1. Some time ago, I knew a nun who came from the same town as me and who resided in a meditation institute. Once during our travels, my father and I paid her a visit. She advised my father to take refuge with the Triple Jewel. At that time I was 15 years old and knew nothing about Buddhism or the meaning of Taking Refuge. She registered both of us for the refuge ceremony, but we did not attend the lecture on Taking Refuge and the Precepts. We did not attend those ceremonies either. After we returned to our hometown, she sent us the paperwork of proof of Taking Refuge, detailing our names, given Dharma names and Dharma Teacher’s name… Is this consistent with the Taking Refuge Dharma? In the future, can I attend a Taking Refuge ceremony but still keep the original Dharma name?
I will try to briefly answer your questions.
Your predicament illustrates a common problem in the practice of Buddhism. It happened to me as well when I was a lay person: many of us receive transmission of the Five Precepts even though we are not properly taught how to keep the Precepts.
If we follow the Five Precepts properly, then we obtain tremendous benefits. Conversely, there are serious consequences if we violate them. That is why, at our temple, we do not transmit the Five Precepts until after people attend the training class. The Five Precepts is a wonderful and superior Buddhist Dharma that is designed to help you, not entrap or hurt you.