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Plum Village Tradition Question...

JohnCobbJohnCobb Hot Springs Arkansas Explorer

Hi everyone!
I haven't posted in a while but have been faithfully reading the posts on here. I've been reading a lot of books by Thich Naht Hanh and have not come across his views on the LGBTQ community. This was a recent question raised to me by a transgender friend of mine whom I've been discussing my studies with and I wasn't sure what to tell her. Thank you for your help.
I bow to each of you!

Shoshin1lobster

Comments

  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    Hi @JohnCobb… I came across this video on YouTube which may be of help.

    JohnCobb
  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran
    edited August 20

    But then he is a monk, and the Plum Village community is celibate. So this tolerant view is for the lay community, as soon as you become a monk you will be expected to set the chasing of men and women aside, and whichever is your preference becomes irrelevant.

    We had a transsexual lady on here, not so long ago who wanted to become a nun and wanted to pursue a Geshe degree (a mark of high learning) in the Tibetan tradition. It’s difficult, because in a way pursueing medical gender reassignment is a sign of an intense desire and a certain kind of view regarding the self and the body. Perhaps not a big deal for a lay member but for a monk or a nun it might be different. I have no idea how that might be assessed.

    (Moderator ETA: Name removed for respect for privacy.)

    JohnCobbhow
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited August 21

    Gender is unimportant when it comes to Buddhism. Perceptions of gender are both objective and subjective, but ultimately, in the pursuit of Enlightenment, completely unimportant. You are both Self, and not-self. so really, the only person to whom gender matters, is you. Be whatever you want to be. You're flesh, bones and innards. And when you die, it's not going to matter. Have you just done your best? Nothing else matters but doing your best.

    lobster
  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Veteran
    edited August 20

    @JohnCobb

    When Buddhists get too hung up on their own or other peoples gender or sexuality, this more often than not will hinder their path...holding such views is just another unwholesome attachment...

    For many transpeople change is inevitable...( and self inflicted) suffering optional (self inflicted meaning one denies being true to ones sense of self's gender or sexual identity that is... ....struggling to come to terms with a feeling of being born in the wrong body=karma....and to make adjustments in order to accept what is, by reassignment ... is also karma....
    What one resist will persist

    Carl Jung

    Bearing in mind when it comes to karma... there's no such thing as good or bad....only thinking makes it so....

    Put it this way...When one gets down to the nitty gritty of Dharma practice... The Dharma is trans sexual & trans gender....(Trans from Latin meaning "across, over, or beyond.")

    I remember reading about some Thai Buddhists who 'believe' in rebirth and also believe that at least one of the many rebirths. through karma (cause condition effect) this psycho-physical phenomenon called the self will manifest has transgender/sexual, homosexual. bisexual, intersexual asexual, heterosexual ...along with the many other possible outcomes due to past karmas...

    I'm also reminded of the famous trans sexual Kwan Yin

    It is generally accepted that Guan Yin originated as the Sanskrit Avalokitesvara, which is her male form, since all representations of Bodhisattva were masculine.
    Later images might show female and male attributes, since a Bodhisattva, in accordance with the Lotus Sutra, has the magical power to transform the body in any form required to relieve suffering, so that Guan Yin is neither woman nor man. In Mahayana Buddhism, to which Chinese Buddhism belongs, gender is no obstacle to Enlightenment.

    Your friend is most fortunate to have a friend like you and vice versa .... <3

    lobsterコチシカ
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    @JohnCobb said:
    Hi everyone!
    I haven't posted in a while but have been faithfully reading the posts on here. I've been reading a lot of books by Thich Naht Hanh and have not come across his views on the LGBTQ community. This was a recent question raised to me by a transgender friend of mine whom I've been discussing my studies with and I wasn't sure what to tell her. Thank you for your help.
    I bow to each of you!

    I think you'll find it is a pretty welcoming community and that there is LGBTQ representation. One can even aspire to the Order of Interbeing and be in a partnership as a laymember. Monastics are celebate though no matter their persuasion.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I'm also reminded of the famous trans sexual Kwan Yin

    Thanks for the reminder. <3
    We have to differentiate between the Ideal and … the human reality.

    So in dharma we have tribalism (my Tibetan Buddhism is better than Thai monasticism). My teacher is a famous book writer, renowned lady monk, gay, enlightened etc. Or they may just be a good lay and that should be us ideal laity …

    Now where do we hang our hat? Treat everyone with respect and genuine kindness or exclude soldiers, homophobes, the mentally unbalanced, children, trolls, goats etc?

    Ignorance is no excuse BUT we all suffer from it. Or is that just me …

    Thus have I herd but try to remain unheard …

    oṃ maṇipadme hūṃ
    http://visiblemantra.org/avalokitesvara.html

    Shoshin1
  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran
    edited August 21

    It occurs to me that homo and bi are just about who you feel attracted to, while transsexuality are more a view of the self and a feeling that you are of a different gender, and an attachment to expressing that. It reminds me of a quote by Ajahn Chah, "nothing in this world is so important that one should get upset about it."

    When I was a teenager I spent a few years struggling with the idea of transsexuality, whether I inside was more male or female and what I should be outside. In the end I decided it was wisest to just be what life had made me, to keep the mind and the world simple.

  • @Kerome said:

    When I was a teenager I spent a few years struggling with the idea of transsexuality, whether I inside was more male or female and what I should be outside. In the end I decided it was wisest to just be what life had made me, to keep the mind and the world simple.

    Glad to hear that your gender non-conforming feelings were just a passing phase and there was no long term detrimental effects...

    However some gender dysphoric people are not so lucky...Sadly, suicidal thoughts, attempts and suicide are quite common amongst LGBTQI people in general and especially for transwomen...

    lobsterコチシカ
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