Alaya Advaita Dannu

That’s my name, from here on out!

The start of March, technically speaking, is when the paperwork for a name change was set into motion. I cannot wait until I begin the process of updating/changing out my IDs… Oh, that’s going to take a long process!

I bet by the 20th of this month, all will be in place, with regards to the court hearing… Spring!! New Beginnings!!

But let’s start with the meaning of each word. Next post will go into a brief ‘Why’ I changed my name. In case people start to ask, I can direct them this and that way and save some energy for creating art…

Alaya: Sanskrit for ‘Realm’

Advaita: Sanskrit for ‘non-dual/not two’

Dannu:a variation on the word ‘Danu’; in defining this word, we have Danu being the mother of the Tuahta De [Ah, my lovely Celtic ancestors!], and then we have the word danu meaning ‘water, river‘.


That’s it, simply put! If you’d like to research more details on each word, go ahead and google [or bing, or yahoo]! It’ll be a fun venture, I guarantee it!! ^_^

Now…why did I choose these three words for such a unique combination of a name?

I came across ‘Alaya’ while I was searching for places to teach in Thailand, BEFORE arriving in Thailand [while I was in Ningbo, China]. I came across a wellness resort, Kamalaya, and read over the meaning behind that name. I nodded to myself at that time, commenting on how I thought it was unique. But then I found myself going back to their website, over and over again, rereading their ‘about us’ over and over again…when it suddenly hit me: I’d heard ‘Kamala’ before. It was during my second year of my masters program. One of my cohorts decided upon changing her name to ‘Kamala’ because of what is means [lotus]. It symbolized, for her, our [her] never-ending process of being and becoming. She pondered on it for a while; not changing it right away, bu wanting to be sure that it ‘fit’, that it ‘resonated’ with HER. And so she shared with her cohort this process and the experience of her name change ceremony.

I was in awe at her process, and hoped that some day, I’d have the ability to transcend my birth given name [ahem, transcend the self-image and cultural conditioning engraved in it], and be in the art of non-attachment. I didn’t want to rid myself of the ‘vibrational quality’ of my name [this has so many levels to begin with]; I wanted to name myself that honored my path, purpose and way of existence.

So ‘Alaya’, being the second part of Kamalaya, simply means ‘realm’. You can go ahead and play with a thesaurus on the many synonyms for ‘realm’ That will be a fun inquiry as well! And yes, I reread that word, over, and over again. I kept getting chills and vibrational shivers; I tucked the word into the depths of my bosom, knowing that it would come to use later.

I’ve gone through small stages of using different ‘dance/stage names’ during my time as a dancer/performing artist. I’ve come to realize that these names, although nice, were temporary and described a part of myself that was trying to emerge. So, therefore, by naming these parts I’ve also acknowledged and integrated them into my…conscious part of self [you know, that part of yourself that’s usually the driver]. But never at once, during these stages, did I desire to change my name. I would say to myself during those times “I haven’t utilized my middle name at all. I have to acknowledge that part of me too. After I have had the opportunity to use it within the time that is my primary growth, I will seek to change it, in order to honor the time of my secondary, and possibly most fruitful part of my growth.” 

My! Such words at a young age [meh, early 20s]. And here I am – at the brink of turning 30, starting all over again, like that of a new born babe.

Ah, so now here is the second word – the new middle name: Advaita.

Non-duality…a concept that really isn’t easy to describe…oh, like the concept of God, the Universe and everything intangible we humans try to put a tag and definition to. The concept of non-duality is simply, simple, yet not so. I’m not going to try and explain it here. I’ve just stepped into such a space. It’s refreshing to be in, and even more so to not try and define it. To simply be present in it, is quite lovely. You can do your own research on that one. I do invite you to report your findings in the comment section below. I’d love to hear it!

This is not to say that I have become an atheist or agnostic, or a non-believer! Oh no…I do believe in Jesus, Sophia, Buddha, Krishna and Shakti, Oshun and Orunmila, the Great Spirit, the Kabbalah, Sufi mysticism, the Sidhe, faeries and all. For me, it’s a skill of being able to go to a specific energetic source for inspiration when the time calls for it; yet in the same time realizing that there’s no need for me to linger on one separate characteristic. I end up missing the beauty of the ‘bigger picture’ by doing so. And lately…well, lately I’ve been most at peace by just being in…One Piece!!! [no, not the anime…>.<].

I met someone while in Thailand that said being connected to so many deities was too overwhelming; that one could go crazy. Well, if one isn’t grounded enough in ‘Self’, I would have to agree. It really isn’t for the faint of heart…but more on that at a much later time…

So I want to be in the place of not two. I have an understanding of the parts, but I reside in the place of not-two. That’s why I added ‘Advaita’. All in One, One in All…

Lastly, we have my favorite part of Me – Dannu.

I LOVE water….I lived between two rivers during the last 4 months of my stay in China. It made me feel ssoooooooooooooo happy! You have no idea…imagine eating your comfort food all of the time without any of the not-so-peachy consequences. Yeah, it felt really good. I walked along the river on the nights I didn’t take a taxi home [which were more often than not]. Even on the rainy or drizzly days, I’d walk across the street and just breath, be, and…swoon.Grocery store was across the river, so I made it a point to make it an afternoon thing – shoppng and gazing at the river. All sounds of hte city ceased once at the river. I couldn’t get enough of the water… But I couldn’t see through it. It was muddy…hmmm….

My dance movements are also fluid – subtle yet powerful; in honor of the fluidity of life, it moves just like water; my deep maternal ancestry has extremely strong connections to water. Without them would I be here as I am now? Who knows, but how could I not honor their gifts to me in this new stage of my life?. Mhm! So I wanted ‘Danu’ to bring up the rear…but I added an extra ‘N’…

My full name, Alaya Advaita Dannu, has the same numerological [vibrational] frequency as the name on my birth certificate. I made sure of that. I wasn’t out for changing ME, as in ridding myself of what my mother gave me [as far as name goes], or ridding myself of, ultimately, my course – I was out for honoring my path, self, and way of existence. Like how the tattoos on my wrist are a reminder for me to always resonate and ascend…my name is an evocation of expression. Although my mother may not see it now [or never] how my new name ‘fits’ me…I gently remind her that it’s not the words perse, but the vibrational frequency that counts and holds the most weight.

So, put together, as creative and artistic that I am, the meaning of my name is:

“I am One who is an abode, an existence in space, a realm of unity, the place of indivisibility, where rejuvenation and creation come to pass” – Alaya A.D.


And, THAT, dear folks, is who and what I am. Being human, is just another tag and label….

Existence IS beautiful…Life is an expression of said existence….




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