Cover image for The Zen path through depression
The Zen path through depression
Martin, Philip, 1955-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : HarperSanFrancisco, 1999.
Physical Description:
xiii, 146 pages ; 22 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BQ9288 .M36 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This book is a guide to the wilderness that is depression, written by someone who knows the territory and has seen that a map alone is not enough. It is a guide to using our own inner resources, and to learning how to read and listen to the signs around us. It is ultimately a guide to growth, insight, and realization.

The Zen Path through Depression is a practical, clear resource that approached depression in an entirely new way. Philip Martin tells us that "depression is an illness not just of the body and mind, but also of the heart." The heart, the spirit, is where the key to healing lies. Philip Martin, a psychiatric social worker and a longtime student of Zen, shows us, through the spiritual practice of Zen Buddhism, how we can heal depression and look fearlessly at our live.

He takes us through the realities of depression, the fears and doubts that are so intrinsic to this condition. We are shown the fundamental choice that we face: Do we run, or do we confront ourselves and or fear directly? In brief, inspiring, and instructive chapters, Martin shows how we can incorporate Zen ideals and practices into our everyday lives. Through a step-by-step recovery process, we are offered true help and guidance by which we are able to discover a new path to health and contentment.

This beautiful, simple book relates the basic practices and ideas of Zen Buddhism to the process of healing depression. Extremely accessible to people with little or no Zen experience as well as to longtime students of Buddhism, The Zen Path through Depression is a compassionate and spiritual approach to healing this debilitating condition.

Exploring the many issues and often difficult questions surrounding depression, author Philip Martin turns to his personal battle with this disease to show is how we, too, can heal ourselves through the Eastern practice of Zen. The Zen Path through Depression reveals a spiritual path we can travel to get through depression--a path that not only eases the pain but mends the spirit. This groundbreaking guide reveals how to cope and rebuild our lives and even how to view the experience as an opportunity for spiritual learning and growth.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

At age 37, Buddhist scholar and psychiatric social worker Martin found himself in the grips of a depression that initially eluded his reliance on Buddhist practice to stay balanced. However, like Jonathan Zuess, M.D., the author of last year's The Wisdom of Depression, Martin eventually found in depression an unexpected opportunity for spiritual exploration. He has distilled the lessons he learned into 43 brief essays on topics such as pain, impermanence, death, faith and selflessness, each of which aim to encourage the patient to accept and examine depression rather than attempt to escape or heal it. In contrast to popular conceptions of Buddhism as "a dry, joyless, intellectual exercise," Martin asserts that "the path Buddha offered is one of turning toward and moving into joy." His meditative exercises will have a familiar ring to readers already versed in the subject. Among the more innovative ones are those dealing with thoughts of suicide and death, in which he recommends writing one's prospective obituary or imagining in detail the genuine effect of one's suicide on others, including those who discover the body. Agent, Scott Edelstein. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved