3 Things You Can Learn from Buddhist Monks About Your Divorce
For anyone going through a divorce, it is often helpful to hear from those who may have a different perspective on the situation. Many people will reach out to their family and friends to give them advice on how best to survive what can be one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. However, one perspective that could be very helpful is that of a Buddhist monk. Because divorce is a secular process, Buddhist monks don’t have any objections or barriers to married couples divorcing. Here are three things you can learn from Buddhist monks to help you through your divorce.
Divorce is a New Beginning
The Buddha himself said that divorce is permissible in certain situations. He outlined three grounds on which divorce is allowable: if one’s spouse is unfaithful, if they are unable to support themselves or their family, or if they are abusive. While these may seem like very specific reasons, they can be applied to many different situations in modern life.
For example, if a couple is constantly arguing and there is no resolution in sight, it may be best to go their separate ways so that each spouse may find peace and happiness for the remainder of their lives. Or, if one spouse has been unfaithful or so irresponsible with finances that it becomes impossible to properly support the family, it may be too difficult to trust them again and move forward in the relationship in a healthy manner for both parties. In these cases, divorce may be the best option for both people to find peace, a central theme of Buddhist beliefs that eventually leads to enlightenment.
Overall, Buddhist monks believe in looking at divorce through the lens of a “new beginning,” and while they would not support divorce if it’s simply used as an “easy way out” of marriage, you just don’t want to work on if the work has been done and both parties agree a new beginning is better for both, then divorce is the best choice. Starting fresh without the baggage of the past can be a helpful way to look at your divorce, especially for those who find themselves feeling overwhelmed by the process.
Divorce Teaches One to Get Comfortable with Ambiguity
In divorce, everything is up in the air. You may not know where you will live, how much money you will have, or what your day-to-day routine will look like. For many people, this ambiguity can be incredibly stressful and difficult to handle.
Buddhist monks, on the other hand, are very comfortable with ambiguity. In fact, they believe that it is an important part of life that should be embraced rather than feared. The Buddha said that “life is full of suffering.” This doesn’t mean that we should all go out and get divorced, but it does mean that we should accept the fact that divorce is a difficult and challenging experience that can teach us a lot about ourselves if we take the time to look inward and do some soul-searching on how things got to the point they are and how best to build a better future.
In particular, divorce can also teach us to be more flexible and adaptable to change overall. It can help us to let go of superficial attachments to material things, especially when dealing with the inevitable property divisions that are part of almost every divorce and help us to focus on what is truly important in life – our family and friends. These are all valuable lessons that can be learned from going through a divorce with a more Buddhist perspective guiding your thoughts.
Divorce Illustrates the Usefulness of Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a key part of Buddhist philosophy, and it can also be incredibly useful during the divorce process, no matter how amicable or contentious your divorce may be for you. Mindfulness means being present in the moment and accepting things as they are without judgment.
This doesn’t mean that you should blindly accept everything that happens during your divorce, but it does mean that you should try to approach the situation with as much calm and clarity as possible. This can be difficult when emotions are running high, but it’s important to remember that mindfulness is about being present in the moment and not getting lost in your thoughts or allowing the feelings about the past or your anxieties about the future drag you down or hold you back.
In other words, you should try to focus only on each task at hand and not worry about what has already happened or what might happen in the future. This can be difficult, but if you can master this skill during a difficult and challenging time such as divorce litigation, you can take this skill with you into every future stressful or upsetting situation for the rest of your life.
Mindfulness has become very popular over the past decade or so, which means that even if you’ve never tried it, there is no shortage of apps, videos, and classes that can teach you how to start or improve your mindfulness practice. A few favorite resources of ours are apps like Calm and Headspace.
Divorce is a difficult and challenging experience, but it can also be an opportunity to learn and grow. For those going through the process, it is important to keep an open mind and be willing to embrace change. Additionally, mindfulness can be incredibly useful in managing the stress of divorce and helping to focus on what is truly important. By keeping these truths taught to us by Buddhist monks in mind, divorce can be an opportunity to start fresh and build a better future for you and your family.
If you and your spouse are considering divorce, don’t make any decisions about how to proceed before talking with a trusted attorney in your area. Without discussing your situation with an attorney, your agreement may not be what you want or what is beneficial to your future. If you’re in South Carolina, it’s important to contact an experienced family court attorney like Ben Stevens today to discuss your specific situation. Even if you aren’t in South Carolina, Mr. Stevens is happy to offer referrals to a well-qualified attorney located in your state.
If you find yourself facing the prospect of a separation, divorce, alimony, support, or other financial issues, you need the help of an experienced South Carolina family law attorney to guide you through the difficult process. Mr. Stevens is the President-Elect of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and he is a Board Certified Family Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He has the experience to help guide you through the most complicated family law issues. You are invited to contact our office at (864) 598-9172 or SCFamilyLaw@offitkurman.com to schedule an appointment.
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ABOUT J. BENJAMIN STEVENS
Ben.Stevens@offitkurman.com | 864.598.9172
Aggressive, creative, and compassionate are words Ben Stevens' colleagues freely use to describe him as a divorce and family law attorney. Mr. Stevens is a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and is a Board Certified Family Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is one of only two attorneys in South Carolina with those simultaneous distinctions. He has held numerous leadership positions in the AAML, and he currently serves as one of its National Vice Presidents. Mr. Stevens has a statewide practice and regularly appears all across South Carolina. His practice is focused on complex divorce and child custody cases.
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