy works or foot massage
works or not but I do know that someone is caring for you. The one on one person just,
just pressing your feet with care for half an hour. That works. Just compassion and kindness,
someone actually being with you, looking after you. When you have massage you’re in the moment,
you’re giving compassion, I said in meditation that heals, I know that. So I thought, that
guy is so sharp and so wise and of course he was mentioning that already the research
had come through, it was actually making a significant improvement in people’s health.
It was working. So when I heard what he did I thought my goodness
what a, what a hero, what a courageous man, standing his ground for something he believed
in and actually getting it working. And actually stopping a huge amount of suffering with people
who’ve got cancers. And when he got up to accept his award he said, well there are other
people in the community who deserve it much more than I do. I’m not sure, quite sure why
you chose me and I couldn’t have done this without all the other people who helped me.
And I recognised it, it was pretty much the same speech I said the year before. [LAUGHTER]
As everybody does when they receive a reward. Someone praises you and gives you an award
and what do you do, you say I don’t deserve it, maybe there’s other people who deserve
it more than me, and I couldn’t do this if it wasn’t for my parents, or my partner, or
my friends. And I realised my mistake there. Look a lot
of people actually investigated, and they looked to what I was doing and they decided
yes I deserve it and I was actually saying you’re wrong, you’re lying. Same with Joske,
and he did deserve it, it was obvious. So the next time I ever get an award, when I
give my speech the first words I will say will be thank you I deserve this. [LAUGHTER]
Why are you laughing? [LAUGHTER] You’re laughing because it’s not done is it. You know, someone
gives you an award and you say I deserve it, that’s just really just out of left field,
you’re not supposed to do that and that is the problem. We’ve just refused to accept praise and rewards,
we just push it aside, every time. So look the next time someone tells you, you did a
marvellous act today, you did really great work, say thank you yes I deserve it. Next
time your husband says oh thank you that was a delicious meal darling, say thank you, it
was, I deserve it. Now when you do that you’re actually gonna
stop a lot of depression. But when someone criticises you, you were late picking me up
today, oh yeah that’s true I’m sorry, why is it we always receive criticism straight
away? Over in Sydney in May I was at a conference listening to one of the Buddhists over there,
a great sort of er psychologist, psychiatrist, Eng Kong Tan and he was actually saying research
shows that if you’re gonna praise someone you have to spend fifteen seconds praising
them before it actually gets in. Fifteen whole seconds and then it will actually be received.
Criticism one second it goes straight in. It’s true. Which is why that if you’re going
to be praising your child or maybe praising your wife, don’t just say oh thank you darling
you’re a wonderful wife, no you’ve gotta say thank you darling you’re a wonderful wife,
you’re a great cook, you’re so charming, I’m very happy that I’ve managed to find you and
that managed to…so lucky you fell in love with me, and you’re such a charming person
and we have such a wonderful time together, fifteen seconds up…it might go in. [LAUGHTER] And it’s actually true, you try that, you
know it’s true. Now is it quite clear where depression comes from? You just don’t receive
praise, all you receive is criticism, it goes straight in. So if we wanna sort of stop depression,
for goodness sake, when someone praises you, compliments you or gives you a medal, please
receive it immediately. You do deserve it. If your partner says thank you for being you,
don’t think that they’re speaking rubbish, don’t just demean their intelligence. Say
thank you darling, yes you’re right, I deserve that. And have your partner also receive it.
And then when praise is not dismissed you may have more of it in our marriage, may have
more of it in our office. Because when you dismiss these things, someone, you praise
someone and they just throw it back at you, of course you’re just discouraging praise.
When you’re discouraging praise you’re discouraging mutual appreciation. You’re actually discouraging
love. When you discourage love, what’s left? This terrible negativity, fault-finding, pointing
out peoples’ faults, and I feel I’m terrible and I must be the worst monk ever since the
time of the Buddha, I’m really terrible, I’m awful. And if you keep thinking like that,
of course you’ll get depressed. So this is actually where we’re actually healing
depression by just changing our…way we look at things. And getting that positive and receiving
positive, receiving praise, looking at the nine hundred and ninety eight good bricks
in the wall. And this too will pass. This actually works and collecting the eggs not
the shit from the past. I did also mention that sometimes we get depressed
because just what we want in life is way too much, is crazy stuff. One of the experiences
I had as a kid, no not as a kid, I was a school teacher, twenty two, just before I went off
to Thailand to become a monk, and this is very apt right now because this was World
Cup in 1972, 73? Must have been 72. 74? It was World Cup, I don’t know. Anyway, around
that time. I will never forget this, it was a qualifying match, England versus Poland.
Remember I was English. We were watching it on the TV. England only needed to draw to
go through to the finals. And it was a close match, they were winning 1 – 0 and at the
last moment, Poland scored. And England got knocked out. There was a match, it was a good
match, exciting and I enjoyed it. Next day I went to school, all the kids, there were
