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Lions Roar : May 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN MAy 2009 86 All men? Neither of these statements comes anywhere near being a universal truth, and they do a kind of violence both to the people they purport to de- scribe and to the arguments they’re meant to support. later in the essay she does acknowledge that “what men, and those who aspire to the male gender role, take on is astounding; what we, as a cul- ture do to men and to surrogate men, is inhumane...” While we’re still in the realm of generalizations, statements like this do provide a welcome sense of com- plexity when they’re added to the mix. At such moments the reader might wish for less repetition of this kind of argument and for more exploration of remedies, because some of Gross’ in- sights are wonderful. She talks about the Vajrayana deconstruction of a person into body, speech, and mind, and how a lot of Vajrayana practice is about transforming them from a temporary state of confu- sion into a manifestation of true clarity. But to the extent that women’s fates have been determined largely by their bodies, development of their speech and mind has suffered, and our cultures have been impoverished. This is a fresh way of look- ing at things, possible only because Gross looks at feminism with Buddhist eyes and Buddhism with feminist eyes. She also has a keen eye for how Bud- dhist practices could help liberate us from the rigidity of gender roles—how certain meditative investigations are powerfully deconstructive of our ideas about the self, and how helpful it would be to turn that deconstructive light on our ideas about gender. Sometimes one of her seemingly off-handed remarks lands like a lightning bolt. She says, for example, that we’ve grown tired of the gender conversation between actual men and women, so we’ve turned to discussions of “feminine” and “masculine” energies because that’s easier, and also fun for our egos to play with. In this book, the reader absorbs the in- telligence of Rita Gross’ mind, the frustra- tions and sorrows of her role as a reformer, Individual and group mentoring from home or office. 877.623.2504 • www.birthrightcoaching.com Birthright Coaching: Live the Undisturbed Life© Living an Undisturbed Life? Live peacefully and abundantly Master the arts of connection and intimacy Work-life, Relationships, Balance, Success LIFE & DEPTH COACHING Clarity • Compassion • Wisdom • Action Holistic, awareness centered Life & Performance Coaching. Experience greater clarity, order, focus and ease. Deepen relationships and empower professional success without falling into states of separation and attachment. Create an authentic, fulfilling, and harmonious life. 2 COACHES • 20 YEARS EXPERIENCE • 55 YEARS OF CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICE www.festivalmedia.org THE BEST BUDDHIST CINEMA ON DVD COMING SOON... enlightenment guaranteed “A brilliant comedy about self discovery. ” –WASHINGTON POST “A warm, closely observed satire of lived life.” –SF CHRONICLE The acclaimed breakthrough Zen dramedy by award-winning director Doris Dörrie Filmed on location at Sojiji Monastery, Monzen, Japan