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Less Than Two: Gender and Zen

"Our duty, as practitioners of any gender, is to say yes to whatever arises and then to act from the balanced place of response rather than reactivity."

I met Myozen Blacker in 2012 when Taiun Elliston-roshi and I travelled to Worcester Massachusetts to visit her and her husband who were practice-leaders at the Boundless Way Zen Center. It was a lively place with a lot of laughter and discussions and a different approach to service than I had experienced. Much louder and faster chanting and kinhin that we practice in the Silent Thunder Order. I had do do something although I felt different doing so.

Feeling and doing are not always aligned and Myozen-sensei, describes this sensation from a gender perspective, as in role playing one way but being seen by others in a hard caste-like stereotype-a kind of foot in both worlds.

The article from which these notes are taken is a double helix of koan study from a seventh century woman Master-a Zen Matriarch: Iron Grindstone Liu, and a twenty-first century, woman Zen Hojo.

Points to Ponder:

  1. What is role playing

  2. How do we pass seamlessly between the temporal and absolute

  3. Can intimacy be non sexual and non gender

  4. Why could the "Old Cow" hold her own

108 Bows




August 4, 2020: "Don't Know and Not Clear," an exploration of key considerations in Zen awareness

August 11, 2020: "Ask Sensei and Bring a Friend to Zen," Prepare your questions and bring a friend or ten to Zen.

August 15, 2020: "A Silent Zazenkai," three back to back to back 50 minute zazen-sits, short knihins, and Dharma discussion afterward with tea. 9:00AM/ET to 12:30PM/ET

August 18, 2020: "A Zen Flick," join us in a short video and Dharma discussion

August 25, 2020: A Dharma Talk: "The Trapezoid is Gone," by Ku Wasan Ann Glasman, Priest and Dharma Teacher, in the Silent Thunder Order. Ku Wasan is one of two Mentors in our Discipleship Training Program at Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha working with Mokuo and Enjitsu-sans

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