A recent chat with a friend in depression prompt me to write this article. I think being exposed to the Dharma and growing up in certain conditions has help to soften my heart alot. I can easily feel the pain and suffering of others, which always reminds myself to be mindful of my speech and action, and benefiting myself and others to be the foremost intention behind every decision. Volunteering has helped me to put these into actions, and allow me to become a unique person 😉
I have become very careful with my dealings with relationships, especially after hearing and meeting many people with sad stories to share. I can only conclude that suffering is a common human experience, but fret not, love and warmth exist too, there is always a way out. Just like what the noble truth promises us, the truth of suffering, there is a origin to the suffering, the truth of cessation of suffering, and the cessation of suffering. Nirvana is said to be the final end to all existing suffering. But it is also possible that nirvana can exist in any present moment now, for as long as we awaken to our true self, being aware of the causes and conditions, being mindful of it will help us to become creative designers of solutions, and eventually lead ourselves out of the problems.
I feel sorry for those who are mentally unwell and suffer without being able to find answers to their questions, eventually they become labelled by professionals as mentally unwell, and prescribed with drugs and therapy sessions, in the hope that they will become better. There are also those that require drugs as a compulsory part of their treatment e.g. schizophrenia. But that is a different set of issues in reference to this article.
Te best medication comes from ourself, we have the internal locus of control, this psychology beliefs is compatible with the words of the scripture, the Dharma. The Buddha always mention that the answer is within, the real Buddha is within, there is even a song sang in Tzuchi, 佛在灵山莫远求，. 灵山只在汝心头。 人人有个灵山塔，. 好向灵山塔下修。Being able to have control over your life is wonderful, instead of blaming and whining about life. We should all be human and not focus on “being g*d’s puppet” and asking the divine why is all this happening to us. The truth to all these life’s challenges is probably that all these issues are necessary for our personal growth, to become wiser and mentally stronger. Along with that, having a reliable social network is equally important, no one is a one man island, humans, communities have rely on one another to survive since the history of mankind is known. We are in a way or another interconnected and dependent, Mr A makes bubble tea to sell, Mr B buys it, Mr B gets a drink to quench his thirst and craving, Mr A earns a living from that to support his family, money from that is taxed to support the social welfare of the country, Mr B collapse one fine day and benefit from the social programs… Nobody is alone really, friends can help you to see things in perspective too. So sharing your worries and pouring out your wearies to your people who can help you is good for your mental health, i am thankful to have alot of spiritual friends from my volunteer organisation, who are 24/7 there for you with very meaningful advices. I sincerely wish that everyone finds their own reliable network too. The last point, is abit of a contrast.. it’s about having your alone time and reflection time. This is when you can settle down your thoughts and reflect on them with clarity. Doing this will help tune ourself back and get ourself back on track.
Anyway if you need help, feel free to send me a text or email. I hope i will be able to reply anyone asap.
If not, do consider calling a hotline if you have an emergency,
Samaritans of Singapore (SOS): 1800 221 4444
if you know anyone/or if its about yourself and time is on your side, and need some form of a support to help you, you can reach out to any of Tzuchi Volunteers or give a call to 65829958 during office hours.