yikes. all these entries are making buddhism look reeely complicated. that's just because i like to explore. actually buddhism is pretty simple. its like walking or breathing, basic and essential, but if you tried to explain how to breathe or how to walk — go ahead, try it! — it gets complicated pretty quick.

the entries like this are supposed to be core ideas, and like this are the very center of the thing.

Aditta Pariyana Sutra ahimsa ajnana amrita anatman anicca animals apocalypse arhat arya aryan ashtapatha atiyana atman attachment Auspicious Symbols avatar avidya bardo beauty bhadrakalpa bhakti bhava bhava cakra bhumisparsha bija-mantra bodhi bodhicitta bon broken buddha-dharma buddha-mandala buddha-sasana buddhi buddhism buddhist Cause of suffering cessation chakra chakravala chela chetana chod yon chos cintamani compassion consciousness country culture and buddhism cycle dana darshan death deity deity yoga delusion dependent arising dependent origination desire deva dhamma pada dharani dharma dharmachakra dharmakaya dhyana dhyana loka dhyana mudra dosha düdsi dukkha dzog chen eight-fold path enlightenment emptiness ethics evil evaṃ mayā śrutam Five Precepts Five Spiritual Faculties fire Fire Sermon Four Noble Truths Four Seals giving gelukpa giving and taking god greater vehicle guru dakshina happiness heaven Hinayana Hinduism hua tou iddhi ignorance illusion i mo ko impermanance Individual Vehicle insight interdependence Jataka Jataka Tales jati jhana jiva jivatma jnana jnana-mudra ka Kagyud kahanti Kalachakra kalpa kama kamadhatu kamala karma karuna katak kaya knowledge koan kripa kuten lam rim Lesser Vehicle lhagthong lingkhor lobha lo jong lokhor Lotus Sutra love Madhyapatha magga marga mahakaruna mahaprajna mahayana mandala mani mantra matter maya meditation metaxu metta metteya mind mindfulness moha moksha monasticism monkey mind monlam སྨོན་ལམ་ morality mudita mudra mukta-kachha nadi nama nidana nirmanakaya nirodha nirvana nivritti Northern Schools nyaya Nyingma obstacle om om mani padme hung oral tradition padme paljor pancendriya Pancha Sila paramatman paramita paranirvana path patha patience perfection philosophy power practice and study pradhana prajna prana pratītya samutpāda pratimoksha pratyeka buddha priest-patron puja rabjung ratna reality rebirth reincarnation religion renunciation rigpa rinpoche rupa saddha Sakyapa samadhi samana sambhogakaya sampai le samsara samudaya sangha sanjna sankhya sannyasin sanskara sanyasa sara sat satori school schools sects secular buddhism seed syllable self sempai le shakti shaman shedra shila shramana shunyata siddhu sipakhorlo six-pointed star Six Perfections smrti soul Southern Schools sparsha study and practice suffering sukkha sukhavati sutantra sutra tanha tantra tantrayana tashi tat tvam asi teaching thamzing theravada three jewels thus have i heard tibetan buddhism time tonglen torgya trikaya triple body triratna trishna truth tsewa tum-mo tushita Two Truths Universal Vehicle upadana upasaka upavastha upekkha ushnisha vajra vehicle vidya vihara vijnana vinaya violence vipassana virya wheel Wheel of Dharma Wheel of Life wisdom war words yabyum yajamana yantra year Zen
ahimsa अहिंसा ahiṃsā not strike avihiṃsā ... Skt. "not harming" not strike all

Not hurting, not harming; gentleness towards all living beings.

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amṛta अमृत düdsi Skt. "that which is immortal" all

"Ambrosia, food of the gods; the Elixir of Immortality; also a metaphor for spiritual healing." biblio: Born in Tibet, Chogyam Trungparef

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anatman ... without soul anatta ... Skt. "without soul" all

No self intrinsically exists; it is no more "real" than the rest of "reality". One of the central teachings of Buddhism.

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"No self exists in the sense of a permanent, eternal, integral, and independent substance within an individual existent." WisdomLib

Related to the concept of emptiness. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

anicca ... without ... ... ... Skt. "without ..."

Nothing lasts; everything changes.

This is not a bad thing, this is what is. It is our response to it — clinging. holding. wanting. reacting. — that causes trouble.

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When I understand that this glass is already broken, every minute with it is precious.
Ajahn Chah

animals ... ... Eng.  

“For other creatures, even insects, there is no need for awakening. They are nature as they are.” “[But] people who haven’t awakened to the true nature haven’t fulfilled their mission as humans.”
Zen Master Kozan Kato

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apocalypse ... ... ... Eng. "to uncover or reveal" christianity

"It's an unveiling of the actual reality veiled behind a damaging status quo."
Jason Chesnut

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arhat arahat ... ... ... ... Skt.  

A bikkhu who has reached enlightenment. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

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arya Skt. noble all

1) (First syllable long) In Buddhism, a saint or holy person, one who controls all his desires.

2) An Aryan
3) (Last syllable long) "The noble goddess": Devi, Durga. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

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Aryan Skt. noble all

A person speaking an Aryan (Indo-Iranian) language. ...

more about

... This group of languages includes old and modern Persian, Kurdish, Ossetic, Pashto, Beluchi, and Scythian, as well as the languages more closely related to Sanskrit: Assamese, Bengali, Bihari, Cutchi, Gujerati, Hindi, Kashmikri, Magadhi, Sinhalese (on Sri Lanka) and Urdu.

In the Veda, Arya is the name by which the authors refer to themselves and their own people. The other people in india are called Dasyu. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

The Aryan people probably migrated into india around 5000-3000 BCE. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Atiyana Skt. "ultimate way"

"The last and highest vehicle of spiritual instruction." ref

atman ... spirit ... ... Skt. "breath"

"breath"; "soul", "spirit" (sort of)

more about

Originally this word meant "breath", then, in the sense of "last breath", its meaning develops into "spirit". Yet the concept of an individual spirit or soul is curiously underdeveloped in Hinduism, if one compares its evolution in Christian thinking.

From a Western point of view, on the other hand, the abstract concept of atman is very difficult to grasp, precisely because it is not limited to an individual soul or spirit. Atman is our innermost self, so deeply hidden inside our minds that most people never even discover it. The sages, however, (Plato's "philosphers") recognize in the innermost nucleus of their psyche that which is identical with the divine world-soul, the cosmic all-soul out of which all moving life and thinking perception emanates, the Universal consciousness, atman.

Tat tvam asi: thou art that."
This is the famous phrase containing the essence of Hinduism, which is the philosophy of self-identification. Not what distinguishes me from other beings, but that which unifies me with the Essence of Life of the Universe itself, that is me, that is my own essence, the element of all the elements, out of which the entire creation grew like a tree growing out of a seed, the seed containing the essence.

Atman thus means "world-spirit, the limitless ocean of the soul-universe," as well as "individual soul, my own spirit". Whoever can think through these two absolutely contradictory concepts and see them as one, that person has begun to grasp the essence of Hinduism. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

In some teachings of Buddhism, there are five atmans: Atman - 'sight',
Niratman - 'hearing',
Antaratman - 'breath',
Paratman - 'voice',
Chetanatman - 'consciousness', which gives unity to the whole. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Auspicious Symbols Eng.  

The Tibetan Eight Auspicious Symbols: parasol, banner, conch, fishes, vase, knot, wheel, lotus.

