Becoming Jivaka - the story of the first transgender monk

Wow! That sounds like the right view…at least to me. And I do find it curious that this topic persistently receives less attention than other more ‘comfortable’ topics here and wherever I try to address it-for example my challenge that people experiment with cross gendered dressing in order to experience their own attachment to their respective gender. Is this not clinging to gender as a crutch or worse as a construct which supports their power?

In this regard I am assuming, though you did not mention it, that I am one of those people. And you are correct in that I have suffered long in a society that regards women as second class, and anyone who would give up the keys to the throne [the penis] like a male to female transsexual is mentally ill or perverted.

Recognizing this gendered construct early in life is the thing that lead me to Buddhism as I experienced gender as phenomenological from an early age. I have also written about this experience of my gender dysphoria as a possible connection to my karmic rebirth.

So in recognition of my early awareness of gender as a construct, does this indicate that I am past the point of stream-entry?

I tried to invite Bhante Sujato without knowing if this was even right or possible, but it did not work.

Adding the @ symbol in front of a person’s username will notify that person that they were mentioned in a post, and is an easy way to get their attention. For example, @sujato, will most likely draw the attention of the venerable Bhante.


Dear Rosie, regarding your last question - I’m afraid that is WAY above my pay grade, and I will leave it to more learned practitioners to discuss. :smile:

With regards to using experiences of suffering as opportunities to refine practice, it is a perspective that has helped me greatly. It is just a general observation, and I hope it has been useful as another way to regard things.

All the best


M :slightly_smiling_face::dharmawheel:


If you are aware that your “awareness of gender as a construct” is also a construct, you might at least be on the right track. :slight_smile:

IMHO neither dependant origination or the 4 noble truths are ‘absolute’, they are aids for training.

Hey all, thanks for the beautiful thread!

@Rosie, can you clarify what it it is you wanted to draw my attention to?

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Respected Sir, hoping for your input/clarification on the persistence of gendered segregation as a way of organizing Buddhists into a hierarchy with male Buddhists at the top of the power pyramid: i.e Men deserving the most power and respect, then women, then closeted gay men, then pandakas , and trans people receiving the least amount of authority…all of which must be manifestations of dependent origination. If you could read my posts here regarding these things, and offer your wisdom, I will receive much clarity about my ‘muddy’ view of this subject. Would my early recognition of these conditioned roles allow me greater insight int conditioned phenomenon, and perhaps place me in the’stream’?

Or am I terribly confused? lol

Thanks, humbly with metta


This type of conditioning is mundane. It is like saying my childhood conditions me to be who I am today. True insight into conditioning should take one away from the solid world ‘outside’ and offer an insight into another conditioned way of experiencing phenomena. That is from the arising of the eye and visual object, eye consciousness arises. This conditions the next arising of contact. That in turn conditions the arising of feeling, identification and intention. This isn’t even ‘seeing’, but just the middle way of how the world arises, according to the paticcasamuppada.

Sorry if this isn’t clear, but seeing that this isn’t the topic at hand, it might be helpful to pursue it in another thread.

with metta


I thought the topic at hand was the emergence of trans people as Buddhist monks which relates to our gendered conditioning in this life.

Guess I just don’t understand the distinction. I could use a teacher.
Thank you

Just my opinion, but gender is only one of 100,000’s of delusions we all carry about. I think that that is also why it is not equally important to everybody. For some people other aspects are more important eg all the other identity constructs, value systems (including power heirarchies), interpersonal relationships etc. You can see concrete examples of this when looking at all the areas that people try to effect change (social justice, climate change, animal rights, free trade, armed conflicts/invasions, slavery, abortion > on and on and on…) All before you even get to seeing through the 6 consciousnesses, that @Mat mentioned.

Think of the image of a muddy 1,000 petaled lotus emerging from a pool, you have to get through all the petals before you get to the beautiful simply core. More like a 1,000,000 petaled lotus though.

I do have to laugh - everytime I think “whoa another layer removed”… 2 more reveal themselves…

Metta :rofl::dharmawheel:


Yes, but you conflated it with the topic of stream entry

Before arriving at formation there is a division . One established A to differentiate from B . How does one seek equality in duality ?!

Thank you so much @Bernat! I will study it when I have some more time.
Just one remark from my own research, you mention in your essay:

For in general sex-change does not happen naturally

Actually, it does, but it is rare. The mechanisms are scientifically not well understood yet. Most spontaneous sex-changes are from female-to-male and usually in puberty. It might have something to do with a person being intersex at birth and when the hormonal balance shifts at puberty, the sex changes. Considering that we have no indication that any sophisticated surgery of this kind existed in the time of the Buddha, but that children could ordain from a very early age, it might be a possible indication that this happened in that specific story.

Anyway, this is some initial thought and I might get back to you with more after reading your article.

Thank you all for your contributions in this thread. I’m a little lacking in time at the moment to comment but very much appreciate your thoughts and ideas.


Of course you are correct, and I thank you for helping me see things from a different perspective. My only point was that it is the first of all delusions, and therefore a good place to start examining our own attachment to our gendered identity.

May we all be liberated from suffering.

Dear Gene thank you for a truly profound question which defines my karma as a Trans woman.
My answer is that there is no A or B, there can only be equanimity by regarding both as phenomenon.


Quite right. An egregious display of ego seeking validation. I withdraw the question. :grimacing:

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Provided there is no duality.
That’s only possible to be fulfilled in one’s own mind .

Hi Gene, I would like a more in depth description of your statement. At this point I don’t know if we are agreeing or disagreeing. With Metta.

If you are looking for equality outside , you’re dividing your mind into mind and its ideal . That is duality . Thought are pursuing state . That is becoming .


See, I was right in adding “in general” just in case :rofl::rofl:

I’m not sure if this is what you’re referring to or it’s something else but there are cases where a kid is immune to testosterone and their testicles do not descend. In any case, it’s an interesting topic to explore.

Hope you get a break soon @Vimala !