Sara H wrote:Are you talking about Anatta or the concept of no "sepperate-self".
Or the second Noble Truth being that clinging/craving/insisting/the "I must have" being the cause of suffering. ? Or something else?
Yes, I am referring to selflessness and the second noble truth, as they are related very closely. Identifying with something is grasping a self, and that causes suffering. More to the point of gender, here is what Soma bhikkhuni said in reply to Mara,"What difference does being a woman make when the mind's well-centered, when knowledge is progressing, seeing clearly, rightly, into the Dhamma. Anyone who thinks 'I'm a woman' or 'a man' or 'Am I anything at all?' — that's who Mara's fit to address."
There is also a longer sutta on the subject: Saññoga Sutta
. Furthermore, in chapter seven of the Vimalakirti Sutra (tr. Charles Luk) it is said,"all women are the same and though they appear in female form, they are fundamentally not women. Hence the Buddha said: ‘All things are neither male nor female’. ... The form of a woman neither exists nor is non-existent."
So, it is a part of Buddhism that one should remove identification with one's gender, as part of getting rid of sensual desire.
Sara H wrote:I view it as an "aspect" of me, in the same way that my hair color or eye color is.
Since you identified yourself in this thread as a transgender Buddhist, my question occurred because it seems to me that being a transgender is a very important thing for you. Or, if you don't mind me saying, being a woman is important for you.
Therefore I ask how you manage these two views to be helpful for you in your life.
We have to use words friend.
We can't just not use them
In order to speak to each other and clearly understand what we are talking about, we have to use words and labels to describe things.
If somebody asks you, "how are you feeling?" In a casual conversation, you can't just say "oh, well there is no 'me' that is feeling" and walk away.
I mean you could, but they'd look at you like you'd grown a second head.
There is the concept of two truths: Ultimate and relative.
All is One, AND all is different.
We are all not-separate from the Eternal, but, in form and feel we are different.
Ultimately, there is nothing in me that is truly separate from say a bus.
But that doesn't mean that if I walk in front of one that it won't still hit me.
I still have to call it a bus, and I still have to refer to myself as 'me'.
Knowing ultimate Truth, doesn't mean we can stop using words and speech.
We are still human and so still have to say "I'll have the side of fries and a salad". So that the person taking your order knows who to give what.
Same goes with gender.
The Buddha talked about gender as well. We still have to use words.
Does that help?
Also I wanted to add,
that "no separate-self" is not the same thing as "selflessness".
There is no "separate-self" as in an individual identity that is somehow "separate" from the Eternal.
That doesn't mean that there is no "self" at all that arises.
Things do arise that we have to deal with that are a part of what we call the "self".
In Gasshō, friend,
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil
" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy