4 Shifts You’ll Experience When Meeting Your Twin Flame

Have you found your twin flame? What have you experienced when meeting your twin flame?

In recent years, more and more people have met a partner they believe is a twin flame, or their soul’s literal other half. Anyone who has encountered a twin flame, or even other soul relationships that mimic one, can attest that the experience is extremely powerful, heart-wrenching, challenging and, as a result, quite transformative.
Regardless of whether a twin flame couple unites permanently on this plane or waits until beyond it, the permanent reunion is the twin partners’ ultimate destiny.
However, both partners have free will consciously and/or unconsciously to impact the timing and nature of that reunion in this incarnation–which is usually why the intense, conflicting, and often wild twists, turns, dramas, and traumas of the relationship come into play.
For those twin couples who have: beaten the tremendous odds against their incarnating together and then finding each other on this plane; survived the “runner” or separation phase(s) after they connected here; made it through emotional, physical, and energetic boot camp that is the twin flame process; and finally reunited permanently in this difficult 3D world, many wonder “What comes next?!” The “post-permanent reunion phase” is such a rare and rarely discussed stage of the twin flame process– though it, too, can be quite strange, awakening, and remarkable.
The following overview may validate some of what you have experienced or are noticing since you reunited permanently.
For individuals or couples who are currently wrestling with key decisions about moving forward with a twin partner, the points below may assist you in making more informed choices regarding the timing and dynamics of your relationship on this plane. In other words, you’ll know more about what to expect.
For those whose twin flame reunions appear to have been put on hold or postponed indefinitely in this incarnation, the points should help explain some of the reasons why, and some of the true benefits of those delays!

