Q: Brother David, You mentioned in the excerpt from ‘Sacred Journey’ that you suffer a great deal from depression and that often during these periods there is hardly anything that you can do. For others who also experience the hell of this malaise would you gift us with any advice and practices you employ when engulfed in a blackness that makes gratefulness seemingly futile? — Ian, Australia

A: Yes, Ian, i’ll be glad to share with you what helps me (a little) when depression comes over me:

  • To stick with my regular schedule;
  • to go for walks (even if i don’t feel like it);
  • not to force feelings of gratefulness (it won’t work);
  • to remind myself that “this, too, will pass;”
  • to treat myself kindly, as i would treat a suffering friend;
  • to do something – no matter how small – for someone else (merely a smile, or a kind greeting will help loosen the prison bars of depression).

I hope this will help you deal with the affliction we share.

— Your Brother David

Br. David Steindl-RastWell-being
Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB

Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB

About the author

Brother David Steindl-Rast — author, scholar, and Benedictine monk — is beloved the world over for his enduring message about gratefulness as the true source of lasting happiness. Known to many as the “grandfather of gratitude,” Br. David has been a source of inspiration and spiritual friendship to countless leaders and luminaries around the world including Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Thomas Merton, and more. He has been one of the most important figures in the modern interfaith dialogue movement, and has taught with thought-leaders such as Eckhart Tolle, Jack Kornfield, and Roshi Joan Halifax. His wisdom has been featured in recent interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Krista Tippett, and Tami Simon and his TED talk has been viewed almost 10,000,000 times. Learn more about Br. David here.