Steps to Happiness: Travelling from depression and addiction to the Buddhist path

Steps to Happiness: Travelling from depression and addiction to the Buddhist path
Published: 2006
ISBN: 1-899579-63-X
Format: Paperback

Chapter headings:

  • introduction
  • the turning point
  • kawau island
  • depression
  • limbo
  • death … and life
  • recovery
  • childhood
  • boarding school
  • university
  • career
  • becoming a family doctor
  • the family doctor
  • treatment
  • lighter moments
  • death
  • finding the way
  • the discovery of compassion
  • opening the heart
  • alone
  • testing the water
  • the family within

Selected excerpts:

(From the manuscript)

“So continued the triumphs, anxieties and agonies of part-time obstetrics for some fifteen years. The spectre of alcohol crept ever nearer. Once, incredibly only once, having staggered and fallen as I struggled to my feet to attend an unexpected delivery, I lay on the floor hearing my wife’s voice, “My husband is not well enough to come. Can you call the emergency doctor?” Then the axe fell. I woke one morning with the usual thick head, dry mouth and dread, to find my night call clothes on the floor. I had not been on emergency duty for the practice. It must have been a delivery, but who? and where? Was yesterday the day They Found Out? Were They waiting to tell me? I was accustomed to evening ‘black-outs’, times when I was apparently behaving normally but had no memory of what had happened. I must have been out to a delivery in a black-out. Some frantic detective work confirmed not only had I done just that, but that I had conducted a difficult delivery impeccably. I could not live any longer like this, so I just stopped drinking – but that is part of another chapter. What is relevant here is that, having continued for another two or three years attending deliveries, I decided that I had done enough of what was really young man’s (or woman’s) work and awarded myself an honourable discharge.” (pp. 63 to 64 draft manuscript)

“Reflections at the beginning of a long retreat: Never have the battle lines been so clearly marked. On one side is Ego, with his forces of habit, utility and addictive activity; on the other, Tara, embodying all three Jewels and leading a company of all qualities of true value. Right now it’s a stand-off. Ego has the field; Tara waits for him to defeat himself.” (p. 155 draft manuscript)

© 2005, 2006 Taranatha