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 🙂

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  1. 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. 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. 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. Pingback: Divorse workshop | CalBrownies

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