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how do we get a Buddhist name

Do I Have To Take on a Buddhist name?
How is a Name chosen?
How is the Meaning to a Name chosen?

Comments

  • cazcaz Veteran United Kingdom Veteran

    Some traditions give refuge names when one confirms their refuge others don't.
    I wouldn't be so concerned with a name as its only superficial.

    VastmindvinlynInvincible_summerkarasti
  • @caz said:

    ok thanks

  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran

    Best bet is to let go of your name.

    Earthninja
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @HollyRose1‌, more important than obtaining a Buddhist name, is getting more or less everything in line. Once you do that - you don't even need to bother with a name. :D .

    VastmindInvincible_summerBuddhadragon
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    MODERATOR NOTE:
    Talking of names, it can't have escaped the notice of many members here, that when you specify another member's forum name by putting the "@" sign in front of it (addressing someone specifically in response to a comment they made) that a short-list of member's names to choose from, comes up. clicking on the required member's name, does nothing. Neither does double-clicking, and 'ctrl enter' doesn't work either...
    So: arrow down to the required name and hit 'tab'. that brings it up in your post.
    Hope this helps!

    MOD-NOTE ENDS. Ok, back to topic!

    EarthninjaBunks
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited August 2014

    Disclaimer: I'm only speaking for the monastery I attend...

    FWIW...I was pretty disappointed how the whole thing went. Which worked in my favor...hahaha..I'll post/re-tell my story...It's in a previous thread, along with some others' story...

    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/21397/my-jukai#latest

    They were pretty much mass produced as in...everyone in the group and everyone that showed up on retreat got one ....except for me. Personal to that individual ?? ... Eh... Not so much. IMO, pretty generic... " One who is compassionate"... " He who sits with stillness"..." You got a calm mind"...etc..

    The ones who did get names...don't attend anymore and I'm still left. No name and all. .. :) ..

  • Once you practice with a particular group for a while, you may decide to take the vows and receive a name.

  • The only name I really enjoy is Buddhist Bozo. But it would most likely frowned upon.

    ZenshinHollyRose1Earthninja
  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    You can imagine how hard it was for fans of John Cleese's role in faulty towers, to keep a straight face when one kind practitioner was being given the ordination name of Basil.

    ZenshinHollyRose1Invincible_summerShoshin
  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran

    @HollyRose1 - Perhaps it's worth examining why you're interested in a "Buddhist name" (whatever that means, as Buddhism crosses various cultures and languages).

    Is it to define your identity as a "Buddhist?" Is it to challenge the status quo? To be unique? To deepen your practice?

  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    edited August 2014

    @HollyRose1 said:
    Do I Have To Take on a Buddhist name?

    No.

    How is a Name chosen?

    A Buddhist or Refuge name is given at the time of a formal refuge. The name is chosen by the the person who is preceptor of the vows.

    How is the Meaning to a Name chosen?

    I've heard a number of different exxplanations. It seems that the name is meant to challenge or inspire. My name, in Tibetan, means "Clear Light Dharma Bearer". Those are not qualities a currently manifest, so it must be something to be practiced towards.

    Naming, in a Buddhist context, general signifies the "refugee" cultivating what is called "Heart of Renunciation". What is renounced is Samsara. In my lineage, this is first demonstrated though the cutting of hair (just a few strands). Then the refugee is told his/her new name. Together, they are emblematic of a new life. The old life is cut away, and a new name is given to commemorate it.

    It was an important moment for me. It was the moment I became a Buddhist. So the name is important. I was given a certificate with my name written in both English and Tibetan. I have it framed on the wall next to where I sit in my shrine room. I know people who abandoned their "Christian" name and go by their Refuge Name exclusively.

    People are also given names when they take Bodhisattva Vows or are ordained into the Monastic Sanghas. A lot of western monks and nuns take their monastic name exclusively.

    HollyRose1anataman
  • i had just wondered about it... i tried to do research on it ....but i was not sure if i read things right on other web sites i was just curious ....... and my sister had asked if people who are Buddhist got a Buddhist name . and that got me curious. my sister is in a pagan spiritual group and she has her spiritual name.

    Invincible_summer
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    I made mine up :buck: .

