Suffering from depression (the number one mental illness in modern times) is no party. Suffering from recurring relapses into depression is even worse. What Prozac, Remeron or any other oral chemical substance from the gardens of Organon may not cure, is now being effectively tackled by a smart marriage of iPod and Mindfulness. Or so do suggest the trials.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is concentrated awareness of one’s thoughts, actions or motivations. Recent research makes a useful therapeutic role likely for Mindfulness in a number of medical and psychiatric conditions, notably the prevention of depression (relapses).
Available in Mp3 format for the use on your iPod are various Mindfulness awareness exercises such as ‘The bodyscan’, ‘Breathing’ and ‘Mindful moving’. Recently these spoken meditations were translated in Dutch. There are a number of places on the Internet where one might download Mindfulness-based iPod meditations free of charge. Here is a link for the Dutch versions: Noud de Haas.
As a hardcore depression addict myself I have tried Mindfulness-based iPod meditations for more than a year now and I am stunned as to their inner workings. Much of it has clear and undeniable roots in ancient Zen and Buddhist meditation. Being a long time admirer of Alan Watts (‘Tao: The Watercourse Way’, 1975), Robert Pirsig (‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ 1974) and other pre-Internet explorers of the mind I did not find taking a little time a day to listen to these meditations difficult at all. As a matter of fact Mindfulness-based therapy has such a deeply consoling understanding of what the depressed needs foremost that such a soothing awareness in itself works therapeutical. Spoken for myself: ‘Yes, iPod therapy helps and it is very cost-effective at that’.