nine hundred kids in that school, and all the staff were all looking down at the floor.
You know kids are usually, you know teenagers are usually sometimes naughty in class, this
day there was no discipline problems at all because they just couldn’t bear to be naughty,
they were just so depressed. And I thought it’s a bloomin’ football match, what are you
getting depressed about, it’s only soccer, why are you going to spoil a whole day about
that? The reason is because people just have far
too many expectations and desires. When we desire so much, what actually happens is,
I can actually see, it’s a stupid desire, asking from the world what it can never give
you. Australia will never win the World Cup. [LAUGHTER] Come on now be practical about
this. [LAUGHTER] When I say things like that people get shocked but it’s obvious isn’t
it, its true. So asking from the world what it never give us, and then what happens when
we ask, you know, you’re gonna die, you’re gonna get old, you’re gonna get sick, it’s
just the nature of this world. You know your husband is gonna sort of argue with you, your
wife is gonna sort of you know drive you crazy sometimes, that’s what marriage is like. So
don’t ask from a relationship what it can never give you, because when you ask what
life can never give you what happens next is you get frustrated. And when life ‘so forth’ disappoints you,
you know who you blame. You don’t really blame your partner, you don’t blame your boss, you
blame you. People actually think they’re a failure because their marriage never worked,
because they got sacked from work, because their team never won. Even, you’re not even
playing on the pitch, you’re a supporter, why do you take responsibility and feel sad
about it? The supporters take blame, they didn’t cheer loud enough or whatever, I’m
not sure, but it’s amazing to see that psychology where we take the blame of failure on ourselves.
We get depressed. So actually once you realise what desire actually
does, please don’t desire what the world will never give you. Keep your desires, you know,
in the parameters of practicality of possibility, of what you know you can achieve, you know
what’s obvious within in your grasp, don’t reach too far. But when people do reach too
far the other thing that happens they get this frustration, but because of our society
is a you can do it society, you’re just not wise enough, you’re not trying hard enough,
go to an Anthony Robbins seminar, yes, YOU can be rich! [LAUGHTER] YOU can get the person
of your dreams, just put it in your mind, think about it, visualise it, and don’t give
up, have faith in your dreams and you will reach them! It’s so much crap isn’t it [LAUGHTER]
You know, be honest about it. But it’s not just that, it’s actually so dangerous,
it causes so much depression. It’s actually dangerous, because what happens that people
they actually try even harder. They get frustrated they try harder. And they get angry. So many
angry people in this world. Why do they get angry? Apparently that’s what poor old Kevin
Rudd’s fault. He was really trying hard, had so much expectations, got frustrated, got
terribly angry with himself and with his staff and his friends. After anger is another stage. You get angry,
angry, angry, and that takes up so much energy, the next stage is depression. What’s the point.
You lose all your energy, you lose all your hope, you tried, you pushed yourself and you
think it’s your fault. You didn’t sort of do the right thing, you made the wrong choices,
and that’s another form of depression, all come because you just reached too far, strived
too much and thought that you could achieve these things when you weren’t really working
within the limitations of real life. And I know that, sometimes I know that sort
of I give a talk on Friday night, sometimes they’re gonna be really good ones, sometimes
bad, you can’t make them all good ones. Sometimes you tell jokes and people really get it, and
sometimes they just miss the whole joke. Just like you do sometimes. [Laughter] And that’s
just life isn’t it, you can’t do anything, so that when you actually work within the
parameters of life, and you’re wise enough to know what you can achieve, what life can
give you, what it can’t, and you don’t have any stupid desires, these obsessive goals,
which actually…they actually just, they crucify you, give you so much pain and suffering,
and you just get angry and keep pushing until you just give up and get depressed. So in Buddhism we say look what do you really
want in life anyway, what’s your goal in life? I mean you don’t, we all know, I don’t know
how many times you say this you don’t need to have the million dollars to be happy. You
know, I’m one of the examples of that, I’ve got absolutely nothing, and I’m a pretty happy
guy, come and watch me, just don’t get really upset. You don’t need to have a beautiful
partner, I’ve got no partner, I’m celibate. And for those people who say that celibacy
is the biggiest sexual deviation…I think someone actually said that, who was, it was,
who was it now? They told me the other day. Freud. Freud actually said there’s only one
sexual deviation and that’s celibacy. Uh oh [LAUGHTER] That’s me. But I’m going to form
a new society, celibate rights. [LAUGHTER] And I’m going to be marching in the next gay
and lesbian pride, because gay and lesbians have got their rights now, the celibates,
we’re the ones who are suffering, we’re the ones who are being discriminated against.
[LAUGHTER] So it’s celibate rights. Sometimes people say it’s unnatural to be
celibate And they said that same as gays, it’s unnatural to be gay. And now they say
it’s unnatural to be celibate and I say no, no, I’m demanding my right to be celibate.
[LAUGHTER] But anyhow, how did I get into that anyway, I forget now. But…so what you demand in life, please put