    HollyRose1EarthninjaBunksKundo
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I have a forum name, which is actually my middle name; I don't have a Buddhist Sangha name, which is fine; I personally feel, from my own PoV, that it's an added affectation I don't need. One more thing to become detached from...

    I would venture to guess that I have a few unknown choice names given to me by forum members whenever I get my Mod-stick out and knock a few heads together.... But I don't know what they are, though I could hazard a guess they're not very complimentary!! :D .

    vinlynHollyRose1Kundo
  • ZenBadgerZenBadger Derbyshire, UK Veteran

    It is hard enough to be attached to one self by a name, imagine how hard it is to be attached to two selves by two names? @HollyRose1‌ if you do get a name sometime, please wear it lightly.

    Buddhadragon
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    @ZenBadger said:
    It is hard enough to be attached to one self by a name, imagine how hard it is to be attached to two selves by two names? HollyRose1‌ if you do get a name sometime, please wear it lightly.

    Or don't let it go to your head.
    One more name, one more ego string to sever...

    Invincible_summeranataman
  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    when i become a monk one day then i would probably be given a Buddhist name that would be something similar to gung ho.

    lobsterDairyLamaKundo
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    What's the Pali translation of "Slap upside de head"....? :D .

  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran
    edited August 2014

    @federica तलघातक means to slap with the palm of the hand...

    http://dictionary.tamilcube.com/pali-dictionary.aspx

    BunksKundoRowan1980
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    No offence to anyone (maybe it's the Aussie coming out in me) but assigning yourself a Buddhist name just seems really wanky to me. It's a sign that someone takes themselves a little too seriously perhaps?

    Anyway, each to their own.

    KundovinlynHollyRose1
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Perhaps that's a little harsh. If assigning yourself a name helps in your practice then who am I to judge.

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Bunks said:
    Perhaps that's a little harsh. If assigning yourself a name helps in your practice then who am I to judge.

    As long as it's not Collingwood related :P ...

    Bunks
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @Bunks said:
    No offence to anyone (maybe it's the Aussie coming out in me) but assigning yourself a Buddhist name just seems really wanky to me. It's a sign that someone takes themselves a little too seriously perhaps?

    It could be that, or it could be a way of expressing a commitment to Dharma, like being "reborn"....but not "born again" :p

    Chaz
  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran
    edited August 2014

    I still stand by my original comment. Don't get a Buddhist name; get a "Buddhist" name... no name. :D   Skip creating and clinging to a new label, because it'll just leave you clinging to two names! The only people who should need a Buddhist name are monks and nuns. Lay Buddhists still go by their birth names in conducting their lives... so use it when you need to, and let go of it in your own mind. Recognize it for what it is.

  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    @AldrisTorvalds said:
    I still stand by my original comment. Don't get a Buddhist name; get a "Buddhist" name... no name. :D   Skip creating and clinging to a new label, because it'll just leave you clinging to two names! The only people who should need a Buddhist name are monks and nuns. Lay Buddhists still go by their birth names in conducting their lives... so use it when you need to, and let go of it in your own mind. Recognize it for what it is.

    Hmmm..

    Clinging to two names is no different that clinging to one name. Might as well try to do without both. Can't have any clinging now can we? Good louck on that.

    And besides, it's not about removing things from your life that you clings to, avoiding them or to pretend that you're not clinging. It's about the roots of clinging - what causes it in the first place. Until you address and transcend that ....

    The only people who should need a Buddhist name are monks and nuns.

    Being something to cling to, even monks and nuns don't need "Buddhist" names. Right?

    The Buddha eschewed all material possessions. He had nothing like that to cling to. He even left behind emotional attachments such as those to friends and family. It did no good in his search for an answer to the question of birth, old age, sickness and death. The path to enlightenment was elsewhere.

    So if you want a Buddhist name, go for it. Join a sangha, take refuge vows and take the name yor preceptor gives you. If you end up clinging to it, so what? It's not the only thing you cling to and they won't come and take your Super Secret Vajra Decoder Ring for it.

  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran
    edited August 2014

    @Chaz said:
    Being something to cling to, even monks and nuns don't need "Buddhist" names. Right?