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avatar Skt.


The divine spirit as descending from heaven to earth, and taking up its abode in a human body or other material form. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

avidya अविद्या avidyā ajnana ignorance ... མ་རིག་པ་ma rig pa Skt. ignorance all

Ignorance, ajnana, the main cause of suffering.

The opposite of vidyā or rigpa, awareness. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

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One of the Three Poisons ( anger, greed, ignorance). All resolve to the core: ignorance.

The first of the twelve links of dependent origination, as pictured on the wheel of life.

མ་རིག་པ་at RigpaWiki

bardo བར་དོ་ stage between antarabhāva ... metaxu Tib. "intermediate state" mahayana

The state between death and rebirth. ref

"that state in which we have lost our old reality and it is no longer available to us" and we are open to this moment and to enlightenment.

more about

"More generally, these moments when gaps appear, interrupting the continuity that we otherwise project onto our lives."

"At times like this, if we can gain freedom from the eternal grasping onto who I am and how things are — our default mode — then we can get to the business of being."

"There is an incredible reality that opens up to us in those gaps if we just do not reject rupture. In fact, if we have some reliable idea of what is happening in that intermediate, groundless space, rupture can become rapture."

The four essential points:

  1. rupture.
  2. emptying out the contrived self.
  3. relax into the inherent peacefulness of not knowing what comes next.
  4. true compassion: a total responsiveness to what is here.

Pema Khandro Rinpoche

more at Pema Khandro Rinpoche
more at WikiPedia.org

beauty eng ...

Seems to be important to everyone, yet it is hard to find anything substantive written about it.

Seems to have some relationship to power.

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"The beautiful is the experimental proof that the incarnation is possible." go: more at Wikipedia.org (new window - secure tab)Simone Weil

bhadrakalpa Skt.  

"We believe that during the present Kalpa the incarnation of a thousand supreme Buddhas will take place in this world." ref

bhakti ... love ... ... Skt. devotion, dedication, love

Of the devotee to the spirit, and of the spirit to the devotee. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

bhava Skt. "becoming"

Existence; coming-to-be.

more about

The next existence to which one will be reborn.

Part of samsara to which all human beings are chained.

The 10th of the twelve links of dependent origination, as pictured on the wheel of life.

bhavacakra Skt. wheel of becoming

The Wheel of Life or Wheel of Becoming
See also dharmachakra, samsara.

bhumisparsha Skt. earth witness

The mudra in which the right hand is turned with the palm towards the spectator, touching the ground below the right knee.

more about

The Buddha is often sculpted in this mudra position, which represents the moment when he called the earth to witness (sparsha) that he had never interrupted his severe asceticism and was never seduced. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

bija-mantra Skt. "seed-syllable"

"In the Tantrist tradition, the followers have to repeat certain mantras, formulas which contain compressed magic power. bija ("seed-pearl") mantras are single syllables, each of which represents a god or goddess, is the deity." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

bodhi ... awakening, truth ... ... Skt. enlightenment all

Enlightenment: The ultimate goal in life for every Buddhist.

more about

Bodhi comes only to those who have mastered all their thoughts, suppressed their fantasies and who control all their desires so that they are never jealous, disappointed or angry. Bodhi is the insight that human life is only suffering. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

bodhicitta Skt. "awakening mind" mahayana

Good heart, altruism

Bon Tib.  

Also, Bön.
Shamanastic religion of tibet, predating buddhism.

broken Eng.  

It's ok to be broken, that's how the light gets in Ernest Hemingway

I may be broken, but i still work. T-shirt seen on person on street in Bangkok

When I understand that this glass is already broken, every minute with it is precious. Ajahn Chah

buddha-dharma bodhi-dharma Skt. "awakened one law" all

The teachings of the Buddha, the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-fold Path, by which one may find release from samsara.

buddha-mandala Skt. "awakened one circle" mahayana

A mandala representing various levels and aspects inherent in Buddhahood. ref

buddha-sasana Skt. "awakened one teachings"

The teachings of the Buddha, the Buddha-dharma or Bodhi-dharma.

buddhi Skt. "comprehension"; same root as Buddha all

to know: "the immediate apprehension by the mind without reasoning."

Intelligence, comprehension, which makes bodhi, (enlightenment), possible. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

buddhism chos ... ... Eng.   all

The practice of the teachings of the buddha.

The two supporting pillars of buddhism are the teachings of wisdom and compassion

more about

Gautauma Buddha's "teaching differs from that of other Buddhas; while most of them preached only on Sutra (doctrinal treatises), he preached also on Tantras (instructions on spiritual method)." ref

Differs from other major world spiritual traditions in that it is non-theistic.
Main schools: Hinayana, Mahayana, Vajrayana.

What makes you a buddhist? Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche says, accepting the truth of the Four Seals, at LionsRoar.com

cause of suffering Eng.  

The second of the Four Noble Truths
"The true causes of suffering are Karma and delusion." -- XIV Dalai Lama ref

The cause of suffering is also called "desire" (samudaya).

chakra cakra cycle wheel ... khor lo Skt. "wheel"

Energy centers of the body.
"where the nadis meet like the spokes in the nave of the chariot wheel." [Munduha Upanishad]

more about

"Given by Shiva to Vishnu as a weapon to destroy the demons. Vishnu throws it in such a way that it emits sparks while rotating. It never misses its mark." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Also samsara, Wheel of Dharma, Wheel of Life.

chakravala cakravala Skt. "circular enclosure"

"The Buddhist universe divided into three sections: ...

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... the 136 hells below, the 26 heavens above, and in between the worlds of the animals, ghosts, demons, and people. The center is Mount Meru." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

chela ... student ... ... Skt. student all

Student, especially of a guru.

chetana consciousness ... སེམས་པ། sems pa sem pa Skt. "intention"
also "consciousness"

to have intention, to think.

chod yon མཆོད་ཡོན་ ... ... ... Tib. "priest-patron relationship" tibetan

The relationship between a religious figure and a lay patron in Tibetan ideology or political theory.

more about

Used by the 13th Dalai Lama for the relationship between
tibetan lamas and mongol khans or emperors of
"china" region's Qing dynasty. go: Patron and priest relationship - at Wikipedia.orgref

chos ... dharma to hold ... Tib. Skt: dharma
Eng: teaching


cintamani Skt. "thought magnet",
"thought(?) jewel"

A jewel (ratna) for learning the art of concentration. Represented with the Dhayni-Buddha Ratnasambhava

country Eng. ...

It is only in relatively modern times, as population has grown and different peoples have bumped up against each other, that the rigid concept of a "nation" has developed, with defined physical boundaries and a discrete government.


In this Web, i am using names such as "tibet", "china", as a shorthand for geographical areas where similar people lived and identified; not to imply any state or nationhood. I will specify when referring to a nation-state government, rather than an area of people.

dana giving caga ... ... Skt. dana: giving
caga: generosity

"Even if a person throws the rinsings of a bowl or a cup into a village pool or pond, thinking, 'May whatever animals live here feed on this,' that would be a source of merit." go: "dana" at AccessToInsight.org (new window - secure tab)ref

darshan darsana, darshana ... teaching ... ... Skt. "teaching" all

Teaching. An audience with a lama or geshe.

death Eng.  

See delusion, reincarnation, nirvana.

