Mental Health and Buddhism

by | May 4, 2024 | Insights

We all want to be Blissful and Happy throughout our whole lives, however in the last 24 hours how long were you happy for, compared to how long you were anxious, angry or depressed? When you look at a 3- or 4-year-old they are happy almost all the time and they don’t even need an excuse to be happy. It is just the way they are. Somewhere along the way it all gets messed up and we then spend most of our lives trying to get that feeling back. We buy things that we think will make us happy, we indulge in sensual pleasures and think that more money or cars or big houses will fix all these negative feelings, but it’s never enough and we keep looking for more and at the same time we get more and more depressed and anxious about getting it right. The trouble is that if the inside isn’t 100% the way you want, it will never matter what you have on the outside. If you find yourself anxious or depressed and saying to yourself – “they need to be fixed”, or “the whole world needs to be fixed” Buddhist insight meditation may be beneficial.

Modern science is now showing that daily meditation, yoga and a healthy diet can do far more for your mental health then any medication, drug or alcohol or any other thing you can buy. Daily meditation will teach you to be able to understand how your thoughts and emotions work and will also assist you with not getting attached to negative ways of thinking. Once you begin to become aware of your mind and this way of thinking, you can start to change it and redirect yourself to a more positive way of dealing with everything. Bad events will still happen in our life, but they will pass, and you will be able to get through them more peacefully and gracefully. Your body responds to every thought you have, and it changes your blood chemistry almost instantly. If you are having negative emotions your blood will be a certain way and if you have positive emotions your blood will be different again. This can be seen in blood tests. Negative thinking (anger, sadness, jealousy,) is like poison to your body and can lead to chronic health issues. Positive thinking and lifestyle will lead to better health meaning you may rarely get a cold or the flu and will heal faster from injuries. Your mental state will also become more stable and peaceful. 

After 6 weeks of daily meditation (breathing and love and kindness meditation as preached by the Buddha), your brain will have started to change. This can be easier seen in MRI scans where the whole structure of brain begins to change and develop. Parts of your brain become smaller while the gray matter becomes thicker and more neuro pathways responsible for happiness, compassion and peacefulness began to take over. After 3 months your brain structure will look completely different in a scan. If you get in the habit of meditating daily for a minimum of around 30 minutes you will find that after only 2 weeks your mood and mental state will be greatly improved. You will be calmer and a lot more focused which will help you with things like study and work. 

I personally found that for a while after I started learning meditation with the Mahamevnawa Monks I wasn’t getting anywhere. It wasn’t until a young Monk told me to try this for 2 weeks everyday no matter what and then come back and tell him what had happened. After completing the 2 weeks I noticed just how calm my mind had become and I could focus more than ever before. Since then, I have kept this practice up every day. 

A different way to look at this is, If I give you a guitar or any other musical instrument and you only practice once every 2 to 3 weeks after a year how good would you be? Now if you practice every day for a year how good would you be? 

Practice makes perfect. 

Jason Leitch
NDIS – Specialist Mental Health Coordinator
Mahamevnawa Meditation Teacher

Shifts Scheduled

Staff Hired

Recovery Options works solely to achieve 100% customer satisfaction and services a myriad of disabilities such as physical, neurological, psycho- social, vision impairment, autism, complex high care, behavioural supports and provides 24/7 and end of life care.

Recovery Options also has its own team of support coordinators and goes a step further having access to architects, gardeners, cleaners, plumbers and carpenters, and Allied Health Professionals including SDA and SIL providers so you don’t need to navigate those services yourself. We can arrange them for you.

Skip to content