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Help to find the Light ...

This material is important enough to repeat.

Many countries have a Life Line service.

Lifeline was started in Australia in 1963. There is now an international network of services through LifeLine International which has centres in some twenty countries. All Lifeline Centres adopt the same standards but use different names in some countries. For example, in Canada the service is called Telecare; in Japan, Inochi no Denwa (meaning "life phone"); and in the United States of America, Contact.

Volunteer Emotional Support Helplines (VESH) is a partnership between Befrienders Worldwide, International Federation of Telephone Emergency Services (IFOTES) and LifeLine International. Members have pledged to work together to provide an effective telephone crisis counseling service throughout the world. The VESH network of volunteer counsellors provides services in 61 countries.

If you are having thoughts of suicide, or the dark feels overwhelming, know this:

You don't have to be alone.

Help is as close as the telephone.

Books and CDs

Retreating storm, Borland Saddle

A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path Through Difficult Times

"Where can we find illumination and support when we most need it? "Inside each of us is an inner light that I call 'The One Who Knows'," writes Jack Kornfield. "Awakening to this wisdom can help us find our way through pain and suffering with courage, grace, and tenderness." For anyone seeking answers during a time of trial or confusion, he now offers A Lamp in the Darkness, a new book-and-CD programme filled with spiritual and psychological insights, hope-giving stories, and special guided meditations to navigate life's inevitable storms.

With deep understanding and compassionate warmth, Jack Kornfield illuminates a safe-and sane-pathway through difficulty, as we explore practices created for times of crisis but applicable and useful throughout our daily lives: Equanimity and Peace-how to hold the sorrows and struggles of our world and our selves in balance while seeing the great peace behind it all. Forgiveness-for releasing the past and breaking down barriers to all that is closed in the heart. Setting Your Highest Intention-a guide for awakening to the shining beauty and potential of the human spirit Hard times come to everyone. With A Lamp in the Darkness, we have a trusted guide and friend with whom we can face the road ahead in presence, love, and openness.

The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness 

"If you’ve ever struggled with depression, take heart. Mindfulness, a simple yet powerful way of paying attention to your most difficult emotions and life experiences, can help you break the cycle of chronic unhappiness ...."

In The Mindful Way through Depression, the authors explain "why our usual attempts to “think” our way out of a bad mood or just “snap out of it” lead us deeper into the downward spiral. Through insightful lessons drawn from both Eastern meditative traditions and cognitive therapy, they demonstrate how to sidestep the mental habits that lead to despair, including rumination and self-blame, so you can face life’s challenges with greater resilience." There is an accompanying CD of guided meditations for anyone seeking to regain a sense of hope and well-being.

Falling Upward

"In Falling Upward, Fr. Richard Rohr seeks to help readers understand the tasks of the two halves of life and to show them that those who have fallen, failed, or "gone down" are the only ones who understand "up." Most of us tend to think of the second half of life as largely about getting old, dealing with health issues, and letting go of life, but the whole thesis of this book is exactly the opposite. What looks like falling down can largely be experienced as "falling upward." In fact, it is not a loss but somehow actually a gain, as we have all seen with elders who have come to their fullness."

The author writes: "I thought it was a perfect title because it conveys a sense of paradox. The first part of the title (about falling) isn't about what you expect. In fact, most of our concern in the first half of life is about rising, achieving, accomplishing, performing. I tried deliberately to use a somewhat shocking or controversial phrase, implying that there is a necessary falling that comes into every life. It's not like you have to manufacture or create the falling; it will happen. If you can find grace or freedom in and through that falling, you find that it moves you forward, upward, broader, deeper, better—to growth. That’s just the opposite of what you first think when you fall, fail, or lose."

Self-help for becoming trapped in negative thoughts

Taught by the Swami who headed the ashram Heather went to many years ago:

Decide on a sacred text or any text that has meaning for you. It may be a passage from the Bible, the Sermon on the Mount perhaps. Or a Psalm. Or a poem by Rumi. Or any uplifting text that has special meaning for you. Have it easily and readily available.

When you find yourself in yet another cycle of negative thoughts, reach for that text.

Read it from beginning to end, ten times in a row. Don't think - just read.

Then get up, go outside and breathe deeply.