Author Topic: Buddhism can help to improve mental state  (Read 11270 times)


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Buddhism can help to improve mental state
« on: April 15, 2019, 05:27:39 AM »
Ryan Joseph was suffering from depression and other mental illness since he was  20 years ago. 3 years ago he almost killed himself but fortunately after talking to a monk, he did not commit suicide and his life has changed for better after that. He attended the Dharma class and meditates regularly to tame his mind.

Mental illness is manifested in our mind. Buddhism, on the other hand, is about the study of our mind and how to transform our mind to solve our problems. Therefore, it makes sense to use Buddhist teachings to heal our mind. But of course, medication and visiting doctors are still necessary until a person is clinically declared 'cured'.

Ryan Joseph has benefitted from practising Buddhism and he has learned about being kind and generous. Therefore, he has decided to use his story and his journey to help others. Many people have gained happiness, contentment and satisfaction from focusing out, including Ryan. Focusing out, letting go of our selfishness lead us to true happiness.


Meditation and art have helped save a Canadian psychologist’s life following a battle with depression and a suicide attempt.

Ryan Joseph, a 41-year-old from Mississauga, was first prescribed medication for depression and anxiety at the age of 20.

The part-time actor and model graduated as a clinical psychologist and later worked with children who have autism.

On the outside it appeared as if he had it all, but his outward success was hiding a dark pain.

“With mental health, sometimes it's a very slow and silent disease, I started feeling very anxious, on edge and depressed,” Joseph told CTV News.

Despite medical care and an array of medications, nothing worked and he attempted to take his life when he was 36.

“I felt like a guinea pig, a bit of this one and a bit of that one and it had a really bad reaction where I tried to kill myself ," he said.

Hospitalized, Joseph said he lost his home, family and friends.

He was also diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, a mental illness marked by a pattern of varying moods, self-image and behavior, according to the National Institute for Mental Health in the U.S.

Joseph said it was a relief to know what was wrong and that he could receive treatment.

Unfortunately there was a two year waiting list for therapy, so he turned to some alternatives for relief. He made a breakthrough three years ago.

His doctor said she used meditation having learned about it at a local Buddhist temple. She encouraged Joseph to try it. He says his life began to change the moment he walked into the building. He started taking classes taught by Bhante Saranapala, who calls himself “The Urban Buddhist Monk.”

“I could see he was suffering,” Saranapala told CTV News.

Saranapala says he has seen many people struggling with mental health issues enter his doors over his 23 years at his temple in Mississauga, Ont. Hospital staff and public service workers are among the people who have sought out his help.

Saranapala encourages people to continue taking medication and see their doctors. However, he says people have a role to play in fixing their minds.

“Medication can heal your body, but you need meditation to heal your mind,” he says.

Joseph says he felt drawn to the practice and now meditates every day.

“I was teaching my mind to slow down the racing thoughts,” he said.

Saranapala also encouraged Joseph to try hobbies that made him happy. Joseph turned to art. At first, the works were dark and somber. Now they are large bold and colourful.

What’s more, the art has become a source of income, with his large canvasses fetching thousands of dollars.

“Every aspect of my life has improved, my happiness and my creativity. He helped me a lot. He truly has saved my life,” Joseph says.

Joseph says he now hopes to return to clinical psychology with a more open mind about alternative therapies, like art and meditation.

He also wants to use his story and his journey as a platform for helping others.

“I feel like a lot of people don’t understand, and people are unsympathetic. It’s my mission to remove some of the stigma that’s associated with mental illness and want to use my story and my artwork to be an advocate.”


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Re: Buddhism can help to improve mental state
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2019, 07:46:24 PM »
Yes, I do agree that Buddhism can help improve our mental state. Buddhism teaches us to take charge of our own actions which causes the results we live in or experience. In learning about karma, the law of cause and effect, we understand that how we wish to live is really within our own control and responsibility. As such, if we wish for a good life, then we should practicing the appropriate actions that bring that. An example is if we wish to have wealth (easy life), then we should start being generous with others. If we wish to have a pleasant voice, then we need to start having good speech, being truthful, etc. And understanding impermanence, we will learn to let go when met with unhappy situations and not to hold on to happy moments. All these help to improve our mental state as our expectations will no longer hold us hostage.


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Re: Buddhism can help to improve mental state
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2019, 02:11:23 AM »
We have to realise that a lot of our unhappiness and suffering are caused by our expectation. We have expectation on people and things. We expect to be treated in a certain way and if we are don't get that, we become upset and we blame people for our unhappiness.

People are not obliged to treat us the way we want. If we want respect, love and kindness from people, we have to do start doing these ourselves. When we are genuine, people will know it and they will find our presence pleasant. Instead of always blaming others for our unhappiness, we should think of how to be pleasant to others.

When we take charge of the good and bad things that are happening to us, we will find it easier to let go of the unhappiness. As a result, our suffering will become less. A change of perspective and mind can make a big difference in how we feel.