It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life. Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent

When one door closes, another opens Alexander Graham Bell

Death is only the end if you assume the story is about you Welcome to Night Vale

Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn. Mahatma Gandhi


English often flattens the concept of love in Sanskrit by translating all nine varieties of love with the one word “love”. The same for the words for "death": Pratap Bhanu Mehta 19 aug 2015

22 pages of Sanskrit words for death: SpokenSanskrit.de

deity yoga ... ... ... ... Eng.   tibetan buddhism

Form of meditation in which practitioner visualizes self as a deity. A central practice in Tibetan Buddhism.

delusion Eng.   all

One of the two causes of suffering.

more about

"Not a part of the essential or central mind, which is intrinsically pure: it is a defect of one of the peripheral or secondary minds." ref

Many kinds of delusion: passion, anger, pride, hatred, hostility, etc. Passion and hostility are the main delusions; both are attachment.

"... all cognizable things are empty by their very nature, but through delusion they appear as self-originating and as self-sufficing entities. Conversely, this distorted concept is at the root of all delusions." ref

dependent arising dependent origination, conditioned co-production ... ... ... Eng.   all

The interrelatedness of all things. Nothing arises of itself; each thing is dependent upon the other.

A corollary of the idea of emptiness

deva ... deity ... ... Skt. "deity" all


dharani Skt.   all

" ... means for fixing the mind upon an idea, a vision or an experience gained in meditation.

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They may represent the quintessence of a teaching as well as the experience of a certain state of consciousness, which hereby can be recalled or recreated deliberately at any time. Therefore they are also called supporters, receptacles or bearers of wisdom (vidyadhara).

They are not different from mantras in their function but to some extent in their form, in so far as they may attain a considerable length and sometimes represent a combination of many mantras or 'seed-syllables' (bija-mantras), or the quintessence of a sacred text.

They were a product as well as a means of meditation: “through deep absorption (samadhi) one gains a truth, through a dharani one fixes and retains it.” ref

dharma chos teaching, law (sort of) dhamma Skt. "that which is right", law, eternal truth, righteousness, discipline all

1) The teachings of the Buddha: Including the Four Noble Truths.
Second of the Three Jewels.

2) The Ultimate Reality.
The Truth.
The Path.
The Tao.
Quality, virtue, propriety, righteousness, the correct way of life.

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"All the objects of this world which have definable identities of their own are known as dharmas. There is another meaning of dharma, and this is: 'to hold back from impending disaster'. It is in this sense that dharma can mean 'religion'; religion, that is to say, as opposed to secularism. Generally speaking, any noble activity of mind, body and speech denote dharma or religion -- which can save or hold one back from disaster. One is considered to practice religion if one implements these activities."
-- XIV Dalai Lama ref biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

2) As an abstract Sanskrit term, refers not only to a person's rights but foremost to his duties, which arise from the position in life and society into which he is born. Dharama cannot be changed. In this sense can be translated as "law". biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

The teachings are contained in the tripitaka.

"The religion founded by the Buddha, his Doctrine; the law or 'Norm' governing all existence; any particular entity, thing or being. The dharmas are the innumerable things composing the Universe." ref

"The order of things, the cosmic system and absolute Truth. In plural form, written without a capital letter, dharmas are the phenomena ordered by this law." ref

dharmachakra Skt. "destiny wheel" mahayana buddhism

The Wheel of Destiny, to which all humans are chained by their own state of desire.

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The mudra of the Dhyani-Buddhas Vairocana and Maitreya, signifying the never-ending cycle suffering cause by ever-returning births and deaths, which is in turn caused by samudaya (desire). biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref
See also bhava cakra, samsara.

dharmakaya Skt. "truth body",
dharma form

"The ultimate body [of the buddha], the absolute." LionsRoar

"One of the three aspects of the buddha's cosmic body (kaya). biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

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The other two aspects are the sambhogakaya (enjoyment body), and nirmanakaya (enamation body),

Dharamakaya is: "The ultimate body, the absolute. It is without form, substance, or concept of any sort, including existence and nonexistence. It is the formless form we enter through the gateless gate. The dharmakaya is, as it says in one Vajrayana chant, 'nothing whatever but everything arises from it.'" LionsRoar

... Literally 'the Body of the Law', the substance of the Law, which is Buddha themself, being pure Truth. This substance has no shape, so that it is not in any place, nor is there a place where it is not. It neither comes nor does it go anywere." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

"The 'Body of Quiddity' or 'Essential Body' of all the Buddhas; the 'Body of the Norm'; the inexpressible reality underlying everything." biblio: Born Trungpa"ref

dhyana jhana meditation tib: gom ch'an Thiền Skt. "insight", "meditation" all

Just sitting. One of the pursuits of the mind in following the Path.

Meditation is simply seeing how we can relate to our already existing enlightened state. To do that is a matter of trust, as well as a matter of openness. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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Basically meditation is just sitting and being. We do it quite a lot, without even knowing it. But when we start doing it consciously, it helps our monkey mind to have some structure. So various methods of meditation have been identified ...

breath: watching the breath
samatha: calming the mind
vipassana: watching the mind
visualisation: such as, exploring a mandala.

Dhyana-yoga, complete absorption in thought, exercises in concentration (samadhi).
Dhyana, a Sanskrit word from the verb dhyai, 'to think, reflect', is the origin of the Japanese word Zen, via Chinese ch'an 'deep meditation, Buddhism'. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

more about
Actually, we meditate all the time. When we are absorbed in something, thinking about it over and over, concentrating on it, that is meditation. So what we are calling "meditation" here, is when it is:
directed towards a spiritual goal
Are there different kinds of meditation?
breath meditation: simple concentration on breathing
samatha meditation: absorption; calming
vipassana meditation: insight into reality through observation
Is there a recommended time for meditation?
"Early morning (just before dawn) ... good time to study as well."
"Any time that you actually will do it."
"All the time."
more here
Is there "bad meditation"?
Some interesting thoughts on that are here.
Visions in meditation:
"Tambiah writes that sometimes an image or vision (Pali: nimitta) may appear. If this happens, then — according to Ajahn Maha Bua's instructions — one should put it aside, and when one has developed samadhi as a skill then they can follow the nimitta to investigate its nature."
dhyanaloka Skt. "meditation place"

"One of ten heavens where Buddhists enjoy eternal meditation." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

dhyanamudra Skt. "meditation hand-position"

"A position of sitting in which the palms are turned upwards, the right hand is placed on the left hand and both are resting relaxed in the meditator's lap, ready to receive bodhi (enlightenment). This is the mudra signifying yoga or dhyana, a state of concentration biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

dosha Skt. "hatred"

Hatred, anger. Caused by trishna (desire).

dukkha ... "sour", "souring" ... ... Pali

lit: "souring"
extended: "dissatisfaction", "unsatisfactoriness", "discomfort"
(often translated as 'suffering')

Dukkha means merely the pervasive feeling of discomfort or dissatisfaction in life.

Dukkha is the nature of samsara (existence), and is the base condition that is addressed by the teachings of buddhism.

That "all is dukkha" is the first of the Four Noble Truths
Dukkha has a cause (second Noble Truth).

more about

One thing I teach, dukkha and release from dukkha. The Buddha

The purpose of dukkha is to spur us to learn how to go beyond dukkha.
The purpose of paying attention to pain is to know its nature, not to heal it or make it go away. ref

go: "Not being buddha is suffering" at BuddhismNow.com (new window - secure tab)Not being buddha is suffering, by Buddhism Now

go: "What is dukkha" by Buddhadasa Bhikku, at BuddhismNow.com (new window - secure tab)What is dukkha, by Buddhadasa Bhikku

dzogchen ... ... ... ... ch'an Tib.   all

A Tibetan form of Chan (Zen) Buddhism with methods of rapid enlightenment.

Eight-fold Path ashtapatha madhyapatha Eng.   all

In Buddhism, the path by which one may reach moksha (liberation) from samsara.

The path consists of: Right Views, Right Resolve, Right Speech, Right conduct, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Recollection, Right Meditation.

biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref BuddhismNow WisdomLib

evaṃ mayā śrutam Skt. thus have i heard all

The traditional words prefacing teachings of the Buddha.

“The collected works of important teachers in Tibet, too, are known as collected speechbka' 'bum or gsung 'bum.” Adam S. Pearcey

evil Eng.   all


Five Precepts Eng.   all

Part of the Buddha-dharma by which one may attain moksha (liberation). Right living by refraining from:

  1. injuring living things.
  2. taking that which is not given.
  3. all forms of kama (sexual desire).
  4. all falsehood, in word and deed.
  5. wordly enjoyments: drugs, drink, sloth.

The Pancha Sila.

fire Eng. Practice as if your hair were on fire. The Buddha all

We revolve like a wheel of fire, giving birth to one another, mutually giving rise to one another, and we recreate the cycles of dependent existence by craving and grasping. The Dalai Lama

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The Fire Sermon

The earnest spiritual aspirant ... advances like a fire, burning all his fetters. The Buddha

The artist should be like the prisoner, tied to the stake, signaling through the flames. Antonin Artaud

Fire Sermon Ādittapariyāya Sutta Āditta Sutta Adittapariyana Sutta Eng. Bhikkhus, all is burning. all

the Buddha describes the sense bases and resultant mental phenomena as "burning" with passion, aversion, delusion and suffering. Seeing this, the disciple becomes disenchanted with, dispassionate toward, and thus liberated from the sense bases, achieving liberation.

Four Noble Truths Eng.   all

The Four Noble Truths are the dharma, the basis of buddhism, the core of the teaching:

  1. dukkha - Life is suffering.
  2. samudaya - The cause of suffering is desire.
  3. nirodha - There is a way to cessation of suffering.
  4. magga - The Path is the way.
more about

"Lord Buddha said: 'This is true suffering; this is true cause; this is true cessation; this is the true path.'

He also said: 'Know the sufferings; give up their causes; attain the cessation of sufferings; follow the true paths.'

Again, he said: 'Know the sufferings although there is nothing to know; relinquish the causes of misery although there is nothing to relinquish; be earnest in cessation although there is nothing to cease; practise the means of cessation although there is nothing to practice.'
According to the Madhyamika theory (originally taught by Nagarjuna, ... a theory which remains supreme among all the theories of different Buddhist schools, the explanation of these Truths is this: True suffering means Samsara (the entire round of existence, of birth and rebirth ) arising from Karma (that is, action and reaction) and from delusion. True cause means karma and delusion, which are the causes of true suffering. True cessation means the complete disappearance by degrees of the preceding two truths. The true path is the method by which we arrive at true cessation."

-- XIV Dalai Lama biblio: HHDL Introduction to Buddhismref

Gelukpa gelug gelukpa Tib. "the virtuous"

Tibetan Buddhist school headed by the Dalai Lama. The Karmapa Lama also belongs to this school.

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"The latest of the four schools ... founded early in the fifteenth century by Lobsang Tragpa (Tsongkhapa) ... In this school great emphasis is laid on scriptural study and learning generally." [ ref ] biblio: Born in Tibet, Chogyam Trungparef biblio: Jetsun Pema, Tibet My Storyref

Greater Vehicle Eng.  

Mahayana school of Buddhism. Also, Universal Vehicle
See also, Lesser Vehicle.

guru dakshina Skt. "teacher offering"

An offering to one's spiritual teacher.

heaven Eng.  

Buddhism has many heavens, but they are not to be thought of as final resting places, but as symbols. Some of the heavens are dhyanaloka and tushita.

Hinayana Skt.? "lesser way" all

The Personal Vehicle; Lesser Vehicle; Individual Vehicle; contrasted with Mahayana, the Greater or Universal Vehicle. Corresponds to the preliminary stages of the spiritual Way. biblio: Born in Tibet, Chogyam Trungparef

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Main goal is to reach enlightenment (bodhi), and become an arhat.

"seek to attain nirvana for the individual's own sake. ... the mind should be trained to exercise a strong will in order to renounce Samsara: it should pursue religious ethics, and simultaneously practice concentration (Samadhi) and meditation ( Vipassana: Tibetan - Lhagthong ), so that delusion and the seeds of delusion may be purged, and may not grow again. Thus Nirvana is attained. The paths to be followed including the Paths of Preparation, Application, Seeing, Practice and Fulfillment."
-- XIV Dalai Lama biblio: HHDL Introduction to Buddhismref

One school of Hinayana is Theravada.

(This particular terminology belongs to the Northern schools of Buddhism; the Southern schools do not use these terms). biblio: Born in Tibet, Chogyam Trungparef

hua t’ou 話頭 hwadu Ch.  

Like a koan, but shorter, a hua t'ou is a form of meditation that "can be carried out by laymen in the midst of their daily activities." source [PDF]

One often used is I Mo Ko - What is this?

iddhi དབང་? dbang power Ṛddhi "power"
The normal Sanskrit meaning of ṛddhi is "increase, growth, prosperity, success, good fortune, wealth, abundance". [1]

Ṛddhi : "psychic powers", one of the five or six supernormal powers (abhijñā) of the mundane plane attained by performing the four dhyānas in Buddhism. Ṛddhi at Wikipedia

iddhipāda power base Ṛddhipāda ... Pali "power base"

"base of power" or "base of spiritual power". "supernatural power". A group of spiritual or psychic powers that include teleportation and other forms of bodily transformation. Has four elements: concentration on intention, effort, consciousness, and investigation. Iddhipāda at Wikipedia

i mo ko Kor.  

A hou t'ou, (like a koan) used for meditation. It means "What is this?"
Jisu Sunim

insight Eng. seeing all

"Insight meditation":
Sitting with what is there.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Jataka Skt. birth, incarnation

A previous incarnation of the Buddha; part of the history of his previous lives as a bodhisattva. A legend about one of those lives. (Chadanta, Hare, Mahasattva, Yasapani, biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Jataka Tales Eng.  

Stories of the Buddha's lives in previous incarnations.

jati Skt. "birth"

Birth. Part of samsara to which all human beings are chained.

jiva Skt.  

Life, the soul of a person, his principle of life. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

jivatama Skt.  

The animating soul, the immaterial part of a person. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

jnana mudra Skt. "knowledge-hand-position"

The buddha is often shown with this mudra, the "sign of insight": holding up his hand with the thumb touching the tip of the middle or index finger, forming a circle, signifying all round knowledge of the three worlds. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

ka Skt.  

