Depression & Devotion. Over the past week, I’ve been in a growing mood of devotion: the heart roaring like a fire fuelled by on-going glimpses of the Infinite. Looking back now, something is different, usually I experience devotion as a ‘peak’ of experience, like I’ve finally seen the beauty of this mysterious existence once again. This time, though, the fire is increasing, devouring, as if the reality were revealing itself to me over a long, deep meditation retreat. How lovely.
Peculiar, though, is that there has also been a growing mood of depression. I’ve cracked. Feeling broken under the collective weight of emotional heaviness. I used to always be depressed. Constantly, chronically unhappy, deflated, confused, frustrated and aggressive. Sitting like an ever present layer-cloud in my psyche. Depression still pops up now and, well, rarely. But, until this point in my life I still have not concluded if 1) all human beings are depressed or 2) I am a human being that is predisposed to melancholy and depression.
Are we all heavy with the weight of unknowing, of fear, of mutual despair?
So, as I write now I sit in them both, devotion & depression. My chest, my back, aching, longing, elated (grateful), and heavy. All at once.
The heaviness of fear, of the unknown, of mutual despair.
But equally footed in that heart wrenching awe of the unknown, to the perfect unity, to the majesty.
The heart is cracking with empathy towards the pain everywhere (inside the person and outside). Depression. But this time its so clear there is no ‘external’ trigger. Rather, it feels like depression is going along for the ride with the build up of devotion. Interesting. The longing is almost identical. The despair of a cracked open heart, the quiver in my voice, the tears, the feeling of being so insignificant and fucking helpless. The surrender. It is identical. Sitting in them both right now, feeling like a small, little piece of an Infinite puzzle. This is the devotion I pray for. But its also the depression I judge, repel fear and repair. I’ve caught the monkey mind red handed! Turning the Divine into a disease. The mind is very good at that. Can I assume an Amen?
Let me repeat. I’m sitting in them both right now. I feel both, the pain of depression and the gift of devotion, they are the same. Yes, this is my experience. But what is universal is that the mind is a storyteller, and the mind is a story believer. My life sucks, and I’ve hit jackpot (because I have been graced with the open heart of a devotee) are two simultaneous stories to the same experience. Heaven and hell. Right here. Wait, don’t get excited, I’m not moving towards an answer or advice with this one. Just look at that magical paradox.
Well, good luck!
Ok, I’m joking. I’m sure there’s more in here let’s see… I think the message is something like, leave the stories on the surface and dive into your experience itself? Pause. Don’t create a drama. Don’t listen to the drama in your head. Rest as the present moment?
Yes, that sounds right. Hot tip: Everything is a story. Hot tip 2: Don’t judge your stories! That’s a story too, rather, just be with what’s arising. “You are the redeeming presence of your own life”- Adyashanti. “Take refuge in presence” – Buddha.
Whether you’re depressed or in an exalted state united with existence, they are actually the same. The truth is revealed when we actually believe there’s nothing to do, enough proof has stacked up against our personal effort to close that case and relieve us from the struggle.
We are complex beautiful human beings living out waves of conditioning. Find a teacher, meditate, dig deeper than stories, rest there, and free yourself.
See you soon!