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 🙂