"This meditation-syllable represents for some the creator, the unknown God who created Existence itself and all the gods after them. They are identified with Hiranyagarbha and later with Prajapati-Brahma; she may also be the Goddess." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

kagyud karma-ka-gyu kagyupa mouth ... ... ... Tib. "oral tradition"

School of Tibetan Buddhism, founded about 1079 CE on the teachings of Marpa the Translator, whose teachings were passed on to his famous disciple, Milarepa biblio: Jetsun Pema, Tibet My Storyref

more about

The leader of this school is the Karmapa Lama (?), or Gyalwa Karmapa. One of its teachers is the Trungpa Tulku
All monks of this school are given the first name Karma after the founder of the school.

kahanti ... patience khanti Skt. "patience",

One of the Six (or Ten) Perfections, or Virtues.

“In your patience, you will own your heart.” go: article about patience by Corrado Pensa at buddhismnow.com (new window - secure tab)">ref

more about

“Patient contemplation, affectionate contemplation of our sadness, is just one more invitation to practise contemplation first instead of practising reactivity first, judging first, talking first.” go: article about patience by Corrado Pensa at buddhismnow.com (new window - secure tab)">ref

Nice article by Corrado Pensa at Buddhism Now and good discussions at Buddhism Stack Exchange.

Kalachakra ... ... ... Skt. "wheel of time",
"wheel of seasons"

Tantric teachings about the cycles of time.

kalpa Skt. aeon all

Aeon, period of history. The present kalpa is the Bhadrakalpa.


"A day of the god Brahma, equalling four billion human years. According to Buddha, when a piece of cloth has rubbed away a rock 16 miles high, long, and broad, one second of Kalpa is past." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

kama trishna ... Pali "passion" sexual desire all
  1. One of the forms of desire, that causes discontent and attachment
  2. Passion, such as a man might feel for a woman as an object of lust. Caused by trishna.
  3. Kama, the god of love
  4. In Buddhism, Kama is (sexual) desire, obstructing enlightenment.
    biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertbiblio
more about

'Sex is a powerful force in us all. In itself it is neither "good" nor "bad." But it can certainly create problems." ... It is "just about the strongest urge there is" and like all other forms of attachment can be a hindrance to enlightenment.

'"I am in love" means "I want me to be happy, through you";
"I love" means "I want to see you happy."'

more at go: "Buddhism and Sex" at Viet.net (new window - secure tab)Viet.net

kamadhatu Skt. "passion world" all

This "world of earthly desires which causes delusion." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

karma kamma Skt. "act, deed",
in particular, "sacrifice"

Interdependence of actions and consequences. One of the two causes of suffering

"Karma ... is conditioning and not fate. Buddhism suggests that we rid ourselves of this conditioning through the achievement of awareness and sensitivity, thereby behaving with full consciousness." biblio: Jetsun Pema, Tibet My Storyref

more about

"Karma has been defined as 'concordant action and reaction'. According to the higher schools of buddhism, Karma has two aspects, known in Tibetan as Sempai Le and Sampai Le.
With regard to its results, there are three kinds of Karma. Meritorious Karma cause beings to take rebirth in the realms of gods, demi-gods, and men. Demeritorious Karma cause rebirth in the lower regions of animals, pretas, and hells. Finally, Achala Karma, Invariable Karma, cause beings to take rebirth in the upper worlds, Rupa and Arupa Dhatu, the worlds of the Form and the Formless. The effects of Karma may be experienced in this present life, or in the next life, or in subsequent lives.
-- Dalai Lama biblio: HHDL Introduction to Buddhismref

karuṇā kripa mahakaruna karuna compassion སྙིང་རྗེ snying rje tib: tsewa Skt., Pali "compassion" kripa - ... mahakaruna - great compassion nying je - heart tsewa - love and warm heart all

“The knowledge that we are all part of the union of existence, and the resulting understanding of all living beings, leads to our wish to help them in their suffering.” biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

more about

One of the two pillars of buddhism

metta, karuna, mudita, upekkha.

Personified as Avalokita and Avalokiteshvara

Discussions at: About.com RigpaWiki ViewOnBuddhism Wikipedia WisdomLib Twitter

katak Tib.   tibetan

A white silk scarf used ceremonially.

kaya སྐུ་sku Skt. "body"
bundle, heap, dimension, field, basis

The different manifestations or dimensions of a buddha, which is the ultimate, universal reality. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

more about

Tibetan word ku is the honorific term used to refer to an enlightened being's 'body'. designates an 'ordinary' person's body.

From go to 'kaya' at RigpaWiki.org (new window - secure tab)RigpaWiki

Bodies, or aspects, in which the Universal Buddha dwells in the cosmos as a living spirit, motivated by compassion for our suffering, full of complete knowledge and wisdom. There are three kayas: Dharmakaya, Nirmanakaya, Sambhogakaya. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

knowledge nyana jnana know γνῶσις - gnosis རིག་པ་rig pa Eng. "knowledge, insight"
inside knowledge, direct knowledge

Knowledge is "the most desirable acquisition in both Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. Without it there is only ignorance, ajnana, the cause of suffering and evil." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

more about

"Only knowledge enables us to follow the correct path." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Jnana is a cognitive event which is recognized when experienced. It is knowledge inseparable from the total experience of reality, especially a total or divine reality. ... it is knowledge which gives release from bondage. wikipedia

koan 公案 gōng'àn 공안 kong'an công án koan Jap. "public" + "matter for thought" zen

A phrase for contemplation.
A question asked by a Zen teacher that defies rational answers, to nudge the practioner outside the bounds of conceptual thought.

more about the words for
more about

Discussions at: About.com Wikipedia WisdomLib

kuten Tib. "physical basis" tibetan buddhism

The monk who is the medium for the Nechung oracle, Dorje Drakden
The oracle was manifested in the present kuten, [name?], in 1987. He presently lives in Nechung Monastery at Gangchen Kyishong.

lam rim Tib. "graduated path" tibetan buddhism

Teachings leading to enlightenment.

lhagthong vipassana Tib.  

Vipassana, meditation

lingkhor Tib. "holy circuit" tibetan buddhism

A holy walk. A circumambulation path for pilgrims.

lojong Tib. "mind training",
"thought transformation"
tibetan buddhism

"Transformation of the mind" — Teachings of practices to change one's thinking and way of life. The core of the practices is that we can use our difficulties and problems to awaken our hearts. ref

more about
lokhor ... ... ... Tib. "year" tibetan

"The Tibetan year - begins with the new moon, a month or two before the Western spring. It consists of twelve lunar months with fluctuating days and months.

more about

According to Tibetan astrological calculations, some days in a month could be missed out or repeated, and sometimes in a year a whole month could be missed out or repeated."

"Tibetan months do not have names but are designated by numbers. The seven days of the week are represented by by the sun, moon, and the five visible planets. In ancient Tibet, the calendar followed a 12-year cycle. In the eleventh century, a 60-year cycle named Rabjung was introduced. biblio: Jetsun Pema, Tibet My Storyref

The Tibetan New Year is called Losar.