that into, to proper perspective so you don’t demand too much. But the last part of, and
that actually gets rid of a lot of depression, so you don’t need, thats right, you don’t
need to have these things to be peaceful and happy. You should know that by now, you’ve
been coming here long enough. So get the message, all of these cravings and desires, you don’t
have to win the match, just enjoy the game. It’s obvious. You don’t have to sort of, er,
get the promotion. You get the promotion – more stress. I keep on saying you never have enough
money, doesn’t matter how much you go up the corporate ladder, there’s never enough money
for you, you know that. So, you know, why just work so hard for the promotion? Just
work so hard for enjoyment, fulfilment, not sort-of promotions. So you’re actually doing
it for happiness, you’re not doing it for status. Do it like that and you can achieve
happiness. Status? Who wants that? But the last part of this is perhaps the most
profound. And that is just like life sometimes does go wrong, it’s not perfect, so don’t
expect this life just to be all wonderful, beautiful, things always going right and everything
going your…your way. There’ll be many many times when things do go wrong, many times
when your loved ones do die and it’s sad. And many times when you know, you do lose
on the stock market, it’s sad. There’s many times when you do get expelled from the monastery
where you grew up in, it’s sad, that’s with the Bhikkhunis. There’ll be many many times
when you do miss your flight, it’s sad, but that’s life. Life isn’t meant to be totally perfect so
we accept there will be depressing moments in life, moments of disappointment, but we
understand and accept that as part of life. We don’t make anything worse of it. One of
my favourite pictures of my teacher Ajahn Chah which I have in my room, my office, in
Bodhinyana Monastery in Serpentine. It’s Ajahn Chah with his hands up, with a big smile on
his face. He’s imitating a famous statue in a monastery in the south of Thailand, and
in that statue there is the inscription underneath. This monk just blissed out in ecstasy and
the inscription says ‘Joy at last to know there’s no happiness in the world.’ Oh and that is just so profound! And so helpful
too. Joy at last to know there’s no happiness in the world in the sense you’re never gonna
be always happy and that sometimes you’ll get sad. Joy at last to know there’s nothing
wrong with you if you get upset. Joy at last to know there’s nothing wrong with you if
you cry. Joy at last to know you can be you. Oh what a relief. And it’s just so hard being
somebody else, it’s so hard just you know living up to society’s expectations on what
you should be, on what you should do and how you should speak. You can’t cry and you can’t
laugh, and you can’t, you can’t be in life. So that was actually saying joy at last to
know that you can actually cry, that you can be happy, that you can smile, that you can
slip over, that you can make a fool of yourself. Joy at last to know there’s no perfect perpetual
happiness in this world. And that is joy, and that is the real happiness. Now once you
understand that, you understand how one of the greatest ways of getting through depression.
Joy at last there’s no happiness in this world so you stop trying to be anything different
than you are. Which means you make peace with yourself, which means you let go, which means
you just sit here, not trying to meditate, not trying to get anywhere, just being. That’s why this art of meditation is not trying
to get somewhere, you’re not trying to be something different than you are, not having
this great idea of…of you know, spiritual experiences and seeing the Buddha in golden
light coming towards you and teaching you the meaning of the universe so everything
is perfect and you’re enlightened for ever after. All of those sort of fantasies that’s
not what meditation is about. We don’t meditate to try to gain something,
to achieve anything. We meditate to let go of things and in particular we let go of that
craving, of that wanting, to be somewhere where we’re not. I often say that the root
cause of suffering is being here and wanting to be somewhere else. If you want to be somewhere
else other than where you are, that’s called suffering and how are you going to overcome
that problem? Trying to get somewhere else is endless, you’ve spent all your life going
places, anywhere but being here, being you. The end of suffering is where I am that’s
where I wanna be. Letting go. If we can do things like that ‘where I am
is where I want to be’, you’re sitting here in meditation, getting incredibly peaceful,
you find that all the cause of this negativity which causes depression, all the causes just
trying to go somewhere, get somewhere, be something, if you let that one go, you stay
home. Whoever you are, that’s who you are. Tired, restless, sleepy, brilliant, stupid,
we all go through these stages, this too will pass. Just be who you are. Then you’ll find
you have incredible peace and energy and clarity and brightness. You discover that perhaps
the most fundamental cause of depression is the fact that you deprive your mind, your
heart, of energy, cause you’re so busy doing things, going places, you never enjoy where
you are. Another favourite saying of mine, every time…this
is money, every time you want more money, you cannot enjoy what you already have. Take
away money. Every time you want something else, you can’t enjoy what you have right
now because the wanting takes you away, takes you away from enjoying this moment, having
to work hard to strive, to push yourself, to suffer thinking that yeah when I get that
thing then I’ll be happy. But all your desires, all your cravings will always be unfaithful
to you. They promise you happiness but as soon as you get them you want something else.
