Best Spirituality Book for Depression: “Meditation without Gurus” by Clark Strand

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Best Spirituality Book for Depression: Meditation without Gurus: A Guide to the Heart of the Practice by Clark Strand

Written by a former Zen Buddhist monk, Meditation without Gurus is a beautifully-written answer to spiritual gurus who believe that their meditation practice is best.

The purpose of this book: to strip meditation down to its essentials–to uncomplicate it.

Can this book help me overcome depression?


Does it address depression specifically? What does it say that can help?

No, and yes. Meditation is for all situations, all problems.

The author’s advice includes:

  • “Meditate as a hobby, not a career.” Do it because you like it, not because there’s any bigger goal.
  • Use a simple meditation technique: Count the breath till you get to four without losing track. After that, just focus on the breath, bringing your thoughts back to it when they wander. There is no right way or wrong way to breathe.
  • Each time you meditate, pretend to yourself that you’re a beginner.

“Imagine how difficult it would be if, in learning to ride a bicycle, you burdened yourself with the idea of discipline . . . When I suggest you focus on nothing but counting the breath from one to four, I simply mean that you ought not to waste your time and energy on thoughts like, I don’t have the discipline for this! Just return to one when you find your mind wandering. That is discipline enough.”

To what degree do you think it can help me overcome depression?

Depression effectiveness rating: 3.5 on a scale of 1-10

Where can I find it?

Meditation without Gurus on Amazon

Meditation without Gurus on Goodreads

Meditation without Gurus on Google Books

Meditation without Gurus on iTunes

Meditation without Gurus on Barnes and Noble

Clark Strand’s Official Website

Clark Strand on Wikipedia

Clark Strand on You Tube

Stories by Clark Strand

Soka Gakkai International USA

Bridging Buddhism and the Bible: An Interview with Clark Strand

Understanding Nichiren Buddhism: Articles from Tricycle magazine


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