The 4 Shifts You’ll Experience When Meeting Your Twin Flame

1.The energetic self feels complete, fulfilled, and matched. It no longer feels like a piece of the soul is missing, elusive, or adrift.
CHALLENGE: Your sense of belonging and connection to the twin make the rest of the world and other relationships, interactions, and connections feel strained, flawed, and even unwanted. The “perfect fit” with the twin is contrasted by your feeling even more out-of-place, foreign, or ostracized in the world around you and the world at large. You have filled the inner void, but now sense the human dynamics around you are irreparably empty, hollow, misguided, and/or uncomfortable. Despite the twin relationship in your life, you may feel extremely depressed or discouraged because the rest of the world really does NOT understand you now or share your perspectives.
TIP: Keep in mind that a twin flame experience of any sort is meant to awaken your senses, talents, and levels of consciousness. If encountering a twin feels like a deep and pivotal “awakening” of the soul, the permanent reunion can trigger or feel like the soul’s quick “mid-life crisis.” The great news is that ALL types of awakening afford you a variety of incredible opportunities to share your new understanding and light, as well as make large–or small, but profound–ripples of change in this imperfect human world. The secret to emerging from any twin flame or awakening gloom: Don’t hesitate to plant your seeds of possibility, change, hope, and joy in the world around you; just temper your expectations of when and how they bloom. Enough of them will, and it will be beautiful.
2. The twin and the twin relationship are THE priority, at all costs. Like it or not, the twin becomes your life purpose.
CHALLENGE: The time, energy, and attention necessary to maintain, nurture, and grow a twin flame partnership typically come at the expense of other previously important priorities, relationships, roles, or endeavors. As a result, when the twin relationship thrives, your family ties, finances, career, aesthetics, health, or a previously cherished sense of autonomy or control may weaken, suffer, and/or take a downturn. In other words, you and others may wonder if the trade-offs and tremendous sacrifices for the twin flame relationship were or are worth it since you are both still living in the “real” 3D world.
TIP: It’s helpful to remember that many twin flame relationships don’t reunite permanently on this plane because the energies, time, and efforts of one or both partners are needed elsewhere, for the bigger picture. There are numerous instances when the world around a twin partner requires the focus more than his or her twin does—or a twin needs personal health, finances, or family relationships to move forward more than he or she needs the twin relationship to be active at that moment in time. Trust that you are being guided for your highest good and THE highest good. If your permanent twin reunion constitutes your life purpose, it may feel unusual, unconventional, or even frowned upon in certain contexts, but there is reason and there is value in that life purpose. On the flip side, if your gifts are meant to be directed elsewhere, your twin relationship may be put on the back burner awhile, but the time lines are truly meant to serve you both and those in your circle. So, embrace the direction or purpose you are being shown, even if it’s different than what you had imagined, dreamed, or coveted before that time.
3. As the energies of both partners merge, love, health, intimacy, and emotions feel different; they are expressed differently than before, are co-created, and are experienced jointly.
CHALLENGE: When what you feel, what you sense, and what you experience are shared, mirrored, completed, and co-created, it’s difficult to know what’s yours, what’s your partner’s, or what are you both “picking up” from the world around you. That uncertainty makes it even harder to know whether to act on something, express it, or change it—and, if so, how. Sometimes it feels like you are carrying all of your partner’s emotional and physical baggage on top of your own, and yours was heavy enough!
TIP: One of the best ways to view the convergence of frequencies is to think of both partners as two sides of one body. One is the right side and one is the left. The right side may have a few of its own unique ailments, weaknesses, and strengths. The cells on the left side may not always be directly impacted by them, but both sides do share information, vitals, and structure. Both sides need to function well independently, but are still connected to and part of a greater whole. Like the two sides and countless cells in the body, twin partners eventually learn the nature and severity of each other’s signals and warning signs, including emotions, physical maladies, urges, cravings, etc. Also like both sides of the body, the twins can learn to “tap into” one another as a resource in order to heal, balance, or propel each other. Learning this empathic or intuitive “give and take” dynamic is not an easy or comfortable process but, if practiced, it can become quite useful and effective with a twin, with other soul connections, or even with others in your circle. In a sense, mastering this confusing dynamic is quite the catalyst for you to emerge as an effective “energy healer” for those you care about most, not just a twin.
4. You cultivate patience, understanding, and love for what is opposite of you and your individual qualities, quirks, goals, and desires.
CHALLENGE: Since twin partners complement each other to make a whole, they often have very different talents, interests, preferences and attributes. It can be tricky to navigate as a couple when, for example, one thrives in chaos and the other calm; one prefers to plan and the other to procrastinate or be spontaneous; one craves bland and the other spicy; one loves adventure and the other the comfort of familiarity; one responds to rough and tough and the other to gentle and soothing; one is very spiritual and the other more grounded and analytical. Clearly, finding common ground can feel like a constant and winless battle. When both partners attempt to manifest life events according to their individual proclivities, they end up co-creating a stalemate and getting stuck in a perpetual, brutal, and exhausting tug-of-war with each other’s energies.
TIP: Embrace and cherish the yin yang duality that both parties contribute. Such opposite elements or contributions help provide contrast, resilience, longevity, and fuel for you both to be the highest expression of yourselves as individuals and as one. How do you make the most of these seemingly opposing forces? The more you can divide responsibilities or allocate areas according to each person’s strengths, the more both partners will feel honored, supported, appreciated, and understood—and the more you will avoid the stalemates involved when the two “co-create” in opposite directions. After all, every storm has both the calmness of its eye and the chaos of its outer bands. As a couple, you are equipped to handle both environments perfectly, differently but perfectly. On the occasions that your partner does step out of the typical comfort zone as a show of love, compromise, and respect for the whole, you will appreciate his or her efforts even more. Interestingly enough, in this process, you and your partner may also end up cultivating or energizing opposite aspects of your individual selves that had been latent, muted, or covered before you began making room for and honoring these “opposites” more fully. As a final benefit, these tactics not only make it easier to function with a twin energetically, logistically, and emotionally, but they can work wonders if you apply them to other areas and interactions in your life as well.
Regardless of whether a twin flame couple reunites on this plane or waits until beyond it, the twin flame experience is like no other for strengthening, guiding, inspiring, and awakening both parties. You learn the meaning, value, and challenges of oneness, and you develop a deeper, unconditional, and more compassionate love for each other and for yourself. How you choose to apply, act upon, or navigate the lessons you learn, messages you receive, or glimpses you are given of the twin flame connection, that is entirely up to you. However, one thing is certain. Once you are “awakened” by such a connection, you and your journey will never be the same—and that can be an exciting and amazing thing.

