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The Zen Path Through Depression

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  286 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Drawing on his own struggle, Philip Martin reveals another path people can travel to get through depression - one that not only eases the pain, but mends the spirit. Extremely accessible to people with little or no Zen experience as well as to longtime students of Buddhism, The Zen Path Through Depression shows how the insights and exercises of Zen offer relief for those ...more
Paperback, 146 pages
Published February 16th 2000 by HarperOne (first published January 1st 1999)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I’m not depressed. I’m not Buddhist. But I love this book.

The Zen Path Through Depression by Philip Martin was a truly meaningful read for me. I received the book as a gift from a friend after meeting with my meditation group one evening. “Here, I thought this might speak to you,” he said caringly as he handed me a small paperback. It was only after I’d gotten home and looked at the book that I realized the very friend who gifted it was also the author.

The format of Martin’s book is welcome,
May 14, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: buddhism, depression
I would give this 3.5 stars but since goodreads doesn't allow people to do that, I am forced to give it only three. For a more complete review:

And here are some quotes I especially liked for various reasons:

In Buddhism the body is rightly perceived as the means through which we achieve enlightenment. Yet our technology aims increasingly at making the body obsolete. Today we often ignore one of our bodies’ most basic needs, the need to be of use. We drive
Vegan Viajo
Jul 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Do not read if you're depressed or you'll stay that way, but if you read it out of desire to understand a depressed partner then you can help their way through it.
Trey Nowell
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and its message a lot. Coming from someone with a degree in both religious studies and psychology, it hits home with intertwining the message of each area of study. The meditations are very good for someone unfamiliar with them and the knowledge of many great teachers to draw upon inspiring quotes was well done. A very good book for someone more so experiencing depression rather than trying to understand it. I would rec this book to anyone wanting to know how to attain ...more
Oct 28, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people with depression who are novices to buddhism
this guy has a degree in buddhist psychology! if that's not the coolest thing ever, then i don't know what is.

this book may not contain any new information, but what it says is still important and it does help to refresh one's memory of the basics.

these are things that one should keep in mind with or without depression. they represent the fundamental knowledge that is useful to all human beings. i suggest reading up on buddhist philosophy if you haven't already.
Renate Eveline
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Zen Path for coping with life's trials and tribulations might have been a more suitable title. Very useful.
Kevin Orth
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Short, concise chapters most with follow up questions and contemplative exercises. Very enriching.
Adrianne Mathiowetz
I don't think I'm zen enough yet to handle this book. Either that or the author was just honestly annoying.
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Engaging, Thoughtful, and Relevant

The Zen Path Through Depression was recommended to me by my therapist I have to say i extend that recommendation to everyone else.
It’s a great read as a novel or as a reference for meditations and reminders.
I find myself referencing the allegories in my life to stay present.
Awesome text.
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Helppolukuinen ja monia uusia ajatuksen siemeniä antava kirja, buddhalaisuuden oppeja selkeästi sisältäen.

Suosittelen kenelle tahansa, mutta varsinkin depression keskellä oleville, depression joskus kokeneille tai depressiosta muuten vain kiinnostuneille.
Jason Comely
Plenty of good ideas and insightful quotes to revisit at a later date. I would recommend this book to someone experiencing depression.
Maryann Moffit
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Great book.

Helpful and very easy to relate to. Several pharaohs hit home really. I recommend this to others. Took some notes as well.
Mar 13, 2017 added it
Although I love to read, I remember that I don't do well with self-help books. It's not that I don't like them, it's that I don't try any of the exercises. I need to go to classes at the gym to exercise, not watch a video on my couch. Same idea.
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I got this book from the library and I need to get my own copy! I've read a lot of books about different forms of Buddhism and this is the first to directly address practicing with and for a mental illness. As someone who struggles with depression, the author Philip Martin recognizes that being depressed is a different outlook than most people coming to Buddhism. He offers guided meditations for recognizing depression and using its symptoms for a better Buddhist practice. Overall, I will refer ...more
Oct 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
I did not like this book. I read it over sixteen years ago and it still rankles. Speaking as someone who has dealt with major depression for most of my life, I see books such as these to be a disservice to anyone who is struggling with a serious mental illness. All the homilies are great but useless as yelling at a fire and telling it to extinguish itself. If thinking- or not thinking- could cure depression, no one would be depressed. Such a book might be helpful for those dealing with sadness ...more
Apr 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I found the chapters on Death, Impermanence and Fear to be the hardest (on a personal level) to stomach. It's hopeful, it's personal and it has some great advice and meditation guides. It's a wonderful little book for those dealing with depression or just want to bring more balance into their lives.
Daniel Seymour
Dec 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In short passages the author shares his thoughts regarding various elements of depression. He does so with warmth and wisdom. A belief that we can work our way through this depression is present on every page.
James Spada
Sep 11, 2008 rated it did not like it
its OX e Moron., "i aint no ox moron." - renaissance man with Danny Devito

English language needs to be standardized, like chinese written language. there is to much syntax
3.5. Parts of it were so insightful I wanted to give it a 5, but other parts were so generic or nonsensical that I wanted to give it a 3.
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Gentle, practical, full of wisdom.
Jan 13, 2012 marked it as not-finished
I like this book and intend to get back to it at some point. It has helpful meditations and a different way of looking at things. Left of solid reading p. 5, but skimmed a lot of it.
Eliza T. Williamson
Oct 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
I really liked how this book was set up--each exerpt was an idea unto itself--easily accessible & not self-helpy. Wise, interesting thoughts.
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Jan 11, 2016
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