It’s what I call unfaithful, craving is unfaithful, promises you something but never delivers,
so you want something else. Always moving. Understanding that, you understand that where
I am is where I want to be. If I’m wanting something I can’t enjoy what I already have.
So enjoy what you already have. Please enjoy your partner, please enjoy your little temple,
please enjoy this talk, please enjoy you, please enjoy this weather. If you want it
to be different, you are suffering. We learned that in our meditation practice
just to leave things alone, to let things be. Once you can do this in meditation you
find you have all the peace and happiness you could ever want. Then you try and do that
in life, it just happens. You learn it here, then you practice it out there. This is like
a gym, where you learn how to lift weights and run on these machines to get fit. But
here you’re learning how to let go, how to be, not to fight, and then you find you have
all the happiness and peace you ever want in the world. You also find that the energy of your mind,
spare energy, comes from stillness. The more you do, the more you strive, the more you
wear your brain down. It’s what Ajahn Chah used to say. Never understood it until you
really got into your meditation. If you want to have a powerful body, exercise it, if you
want to have a powerful mind, keep it still, stop doing things. You do that and your mind
gets more and more energy, dullness disappears. You get so much energy the depression just
cannot, cannot, sort of exist. Knowing that the brightness, the brilliance, the energy,
the happiness, which always comes with energy, knowing that you realise that one of the greatest
causes of depression is peoples’ brain has been worked too hard, so you’ve got no energy
left. And what do people do when they get depressed?
They try and exert energy, try to force themselves out of the depression, and that gets them
spiralling down. The more you try, the more you’re using up the little amount of energy
you do have so you’ve got even less, you go down down down down. So one of the great ways
of overcoming that depression, let it be, stop fighting, make peace with your depression,
open the door of your heart to being depressed and see what happens. When you stop fighting,
energy starts to come back. You’ve got a natural source of energy, now you’re not wasting it,
getting negative about being negative. Leave it alone, let it be, and you’ll find energy
comes back, energy brings happiness and clarity and the depression like a fog lifts from your
heart. This is the deepest way, when you really know how to meditate. But please don’t meditate
with force, don’t strive, don’t struggle, that makes it worse. Let it go, let it be. It’s because that monks and nuns have been
meditating for years know how to do this, we can just let go of things so easily, which
means when life goes wrong, things suck, that’s fine, it’s just life. Joy at last to know
there’s no happiness in this world, whoo! With things like that you get peace, you get
energy, your mind gets happy, which means that when everybody else is sad and distressed,
you will always have a smile on your face. Those are the ways overcoming depression. They’re very powerful, which is why British
National Health Service, their research arm, the National Institute for Clinical Health
and Excellence, they call it Nice, they missed out the H I don’t know why, in the acronym.
When they did research some years ago to find out the best way of treatment of, of uh depression,
they found from the clinical trial, the most effective way, the way which worked the very
best, was meditation. Hopefully you know why, but not meditation which forces, a meditation
which makes peace, which allows energy to come back. With that energy, joy and happiness.
And that’s how to overcome meditation…ah how to overcome depression. [LAUGHTER] Not
meditation. How to overcome depression, so thank you for listening! Hope you enjoyed
it. Ok, so in that talk I gave a few old stories,
a few old, uh, things which you’ve read before, but I wanted to put it all in one talk. So
any comments or questions about the talk this evening? Yes? Audience member: So what wall has the two
bad bricks in Bodhinyana? I think it’s, it’s an interesting question
because you know I, I wrote that story a long time ago and then people ask where is the
wall? And I actually, I had to go looking for it, because I’d totally forgot it. And
it was the case that at the time it was such a big thing for me, but then when I realised
ah there’s 998 good bricks in the wall I forgot about those two bricks and I forgot where
they were. I think they’re in the monks’ toilets. [LAUGHTER] Cause that was actually the first
building we did, so it must have been in there somewhere. But anyway, because that’s such
a famous story now, one of these days I’m gonna get sort of a brick layer and put like
in the front of the monastery just so people can get their photograph taken by my two bad
bricks [LAUGHTER] and actually just to make one there with two really crooked bricks so
people can see them…looks like a tourist attraction. But it’s a powerful story because
it’s actually helped so many people. It works. So any other questions anybody has…? Ah
yes in the back there. Second audience member: It was a really good
talk tonight. Congratulations. Ajahn Brahm: I deserve that. [LAUGHTER] [CLAPPING]
And that was a very nice thing you said. Second audience member: Thank you very much. Ajahn Brahm: [LAUGHTER] Very good. See doesn’t
that make you happy? Yes? Go on… Second audience member: When I’ve found someone
who is depressed that may be a friend or an acquaintance, I find it very difficult to
know what to do. Would you have any suggestions? Ajahn Brahm: This is a common question, you
say that when you meet a friend who is very depressed you don’t know really what to do.