Waking Up Between 3 to 5 a.m. Could Actually Mean You’re Experiencing Spiritual Awakening

Observing and listening to your body’s signals can help you improve all physical and spiritual aspects of your life.Waking up in the middle of the night, at exactly the same time is common and you probably haven’t given it much thought. But do you know that this might be your body’s way of communicating a message to you from a higher power?!
Traditional Chinese medicine consists of using energy meridians to perform acupuncture and acupressure. These energy meridians are connected in a clock system which, according to ancient Chinese medicine influences different parts of your body. This means that, depending on the time you get up at night, your body might be experiencing certain sensations and is trying to communicate some physical and emotional problems to you.
You shouldn’t ignore waking up in the middle of the night.

It’s also thought that sleep is the time when we receive messages form a Higher power, and these messages could contain information about your spiritual journey.
Do you have a tendency to get up at the same time every night? Read below to find out what it means:
Trouble going to sleep between 9 and 11 p.m. could be a sign of stress.
For most people, this is the most common time for going to bed. If you’re having trouble falling asleep at this time, it might mean that you’re under a lot of stress and you worry too much. Meditation is very helpful for falling asleep.
Waking up between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. could indicate emotional disappointment.
According to ancient Chinese medicine, this is the time when the gall bladder is active. Getting up at this hour could be a sign of emotional stress, so positive mantras and practicing self-acceptance and forgiveness will help.
If you wake up between 1 and 3 a.m. you might be angry.

This energy meridian is connected with the liver, so getting up at this time is associated with anger and an excess of yang energy. If you want to get some good night’s sleep, drink some cold water and meditate.
Waking up between 3 and 5 a.m. can mean that a Higher Power is reaching out to you.

This meridian is related to the lungs and to emotions of sadness. Waking up around this time might mean that a Higher Power is signaling you so as to guide you to your higher purpose. If you want to go back to sleep, try breathing slowly or praying.
Waking up between 5 and 7 a.m. has to do with emotional blockages.
The flow of energy during this time is in the large intestines. Getting up at this time can also mean an emotional blockage, and if you want to continue sleeping, try stretching a little or maybe using the bathroom.

Seducing the Zodiac

Want to drive your lover wild and make 'em yours forever? All you need is a few sexy tips tailored to the object of your desire's zodiac sign.
These magic moves work for established relationships, too. Be sure to read your lover's zodiac sign the next time you want to turn up the heat!

Seducing an Aries (March 21 - April 19)

When it comes to courtship, Aries wants you to be bold and aggressive. Don't ask permission for a kiss -- just plant a breathtaking one as soon as the moment seizes you. The more forceful your approach, the better. Rams are also susceptible to compliments. These folks want to hear that they're the sexiest person in the room. If you've just met an Aries, feel free to contradict them. Spirited debates act like aphrodisiacs on this sign.

Seducing a Taurus (April 20 - May 20)

Slow and steady wins the race with Taurus. These folks want to savor the courtship phase of a relationship. Be sure to show up on the first date with a bouquet of flowers or some other beautiful token of your appreciation. Bulls love presents. A subtle splash of cologne will work like a love magnet on Taurus, as this sign is extremely responsive to sensual stimuli. If you've got an earthy sense of humor, don't hide it. Nothing gets Taurus in the mood like a spicy joke.

Seducing a Gemini (May 21 - June 20)

The fastest way to Gemini's bedroom is through the brain. Ask this sign for a reading recommendation -- Geminis love to be consulted about intellectual matters. If you've got specialized knowledge of a particular subject, be sure to bring it up. People born under the sign of the Twins are wildly attracted to experts -- the more obscure your subject, the better. If Gemini mentions their latest hobby, be sure to ask for a crash course. Nothing gets this sign in the mood like showing off their know-how.

Seducing a Cancer (June 21 - July 22)

These Moon Children are notoriously soft-hearted. If you'd like to make your way into this sign's bedroom, show off your sensitive side. Express an interest in charities, especially ones involving children. Cancers secretly love being babied, so it's a great idea to fix this sign a home-cooked meal. Keep the lights low and the music soft ... Cancer is very responsive to romantic atmospheres. If you've got your sights set on a female Crab, ask permission before you kiss her. If you're dating a guy, make the first move and then apologize for being so bold.

Seducing a Leo (July 23 - August 22)

If you want to seduce a Leo, focus on this sign like a laser. Compliment the way they dress, eat and breathe. Treat him or her to the best of everything, whether it's the center table at the fanciest restaurant in town or the choicest spot on your picnic blanket. When the lights are turned low, run your fingers through the Lion's mane. He or she will purr with delight. Murmur words of praise into his or her ear during foreplay. Your lovemaking will build to a beautiful crescendo.

