Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Group Beyond Blue: Spirituality and the Mind

posted by Beyond Blue

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Group Beyond Blue member Luthitarian started a fascinating discussion thread at Group Beyond Blue on “Spirituality and the Mind,” where he asks folks to share what religious tradition or practice or philosophy has helped them with their depression. He got quite a response. Here’s his invitation, which can be found on the “Spirituality and the Mind” thread at Group Beyond Blue, which you can find by clicking here.

We have a thread that Lin began dealing with Christian issues that has taken off and is pretty active. I’ve had fun posting on it and learning from others there.

But, it is, after all, pretty much exclusively Christian.

I thought I would initiate a thread similar (in some respects) to that one, but more wide open to other traditions.

In the August 1-10 thread, I posted a number of books by Buddhists whom I have found to be very helpful, practical, and readily available as resources for mental health. Some of the modern therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and some others have a strong component of self-examination and reflection on thoughts and thinking, which, after all, is very Buddhist, actually! Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, sort of a more intense CBT, intentionally included Zen or mindfulness meditation as an element of its approach.

I know we have others here who find Buddhist thought meaningful to them. Also, we have a number of people coming from pagan backgrounds, maybe even some who click with the teachings of Sufi, Sikh, or Baha’i masters.

So, what in your own spiritual tradition has been helpful to you in your struggles with mental health? Is it something about their ethical teachings, their worldview, their spirituality, or whatever that has helped you the most?

We also have a few who tend to be somewhat indifferent to religion and yet have a meaningful spiritual life, even if grounded in more of a ‘non-theistic’ or material view. Maybe existentialists, Humanists, agnostics, or whatever, they, too, have found something in their traditions or beliefs that give them strength and hope and compassion for others in difficult times.

We’ve done a thread on “What I Believe”. Now, let’s connect beliefs in an intentional way to living a healthy life as best we are able.

To read more Beyond Blue, go to www.beliefnet.com/beyondblue, and to get to Group Beyond Blue, a support group at Beliefnet Community, click here.



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marilyn

posted October 29, 2008 at 2:39 pm


i attend a Church of Christ and our saying is where know one stands alone.they have a fantastic ladies group and many small groups.my minister has once a week since i started attending going on 4 years has been studyinf the bible one on one with me and everyone has been very supportive of my many ups and downs.i have learned that know matter what God loves me and with him and prayer i can overcome anything.



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Karen N

posted October 29, 2008 at 6:10 pm


I’ve learned that kindness and caring for our fellow human beings is the way to go for me. Isn’t lack of those the cause of most of life’s miseries?



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Daniel G

posted November 1, 2008 at 5:14 pm


So, what in your own spiritual tradition has been helpful to you in your struggles with mental health?
Answer: Many things from the Baha’i writings :
“If poverty overtake thee, be not sad; for in time the Lord of wealth shall visit thee. Fear not abasement, for glory shall one day rest on thee.” (Baha’u'llah – Founder of the Baha’i Faith)
“Grieve thou not over the troubles and hardships of this nether world, nor be thou glad in times of ease and comfort, for both shall pass away. This present life is even as a swelling wave, or a mirage, or drifting shadows. Could ever a distorted image on the desert serve as refreshing waters? No, by the Lord of Lords! Never can reality and the mere semblance of reality be one, and wide is the difference between fancy and fact, between truth and the phantom thereof. Know thou that the Kingdom is the real world, and this nether place is only its shadow stretching out. A shadow hath no life of its own; its existence is only a fantasy, and nothing more; it is but images reflected in water, and seeming as pictures to the eye.” (‘Abdu’l-Baha, son of Baha’u'llah)
Is it something about their ethical teachings, their worldview, their spirituality, or whatever that has helped you the most?
Answer: It is their immense spirituality and constancy and steadfastness in dire situations that encourages me to try to emulate them. Also, their constant service to humanity, their self-sacrifice.
In the Baha’i writings all human beings are said to be mines rich in precious stones, but only education can bring them forward and enable humanity to benefit thereof. Also, in the Ruhi book 1 we get the explanation that the soul cannot take damage; veils can interpose themselves between it and the divine light. The prayers of Baha’u'llah, the Bab (precursor of the Baha’u'llah and also a Divine Manifestation) and Abdu’l-Baha help me in difficult situation, and some prayers are invested with a strong force I was able to experience different times. There’s a prayer against depressive state called the “Tablet to Ahmad”, a prayer to a faithful believer who wished to be admitted to the presence of Baha’u'llah but was invited to revert from the desire of his heart in order to teach fearlessly the new teachings revealed by Baha’u'llah.



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