Saturday, April 01, 2006
"Laux, who prefers to use his Dharma name, Shirley,..."
How awesome is Sujatin? Even in the midst of great personal tragedy, she manages to mine life's humor. Here's her pointer to a story about a group of Zen men who are paving the way for equality of the sexes in their sanghas...by dressing as women themselves.
These individuals, who call themselves the Order of Dudes in Drag (ODD), say this form of practice has existed for more than 1500 years, tracing their lineage back to the bodhisattva Kannon. Kannon, also called Avalokiteshvara, is sometimes depicted as a man and sometimes as a woman. But ODDs are quick to distinguish their practice from other forms of androgyny. One member clarified, “I’m not a transvestite. I’m a mu-sexual.”My favorite bit. I think this arrogance comes through, in more (ahem) subtler ways, in all of our practices.
Just ask Jon Laux. A member of the Zen Center for several years, Laux was quick to see the truth in Gross’s message. “We always wear robes, which are kind of girly anyway. But then all at once it hit me – BOOM! – I could complement the robe with some strappy sandals and a pink rakusu. Gorgeous. It was a total kensho moment.”
Other members of ODD have difficulty working with the sartorial rigors of women’s fashion. Shirley explains: “Some of the guys have been trying to gain extra merit by tottering around on these stilettos. Well, the Buddha went through an ascetic phase too, and it didn’t do him any good, either.”Aaaah. Zenfolk have an irreverent exhuberance for life that is like a breath of fresh air wafting its way through a charnal pit.