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The Depression Book: Depression as an Opportunity for Spiritual Growth [Paperback]

Cheri Huber , June Shiver
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 17.00
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2004
This Zen guide to utilizing depression as an opportunity for spiritual growth and personal acceptance includes personal accounts, written excercises, and meditation instructions.

Frequently Bought Together

The Depression Book: Depression as an Opportunity for Spiritual Growth + There Is Nothing Wrong with You: Going Beyond Self-Hate + The Fear Book: Facing Fear Once and for All
Price For All Three: CDN$ 34.65

Product Details

Product Description

About the Author

Cheri Huber is the author of 19 books, including There Is Nothing Wrong with You, When You're Falling, Dive,and Time-Out for Parents. She founded the Mountain View Zen Center in Mountain View, California, and the Zen Monastery Practice Center in Murphys, California, and teaches in both communities. She travels widely and often, leading workshops and retreats around the United States and abroad, most recently in Costa Rica and Italy. She founded Living Compassion in 2003, a nonprofit group comprised of There Is Nothing Wrong With You Retreats (based on the book); Global Community for Peace: The Assisi Peace Project; The Africa Vulnerable Children Project; and Open Air Talk Radio, her weekly call-in radio show originating from Stanford University. She lives in Murphys, California.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Of all the people who say "I am depressed," there are some experiencing a clinical condition that is very serious, beyond the control of willpower, and can in fact spiral downward into life-threatening complications. A change of attitude and a little meditation is not a panacea for a neurological disorder or psychological disorders induced by chemical processes. Others who refer to "depression" refer to a generalized category of soul-numbing patterns of thought that suppress feelings and flatten one's inspiration, and it may feel out of control to one who has given up. For the latter, Zen teacher Cheri Huber offers some suggestions for reframing one's experience of despair, fear, resistance, melancholy, existential fatigue - and turning it into a creative basis for awakening.
The direction of the book is constructive and positive, and emphasizes on simple, practical meditation as the basis for untying those knots which are tied by none other than ourselves. It is an important contribution to our attitudes about depression and encapsulates core Buddhist teaching with hardly a mention of the Buddha or Buddhism. It is also fun to read, often hilarious, sensible - and unsparing. One of the basic and essential works of this important modern guide.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Facing depression. July 10 2001
Depression is emptiness, exhaustion, and meaninglessness (p. 129). Zen teacher, Cheri Huber's 150-page book is not "an explanation of nor a cure for depression;" it is about facing depression with compassion. "The perspective of this book is that there is nothing more important than compassion," Huber writes, "everything else springs from that" (p. 143).
Depression offers us an opportunity for spiritual growth. "Like everything else in life," Huber writes, "depression is an ally, a gift. It has something to teach us" (p. 98). "Depression brings me back to myself in a way much of life does not," she writes. "It gets my attention. It says, 'Stop! Pay attention!'"(p. 69). Depression allows us to see the cause of our suffering, to see who we are, to embrace ourself in compassion, and to let go and end the suffering (p. 1). Instead of "numbing ourselves to depression with food, drugs, alcohol, sex, talking" (p. 63), Huber recommends that we get to know our emotions; rest, eat well, and exercise regularly; and take up an awareness practice that enables us to let go of false beliefs and assumptions about how we and the world should be (p. 146).
I arrived at this book through a friend who encouraged me to read Cheri Huber. Since this is the second Huber book I've read this week, I guess I'm hooked on Huber. Her book is equal parts Zen, inspiration, and self-help, and printed in a handwritten format, "to slow the reader down so that awareness can touch the heart as well as the head." It is engaging and insightful. Huber teaches us that, depressed or not, "your life reflects your attitude of mind; your attitude of mind does not reflect your life" (p. 96).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and Uplifting Jan. 11 2000
By JulieS
I came across this book in a New Age store, and when I went back to get another copy for a friend, they were already out of it. As a resource for dealing with depression, this book is unique and invaluable. Instead of feeling like there is something wrong with you or you should just "snap out of it," this book encourages the reader to acccept the feelings of depression and helplessness and then move beyond it. This book is creative and fun; reading it will make you start to feel better, or at least not feel bad about feeling depressed.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I could not relate at all to this book. I'm all for mindfulness, and sure meditation and exercise can help, but the essence of Huber's advice is to stop beating yourself up and you'll feel better. Maybe there are some people who are just ruminating about present circumstances until they spiral into a situational depression, but long-term depression transcends emotional factors that are so easily identified and dissipated. I like myself just fine, but it doesn't stop the black dogs of depression from tearing into my soul. As an example, Huber at one point recommends doing something you like to pamper yourself, but someone suffering from dysthymia has lost the ability to like anything -- one becomes deprived of the pleasures and joys that life used to offer. At best, life is dreary, and at worst, it seems unbearably heavy. There's little guilt or emotion about it, so it seems to defy the process of identifying the bad thoughts and breaking the pattern; it's more like a desperate search for any good thoughts or feelings to follow instead. This book offers fairly facile advice on how to stop dwelling on negative emotions, but presents no hope for overcoming the plummeting energy, poor concentration, hopelessness, irritability and insomnia that depression brings.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very helpful June 20 2001
By A Customer
I found this book insulting to people experiencing deep depression. The book's advice of embracing the depression by renting a movie or baking a black cake and throwing yourself a pity party is trivializing of a very devasting experience. I would be truly shocked if the writers of this book have experienced the overwhelming pain of depression.
If you are looking for an interesting approach for combatting feeling down after a bad day, this is your book. It is cute if you are not searching for a solution to the crippling affects of clinical depression.
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