Seducing a Virgo (August 23 - September 22)

Cleanliness is definitely a virtue when seducing Virgo. Make sure that your sheets are freshly laundered before taking a tumble with this sign. It's also a good idea to be impeccably groomed yourself. Nothing turns a Virgin on like the smell of French-milled soap. In fact, you may want to take a bath together as a prelude to lovemaking. If you're having trouble even getting a date with Virgo, ask him or her to help organize your desk, proofread a letter or find your keys. This is a great way to break the ice with this service-oriented sign.

Seducing a Libra (September 23 - October 22)

When it comes to seducing sophisticated Libra, it's best to summon the spirit of Cary Grant or Audrey Hepburn. This sign needs to be romanced in high style ... think champagne and evening dress versus beer and baseball caps. Librans love music, so taking this sign to a concert would be a terrific prelude to lovemaking. It's a wise idea to perfect your kissing technique before making the first move on Libra. This sign wants a lover with finesse.

Seducing a Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)

It may be challenging to seduce secretive Scorpio, since it's hard to gauge this sign's reactions. Don't be fazed if your moves are met with an inscrutable smile ... that's just Scorpio's own form of seduction. A good first move? Take this sign's hand in a darkened movie theater and trace delicate patterns on the inside of his or her palm. Make love wordlessly and urgently, letting your body do all the communicating.

Seducing a Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)

Sagittarians are easily seduced through humor. Crack a few jokes, make a few pratfalls, and leave some funny voicemails if you'd like to get acquainted with the Archer's bedroom. The prospect of making love outdoors always excites the Archer. Invite Sagittarius on a camping trip and be sure to bring a double sleeping bag. Last but not least, people born under this sign are ruled by the thighs and hips. Playful Sagittarius will become deadly serious when you zero in on these areas.

Seducing a Capricorn (December 22 - January 19)

Dignified Capricorn can be quite intimidating on the sexual front, but rest assured that this sexy sign is worth seducing. A slow, steady approach works best with Goats. Limit your first encounter to a lingering kiss. Then the next time you see each other, caress Cappy's back, neck and shoulders, applying firm, insistent pressure. Make a strategic retreat when Capricorn begs you to finish what you've started. Deep down inside, this sign knows that the best things in life are worth waiting for.

Seducing an Aquarius (January 20 - February 18)

Quirky Aquarius can be a tough nut to crack when it comes to sex. If you'd like to seduce this sign, try an unconventional approach. Claim that you're doing research for a sex clinic and need their help with an experiment. Declare that, while you're not interested in pursuing a physical relationship with Aquarius, you're willing to make the sacrifice in the name of friendship. The more offbeat your manner, the more attracted Aquarius will be. All Water-bearers have a rebellious streak. Dare one to kiss you.

Seducing a Pisces (February 19 - March 20)

If you'd like to seduce a Pisces, transport him or her to another world. Invite your favorite Fish to look through your telescope or check out your aquarium. Make your move as soon as Pisces becomes absorbed in the action. A quick kiss on the back of the neck will lead to bigger and better things. Pisceans have many erogenous areas including especially sensitive feet. A friendly foot rub can fan the flames of desire.

Zodiac Sign Qualities

Ok friends, are you ready to dive a little bit deeper into Astrology? You probably know there are 12 zodiac signs and four elements (Fire, Earth, Air and Water), but have you heard about zodiac sign "qualities" or "modalities?"
Every sign is influenced by one of three qualities: Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable. Each of the qualities is defined by a point within each season: Cardinal signs begin a new season, Fixed signs carry the weight of the season, and Mutable signs conclude the season.

Take fall, for example. Fall Equinox falls on September 22, the same day the Sun enters Libra. Because Libra kicks off the fall season, that makes Libra a Cardinal sign. Scorpio takes over in the midst of fall, making it a Fixed sign. And the season concludes with the Sun in Sagittarius, making that a Mutable sign.
Get it? Astrology is all about nuance, so to truly understand a zodiac sign you must explore the quality each is associated with. So now that you understand how the qualities are structured, let's take a look at each of the three Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable qualities, what they mean and how they shape your personality.

Cardinal signs

There are four Cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. Because these signs each start a new season, the quality of their energy is full of initiative. Cardinal signs are impulsive and dynamic, and they push strongly to start new things. In general, people with Cardinal signs in their birth charts generate more new ideas and projects, while those lacking Cardinal energy are more passive.

