Re: Suicide Prevention Ideas
- One idea is to brainstorm a list of reasons why life is worth living as not just a suicide prevention technique but also overcomes the common type of depression defined as chronic boredom by appreciating lots of little things.
As for feeling that one too much of a burden and that others would be protected if one was no longer around, there is Samyutta Nikaya 47:19 the Acrobat, where the method in a relationship is that maintaining our own balance is protecting the other person by protecting oneself.
With metta / Antony.
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 08:53:05 +0000
Subject: [Buddhaviharas] Suicide Prevention Ideas
Suicidal thoughts are very common and I wanted to write about the Buddhist perspective on this type of dukkha (suffering).
The Buddha taught what is called kamma and rebirth. This is different to both atheism and Christianity. The problem with atheist suicide is that it believes in 0% functioning after death. According to Buddhism there is a meditative attainment called the base of nothingness but it is impermanent and one eventually suffers birth again elsewhere. The problem with Christianity's eternal life after death is that it sounds like a state of limbo. Buddhism teaches that there is functioning after death, but that the best goal is 100% functioning towards Nibbana in this very life, as suicide commonly leads to a lower rebirth. There is the Buddhist teaching on the Precious Human Birth (see my PreciousHumanLife Yahoo Group), that human life is inconceivably difficult but offers the chance to progress on the path to true peace and happiness in friendship with loved ones and Buddhist "kalyanamittas".
Many meditators would understand how guilty flashbacks and bad memories of past mistakes coming up one after another could make one feel too guilty to go on. A technique I developed recently was to say "I can't handle that!" and return to present actions that I could be reasonably expected to handle (see my forgivenessBuddhism group).
Suicide often happens in young people after they have been rejected by a girlfriend or boyfriend. One of my initial thoughts on becoming a Buddhist when I was 22 was that I didn't have to get a girlfriend in order to be happy.
Another helpful reflection is to try to think of one thing that one does in one's routine that would not get done if one was no longer around. My grandfather worked for a famous newspaper media magnate in Australia. The boss often lost his temper on a Friday afternoon and would go around the office sacking everybody. Then he remembered he had to get a paper out in the morning so he went around hiring everyone again ;).
A major problem is when one's suicidal thoughts become a big secret from everybody such that one doesn't ask for support. Depression is treatable and many civilized societies go out of their way to provide services to prevent suicide. Remember that many people practice metta (goodwill) for all beings.
Anyone is welcome to write me on or offlist if they have any questions on this difficult topic.
I found this forum:
With metta / Antony.
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