And whenever you’re in a situation like that, number one please don’t have plans, please
don’t have like a book, you know, which is what I’m supposed to do. Because all of that,
I call that knowledge, all the ideas of what you’re supposed to do, how you’re supposed
to treat this, actually stops you being sensitive. So the best thing to do in any situation,
I’ve done this for so many years now, when someone comes up and they’re in a really difficult
situation, and I have had no training, I just completely let go, make my mind blank, I don’t
remember what I’m supposed to do or what worked in the past, I just let all of that go, come
into the present moment, put a bit of loving kindness, compassion in there, and I trust
in the presence and kindness. With that I’m sensitive enough. So sometimes they’re depressed,
and, you know, the wrong thing to do to try talking to them, sometimes just an arm around
their shoulder, but sometimes an arm around their shoulder and they might punch you, so
you’re really sensitive. And that sensitivity and that kindness that’s what works the best. And then see what happens. Ideas come up,
words come out and sometimes, I don’t know where they came from. As long as I’m silent,
as long as I’m kind, as long as I don’t you know try and repeat what worked last time,
or remember sort of the instructions in the book, then it usually works. And that happens
in all, all situations and cases. So always, and this is an old saying of mine, it’s just
never allow knowledge to stand in the way of truth. Cause knowledge is what, is what
you’re supposed to do, what’s in the book, how you’ve been trained, and truth is actually
what’s right in front of you right now. And there’s this huge amount of difference there.
So just be in that moment, be with that person, and you actually feel what needs to be done.
I don’t know what that is, just happens, comes out. You got a question, yeah? Third audience member [hard to hear]: Depression
is not […] something just for certain people, anyone can get this right? Ajahn Brahm: Yes everyone gets depression
from big depressions to small depressions, from time to time in their life, it’s part
of life. Third audience member [hard to hear]: would
it be like […] if you give food to your mind you’re sort-of keeping your mind healthy,
as if you give food to your body and keep your body healthy? Ajahn Brahm: Ok yes I think you’re saying,
uh, just again for the tape, that my depression is almost like a mental starvation, a mental
sickness, a mental dis-ease. And I think it’s very true there and you’re saying like your
body if it has good food, good exercise, it becomes healthy, it doesn’t get so sick. But
even if you have good food and you exercise, you still get coughs and colds and sicknesses
from time to time, that’s just the nature of the body. It’s the same with the nature of the mind,
if you give it good food and exercise the mind, you know meditation is one of the best
exercises, it still sometimes has depressions, that’s what I’m saying that happiness at last…joy
at last to know there’s no happiness, no perfect happiness in this world. So just accept this.
But when you do practice or learn some of these strategies from Buddhism, you find that,
you know, depression hardly comes at all and if it does come it’s just so mild, you know
exactly what to do, just leave it alone. Enjoy your depression, you can have a day off work.
[LAUGHTER] You can sit in bed and get your partner to feed you…and get all these people
coming round ‘oh I’ve heard you’re depressed’ and then they’re nice and kind to you. [LAUGHTER]
So if you ever do get depressed please milk it for all it’s worth. [LAUGHTER] Yes? Another audience member [hard to hear]: […] last
year I had depression and certainly just recently you were very good to me, you didn’t tell
me get over it, just get over it. You just being there for me was good. […] Ajahn Brahm: Great.. That’s right, yes, a
very good thing there, if you tell someone please get over it, then people feel more
guilty and they have to strive more and they get worse, they get deeper in there. But just
being with people, telling them a joke – the depression joke. Many of you may have heard
this before but it’s the joke which actually is about depression, it’s about the painter
in Perth. He’s quite actually a well known painter,
but he was on his motorbike and had a crash, had to go to hospital, they had to amputate
his hand. It was the very hand he used for painting. And when you have injuries like
that, many people, you know, get depressed, so that when he was, you know, got released
from hospital he had psychiatrists and counsellors, but he was just playing along with them. He
realised without being able to paint his life had no meaning. So he said at first opportunity
he would kill himself. So he went to St George’s Terrace, went on
one of those big buildings, went out onto the balcony and was about to throw himself
off, kill himself, when he saw a man with no arms at all, no arms at all and he was
actually dancing down St George’s Terrace. Dancing for joy. And it was one of those occasions
he thought look I’ve only lost a hand, that guy down there’s got no arms and he’s dancing.
He said, why do I want to kill myself? So he got off from the balcony, he got into the
elevator, they go really down fast, he managed to sort of run after this guy to thank him,
he hugged him. And he said look thank you thank you thank you, I was about to jump off
this ledge and kill myself cause I’ve lost one hand. You’ve lost both arms and you’re
just so happy, I saw you dancing for joy, tell me your secret. And the man said, Sir
I wasn’t dancing for joy, I was just trying to scratch my bum. [LAUGHTER] That’s the only
way if you’ve got no arms. [LAUGHTER] Ok I think that’s a great [LAUGHTER] a great
time to actually end this evening’s talk on depression [LAUGHTER] so you’ll all go out
with a smile on your face.

