More changes


The funniest of the ongoing changes is: feeling feminin.

I know I was born in a female body, I wore dresses and played (mainly) female characters in theater. I had boyfriends and fell in love like a girl with all that which my dear friend Judith and I summarized as ‘crocheing the curtains’.


When a woman likes a man and he in return seems to like her also, she would after the second date start to dream of a future together, in more or less detail. In the years when I was working as a comedian on a cruise ship, I was visiting my friend often and neither of us had a relationship. But we wanted one and we, when one of us would have met a nice guy who was not married yet, we would start all that mental proliferation of dreaming of future with Mr. Nice. Which, when they sensed it, made them run away screaming, I believe now. My friend is married by now, by the way – and happy, since several years.


So, what I wanted to say is, I know I am a woman. It didn’t bother me too much because I grew up with a big brother and learned from day one that a woman has to do every thing twice as good as a man to catch some attention. And I needed a lot of attention. So I learned to be better.


Since I am a nun I know that I am a women through the gender discrimination in monastic circles. That’s another story.


Though a woman I was never really girlish or not playing with my femininity, tricking and trapping men with it. (that’s my personal opinion.) I could always relate better with the masculine way… Did I think.

What I understand now is that I misunderstood and learned the masculine way of measuring and judging and applied it and hence was in accordance with the men but not really feminine. Of course I learned that being a woman has its advantages sometimes and I learned how women use them, but I always was rather on the side to feel hurt by women’s games and didn’t do it myself. (Please correct me if I’m wrong, guys)


Since I understood that I judge with a man’s scale, I started to see how this makes me strong on one side but also ridged. I never experienced myself as ridged, I have to say. I wanted the rules of the Buddhist nuns and I didn’t rest until I had them and I didn’t need to force myself not to break them. I had no need to.

I didn’t want to remember things that do not lead to enlightenment and many things like the songs of a jazz program that I once had disappeared out of my mind and I would neither remember the text nor the melody. It was not difficult to be celibate, I didn’t even think of sex. Once I said to Grace, who was curious about the nun’s life: ‘Even if 10 of the most beautiful and attractive men were dancing naked in front of me I would not have lust arising.’ And that was true.


And now, with 54, with wrinkles, hanging tits, and being a nun, I discover my femininity. It is accompanied with great softness, great love, overwhelming – which doesn’t mean that it is necessarily lustful but can sometimes. The practice that I started to add to my schedule seem to increase the sexual energies, though. Very interesting and slightly irritating since the disgust and the disenchantment with life as such and the understanding of how suffering comes into being also are overwhelming.

Sometimes I feel I could burst so full of love is the heart, and yet – all dukkha, anicca, anatta.


Coming along with the softness is some crying, not very often, but in 3 months certainly more than in the past 10 years together. All the songs from my jazz program came back to mind. And I take soy milk in the evening (set the case I have some) although earlier I looked down upon those who took unallowable things (such as chokolate, cheese, or soy milk in the afternoon). I let my mind go astray and just let it think the thoughts it wants to think. The opposite of what I did the past 6 years and of what I teach. Its mainly crap (what happens to become known as my thought, am not speaking of my teaching:) and not worth thinking but it is refreshing. And I speak during eating. And all with great love and joy.

As a Bhikkhuni all steps back. But this is where I’m at. Its good to see and to know. Big steps forward in seeing clearly and letting go. As a comrade for AD I’m certainly a pest for him. I must be annoying. But he didn’t say anything at pavarana day. 🙂




    • Dear Nick,

      boys in the west commonly grow up competing. Who runs faster, who is smarter, who pees further and what ever else. The education system encourages children to compete and boys are very supported in that by the family, sport clubs and so on. When one competes, one needs to judge. So boys learn to compete and judge everything every moment from a very early age on.

      Girls also learn to be judgmental but quite differently. Girls much more ask constantly ‘do you like this?’ and build their judgment not so much out of experiences made in competitions but through investigating and comparing.
      So, men develop a certain way of finding their place and value by following a strict and rigid code of their particular group. This code (this is what I called scale in the post) defines whether one is ‘in’ the group or ‘out’ or in as the looser or the winner.
      Hope that makes any sense and answers your question.

  1. Bhikkhuni, your thoughts touched me in a way difficult to describe.
    I can only imagine how some moment could have been sad and unbearable to make you cry in the last 3 months than you have done in the years….I know in dhamma we talk about getting over male/female boundaries and often talk about one of the longest way to ‘nibana’ is being stuck to the ‘gender’ specific roles….but how do you fight the chemistry that you are born with ? Female brain is hard-wired to look and feel world differently therefore can become hyper sensitive to everything that goes around us ….
    when I read the bit about you taking soy milk in the evening I remember listening to one of Ajhan Amarao’s talks where he described vinaya as holding on to things and dhamma as letting go …….
    Just want to share what came to my mind when I was reading your thoughts …..

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