ADepressive wrote:Recently, I've received more treatment for my major depression. My last therapist and my current therapist both used mindfulness techniques in our sessions. A therapist in the hospital, I remember, handed me Tara Brach's Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha. I read it and loved it. It helped me a lot. At the time. Two suicide attempts later, and I've decided I need to do something. My current therapist has given me CDs by Pema Chodron and Sharon Salzberg. They've helped me immensely in addressing my obsessive thinking with compassion, even my suicidal thoughts!
The problem I have is the obsessive thought concerning whether or not I should continue this sort of practice. I'm not Buddhist. I don't know enough about Buddhism to become Buddhist. What it seems like I'm doing is cherry-picking ideas from the Buddhist tradition espoused by white, Western followers of Buddhism. I feel as though this is a kind of cultural appropriation, and whenever that thought comes to me, if I'm meditating like a CD says, I have to stop.
As a Buddhist, I think it's great that you have found parts of Buddhism to be helpful for you! Please continue to do them if you find that it helps you overcome your depression.
Shakyamuni Buddha gave his teachings for the benefit of all beings. He didn't try to hold back good things from them. And you don't need to be officially Buddhist to do most Buddhist meditations (the only exceptions are a few advanced Tibetan Buddhist meditations).
The purpose of buddhas and bodhisattvas is to help reduce suffering in the world, so if you are able to reduce your suffering by using some of their techniques, I am sure that they are happy about it!
And don't worry about the races of Buddhist teachers so much. Being Asian doesn't automatically make a person a sincere Buddhist and being white doesn't automatically make a person an insincere Buddhist. You should judge Buddhist teachers just by the quality of their teachings and by their conduct.
So anyway, please use whichever Buddhist teachings benefit you, and I hope that you will succeed in overcoming your depression.