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Thread: Jukai names

  1. #1

    Jukai names

    I have been contemplating recently about the notion of getting a new name at Jukai and wondering if this can be a cause of pride, or elevating the ego. However, on closer inspection it seems the other way around.

    From an early age we have an attachment to our given name (or some variant of it, occasionally something else) by which most people call us. By taking on another name it seems as though identity is not so solid. Already I am known by several names - dad to my kids, Andrew to my family, Andy to my friends and several different usernames on internet forums. It has taken this possibility of a dharma name to breach this solidity, though. Not only is the self not solid and unchanging, what I and others call it is too. Our name is not so much tattooed on our body as pencilled in, leaving space for the other titles we will have over time.

    Does anyone else have any feelings about this?


  2. #2
    It's currently a little past 6am and I haven't slept yet , so hopefully i'm still awake enough to understand your questioning and view.
    Well, it is a new label , but maybe not so much a new identity. But at the same time it is. The idea is that your name is a reflection of a trait your teacher sees in you. Or something to strive for. My name being Shonin is "manifestly clear patience". In my case it's definitely something to strive for. I did make the comment to Jundo that it was almost like a sick joke since I have ADD. Patience? Really? Yet each year I do grow more patient, it is a reminder to be patient with myself and others. and IS a lesson I need. Brain chemicals being what they are.
    You don't have to share your name with everyone. It can remain used only within Zen circles. But at the same time, there's no harm or shame in making others outside of our practice aware of this name, or even that you have one.
    If, as you suggest, this possibility of breaking of the solidity of identity. Well you said it yourself, it's not solid and unchanging to begin with. Who is this " I" that needs that identification?
    I think it CAN be a cause of pride or elevation of ego. But that can really only stem from a misunderstanding of why the name is given I would think.
    Really the spirit of Jukai is ,in it's own way, about a new beginning(with no beginning or end). The name represents the "you" that has chosen to live in service to others. Instead of making you feel mighty, it should really (to me anyways) be more humbling.
    Dave _/\_

  3. #3
    Thank you Karasu for the thread and Shonin for your sharing (more brilliant than sleepy }

    Like you say, over time we all have several names. My first one was supposed to be Dick in honor of the book 'Dick and Jane' that my brother was reading in Grade One. But, when they got to the church it became Richard and that's what my mother always called me. I got various other forms of that thru my school years. My middle name is John and I joke that my parents named me after the toilet and then my first Dharma name was Shokai (Ocean life) whereas (as can be seen in my signature below), upon ordination the 'kai' was changed from 'ocean' to 'open'. Does it make a difference? Does it really matter? We grow into it and we move on with it. It all depends on what's in your heart

    Richard 'the Lion Heart?'
    Last edited by Shokai; 10-08-2013 at 12:53 PM.
    合掌 仁道 生開 - gassho, Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    一期一会 ("Ichi-go ichi-e," 'each single encounter is the one meeting') - "One Moment in Time"

  4. #4

    I try to pick a name that suits the personality of some folks or otherwise jumps into my heart. Sometimes a little tongue in cheek! Frequently, the name is an aspiration for what may someday be.

    But a name is just a name. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. My Teacher's name, Gudo, means "Foolish Way" because his teacher thought him a greet fool I suppose. I am Jundo, or "Pure Way", because I am so pure. Or maybe very much not!

    I will be sure to pick a dandy name for Andy. If pride is a concern, then perhaps a name you will be anything but proud of.

    My biggest oversight so far was to pick a name for one fellow, Wind (Fu) Sword (Ken) because of his interest in swords and Kendo. For some reason, I completely missed (honestly) that the name sounds not so nice if said fast with a British accent. True story. He decided to keep it ... Fuken Bob.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-09-2013 at 01:51 AM.

  5. #5
    That reminds me of Marie's 'Big fork'n spoon' in Everybody Loves Raymond
    合掌 仁道 生開 - gassho, Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    一期一会 ("Ichi-go ichi-e," 'each single encounter is the one meeting') - "One Moment in Time"

  6. #6
    I imagine Bob was saying 'Fuken Jundo!' Some of the Sanskrit ordination names can be problematic in English too.

    The best thing about the name is that it is a gift rather than something we get to chose.


  7. #7
    With that I can just hear Andy saying, "Bring it on big guy!"
    合掌 仁道 生開 - gassho, Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    一期一会 ("Ichi-go ichi-e," 'each single encounter is the one meeting') - "One Moment in Time"

  8. #8
    Hi Andy. The funny thing is, I thought Karasu WAS your Dharma name. Jundo that is hilarious.

    I feel like many things it is what you make it. If you are prideful that you have a Dharma name and others don't then yes it is a source of pride. If you see it as a commitment or cementing of practicing this way, or as an act of taking a spiritual name versus your given name, in a way adding to the negating the self then it is that.

    You don't strike me as immature or prideful Andy, Karasu, Dad so I think you are good


    Clark, Dad, Dr. Casteel, Pappy, Son, Triple C, Clark W Griswald

  9. #9
    I have been called so many names that at some point I tried to correct everyone to call me just one.

