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Lions Roar : January 2018
“ma’am.” I was so used to seeing multiple shifting images in the mirror that I could not see the physical form that most oth- ers interpreted as female. I was inured to the hum in my brain during social interactions as I tried to sort out how to act as though I was a woman while my energetic body and soul were busy run- ning away. The work of passing as what people perceived me to be—female—was so much my normal state that when it busted open one day on an ordinary walk, I literally fell down in my tracks. Suddenly, I needed to change things— a lot of things—but I didn’t know what or how. Could I change a few things without losing everything? Everything might be of the nature to change, but what do you face when you launch your- self into the unknown? I changed my name and, for the first time in my life, I felt addressed when people called to me. Half a year later, I changed my pronouns and had to deal with the way that few people were willing to use “he” or “they” pronouns. More slowly, I discovered that I was clinging hard to the notion that I shouldn’t willfully mess with this perfectly good body. I confronted the possibility that for me, this belief was just as much a habituated story as the conventional sto- ries that call some bodies male and some female. The Sutra on Invoking Avalokitesvara is all about deep listening: “We invoke your name in order to practice listening with all our attention and open-heartedness. We will sit and listen without any preju- dice. We sit and listen without judging or reacting. We sit and listen in order to understand. We sit and listen so atten- tively that we will be able to hear what the other person is saying and also what is being left unsaid.” What would it mean to listen to myself? I decided to bring that question to the center of my meditation practice. I cultivated deeply listening to everything “unexpectedly centering.” @simply_sitting /simplysittinggear simplysitting.com f ind true center the ultra lightweight meditation seat that breaks down and reassembles in one swift, magnetic motion for easy portability patented pedestal design promotes perfect posture, balance, and breathing the evolution of the meditation bench handcrafted and curved for comfort “groundbreaking.” “a total game changer.” LION’S ROAR | JANUARY 2018 20