Updated: Aug 17, 2020
Daikan is the dharma name given to me by my Zen teacher Nancy Mujo Baker Roshi. It's two parts Dai and Kan, so, it has two Japanese characters to signify it. Mujo's intention was it means Great Generosity.
Mujo says she works hard on dharma names and after being her student since 2011 I see clearly she has a gift for it. It's something she notices in our nature and also something to aspire to. That last part gave me a lot of relief. I felt overwhelmed by the idea of holding up some ideal like that.
One receives a dharma name after at least a year-long study and practice with a preceptor to receive the 16 Bodhisattva Precepts in a beautiful jukai ceremony. There is so much to share about this. Please check back again and try not conceptualize it before finding out more. Basically it is a practice of getting know ourselves in all aspects of our lives. It's working on our concentration and effort, letting generosity guide us to be honest and open about our worlds both inner and outer and leading us to prajna wisdom, just this. There is liberation in our intimacy with ourselves and the world.
So, here I am August 7, 2020. I had over a year of struggling. I was giving up, not giving up, dispising practice, loving practice and on and on, all more intensely than the usual fluctuation of these things. We all are probably in flux with the pandemic.
I don't know what changed but I am back on the road and on a fresh start. Someone in our sangha shared by email the Bertolt Brecht poem "Everything Changes"
"Everything changes. You can make
A fresh start with your last breath.
But what has happened has happened. And the water
You once poured into the wine cannot be
Drained off again. What has happened has happened. The water You once poured into the wine cannot be Drained off again, but Everything changes. You can make A fresh start with your last breath"
I don't know why but it all led me here.