08 February 2012

Wide Open, Exposed

I left work last week with everything pretty much as it has always been.  I showed up yesterday and found that the name on my door had been changed.

Seems there had been a meeting on Friday, and my one colleague kept saying "Shodhin" when referring to me (she and I are on another committee together, and she was reporting on our proceedings earlier in the week).  When she got quizzical looks, she explained about the new name, ordination, etc.  After the meeting, the Dean's secretary went and ordered me a new sign.

I hadn't been planning on it, since we're slated to move into a new building in May, and I just figured that the sign in the new building would reflect the new name.  But she went out of her way to make this happen now.  I felt like a kid on Christmas morning.  What an absolutely nice surprise!

I cannot begin to put words on how utterly freeing this name change business feels.  I cannot begin to put words on how weighty this all feels at the same time. 

Now it's one identity, 24/7.   Now the "vessel of the Dharma" language I heard prior to ordination makes so much more sense, because this vessel now sails all seas.  Now the this "blue beacon" (as my first teacher referred to the presence of an ordained around the center and in the zendo) shines in many worlds, in every world I happen to be in.  It's not that it hasn't been shining been these past months; it's just that it shines more obviously – and more inescapably – now than before. 

It's borderline inconceivable that anyone will ever approach me asking to ordain.  If that should ever happen, though, I think I would suggest they seriously consider taking the new name completely in all areas of their life.  I could never have guessed what a boon this would be.  Not in a million years.

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