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


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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
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Keep It Simple Books; Revised edition edition (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 096362556X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963625564
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 26 customer reviews
I read this book over the course of an afternoon and found it full of helpful, commonsense, practical advice.
Shinjitsu no Uta
I was intrigued when flipping through the book randomly and noticed the interesting style of text and the illustrations throughout the book.
Kristina M. Johnson
This book is creative and fun; reading it will make you start to feel better, or at least not feel bad about feeling depressed.
JulieS

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Kim Boykin on October 23, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book on using depression as fodder for your spiritual practice. It is handwritten, with cute illustrations, and the style is conversational and down-to-earth. It is not mainly about how to get less depressed but, rather, about how to suffer less and have more compassion for yourself in the midst of depression, and in the midst of all states of being. While you're very depressed, this book may just scare you and/or piss you off (that was my reaction when I first flipped through it in a bookstore), but I highly recommend it for when you're on the upswing.

Cheri Huber is a Zen teacher, and her approach may especially appeal to folks who practice Zen or a similar form of meditation, but I don't think the words "Zen" or "Buddhism" appear anywhere in the text. The last few pages give instructions in a simple form of meditation involving attention to the breathing.

I also recommend John & Andrea Nelson's "Sacred Sorrows," a collection of essays on a wide variety of approaches to depression, including ways of healing depression and also ways of embracing depression and finding meaning in it. And if you're interested in Zen, you might want to take a look at Philip Martin's "The Zen Path through Depression," which mixes together insights about using Zen to alleviate depression and using Zen to suffer less in the midst of depression.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Katie on November 13, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of those books that, after you read it, you're glad you ordered it - and glad you read it (instead of putting in that "I'll get to it later" pile)...

"The Depression Book" offers a "new" way for those who suffer from depression to deal with it - I placed the word "new" in quotes because, apparently, the approach offered is one that has been practiced in certain spiritual groups (namely Zen Buddhism) for a very long time.

This approach may seem a bit radical at first, but it makes a lot of sense. The idea is that the depression we feel is based on something else - something underneath the feelings of depression. It's also based on the idea that we tend to beat ourselves up for being depressed - we are not nearly as compassionate to ourselves as we would be to our loved ones... And this "beating up" process leads us to stay in a place of depression far longer than we have to.

One of the ideas that I found especially helpful is that it's okay to be depressed. We have been told, and have come to believe, that depression is somehow "wrong", and we judge ourselves harshly for allowing ourselves to have that experience - yet many times we learn the most about ourselves during times of pain - and depression can be one of those times.

As in Cheri's other books, it all boils down to compassion - the best thing we can do for ourselves is to love ourselves as we love other's - to be just as compassionate to ourselves, as we would be to a friend or family member that was depressed.

There are many great ideas on how we can look at depression differently, as well as what we can do when we are in the midst of it.

Overall, this is an excellent book for anyone who suffers from depression (whether it's frequent or not), as well as those who have loved ones who tend to have this experience. It's easy to read, and filled with a wealth of wisdom - and you can't beat the price!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By JulieS on January 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
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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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Parry on October 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
I see various reviews that don't like that it is hand written with doodles and other pictures, I found it especially appealing as I am an artist. I believe that if you are looking for a 'fix' the book won't 'fix' you any more than any other type of mental cognitive approach. If you find yourself in that boat, I strongly recommend seeing a psychiatrist and seeing if an anti-depressant will help. Read in conjunction with medical supervision and an anti-depressant might create enough space to really get in touch with yourself and allow the healing to begin.

This book is exceptional for people who are tired of depression and willing to take a serious look at themselves and his/her own mind. Once I stopped cognitively fighting depression, that is having depression parties and celebrating the feelings as an excuse to watch movies and just be with the feelings, they passed. I've been depression free for many many years, now I just feel pain and let it come up and just be with it in a companssionate environment.

That said: what works for one, doesn't work for all and Truth is a Pathless land.

-chris
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By marymuse VINE VOICE on November 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I will admit, this is the second book by this author that I've read, and I am not a fan at all of the "handwritten" type in the book. While the author's reasoning is sound, it does make you slow down and absorb the text, it's also distracting enough that the books are difficult reading. However, the information in this book (and the other one I read) was interesting enough that I am inclined to overlook the production issue.

That said, this book is not for novices. If you suffer from depression and know enough to know that you'd like to make changes to overcome your depression, then this book offers some food for thought. It doesn't really tell you anything that you probably don't already know on some level, or at least it didn't for me. But it presented the information in such a way that it created an aha!moment. It made me think, and I believe helped me to look at my situation in a new way.

I'd like to see more substance. This feels like a conversation, but one that doesn't really delve into anything too seriously. It just meanders along, offering questions you can ask yourself, ways of looking at things and changing your outlook without providing any meat and bones of the "HOW" to do these things. That's the failing of the book, I'm afraid. If you want to have a conversation with yourself and the author, then this book works. And yes, it does provide help and invites you to take a new look at things. The tools it provides are subtle, and I'm afraid, probably beyond the reach of the average reader.
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