While a healthy relationship is a tonic that sustains us, an unhappy relationship can be toxic to our health and well-being. Half of the marriages in the US end in divorce and many couples that stay married live in ambivalent relationships. During the last four decades, scientists have been able to identify factors that predict divorce with over 90% accuracy and to identify what couples that are happily married do differently than those that end up getting divorced or living in ambivalent relationships. The findings of this research support what contemplative traditions have taught for centuries about the importance of loving-kindness, equanimity, compassion, and empathetic joy.
In this workshop, you will learn how to identify and avoid the factors that poison relationships. You will also learn four contemplative practices that you can use daily to cultivate loving-kindness, equanimity, compassion, and empathetic joy, as well as increase your emotional intelligence and prime yourself to have healthy and skillful interactions in your relationships. This workshop is perfect for those that are in relationships or who hope to be in one of in the future.
DR. JUAN B PEÑA, Ph.D. and STEPHANIE M. PEÑA, LMSW are the co-founders of Happy Couples Academy and The Peña Show Podcast. They are trained in the Gottman Method for Relationship Therapy and are educators in the Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work and Bringing Baby Home Program. Stephanie has worked in the field of human sexuality for over a decade and is a trained as a full spectrum doula. Stephanie currently works as a researcher with the Hunter HIV/AIDS Research Team (HART) and is a board member of the Audre Lorde Project. Juan is a published author of over a dozen articles in scientific journals and has taught mental health and prevention courses at Columbia University, University of Rochester Medical Center, Washington University in St. Louis, and Hunter College. He has been a Zen practitioner since 1993 and studied with John Daido Loori Roshi the founder of the Mountain and Rivers Order until his passing in 2009 and now studies with Geoffrey Shugen Arnold Sensei the Abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery and head of the Mountain and Rivers Order.