Women have faced oppression and discrimination throughout history - even Buddhist history, beginning with the Buddha himself. In this talk, Shugen Sensei explores how we can move beyond our fear of differences by looking at a passage from the Vimalakirti Sutra in which the Goddess arranges for Shariputra to experience being in her female body. He realizes that an "essence" of maleness or femaleness cannot be found. What is it to be male? Female? Black? White? Where do these differences actually exist?