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RIKEN: Double-edged Sword


Four months before my Jukai, during a conversation with Hosso Sensei, we discovered that the japanese meaning of riki is strength. Nevertheless, that name was to be discarded because it reminded us of an inside joke about a famous pop singer and who goes by the diminutive form of a common given name. 


Two weeks before the ceremony, during the preparation for a Japanese exhibit at a museum, an ideogram imprinted in a samurai´s sword that was displayed in one of the museum's cabinets attracted my attention. Two of the Japanese archeologists explained to me that it was "Fudo Myoo's" kanji, which literally means "immovable determination."


The day of my Jukai arrived, and with it, the surprise of seeing at the temple Mujo, the monk who had invited me to meditate for the first time two years earlier. This made me feel grateful and lucky.


Sensei pronounced the Dharma name RIKEN. I was sorry that it sounded like Enrique, the name of a former friend of mine with whom I now kept a distance. I smiled because that was already a teaching and because  the similarity with Riki was a wink to our joke about the meaning of that word. 


Right there I blended the two poles of my personality. Listening to the meaning of RIKEN was hitting the bull's eye: DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD! I totally regognized my character and felt the resolve to work on the temperance of extremes.


During the ceremony's Dharma talk, Mujo, whom I refer to as my Dharma godfather, and Hosso Sensei delivered the final blow about the meaning of my name, and with this, the unconditional reminder of my practice got sealed: Riken is Fudo-Myoo's double-edged sword, the blazing sword that slashes the outside distractions with its interior cutting edge and annihilates delusive thoughts with the other.

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