I usually get to bed well before midnight so I can wake up at 5am, meditate, and go to the gym before work. But tonight a friend called me around 10:30pm, and we talked for about half an hour, after which I wasn’t able to fall back asleep. Next to my bed was a copy of Don’t Look Down on the Defilements by Sayadaw U Tejaniya, a gift to me from one of his Dharma brothers.
I sat up in my bed and started reading through it. It’s a good book, and I especially appreciate it’s simple and friendly style of writing. Of course, I decided I wanted to post about it. Online, I found that Sayadaw U Tejaniya has his own website with many of his teachings and in multiple languages. You can also find Don’t Look Down on Defilements there too. He even posted his interview from the Tricycle Winter 2007 issue.
In the Tricycle interview, he discusses how at three points in his life he struggled with depression, and how he relied on mindfulness to break free from it. This may be especially interesting to compare with the current issue of Buddhadharma, with the feature piece titled, “Medicate or Meditate?” They lured me in with the teaser: “Trying to heal your depression with spiritual practice alone can make the condition chronic and prone to relapse, says a new study.” But more about that another day.
If you get the chance, it’s worth downloading and reading Don’t Look Down on Defilements. I first ignored the book because its subtitle, They Will Laugh at You, struck me as too childish. But reading the book I now understand where he was coming from. If you ignore the defilements, you may think that you’re dealing with them by not paying attention to them, but in the end they have last laugh, as they will take over your mind.
Now it’s time to go meditate.