Dharma Name

 

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About a year ago, Buddhist monk Bhante Mihintala Kamalasiri gave me a Dharma name. As a Westerner, I do not know the significance of a Dharma name. I know that names are very significant all over the world. A Dharma or Dhamma name is traditionally given by a Buddhist monastic, and is given to newly ordained monks, nuns, and laity. A Dharma name is used to identify oneself as a practitioner of Buddhism.

My Dharma name is: Jinani (Daughter of Rishi). Jinani is also an Arabic name for girls that means “heavenly.” A Rishi is a Hindu sage or saint. A Rishi can also be a yogi.

Just like Native American names, I ponder the meaning of my Dharma name. What does it mean to be a Daughter of Rishi? I am ready to explore this name and its meaning. I realize that the universe has bestowed a new name for me. I am ready to accept the name.

I know that as Buddhist Monks progress in their development, they receive new names. Therefore, there is no need to become attached to a certain name. Therefore, I know that I received the name Jinani for where I am today in my development.

Like I mentioned, I received this name a year ago. And actually, I forgot all about the name until recently. Lately, I’ve become more rooted in Buddhism and in my spirituality. So, maybe it is time for me to recognize the name.

Namaste, world.

*I will be in Europe June 20 to July 6. I will have limited access to a computer, therefore, I will blog after I return.

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Pain – By Ven. Kittisaro

paintingBuddhism swings you right out – the First Noble Truth – to look right at pain or unhappiness. It is the same thing as when Jesus said, “Pick up your cross.” We’ve got to bear the cross: the whole symbol of surrendering, rather than using his powers to fly up into the sky. We turn to pain and look right at it, feel it and investigate it: “What is it?” Notice how thoughts say, “This is pain – this is horrible. I can’t take this anymore.” We begin to watch the nature of these ideas that we tack onto the pain: making it my pain, and unendurable.

Mysteriously, once we start to look at pain it changes too, because it’s not a solid thing. So, this is what the physicists are learning: just the act of observing something is actually participating in changing it. By looking at suffering, we’re actually part of the transformation of it. Understanding it, standing under it, bearing with it, we become free from false notions of pain and pleasure. By investigating it, already we see it as something that appears to us, and then dispassion arises. – Venerable Kittisaro

*Painting by Brenna Garens