Lotus Sutra Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sūtra सद्धर्मपुण्डरीक सूत्र 妙法蓮華經 དམ་ཆོས་པད་མ་དཀར་པོའི་མདོ dam chos padma dkar po'i mdo damchö pema karpo Eng. Scripture of the Lotus Blossom of the Fine Dharma Mahayana

A sermon by the Buddha, known for its 7 (8) parables, among them "the children and the burning house", and for teaching that there is only a single path to buddhahood, with teachings addapted to capacities of the audience.
Summary of the sutra
More info, with outline, at WikiPedia

more about

Knowing the predilections and capacities of sentient beings, the Buddha lures them to various paths to escape saṃsāra by offering them something that appeals to their limited aspirations. However, this is his skillful method. When they have set out on that path, or even reached its final destination, he reveals that there is only one path and one goal, far superior to what he had taught before: the single vehicle to buddhahood. Donald S. Lopez, Jr.

love Eng.   all

Caring about someone/something. This can take many forms — bhakti (devotional love), kama (passion). caring about one's parents, caring about one's children, feeling at one with the world, as examples.

more about

English often flattens the concept of love in Sanskrit by translating all nine varieties of love with the one word “love”: Pratap Bhanu Mehta 19 aug 2015

“Sanskrit has ninety-six words for love; ancient Persian has eighty, Greek three, and English only one." Lorin Roche 2011

25 pages of Sanskrit words for love: SpokenSanskrit.de

Madhyapatha Skt. "middle path" all

The Middle Path, the Eightfold Path.
"Follow neither the satisfaction of your cravings, nor extreme mortification. Lead a moral, well-ordered life."

mahayana Skt. "greater vehicle"
"The Great Way"
"The Universal Vehicle"

The emphasis in Mahayana is in attaining the highest stage, of nirvana (Buddhahood) for the sake not only of the individual but of all sentient beings.

The Buddhism of Tibet, Mongolia, Bhutan, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and other South, East, and Southeast Asian countries is Mahāyāna.

The Mahāyāna tradition is the largest major tradition of Buddhism existing today.

more about

"The presumed dichotomy between Mahāyāna and Hīnayāna can be deceptive, as the two terms were not actually formed in relation to one another in the same era." WikiPedia

"Began to flourish in northwest india (in what is now northwest Pakistan) just before the beginning of the Christian era." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan KnappertKnappert

"The Mahayana books are all based on the Sanskrit tradition of Buddhism, many works now in use in China are known only in Chinese translation, the Sanskrit original having been lost." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

"The mutation of the original 'pure' Buddhism in China can partly be explained by the fundamental difference in structure between Sanskrit and Chinese. Sanskrit is composed of complex words which are strung together into long sentences with an advanced logical content. Chinese is composed of autonomous monosyllabic roots each of which contains endless reflections of semantic facets, which cannot well be understood without an older master. Thus Mahayana became the doctrine which has to be studied with a hierarchical superior, whereas the original Buddhism teaches spiritual independence." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

mandala Skt. "pivot, axle" mahayana

A sacred diagram, used in visualizaton and meditation.

more about

The mountain used by the gods for the churning of the milk ocean when they created the universe. The mountain was the pole around which the snake Basuki was wound. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

mani Tib.   tibetan
mantra Skt. "syllable" (?)

A verbal formula repeated as a form of meditation, such as, om mani padme hung

more about

" ... the root man = 'to think' (in Greek 'menos', Latin 'mens') is combined with the element tra which forms tool-words. Thus mantra is a 'tool for thinking', a 'thing which creates a mental picture'. With its sounds it calls forth its content into a state of immediate reailty." ref

Historically emphasized more in Mahayana than in Theravada Buddhism.

maya ... illusion ... Skt. "illusion" all

The illusory images of this world. In the state of avidya (ignorance), we are entangled in these images and believe they are real.
Also, the name of the mother of Gautama Buddha.

metaxu μεταξύ in between, bridge, intermediary, middle ground Greek "intermediate"

Intermediate, in the middle. Not binary. A bridge, an intermediary.

"Every separation is a link." go: more at Wikipedia.orgSimone Weil

One of the epithets for Jemsa.

metta ... ... ... metteya Skt. "loving-kindness" all

Loving-kindness. As a result of his complete understanding of his fellow beings, the Buddhist regards them as his own kin whose suffering he knows. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

more about

"If we take loving-kindness to its ultimate, all conditioned phenomena are accepted for what they are. That doesn’t mean all things are approved of; they are simply accepted. Everything has to be the way it is in the moment." Ajahn Sumedho

Pali metteya leads to Maitreya.

One of the four rules of metta, karuna, mudita, upekkha. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref


Last night a very good friend of mine asked me "what is loving-kindness?" and i realised that big fat me, the expert-in-english and long-time attempting-to-be-student-of-buddhism, didn't really have an answer! "Loving-kindness" is like the catch-phrase, we always say it that way. And then he also asked, "Why is it 'loving-kindness'? Why not just kindness? Aren't they saying the same thing?"

So this morning, this is what came to me:
"Kindness", alone, comes from the self. It even comes from self-cherishing. We might be kind just because it is socially acceptable, or it makes us feel good about ourself.
With "loving", our kindess comes from thinking about the other person, what they need and what they want.

mind citta manas buddhi nama སེམས་ sem sems eng. the monkey all

Mind translates several Sanskrit and Tibetan terms, including citta (Skt.; Tib. སེམས་ sem), buddhi (Skt.; Tib. བློ་ lo) and manas (Skt.; Tib. ཡིད་ yi). RigpaWiki.org

Also see consciousness (vijnana).

more about

The set of cognitive faculties that enables consciousness, perception, thinking, judgement, and memory.
more at Wikipedia

Life is the co-existence of mind (nama) and matter (rupa).
more at Viet.net

Meditation is a vehicle to tame monkey mind. ... when monkey mind is tamed, focused, and quiet, it has great energy and power. What is Monkey Mind?

moha Skt. "stupidity"

Ignorance, mental sloth, dullness, lethargy. A primitive state of mind. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref One of the causes of desire (trishna), along with ignorance (avidya).

moksha  drol ba ཐར་པ་thar pa Skt. "deliverance", liberation all

Freedom from samsara.

Deliverance, liberation, through the Four Noble Truths.

more about

“[In the Upanishads it is stated that] liberation is ‘untying the knots of the heart’. So, whatever is a knot in the heart is something to be given up, to be renounced, to be let go of.”
— Corrado Pensa, BuddhismNow.com

monasticism ... Eng. ... all

The disciplinary regulations ... are intended to create a life that is simple and focused, rather than one of deprivation or severe asceticism. However, celibacy is a fundamental part ... Wikipedia

  Buddhist_monasticismdiv class="shwhd"> more about
monlam prayer སྨོན་ལམ་smon lam Tib. "wish path"
aspiration, prayer

"It is not a request to an external deity, but a method of purifying and directing the mind." go: @FPMT_Nalana on Twitter.com (new window - secure tab)ref

more about

"The prayer acts as inspiration by arousing the mind's inherent desire for good, which attracts the fulfillment of its aim." go: @FPMT_Nalana on Twitter.com (new window - secure tab)ref

In Tibetan, "monlam" usually refers to the Great Prayer Festival, on the evening of the full moon of the first month of the Tibetan year (called lokhor).

This commemorates the Buddha's victory over heretics at Sravasti.

The great TsongKhapa introduced these festivities, which had been celebrated since the Earth Female Ox year of the seventh 60-year cycle (1409). biblio: Jetsun Pema, Tibet My Storyref

mudita Skt. "sympathetic joy" all

A natural result of experiencing interdependence; part of compassion.