    To refer to each other since they've put their old names away. Perhaps abandoning the names they've been attached to, identified with, for so long will open them up to the reality of names, of labels.

    People can do what they want. I'm not going to insist that I'm right or that anyone else is wrong, I'm just expressing my opinion on the matter (for the OP).

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @AldrisTorvalds said:
    I still stand by my original comment. Don't get a Buddhist name; get a "Buddhist" name... no name. :D   Skip creating and clinging to a new label, because it'll just leave you clinging to two names!

    Taking on a new name can be quite liberating, it can be a different "you". I once worked with a guy who'd legally changed his name to "Fox Mulder" out of the X Files. Though we worked in a school, and the kids thought he was very odd. ;)

    Toraldris
  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran
    edited August 2014

    @SpinyNorman LOL! Well okay you have a point, but consider if he changed his name legally then he also left the old one behind (to some extent). I think changing a name can be a good thing. Liberating, as you say. It's adding names, something additional to "be", that I don't see much efficacy in.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    The naming thing is interesting. My teacher gives them when we take refuge, but only if he has worked with you in person some to know you well enough to assign you a name. We don't use our Dharma names in retreats or sangha gatherings. A couple of people from our sanga kind of created separate identities based on their Buddhist name. So they have one persona that is their Dharma name, where they use social media, email and other things to post anything Buddhist related. Then they have their normal western name and they use that to post everything else. It's strange to me to separate my "buddhist identity" from my "western identity" so I don't do it. I have a Buddhist name but sometimes I have to stop to think of what it is. I don't have a Buddhist identity that is different from the rest of my identity. It's enough to learn to let go of one, it seems much more complicated to switch between 2 and then try to let go of them both!

    Toraldris
  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran
    edited August 2014

    @karasti said:
    It's enough to learn to let go of one, it seems much more complicated to switch between 2 and then try to let go of them both!

    That's more or less what I meant, with the stuff you said about identity thrown in. At least someone thinks along the same lines I do. Feels like I'm always in the minority. ;)  

  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    @karasti said:
    The naming thing is interesting. My teacher gives them when we take refuge, but only if he has worked with you in person some to know you well enough to assign you a name. We don't use our Dharma names in retreats or sangha gatherings. A couple of people from our sanga kind of created separate identities based on their Buddhist name. So they have one persona that is their Dharma name, where they use social media, email and other things to post anything Buddhist related. Then they have their normal western name and they use that to post everything else. It's strange to me to separate my "buddhist identity" from my "western identity" so I don't do it. I have a Buddhist name but sometimes I have to stop to think of what it is. I don't have a Buddhist identity that is different from the rest of my identity. It's enough to learn to let go of one, it seems much more complicated to switch between 2 and then try to let go of them both!

    But consider this:

    We are naming things every single moment, and that even includes oursleves.

    And we cling to each and every one of them, not because they're names. What they are is incidental. Adding a name won't make too much difference, Perhaps none at all. Abandoning a name won't do much either, beceause in the next moment will be naming it again.

    That's why I posted earlier that we have to find the cause of this naming/clinging, because until we deal with that, the naming/clinging will simply continue unabated.

  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran
    edited August 2014

    @Chaz I agree with you on a certain level, but I think we have to recognize our naming/clinging before we can really cut the roots. Seeing reality as it is, and seeing what the mind is doing, are paramount to abandoning unskillful thought patterns. Buddhism is really all about that; seeing how it really is, recognizing how it causes suffering to arise, and then abandoning it. Every little bit helps.

    Trying to lessen your attachment does actually have benefits. That's one of the benefits of renouncing. You still want, but you have to deal with that want. You have to see it as the big-bad that is causing your pain, instead of the absence of your stuff. Lay Buddhists can renounce all sorts of things, including the conditioned identity they've been given and have reinforced over years.

    The more you give up, the more stark dukkha becomes. You have to get to know dukkha before anything else... that's really the first step.

  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    @AldrisTorvalds said:
    Chaz I agree with you on a certain level, but I think we have to recognize our naming/clinging before we can really cut the roots. Seeing reality as it is, and seeing what the mind is doing, are paramount to abandoning unskillful thought patterns. Buddhism is really all about that; seeing how it really is, recognize how it causes suffering to arise, and then abandon it. Every little bit helps.

