Spiritual Practice for Depression: On a Scale of 1-10, How Effective is Mindfulness Meditation?

An insightful article on what mindfulness is and isn’t. And how it can be used to effectively treat depression.

Mollie Player

Mindfulness isn’t what I had in mind. Here’s what I mean.

Right now, as research for this site, I’m reading Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zin for the first time. Now a modern classic, this gives one of the more detailed, systematic (even medical) approaches to mindfulness meditation. It’s based on the successful hospital classes led by Kabat-Zin many years ago, with more recent additions in the revised version I’m reading. I’m also reading several books by Thich Nhat Hanh right now, and listening to an Eckhart Tolle audiobook. I didn’t think of Tolle as a mindfulness meditation teacher, but I’m seeing now that he is (though he might not appreciate the label).

Previously, I viewed mindfulness as a sort of bland, unoriginal approach to spirituality. I mean, it’s just so popular, right? Even non-spiritual people are doing it. After doing the above reading, though, I changed my mind.


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9 thoughts on “Spiritual Practice for Depression: On a Scale of 1-10, How Effective is Mindfulness Meditation?

  1. useful David but a simplistic overview, any genuine form of meditation takes years of persistent effort to use at times of real crisis .. but yes it is scientifically proven but I am very wary of the trendiness of reading material and ‘teachers’ who’ve done a six week course. It’s been my way of life for decades and brings powerful benefits so I would encourage people to start with ten minutes of sitting daily. When it becomes a more natural part of your daily life as Mollie describes then the benefits are wide ranging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, Kate. But I think an element of simplicifcation is initially necessary for those who are uninitiated. I can only talk from personal experience. I was put off by the perceived mysticism. Then one day I stumbled across a book called ‘The Mindful Way Through Depression’. Sure it took time and practice. At first I just ‘didn’t get it’. But months later, it was like I had woken from a deep sleep with eyes and mind fully open. Now, after having practiced it for many years, I can say (without exageration) it may have saved my life. I am able to use its teaching to stop myself going into a relapse, it has made me more conscious and more accepting of myself and my life. And improved the overall quality of it as a consequence. But of course I’m preaching to the converted. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. [grin] am most impressed that you stuck at it and it worked it’s magic, because persistent effort does result in real results as you have shared! Glad I precipitated that sales pitch 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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