When I was born, my parents took me to the Rabbi to give me a Hebrew name and register me as a Jew. The tradition was to name a child after some relative who had passed. I was to be named after grandmother and my uncle who had died in WWII: Rachel and Simon. In Hebrew that would be Rachel Shima, and in English, taking the first letters of each name would be Rise Sandra. Rise became Risa to accommodate English typewriters. Actually, Rise has two dots over the 'e', like in French and after Rise Stevens, a WWII singer and dancer for the troops. In French and Spanish, the name means smile or laughter. A smiling (Risa) helper (Rachel). Interesting.
Then, after meditation at a Zen Temple, the monk gave me a new name: Myo Rhen Wa, a beautiful lotus. The lotus is a unique flower; it seeds and flowers at the same time. It grows out of a muddy pond, yet is not spoiled by it. The lotus has great significance in Buddhism. First, that it rises in its beauty from an almost inhospitable place and its beauty is not tarnished. So, too, a person can rise up from less desirable circumstances and retain his or her soul's beauty. That the lotus flowers and seeds at the same time is significant symbolically also. Living in the herenow, you can blossom into something beautiful, growing seeds for your new being.
I am still a smiling, loving helper. I meditate. On my journey, I have grown into a lotus. Coming out of many unpleasant circumstances to discover and connect to the universal mind, to become vast like the sky, to realize my true nature, my eternal consciousness.