One of the four rules of metta, karuna, mudita, upekkha. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

more about

"Buddha said repeatedly: 'Let all beings be happy.' Gladness should be shared with all those who are in need of it. There should never be hatred or jealousy. Each of us can become a Buddha and approach our fellow beings with the mood of empathetic harmony that causes Buddhas to smile." go to biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan KnappertKnappert

mudra Skt?  

Hand position, expressing one of 27 philosophical conditions, some being dharmachakra, jnana (jnana-mudra), dhyana (dhyanamudra), and sparsha (bhumisparsha).

mukta-kachha Skt? "Liberated to the end"

A Buddhist who has achieved enlightenment. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

nadi Skt.?  

Energy channel in the body.

nidana Skt. The twelve links of dependent arising (conditioned co-production).

Energy channel in the body.

nirmanakaya Skt. "manifestation body"

"The buddhas can manifest in any physical form — not simply as spiritual teachers—in response to what beings need." LionsRoar

"One of the three aspects of the Buddha's cosmic body (kaya), which is the ultimate, universal reality." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

The other two aspects are the dharmakaya (truth body), and sambhogakaya (enjoyment body).

more about

The Manifestation-Body, that is, the form in which the Buddha has shown themself to humanity, as human as possible, going through birth, old age, and death. All the time he is motivated by his compassion for humanity, hoping that people will learn from his example and by following them, will find enlightenment, and an end to pain." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

nirodha nirodha ... Eng. cessation,

nirodha - there is a way to cessation of suffering. The third of the Four Noble Truths


nirvana nibbana Skt. "cessation",

Genuine freedom from samsara biblio: Tenzin Gyatso, The Little Book of Buddhism, p.14ref

"Extinction of desire; freedom from rebirth." biblio: The Jew in the Lotusref

"Nirvana is an insight which changes our way of living, and frees us from the suffering of Samsara." go: source @buddhismnow at Twitter.com (new window - secure tab)">ref

more about the word
Grammatically the word nibbana can be considered a “verbal noun” and could be interpreted as having any of the following three senses:
where the cycle of suffering ceases
through which the cycle of suffering ceases
the cessation of the cycle of suffering
Sumangalavilasini, Buddhagosa’s commentary on the Digha Nikaya
Mahasi Sayadaw
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"The state of neither being nor not being, that is, the state of being without opposites. As long as there are opposites, there are conflicts, there is a chain of action and reaction, and a man is the slave of karma." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

"the condition of the removal of opposites, ... As a result his consciousness has expanded to include all other conscious minds ... is thus in constant contact with the feeling-centres of all other beings on earth and elsewhere. The result is perfect compasson with all other beings, the effect of a total understanding of each of them." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

"Samsara, in another sense, implies a bondage. Nirvana implies a liberation from this bondage: the true cessation, the third of the Noble Truths. ... If the roots of delusion are thoroughly extracted, if creation of new Karma to cause rebirth in the circle of Samsara is brought to an end, if there are no more delusions to fertilize the Karma persisting from the past, then the continual rebirth of the suffering being will cease. Such a being, however, will not cease to exist. It has always existed in a body with a mortal residue. a body born because of prevous Karma and delusion. But after the cessation of rebirth, after the liberation from Samsara and the achievement of Nirvana, it will continue to have consciousness and a spiritual body free of delusion. This is the meaning of the true cessation of suffering." biblio: HHDL Introduction to Buddhismref

"Nirvana can indicate a lower stage, in which there is simply no suffering, and also it can mean the highest stage, called Buddhahood. This is the stage of supreme Enlightenment, total and unqualified, free from all moral and mental defilement, and from the defilement caused by the power of discriminative thoughts." biblio: HHDL Introduction to Buddhismref
-- XIV Dalai Lama

nivritti Skt. tantric

"In Tantrism, the yearning for peace and withdrawal from the world." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Northern Schools Eng.  

The schools of Buddhism of China, Japan, and Tibet, which use the terminology of Mahayana and Hinayana. biblio: Born in Tibet, Chogyam Trungparef

nyaya Skt. "philosophy", "logic", "reason"

Fitting behavior, the proper way of achieving one's goal, the right method to arrive at a conclusion. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Nyingma nyima, nyingmapa Tib. "School of the Ancients" tibetan

Sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
Established in the eighth century. Groups together the earliest teachings introduced in Tibet by Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche. biblio: Jetsun Pema, Tibet My Storyref

obstacle Eng.  

There are five obstacles to enlightenment in Buddhism: lust and desire; ill will, anger; sloth, inertia; excitedness, worry; and doubt, wavering biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

more about

"Obstacles aren’t to be avoided.
When we apply the right antidotes, they are the path itself."
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

om   om


om mani padme hung Tib. om jewel lotus hung tibetan

"The Jewel in the Lotus"
"The Jewel of Creation in the Lotus"
The union of wisdom and action or method.
jewel = thought of enlightenment, dharma, wisdom.
lotus = mind, world, action.
The mantra of Avalokiteshvara

oral tradition tibetan buddhism Eng. the practice of passing on teachings verbally, from voice to ear, without writing them down. all

The traditional words prefacing teachings of the Buddha. are evaṃ mayā śrutam (thus have i heard).

A very wonderful discussion of the oral tradition; what is lost and gained by writing things down, and more (from point of view of the Tibetan tradition) is here, by Adam S. Pearcey

padme padma lotus kamala Tib. "lotus" all

Mind. Also, the world. kamala.

kamala: The symbol of water, creation, self-creation.

Divine purity - The lotus grows out of the mud, but floats on the water and is not defiled.

more about

skt: "Symbol of Divinity when used as a 'pedestal' by the gods. Signifies the soul rising out of the darkness of ignorance towards the light of knowledge, to rest serenely on the surface of the water." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Symbol of Maitreya.

skt: Brahma resides on a lotus flower when he creates the earth, Bhu, from the primal ocean. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

paljor Tib. "glory" tibetan


pancendriya Skt. "five spiritual faculties" all
They are:
sraddha (faith)
virya (vigour)
smrti (mindfulness)
samadhi (concentration)
prajna (wisdom)

Full development of the pancendriya makes one an arhat.

Pancha Sila Skt. "five precepts" all

The Five Precepts of Buddha-Dharma

paramatman Skt. "highest spirit" all

"The Supreme Soul of the Universe which pervades all space, unseen but conscious, knowing, understanding." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref
"the primal spirit out of which all spiritual beings, gods and men, have been developed and into which they will merge ... " biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

paramita perfection parami ... Skt. "perfection", "highest ideal", "virtue" all
  1. The "Six Perfections"; the qualities of perfect character:
    dana (generosity),
    shila (moral conduct),
    kahanti (patience),
    prajna (wisdom),
    vajrakarma (perseverance),
    dhyana (reflection, meditation).
more about
  1. One of 12 Buddhist goddesses:
    Dana (generosity),
    Shila (moral conduct),
    Kahanti (patience),
    Prajna (foresight, wisdom),
    Vajrakarma (perseverance),
    Dhyana (reflection, meditation),
    Ratna (excellence),
    Virya (fortitude, strength of character),
    Upaya (learning),
    Pranidhana (effort),
    Bala (power),
    Jnana (knowledge).
paranirvana Skt. "beyond nirvana" all

Conscious transition to nirvana, especially the death of the Gautama Buddha.

path marga magga pada patha lam Eng. pada: "foot", "way" → the path of truth, the path of dharma all