100 comments

  1. This is the second time I've seen this talk, and I'm remembering why this is one of my favorite talks he's ever given. Thank you Ajahn Brahm!

  2. Are you a crap collector or an egg collector?
    This too shall pass.
    Accept compliments (Thanks, I deserve that).
    Set realistic expectations for life What can/can't you achieve? What do you really want in life?).
    Joy at last. There is no perfect perpetual happiness. Just be. Accept yourself. There is joy.
    Let it be. Stop fighting it. Open the door to your hear to depression. It will fade (this too shall pass).
    Thank you.

  3. Ajahn Brahm is a remarkable teacher! It's universal to anyone no matter what background/religion/spirituality you have.

  4. i also tend to be in environment that fuels and catalyzes depression ,Is there something that I could do? Is there a type of meditation which I could use to eliminate depression and create inner peace

  5. all i know is im sensitive and i ignore bad people . and be comfortable with who you are and be happy from within . there are lots of bad souls out there .

  6. we do share similarities. problem is bad people everywhere are so very hard to avoid. I wanted to leave the place but I can't. I really wish I could find peace nut it's so very hard

  7. In my worst moments of depression I really feel that the environment is making me a bad person ,it gets worse and worse. I seek ways to find peace. Simply ,the environment is really fueling it.Like a prison ,i really wish I could change myself for the better .My parents really don't understand anything,I talked to them about my depression and is clinical ,they just wouldn't listen to me and always blames me for everything bad about me. thank you for listening .can i send you my personal email?

