Just got my rakusu back from Brad, stamped and all.
My Dharma name is 燃亀労連
I *think* the proper reading (using On reading instead of Kun) is Nen-kin Rou-ren, which roughly means blazing turtle work group.
When he was visiting, Brad had mused that he might assign Japanese monster names to his initiates (people that take jukai with him), and I had favored Gamera at the time, so that is the source for "blazing turtle." Of course there may be some more poetic tones in that. I'm not too sure. My first reaction is the firery anger/distrust I can express, and the hard shell.
I don't know quite what to make of rou-ren (work gang). It is, of course, a phonetic pun on my name, Lauren. The compound is recognized in some dictionaries as "labor union," but I don't like that concept much. I'm very much a right-to-work kind of guy. However, work gang has some meaning in the sense of a group of people striving to get something practical done.
Now I am setting about learning rakusu chant. There appear to be a few variations on the kanji used to express it, and, of course, some slight variations in the English translation. Here is the Nishijima kanji and translation. See further commentary by Nishijima Roshi here
With this blog I strive to share what I've learned and think about Buddhism. I'm striving to do zazen and follow the 10 precepts. Buddhism seems to be helpful, but shrouded in too much weight and mystery.
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Most people end up here because they are surfing for a picture of a fish bowl. Go figure.....