Fixed signs

There are four Fixed signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. These signs carry the weight of each season, which gives them a sturdy quality. Fixed signs are capable of great endurance, and generally people with much Fixed energy in their birth charts are stable and focused, whereas those lacking Fixed energy may not have much sticktoitiveness or perseverance.

Mutable signs

There are four Mutable signs: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. Because these signs fall at the conclusion of each season, their energy anticipates movement and change. People with Mutable signs in their birth charts tend to be more flexible and adaptable to the changing world around them, while those lacking Mutable energy may be stubborn and inflexible or have a difficult time adjusting to new situations.

How qualities are used

When you're learning Astrology, you'll discover that every person has a mix of different zodiac signs, elements and qualities in their birth charts. Once you understand the energy of each quality and combine that information with what you know of each zodiac sign and element, a more complete picture will begin to develop.
For example, the Aries zodiac sign is the element of Fire and the quality is Cardinal. This "Cardinal Fire" combination is very bold, so the more Aries energy a person has in their birth chart, the more brazen they will be. On the other hand, Taurus is an Earth sign with a Fixed quality, so it would be called "Fixed Earth" and its overall energy is very slow and grounded.
Knowing how much of each quality you have in your birth chart is very important. These astrological nuances are what shape us as individuals, so going beyond your Sun sign is key when it comes to understanding Astrology.

Your Sign's Biggest Stress Triggers

With the rapid pace of modern life, stress is a given. Unless you've reached nirvana and left the cares of the world behind, you're bound to get tense from time to time. Some things are universal stressors: ill health, financial problems, and traffic jams when you're already late. However, what bothers a Gemini (everyone else is so slow!) is quite different from what gets to a Virgo who's trying to fix everything, or a Cancer who's struggling to feel safe. What stresses you out the most, and what can you do about it?

Aries (March 21 - April 19)

You count on your dynamic Ram energy to get you through the day, and feel vulnerable when it runs out. Especially when you're down or ill, you feel overwhelmed and stress about all the tasks you can't accomplish. You're used to playing Superman or Superwoman, and forget to take time off and be a lazy slug. Be religious about setting aside at least one full day a week to play or do nothing. Life will continue without you! 

Taurus (April 20 - May 20)

More than anything else, Taurus, you want to be seen as competent. That's why you take your time to do things right. When a difficult task looms, you fear you won't have enough time to do it properly and might mess it up. As a peacemaker, you also stress when you've hurt someone's feelings or can't resolve a dispute. Fall back on your infallible instincts and trust that your true worth and honesty will ultimately prevail.

Gemini (May 21 - June 20)

You don't suffer fools, Gemini. When the car in front of you pulls a bone-headed move in traffic, your stress-o-meter hits the roof. And, little things get to you -- like words being mispronounced or misspelled. You're apt to blow a gasket dealing with slow or stubborn people, where you feel like you're talking to a wall. You need regular activities that calm your overactive mind, like yoga or throwing pots in a ceramics class. 

Cancer (June 21 - July 22)

Feeling unsafe is a sure ticket to stress for you. The Crab puts up a front that makes you seem tougher than you really are, so others don't realize how deeply you're affected by criticism, angry outbursts or being ignored. You often swallow your feelings -- it's vital to let people know what you need instead of retreating into your shell and nursing a stress-related ulcer. Breathe into your belly: your true security lies there.

Leo (July 23 - August 22)

Any situation where you're not in control and don't know what to do is your stress trigger, Leo. A computer breakdown can send you from zero to freak-out in no time flat. Not being able to find something you've lost could also fry your circuits. Even falling in love can fill you with raging hormones and vulnerabilities that turn your kingly or queenly self into an insecure child. Let go and accept what is: you'll be much happier. 

Virgo (August 23 - September 22)

You think too much, Virgo -- which accounts for your greatest stress. Just the thought of attempting something new and unfamiliar can tie you in knots, but once you're actually doing it, you're fine. Making lists will help. You also stress when someone you love is struggling or in pain. Rather than trying to fix things for others, utilize your powerful visualization skills to imagine a positive outcome -- then trust that all is well.

