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«  Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncertain
December 29th, 2013

illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)

« Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncertain,
what should I do? »

   You know of people who died younger than you currently are…
   You know of people who are very old, and you accept that you may die before reaching the same age…
   If you don't know when you'll die, how long do you plan to postpone wholesome cultivation ( and appropriate action? (

   Given the chosen illustration (just to question how many nudes of 'young' and 'female' should be on a g+ stream before people enquire into their assumptions about beauty and art), let's focus on what "wholesome cultivation" and "appropriate action" might mean for men… Hopefully, this might not only support men to enquire into their views of themselves, but also support women to enquire into their projections onto men.

   "Real men" are kind, gentle, compassionate and nurturing.

   In many cultures, this is not the message commonly spread, but these cultures rarely shine by their peacefulness and happiness; just saying…
   Only weaklings cling to their manhood as if it was in danger as soon as they manifest some 'feminine' qualities. There's nothing degrading in such qualities and nothing intrinsically female; fearing some loss when manifesting them is basic stupidity. The rigid, outdated masculine stereotype is just that: a stereotype, a projection, a mental fabrication of permanent and inherent traits in relation to some distinction. Don't cling to such ignorant mental proliferations!

   In pāramitā terms, wisdom is 'feminine'… For as long as men reject their 'feminine', wisdom is out of reach, perfections are out of reach, the cessation of suffering is out of reach. 'Experiencing' is genderless: gender is only part of the circumstances of the experience, it is not some sort of 'core'. As long as one clings to a gender (and, even worse, to traits projected on the said gender), experiencing things will be biased, the reality check will not match anticipations and presumptions, life will be unsatisfactory. Nirvāṇa is in experiencing things as they are (without bias, without prejudice, without preference obscuring reality).
   The buddhas are compassionate, and they guard their mind door not to let mere mental proliferations about any gender (not to let reifications of characteristics attached to composed, impermanent phenomena) pollute their perception of reality and make their response less appropriate to the need of the situation at hand.

   If a man cannot embody love ( and due to some deluded view —from men or women— about gender (, how will he cultivate selflessness (beyond mere intellectual doctrine/dogma)?

   Find the True Self beyond stereotypes!
   Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncertain,
'now' is a good time to review antiquated stereotypes.

painting: "Académie d’homme âgé nu" by © Axel Gallén (Akseli Gallen-Kallela).