Buddhist Divorce Workshop

In January, I attended a Christian Divorce Support class.  After blogging about it, I thought I should also write about my experience at a Buddhist Divorce Workshop…

The class began in March 2009 and I think there were 6 scheduled sessions.  There were 5 people in the class besides me… donations were accepted but otherwise there was no charge.   The teachings were based on the book, Free Your Mind:  The Four Directions of an Awakened Life which was written by Sensei Tony Stultz of the Blue Mountain Lotus Society.

The workshop facilitator was a custodial single dad (I Support Divorced Dads)– divorced at least once, maybe twice.  I forget.  He spoke about his wild youth and his intense desires to “express himself” which extended into his adult life and caused a lot of suffering.   It was all very casual and he was easy to relate to.  He wasn’t preaching.  If anything, he presented himself as such a fallible human it was difficult to view him as an authority (interesting observation, Self).

Each week there was a different topic at hand.  There was a short lecture, followed by group discussion and sometimes even some role playing.  Some of the topics included:

  • The Wheel of Samsara
  • Hurt vs. Harm (ponder-worthy concept)
  • The Concept of Bardo
  • The Parent, Child and Adult model (authoritative, emotional and awake)
  • True Self vs. Ego Self

I found it quite engaging as the participants were all very much empowered in some way to take control of themselves in their situation.  We talked about the importance of having a vision, abstaining from destructive behavior and detaching from emotions.  The “detach from emotions” goal is an important key in dealing with a divorce.  People can go insane when they identify with their pain, anger and fear.

On a conceptual level, I thought it would greatly benefit anyone going through a divorce.  And perhaps the best thing is that Buddhism is not a religion, but rather a mindset, so it’s open to anyone.  I observed a lot of religious diversity in my small class- no outcasts 🙂


6 comments on “Buddhist Divorce Workshop

  1. Mandy says:

    I’ve been doing some reading about Buddhism and even took a Buddhism philosophy class recently. I’ve only just scratched the surface but I definitely want to learn more. I like the inclusiveness and no harm concept but found the concept of no self difficult to grasp.

  2. Emma says:

    I’m visiting from Since My Divorce. Glad to have found your blog. I’ve been divorced for about three and a half years, too. It’s great that you’re doing the divorce coaching thing! There’s obviously a need out there.

    • Thanks! I loved your story about leaving on your lunch break. I used to fantasize about leaving like that. For a while, I even kept extra clothes in my car in case I ever decided to Just Keep Driving….

  3. Marc says:

    Could you send me a link about where to find Buddhist Divorce Workshops? I live in MA and would really like to attend one. Thanks, (and I like reading your blog).

  4. […] Buddhist Divorce Workshop « Relative EvolutionsMar 2, 2010 … After blogging about it, I thought I should also write about my experience at a Buddhist Divorce Workshop… The class began in March 2009 and … […]

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