Libra (September 23 - October 22)

Not being treated fairly is very stressful for you, Libra. You'll spend hours weighing the pros and cons of confronting someone -- so much so, you can even make yourself sick! Rather than seething in silence or overreacting defensively, respond calmly in the moment. Keep it short and sweet and curb the long-winded speeches or accusations. You'll get better results once people know where you stand. An uncluttered environment will also keep you serene.

Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)

Others don't realize how sensitive you are, Scorpio, because you hide it well. Yours is a quiet strength -- so loud yelling and noise in general can quickly stress you out. You also feel tense and nervous when you don't get enough privacy. Deadlines are another source of stress for you: you'd rather take your time than rush to finish things. Be sure people know your needs and boundaries so you can negotiate what works for all.

Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)

You're all about movement, Sagittarius, so sitting in traffic is your own personal hell. You're also not big on formal events or business meetings where you have to act properly and "behave" according to corporate culture. Any situation that reins you in, like a partner pressuring you for a commitment or a boss demanding you punch in at a time clock, can trigger stress. Make sure you get enough time outdoors to feed your restless spirit so you won't feel so constrained.

Capricorn (December 22 - January 19)

You demand a lot from yourself, Capricorn. And, you feel pressured when you fail to live up to your high expectations. You can end up going over the "what ifs" or "if onlys" of life 'til you're all lathered up, asking questions that can't be answered or longing for what you can't have. The remedy is to live in the moment, the only place where joy can be found. And, be sure there's plenty of time to relax in your hectic day.

Aquarius (January 20 - February 18)

Though "live and let live" is your motto, Aquarius, you really like to have your way. You get frustrated when you can't justify doing what you want without a good reason. Nor can you abide people who try to bend your will to theirs. Already high-strung, you become stressed by the pressures of time, and often feel there's not enough of it. Yet ironically, by slowing down you'll actually get more done and feel more relaxed.

Pisces (February 19 - March 20)

You're a very private person, Pisces, so public speaking or other situations in which you feel exposed can be stressful. Subtlety is your strong suit; you feel unnerved by loud music and crass people. And, you get nervous or even sick because you don't know how to shield yourself from invasions. Adopt the attitude "This too shall pass," and be sure you're getting plenty of time alone to process your emotions and clear your slate.


With most problematic states of mind, and certainly with depression, we often have a tendency to maintain the problem by self-confirmation. What I mean with that is often repeating to oneself things like "I am depressed", "I feel miserable", "Life sucks", "They are bad", "I hate myself", "I can't do it". The problem is that when we repeat this often enough, it will all come true! These kind of self-obsessive thoughts blind us to the needs of our family and friends, and we do nothing to help them. As a result, we receive less positive feedback and love from them, and also less simple satisfaction and joy of making them happy.

In Buddhism, we use meditation to improve our state of mind by habituating ourselves to a positive state of mind, but repeating the above sort of tantrums throughout the day will only keep us in the same negative state. Just imagine what happens if a perfectly happy woman suddenly starts saying to herself "I feel miserable, I hate myself" once every five minutes... 

Instead, positive affirmations can have a strong therapeutic effect; "I love my family", "I don't need to grow hungry", "Other people are much worse off than me", "I can help others", "I am OK".
So a simple technique is to forbid yourself using the word 'depressed' and your standard negative expressions, but replace them with more positive phrases. It takes quite a bit of mindfulness in the beginning, but with a bit of persistence you can talk yourself into a better mood!
"Should you flush your Valium and Prozac down the toilet? No, not yet. Begin with small actions to help others - empty the garbage can without being asked, clean up your own mess in the kitchen, polish the shoes of others. Smile occasionally. Gradually build up the courage and determination to confront your self-cherishing mind and declare yourself a slave and friend of all living beings. Then you will extract more joy from cleaning up somebody else's mess in the kitchen than you will ever get from watching television. Not only will this lift your depression, it will place you on the path to bliss."
"In Western cities nowadays, you can see, the older you are the more problems you have. When we are young, not so many problems, but then there are drugs and sex, and eventually they become dissatisfying, then more depression, more depression. So, as your body becomes bigger and your brain becomes wider, you have more and more problems and become more and more depressed. The more money you have the more problems come. You can see this. 

You only take care of your body, you never take care of your mind, and the result of this imbalance is depression. For most western people this is the case: only the body is reality and they don't care about the existence of the mind, the soul, the consciousness. They don't believe they can change their minds. They can change their nose through an operation, but they don't believe they can change their mind. And when you believe this, then no way can you resolve your depression.