  8. This is such a great teaching! I will watch it again and again. I feel elated to come to the truth that my depression will also pass. I have been stuck and like a rock on a hill I just needed a good push to get moving again. I will watch all your other videos. Thanks. Tashi Delek.

  9. I don't want to impose on your dialogue, I have chronic depression, I don't know you but I understand you and I feel and share this with you; solidarity 🙂

  10. buddhism help me go through my suffering , that is a great idea to apply and practice in lifetime which made me happpier in everywhere

  11. Do not disregard it immediately. I know you are being sarcastic, and some people have mentioned here he's not a "proper Buddhist" (Whatever the heck that means).
    I find he mostly just speaks common sense – conclusions we could all come to ourselves, but (non-religious) Buddhism is basically about common sense anyway – but some people need help to see it. 🙂

  12. I clicked the video also after seeing the 1 hour 11 minutes and 11 second video. Do u think it is a fluke or deliberate?

  13. I honestly thought that this would be a waste of my time, but I ended up taking away quite a bit of new knowledge from this video. Thank you!

  14. When things get dark and low and I can't seem to dig out, this is where I turn, just Ajahn's voice alone is soothing and healing to me.

  15. if you want to ease the stress
    about being depressed, just live life to the full oh yeah
    and if you feel that people hate you just because your mental
    just think of yourself as cool as you
    if you lost your nanna back in 1997
    she is still in this world in the form of a kid
    and even if you wanted to, you can''t bloody tell him
    because you will get teased by the other kids
    so man let's get out, and really let our hair down
    because depression shouldn/'t get the better of me
    just remember that if

  16. you dwell in the past
    you will never have fun oops dee dee
    another way to stop feeling depressed is
    think about the previous lives
    and sit there and talk about them
    and think about previous life relationship with wives
    oh yeah baby, up with buddhism
    let go and be happy from within your mind

  17. you see how i stop myself about getting depressed is think about my previous lives, like i was a Norwood Redlegs Aussie Rules football player in the 1800s and when i think about my life being so shit because i haven't joined the footy playing men, i reminise about me as a football player back in the 1800s, and that makes me feel so much better, and when i worry about having evil thoughts, i look back deeper in my previous lives and remember being Blackbead the pirate

  18. I also look back at being George Washigton when i am depressed that i am in a shitty job, you see you shouldn't worry about this life being so shitty, when you can talk about previous lives, and add all your ages and you realise that you can be 1000 years old maybe more, and that is a good way to ease depression, because a lot of people worry that they don't have a job, and the only thing that makes them happy is gedtting fat and smoking bongs, mind you that is not me, but i respect that

  19. you see my previous lives
    are fun to talk about
    when you feel lonely and depressed
    just remember when you were Albert Waldron
    as you kicked a lot of goals
    for the might of the Norwood Redlegs
    i remember all the 1800s crowds coming down in their hundreds
    watching me old Albert Waldron, clinching onto the premiership
    and i remember when i was Blackbeard the pirate
    as i sailed those weary seas
    i was rocking in the boat both up and down
    geez it was so fun oh yeah
    then i grabbed some prisoners to

  20. take aboard my ship and after that i remember
    the time they cut off my frieaken head
    it all came to an end when they hung my head on a rope on a ship
    and i have had other lives too, and i will have more after i die
    so let's party and have a lot of fun
    everybody get down, it's up there for buddhism

  21. i find so many of my own doings in his talk
    i often want to burn everything because of two damn crooked bricks

    why do i have to feel like my youth is being wasted, i regret not having any friends or lovers, all i do is hibernate, leech and be paralyzed by circumstance, i feel imprisoned

    yet in my heart of hearts i know i could be blissfully happy
    if only i decided so, i've been there already

    then why is it so hard?!

  22. Have you tried developing Metta towards oneself?, self-criticism can be a root cause of depression, also i would recommend taking a look at 'the five hindrances' on Wikipedia. The human psyche is so complex but Buddhism shows the path to happiness but nobody can do it for you.

    ''To cease from evil, to do good, and to purify the mind yourself, this is the teaching of all the Buddhas.''