    I will have to disagree.

    Yes, we have to realize what we're doing before we can get at the root, but simply dropping a name is insufficient. It's insufficient because the process continues. You have to breaak the pattern itself, not the patterns courser outcome.

    Stomping on a cockroach will not solve a cockroach problem.

    So rather than run around, blindly trying to drop this, that or the other thing in some vain and futile hope that something beneficial is going on, find the root. Then you'll solve the problem. The real skill is in not having it happen in the first place.

  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran
    edited August 2014

    @Chaz We just don't see eye-to-eye, and that's okay. I think that every little bit helps and it's all interconnected. It's not about just doing something, like giving up a name, but about understanding why... opening up and seeing how hollow the name ever was, how it would misdirect from who/what you are in this moment by imposing the conditioning of history and identity. It's an ongoing process, not some instant insight. It's not about blindly doing anything, but true reflection and meditation about how the mind works and where suffering is really coming from. Like I said, recognizing dukkha is the first step. Intellectual understandings are nothing. Along with recognizing dukkha you'll recognize not-self and impermanence; all connected. It's about effort in the end.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I don't think, if we are going to continue to live in the world, that we can simply abandon and stop naming things. It is a requirement of communication. Some people cling to their names greatly, some less so. Some people identify very strongly with their name to the point they don't feel they exist without it. The people I talked about in my post are that way with both their identities. They are very attached to their Buddhist name and the world that goes along with it. They are somewhat averse to their western name and all that goes with it, and it's like they are trying to shift from one to the other, but since they have friends and family to still interact with, they aren't wanting to fully make a shift from "western" to "Buddhist" and the idea of combining those 2 things is just incomprehensible to them. They are desiring to be something other than they are, and that is causing them suffering in some way. Not so much the naming itself, but in attaching their identities to the name and not being able to see that the name doesn't really matter, even if it's there for ease of conversation.

    Toraldris
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited August 2014

    @Chaz said:
    So rather than run around, blindly trying to drop this, that or the other thing in some vain and futile hope that something beneficial is going on, find the root. Then you'll solve the problem.

    Paradoxically deliberately naming things can be an effective way of seeing them more clearly. I don't just mean mental noting, but deliberately naming objects.

  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    Paradoxically deliberately naming things can be an effective way of seeing them more clearly. I don't just mean mental noting, but deliberately naming objects.

    Absolutely.

    They say, that when the Buddha saw the First Noble Truth, he deliberately chose the word Dukkha to describe it. We have to relate to phenomena and each other so we give things names. We have to call it something if we're going to successfully communicate. As you point out, to see more clearly. Having those names for things doesn't mean we cling to them. There's nothing in the name that that causes clinging. That comes from somewhere else.

    This can also apply to a Refuge naming. There can be clinging, yes, but having one doesn't presuppose even the potential to cling. As was explained to me, the name should be viewed as an aspiration. Yes, you can cling to an aspiration, but having one doesn't mean you're clinging.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    @HollyRose1

    Flogging a dead horse or just another Buddhist name you are unlikely to ever see.

    Names can be assumed, be given or even be un necessary depending on your teacher, linage or the nature of your connection to them.
    What ever practice that you end up following will have their own naming etiquette and so you need not worry about it now.

    The more obvious factors with names and Buddhist practice are...

    There is using what ever helps anyone on the path towards suffering's cessation, which might be a new name to remind them of their aspiration to walk in that direction.

    There is the letting go of such aids when they are no longer helping anyone. Sometimes likened to a raft that you've built to get to another shore with but that needs to be left behind once that passage is finished in order to continue on.

    And it's close relative, not mistaking such an aid for the path itself or in Zen parlance, not mistaking the finger pointing at the moon for the moon itself.

    Most of the responses on this thread simply explain Buddhist names with one or more of these truths in mind.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @Chaz said:

    I can look at my sofa and label it as "sofa", and that's fine. I can label it as "red", and that's fine. And so on. But a problem might arise if one of my friends came round and spilled coffee all over it!

    Chaz
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    you can label him 'friend' and that's fine. Coffee incidents can change so much, can't they....?! :D .

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