On Mental Illness

Hi folks,

I was a huge fan of the old TV show Kung-fu as a teenager, and it was a big influence in my initial exploration of Buddhism. Anyhow, I found this clip recently and wanted to share:

The Buddhist approach to mental illness is a bit more nuanced than what a TV show implies, and no, meditation isn’t the solution necessarily. But underpinning all this is goodwill toward others and the willingness to listen to someone who’s suffering. If you are the one who may be suffering, don’t hesitate to reach out to others for help.

In Zen, there is a saying: 我逢人, pronounced gahōjin. The meaning of this, originally coined by Dōgen is “self encountering another person”. There’s nothing that can replace human to human contact, not just in the casual conversation sense (like coffee breaks at work), but a meeting of the minds. It won’t solve everything, but just being around others sure helps, especially after a year of isolation.

And if you do go out and meet people, for heaven’s sake, please wear a mask.

Published by Doug

🎵Toss a coin to your Buddhist-Philhellenic-D&D-playing-Japanese-studying-dad-joke-telling-Trekker, O Valley of Plentyyy!🎵He/him

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