  23. My only child…..gone…..oh well dont mean a thing. dont worry be happy….I think Ill have a big ol party n celebrate the murder, hell why not its my fault anyway right? goota be something i did anyway, Gee if i had known it was this easy, just to throw him away like he didnt exist, i woulda chucked him….that basket of chicken shit a long time ago. There i should be better now right? boy thankssssss

  24. i think what you could take from this talk that if you are angry, let it be, if you struck with the pain, let it be, do not fight it, i do not think anyone of them would tell you to be happy about what happened, some things are easier to let go, some not, yours is one of those things that is not easy to let go, so just let be what is, dont fight your anger, be compassionate to your own feelings, i feel sorry for your loss, may you find peace

  25. I am also going through depression ajahn because I don't know which path to take in life and I feel I don't have much confidence.

  26. Forget the past and dont remember our mistakes?. Are you kidding me Ajahn Brahm?…..Ha?…you are teaching folks who are depressed…give me a break…someone is alcoholic and destroys his life.you are telling them to forget the past and continue to remain Alcoholic?…….i dont agree with you. Past teaches many things in life.

    My advice : Do Remember the past…..But Remember only your mistakes so that you can correct yourself. Dont look at other's mistakes. You can only control yourself not others.

  27. I see the time of this video. 1:11:11. I know that there is an 11 11 phenomenon. I am one of the people that sees that number on a regular basis. Sometimes it is ridiculous how often I see that number. So, what I am thinking, is that because it is a well known phenomenon, that certain people are trying to capitalize on the numbers 11 11. They know that a lot of people are paying attention to that sequence, so they purposely stick it in your face to make one think that this is something I should look at. I hope that this is not what the people that are producing these videos are doing. It's happened more than once on your videos. I have to ask myself; what are the odds of that happening by accident? If this is on purpose, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

  28. Agreed no point carrying totally useless baggage.Sometimes one can learn from ones mistakes and put a verbal positive spin resolution to improve without dwelling in negativity.

  29. I must have "good" karma. To hear Ajahn Brahm's teaching in my life time, this life time is indeed good karma.

  30. the problem is when you think about the concert it makes you vulnerable to think about the ending, thereby getting back to square one, which is thinking of what you lost, I guess that's where the trained mind has an advantage. 

  31. Sounds like Ajahn Brahm has an upper respiratory infection. I can hear the raspiness when he breathes in.

  32. I watched my first Ajahn´s talk 3 weeks ago and i can´t stop watching the videos, specially at night when my day is over. I am glad and grateful that i found this man.

  33. We were taught in school to discourage praise as it might lead to pride…there's so much to unlearn.  Thank you so much!

  34. I've had depression off and on for years.  People could say do this or do that but somehow, Ajahn Braham's examples and maybe the way he teaches, really get the point across.  Things like having people tell me, "Be strong", "Pull yourself up", "Don't think about it", "We all get down & out, just get over it", "Don't focus on the negative"…..none of that works.  I finally realize that it is my focus and I was always worrying about way too much (negative state).  I focused on the past with all the bad stuff (negative state)….forgetting all the good (positive state).  I see now that was not the way.  Thank you Ajahn Brahm.

  35. Thank you Ajahn Brahm, I was actually searching for talks about depression because I noticed I've been wasting too much time upset about something bad but I just didn't know how to get out of this depression. Then I found this speech, and the story about the two chicken farmers really helped me a lot. And so did all the other simple yet so enlightening little stories. Thank you.

  36. This was an amazing lecture. I've been dealing with depression for about 11 years and just recently I started to meditate (and sometimes I can't because I feel so depressed, start to wonder what's the point and all that crap…). You go straight to the point here. Thanks for sharing this.

  37. well, now I'm more depressed angry. why? because it's not funny to realize how you entertaining stories from others people life made them and your Buddhist Societyy famous. You Sir diluted my desperate search and belief in mindfulness as a hilling purpose.

  38. Thank you for your insight & guidance. More than you can ever know I am grateful. I don't want to imagine where I would be without your message of hope & understanding. It works! It works!

  39. This all about reality and how to over come. Not everyone can go to university or college, like wise people can understand the truth about real life is. Ajahn Braham's is great teacher.

  40. Four months ago, I befriended someone. The first month was terrific. We had fun when we were together. It was a match made in Heaven. By the second month, he began to criticize me finding faults in everything I did. In the third month, his criticisms were down right abusive. I started seeing him les and less. By the end of the fourth month I terminated our friendship and haven’t spoken to him since. Who needs these kinds if people … I certainly don’t. So if you want to be my friend, treat me with respect and dignity … otherwise, get off my boat!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *