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?