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Naming, new life and love

Site-Wide Activity Forums Shrine Room Buddhist Teachings Naming, new life and love

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    • #3559

      Thoughts for a celebration of new life, that I’m not able to attend

      I can’t be with you today, however I am there with you in spirit and wanted to share a few thoughts.

      I have conducted a number of naming ceremonies for babies and children over the years. There is one thing they have all had in common, a coming together of the friends and family of the child, to declare their good intentions in supporting and caring for the child or baby that is being named.

      Good intentions are important. They are a lighthouse that we set our course by, directing us onto the right path. The bright light is visible from wherever we are, if we choose to look for it. Like ships at sea, we sometimes experience storms and strong currents that draw us off course, we find ourselves reacting instead of responding, getting lost and forgetting the good intentions that we had set. And yet – the lighthouse is still there, shining. We can always turn to point ourselves at it again. And this is the most important point, not to think that we can always behave perfectly, but that we can continually return to the light.

      And what is the best of intentions? It is love.

      True love is not possessive. It doesn’t ask for anything in return. Its only agenda is for the wellbeing and flourishing of the other. Love is a prayer that others do well, without knowing what doing well means.

      Even at this early stage, mum and dad will have begun to notice what kind of person their new child is. We don’t arrive in this world as blank slates.

      This brings us to the importance of naming. Naming reminds us that this new life is an individual, with her own wants, and longings and fears. A child is a seed that will  flower into something beautiful, if nurtured in the right way, but until the bloom opens we don’t know what kind of flower will appear. How amazing is that? To have the opportunity to watch someone grow and flower in their own way.

      So my best wishes for today’s celebrations, and may we all continue to learn to love, and to be loved.

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