Our thoughts, our mind or consciousness are mental energy and cannot be localised in the body. It cannot be touched; it has no form and does not travel in time and space. We cannot touch it or grasp it. 

What is important to understand is that the view you have of yourself and the view you have of your environment are based on your own mind; they are the projection of your mind and that is why they are not reality."

Depression Does Not Cause Misery, Depression is Misery

Depression is a state of extreme unhappiness, described by sufferers in a recent BBC radio program as a black, dismal, dungeon of despair; as a stifling hot room with no means of escape; as a heavy overcoat of pain with the buttons soldered together; and as like walking through treacle. It is characterised by a sense of loss of control over one’s life, a loss of enthusiasm, and the inability to enjoy pleasure. One may know what to do, but cannot summon the energy to do it.

Depression may be precipitated by bereavement, illness, unemployment, and perhaps sometimes a neurological abnormality. According to Buddhism, however, the overriding cause of depression is self-cherishing - seeing one’s own physical and mental pleasure as more important than anybody else’s. Self-cherishing is irritability when our spouse asks us to do something that interrupts our own enjoyment, such as watching television, playing sport, or talking with our friends. It is the desire to get the best food for oneself, the best seat in the cinema, the best result in an examination, and the most praise from someone of influence.

How can a small thing such as selfishness, which we all have, be the cause of such a major illness as depression? There are two main reasons. The first is that unhappiness arising from selfishness is cumulative. When we do not obtain what we want, or are stopped from doing what we want, we often over-react to a ridiculous extent. Examine your own experience - how many domestic arguments have exploded out of incredibly petty causes? Even though we chastise ourselves for our stupid behaviour, we repeat the same thing again and again. At home, at work, at the club, wherever we go to relax, our selfish behaviour isolates us from others. The accumulation of small failures in life erodes our self-confidence, we are unable to be happy, and we spiral into depression.

The second reason why selfishness causes depression is because it prevents us from doing the one thing that is guaranteed to bring happiness - cherishing others. Self-obsession smothers consideration for the needs of others and we stop giving love. The constant whirl of self-centred thoughts in our heads, “I am so sad, I need to be happy,” blinds us to the needs of our family and friends, and we do nothing to help them. Our self-confidence takes a further battering because we no longer receive the feedback of love from them, or the pure satisfaction and joy of making them happy. The joy of making others happy is pure because we do not crave it again and again, unlike the joy of self-indulgence which is impure because it never brings satisfaction. Cut off from the world, we sink into unhappiness, self-doubt, and the thought that we are going insane. This is depression.

Buddha’s diagnosis of the cause of depression is not petty or discriminative. We all have self-cherishing, and if we allow it to take over our lives and block our love and compassion for others, we will be in danger of following that awful path into depression. Depression does not cause misery, depression is misery, at its worst. In the human realm anyway. Depressives may not believe this, but it can get far worse in other realms of rebirth.

To indicate our own part in the development of depression is not to point the finger of blame and cause guilt. If we can see that the cause is in our own mind, we will understand that the cure is also in our own mind.

Seeing the shattered self-confidence of depressed people, many new-age creeds attempt to cure the problem with the philosophy of “love yourself first.” But this is the cause, not the cure. The great Indian Bodhisattva, Shantideva, said, “If you want to be happy, you should never seek to please yourself.” Instead, we should seek to please others.

If we ask, “But, don’t I have to protect myself from suffering?”

Shantideva replies, “If you wish to be protected, you should constantly protect all others.” Buddha’s prescription for happiness is to forget yourself and love others. The more we look after our family and friends, the more they will care for us. It is so simple, so obvious, but we have to do it. Not just our family and friends; our purpose in life should be to protect every living being from suffering. When this attitude is supported by wisdom, we will never know unhappiness.

Should you flush your Valium and Prozac down the toilet? No, not yet. Begin with small actions to help others - empty the garbage can without being asked, clean up your own mess in the kitchen, polish the shoes of others. Smile occasionally.

Gradually build up the courage and determination to confront your self-cherishing mind and declare yourself a slave and friend of all living beings. Then you will extract more joy from cleaning up somebody else’s mess in the kitchen than you will ever get from watching the football on television. Not only will this lift your depression, it will place you on the path to bliss.