    At the end, that didn't mess with who I am at all.

    We are who we are despite labels and names.

    Enjoy your new dharma name.


    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  10. #10
    Is Jukai an annual thing?

  11. #11
    In a word, yes!


    Quote Originally Posted by Bunny View Post
    Is Jukai an annual thing?

  12. #12
    A nd that from a man ofany words

    Sent from my Note 2 using Tapatalk4
    合掌 仁道 生開 - gassho, Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    一期一会 ("Ichi-go ichi-e," 'each single encounter is the one meeting') - "One Moment in Time"

  13. #13

  14. #14
    I'm guessing that whatever it might be, I have been called worse. I was much more concerned about a "special" name when I was sitting "alone". Now that I am practicing within this Sangha, I'm not so concerned. Why? Who knows? But Fuken Bob...... Now, that's a good one!

  15. #15
    Me too William! When sitting alone, I often looked at this site that tries to collect and register known Dharma names and wondered.... Now not so much anymore. "Spotted apple", potato-peal or something that translates in "my hopeless pet project" is just fine too. I think when we actually get it, it will feel like a fresh start though.



  16. #16
    I hope at least we get an accurate translation. Don't want to end up like this!!

  17. #17

  18. #18
    Oh, you mean something like:
    馬臀 - Umaden - Horse Buttocks
    合掌 仁道 生開 - gassho, Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    一期一会 ("Ichi-go ichi-e," 'each single encounter is the one meeting') - "One Moment in Time"

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Karasu View Post
    I hope at least we get an accurate translation. Don't want to end up like this!!
    LOL ... Me either!


  20. #20
    Pondering Dharma names, this thread popped up and gave me a chuckle...


  21. #21
    Interesting thing with the Japanese characters, called kanji, is that the same Kanji has similar but different meanings depending on context and placement within the word. For example the 岩 in 明岩 in Japanese can stand for rock, Boulder, crag, cliff, anchor.

    Marc Connery
    Myo̅ Gan - Bright Cliff

    I put the Monkey in Monkeymind

  22. #22
    Interesting thread to read and reflect on.
    Thank you for digging it up, Jakuden.

    I'm given the name "Washin" (Harmonious, Cooperative Mind-Heart) where I sense
    presence of some traits of my character (cooperative, collaborative.. don't know but some say)
    as well as something to strive for (harmony, balance, no extremes -- the middle way..)
    So, here we have Washin, sitting and "washing colors with white"
    I really like it.

    Last edited by Washin; 01-13-2016 at 02:40 PM.

  23. #23
    I found this interesting article recently on this very topic. It helped me approach the subject of dharma names with some humility:

    "It’s not that you get a new name — it’s that the rug is pulled out from your old one. Nothing has been replaced, only lost. A name is a powerful thing. If your name is Susan, you’re probably always been Susan. That name is one of the first words you heard, one of the first words you learned to identify with a signifier. You most likely cannot imagine notbeing Susan. You know where Susan went to high school, who her best friends are, what she likes and what she avoids. You know Susan’s favorite color. You know how she walks, what flavor ice cream she always chooses. There’s a good chance that you know what Susan wants.
    But if Susan is given the name Daiji, and if she uses it, suddenly there’s a disconnect. It’s jarring to be called by another name, especially when that name is attached to a particular practice, a specific way of being. Susan might always get mint chocolate chip, but Daiji doesn’t know what to order. Daiji and Susan are not really from the same place; they have a shared history, but Daiji’s is very short, very fresh in comparison (some priests celebrate their ordination day as their birthday — by that system, I’m a much younger man, with a much broader future). Daiji is all possibility. Specifically, Susan does not know how to live the precepts, how to fulfill vow. But that’s OK, because Daiji is the one who took on that responsibility, who was entrusted with saving all beings and cutting through all delusion. Daiji, if we’re lucky, might just see a way."


    Chiko (Matt)

  24. #24
    It’s about moving beyond being this person or that person, about expanding beyond what any one individual can aspire to.
    Good read.. Thank you for sharing, Chiko.


  25. #25
    I personally find the new Dharma name uncomfortable: as if it was clothing I have to grow into.
    Hanging on me a bit clumsy, like the rakusu.
    Others seem to look better with theirs...
    And I was afraid my parents would perceive it as a rejection of the name they chose for me.
    But everyone is very happy, my aunt even called to say she heard what a beautiful name I'd been given.

    Well, with my Sangha's help, I'll do my best to take care of this flower to heal and grow.

    治 Ji
    花 Ka

  26. #26 to grow into....well said.
    so happy for you and your family support

    Sat Today

  27. #27

    Jukai names

    Quote Originally Posted by Zuhair View Post

    [FONT=Georgia]"Itís not that you get a new name ó itís that the rug is pulled out from your old one. Nothing has been replaced, only lost.
    Not one effing think has changed about me when I got my dharma name. Nothing gained or lost.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
    Last edited by Jishin; 01-14-2016 at 12:08 AM. Reason: none

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