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  When a monk was traveling on the road, he met an old woman, and asked:
-I would like to know which way that leads to Chao-chou, would you please give me the direction?
The old waman replied:
-Just go straight, don't make any... continue...

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WORDLY NAME & DHARMA NAME
Mr. Justin,
You are making something unimportant a problem for the posters here.

When you were born, your parents might get a name they prepared for you, it was "Justin" in your case, beside your family name. It's also called proper name. In almost cases, a name might have some meaning that parents wanted their child to be in the way it was supposed to be. You may ask your parents about this.

Moreover, many people especially when growing up, they might be interested in chosing a nickname or a pen name for him/herself for many different reasons and meanings that they might want to have personally. For example, the name "Starduster" means, CT's guess, the man who got the name thinks he is a duster for some stars got a lot of dust that he met in the universe when he did his astral travelling - in other words - in his own dreams. And Mr. Hollow already expain about his chosen name is another example, too.

In the world of Buddhism. When a person who'd like to become a Buddhist they would get a new name by their primary teacher who is always a monk or a nun supposed to give him/her in a ceremony called "jukai" which means "receiving the precepts". This name is called "Dharma name" in all of the sects of Buddhism. The dharma name is always gets some meaning to the one who receives it. The meaning of a Dharma name is chosed by the primary teacher by taking from whether his/her linage tradition or from the look of the student who appears to him/her at the first moments they have each other. For example, Chon Tri is a Dharma name which was given by his teacher and it means the "True Wisdom," but actually he does not have any kind of wisdom at all. When this is done, the Dharma name is the official name of the student whenever he/she appears before Buddhist teachers and/or in any Buddhist communities. The student from now on belongs to the world of Buddhism and not to the outside world by the regulations of the Buddhist community. However, when the student comes back to his family or worldly society, he/she must do whatever the family or society requires him/her to do according to their regulations and laws, if any. And in this case, he/she is just a member of the family or a citizen of the society like any other living there.

As you might know, each and every dharma name of a zen teacher or master got its own meaning, for example, the Sixth patriarch of Zen in China, Hui-neng which means the "Function of Wisdom" or the Japanese Zen master named Dogen which means the "Source of Tao" or another one named Hakuun which means the "White Cloud", etc... In a Buddhist temple or monastery, a monk or nun is not allowed to be called by his/her worldly name. This is a strict thing, specially to a teacher or master.

Afterall, a name is a name. It is used to call or to indicate a person in communication, in spite of whoever or whatever you are.

ChonTri 01/16/2012


 



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