309. Hanging by the skin of your teeth from a branch high above the ground - perhaps not a bad image of the situation of someone suffering from clinical depression. Someone comes along and asks you about the essential teachings of Buddhism, how would you respond? It would seem that no matter how erudite you are, or how eloquent, you would have great difficulty in mustering the energy to say anything at all (let alone get out of bed/let go of the branch). Yet the Zen practitioner has vowed to walk the Way of the Buddha, whatever the weather. The 13th. century Japanese master Dogen underwent severe training in China. He noticed how other monks, when they became ill, would rest from their practice. But he was so determined to realize his True Self that he vowed to maintain his practice even if it killed him. Great faith. Great doubt. Great commitment.