View Full Version : There is no gender

01 Sep 16, 22:10
This is a quote from Ajahn Sumedho:

One identifies with the body and the perception of being male or female. But, actually, in the empty mind there is no gender. The body is male or female, but in pure awareness you are not the body. When you think of yourself as male or female, you have to start identifying with that, ‘I have a male body. Women are like this. Men are like that.’ You create a perception around these two conditions of male and female and your identity with it, which is conditioned into the mind.

But when you go back into the silence, you are not anything; you are not male or female; you are not English, French, Sri Lankan, or anything else; you are transcending any ethnic, racial, class, or cultural identity, because the stillness of the mind is not ‘mine’, not ‘my personality’. When you begin to take refuge in that stillness of the mind, then you are not caught into the momentum of habits, emotions, conditions and perceptions; you have a way out of that realm.


and I am reminded of the words of the nun Soma in these verses from Soma Sutta (SN 5.2)

What does womanhood matter at all
When the mind is concentrated well,
When knowledge flows on steadily
As one sees correctly into Dhamma.

One to whom it might occur,
'I'm a woman' or 'I'm a man'
Or 'I'm anything at all' —
Is fit for Mara to address.


Any comments ?


02 Sep 16, 00:18
There's biological gender, and then there are socialized gender roles. The first remains a function of genetic expression, akin to hair color; the second is the thing to examine carefully; "that's just how <gender> is", "that's just how I am", and so forth. These things are more mutable than people tend to expect, and holding tightly to one or another social expression can do great harm.