Thursday, June 7, 2012

What's in a Name?

My daughter Grace with the Buddha.

I have a new post on my Buddhism blog, Buddha Mama Sans Drama. In it, I discuss the Precept-Taking Ceremony at my temple and the giving of Buddhist names. Just as I was posting this here, it dawned on me that we have two aptly named people in the photograph. 

The Buddha's name means "One who is awake." And we have a child named "Grace." It might seem odd that a Buddhist would name her child Grace, but I've always been attracted to the concept. I love the idea that the gift of love is given to us whether we deserve it or not. This seems a universal and beautiful idea to me, not specific to any religion or lack thereof.

When I was pregnant with my son, I listened to Sinead O'Connor's "Amazing Grace" almost every day in my car. Frequently, I was bawling. I was scared. I wasn't married and wasn't sure I could do this on my own potentially. There were some people in my life who didn't think keeping the baby was the right decision. But my gut told me that it was. 

I did feel as though I had been "lost" for much of my life and the certainty I discovered in my child was home. I had been "found." I could clearly see that this child was a gift. It was also clear to me that grace is love bestowed on all living creatures regardless of their circumstances, their morality, or anything else you might happen to think about them. We are all blessed with love. It is the human condition. 

This is what I believe. This is my faith. And I know that both of my children are the greatest gifts I ever received. Though I never felt I deserved them, I am grateful to have them. Amazing grace, you see.

Together they are Max and Grace. And I think of them as Maximum Grace. That is what they are to me.

Well, this link to another blog turned into a post itself. Read about the Precept-Taking Ceremony I saw this weekend here: What's in a (Buddhist) Name?


  1. I always liked the idea of Maximum Grace since I read it way back in the MySpace days.

  2. Yes, love is available to all, every person has the ability to embrace it or not.

  3. I love this. Maximum Grace. Child are a gift. They teach us. In spite of who we think we are.


    I needed this just now.

  4. maximum grace! that is pretty sweet. and pretty frakking awesome. :)

    p.s. mostly i am lazy and take pics with my iphone. every now and again i pull out the old digital canon elf camera, but not that often!

  5. Beautiful. All of it. Sheer beauty.

  6. @See Kate Run: I can't believe you remember that!

    @Madge: Yep. You've got to be open to it. That's for sure.

    @Nice Peace of Buddha: Thank you. I'm glad it resonated with you.

    @DrollGirl: Your iPhone pics look amazing! It must be your eye that makes them so incredible.

    @Marie Nicole: Thank you! That's so nice!

  7. How lucky they'll be to read this someday when they're old enough to understand it. How lucky they are to have a mom with such a great perspective.

  8. That was very nice, Mandy. I felt the same way when I had my son, that I had been found...

    There is love and beauty all around us. Whether or how we perceive it is up to us. And therein lies the struggle. :-)


  9. You are truly blessed... and so are your little ones.

  10. Maybe I misunderstand the meaning of "grace", but I think of it as poise, a calmness that comes from certainty, a kind of zen state derived from either inner strength or knowing only love. By my definition, your daughter couldn't have been any more aptly named.

    Also, I am surprised that Chewbacca didn't even earn an honorable mention...

  11. Maximum Grace...if only that were the goal of the world.

    I love seeing though your eyes, your heart is stunning.

  12. Wonderful thoughts. You seem to make the most of all the love and grace that come your way, and your words are enlightening to the rest of us.

  13. That is absolutely prefect. What a great living reminder of how you want to be -- especially when kids can make it hard to be graceful.

  14. @Mel Heth: I hope they feel special.

    @Pearl: Yes, therein lies the hard part. SIGH.

    @Svaha: Thank you!

    @Six-Fingered Monkey: Thank you.

    @Blonde Steel: It means that too, but I possess none of it. Ha.

    @Chantel: No, you are.

    @Blissed Out Grandma: Thank you. What a nice thing to say!

    @Logical Libby: Yeah, sometimes it's more me yelling, "SERENITY NOW! SERENITY NOW!"

  15. My children save my life every day.

    Every day.