The dhamma pada: The way to cessation of suffering, the fourth of the Four Noble Truths

more about

"To attain either of the states of Nirvana ... Hinayana and Mahayana represent two schools of thought by which we discern this path." biblio: HHDL Introduction to Buddhismref
-- XIV Dalai Lama

All the keys are now to hand and have unlocked all the doors; then they are thrown away. The path becomes no path; the many words into the voice of heaven and earth; the many ideas are absorbed into the cosmic purpose. Trevor Legget

philosophy ... ... ... ... ... Eng. The study of general and fundamental concerns such as existence, knowledge, matter, values, reason, mind, and language. all

Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Wikipedia: Philosophyref

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Buddhism as philosophy:
Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust (if one can get away with it)? Do humans have free will. Wikipedia: Philosophyquestioningref

Buddhism teaching and Socratic questioning:
Socratic questioning is "an educational method that focused on discovering answers by asking questions from his students." Wikipedia: Socratic questioningref
Socratic questioning at Wikipedia
Socratic method at Wikipedia
Nice discussion at Buddhism.StackExchange.com

pradhana Skt. "matter" all

Matter, as opposed to spirit; nature.

pratītya samutpāda प्रतीत्यसमुत्पाद पटिच्चसमुप्पाद (paṭiccasamuppāda) རྟེན་ཅིང་འབྲེ ལ་བར་འབྱུང་བ་ rten cing 'brel bar 'brung ba ten-ching drel-war jung-wa ten drel Skt. "dependent origination";
the interdependence of everything

Everything exists in dependence on everything else. Including you and me. Hi!

"It is a practical teaching, which is applied to dukkha (suffering) and the cessation of dukkha." Wikipedia

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“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.”
— First line of Dhammapada

Explanation at RigpaWiki

Extensive discussion at Wikipedia

8-minute teaching video by Ringu tulku Rinpoche at BuddhismNow.com

prakriti Skt. "matter"

Nature. Matter. The female principle.

prajna wisdom panna Skt. "wisdom", "discernment" all

One of the two pillars of buddhism. (The other is compassion.)

One of the Perfections, or Virtues.

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"Wisdom ... is the stable essence of the Universe, ...
Compassion ... is Wisdom in operation throughout countless world systems." biblio: Born in Tibet, Chogyam Trungparef

The vidyadhara are receptacles or bearers of wisdom.

prana breath Skt. "breath"

The first thing in life, the last in death.
Controlling the breath is an important stage in learning meditation.

Pratyeka Buddha Skt.  

An individual Buddha, as opposed to a universal Buddha.

pratimoksha Skt.  

The rules of the monastery.

puja Skt.  

Practical worship. biblio: Jetsun Pema, Tibet My Storyref

preta Skt.  

Spirit of a dead person.

purohita Skt. chief priest

Chief Priest.

Rabjung Tib.  

The 60-year cycle of the Tibetan calendar, introduced in the 11th c. CE. Before that, the calendar followed a 12-year cycle. biblio: Jetsun Pema, Tibet My Storyref

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"In ancient Tibet, the calendar followed a 12-year cycle. Each year was associated with an animal: horse, sheep, monkey, bird, dog, pig, mouse, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, and snake. In the eleventh century, a 60-year cycle named Rabjung was introduced. combining the animal names with the five elements: wood, fire, earth, iron, and water. In this system, each element was combined twice with the same animal. In order to differentiate the two years bearing the same name, the first was called 'male' and the second 'female'. This cycle began in 1027. A year is called a Lokhor." biblio: Jetsun Pema, Tibet My Storyref

"Day and night are divided into two-hour periods, designated by the twelve animals as follows: daybreak/hare; sunrise/dragon; morning/snake; noon/horse; afternoon/sheep; evening/monkey; sunset/bird; dusk/dog; early night/pig; midnight/mouse; late night/ox; dawn/tiger." biblio: Jetsun Pema, Tibet My Storyref

ratna Skt. "excellence", "jewel"

A sign of a holy person, object, or place, is that it is covered with jewels or excellence.

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Many jewels (precious objects) appeared when the gods churned the ocean with the pivot at creation.

One of the Three Precious Jewels.
One of the twelve goddesses.

rebirth Eng.  

The idea that upon death (or "the dissolution of the aggregates" (P. khandhas, S. skandhas)), the consciousness becomes one of the contributing causes for the arising of a new aggregation. Wikipedia

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"While we remain more or less enmeshed in a selfhood regarded as our own, past and future lives are continually being produced by those forces which still bind us to worldly existence." biblio: Born in Tibet, Chogyam Trungparef

Not the same as reincarnation

reincarnation Eng. "again in body"

The philosophy that one self, or individual consciousness, has many lives in other physical bodies.

Not a part of buddhism teachings, as the idea of "self" is only that, an idea, not real.

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"The idea of reincarnation is part of the Buddhist philosophical framework. It is not part of the Buddha's teachings, but is considered by all Asians, whatever their donomination, to be a natural phenomenon. The Buddha taught that the 'ego' or 'soul' does not transmigrate. A life becomes the result of a previous one through a kind of kinetic energy. Any individual who has reached a high level of spiritual develoment is supposed to be able to direct this energy in a special way at the time of his death, so that it gives birth to a tulku - a reincarnated lama." biblio: Jetsun Pema, Tibet My Storyref

An enlightened being is reborn as a tulku, or bodhisattva.

religion Eng. "to bind, tie"

"A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs." source


"The neat separation between religion and philosophy we insist on today didn't exist in western civilization until the 18th century or so, and there never was such a separation in eastern civilization." source

“The categories 'Buddhism' and 'Hinduism' are products of the modern discourse on 'world religions,' and as such they possess both strengths and weaknesses when applied to contexts in which the word religion itself was not an emic [descrete phonetic] term prior to the modern period.”

“Thailand, in particular, provides an excellent example of the way in which the boundaries between 'Buddhism' and 'Hinduism' — which, according to the parameters of the discourse on 'world religions,' informed as they are by Protestant assumptions about religion, should be wholly separate — are often strained in an actual Asian context.“ source

The answer may only depend on the criteria you are using to define "religion". (I think this is true of most -- all? -- differences in opinions.)
One criteria offered is: “Religion is a means to ultimate transformation.”
“... for something to be considered a religion, it must posit a clear and distinct ultimate reality. ... [and] offer some clear and distinct path, or choice of paths, to the experience of that ultimate reality. ”
— Charles Prebish LionsRoar.com

more definitions:

It can be said that Buddhism is a practice, or an "applied religious philosophy", and not a religion in the strictest sense. Buddhism does contain a set of beliefs concerning reality, but in essence: does not concern itself with "creation"; "gods"; blindly following faith or a moral code (instead emphasizing personal knowledge); reliance on prayer (rather on using personal meditation as a tool for knowledge).

Buddhism is also a religion by any definition of that indefinable term — unless one narrowly defines religion as belief in a creator god. Tricycle.com

Also, again, keeping in mind: "The neat separation between religion and philosophy we insist on today didn't exist in western civilization until the 18th century or so, and there never was such a separation in eastern civilization." Budddhism.About.com

Some more good discussions are at BuddhaNet.net, ReligiousTolerance.org, Homeoint.org,

rigpa ... vidyā awareness རིག་པ་rig pa Tib. knowledge; awareness

In general means "intelligence" or "awareness".

In its deeper meaning: "the innermost nature of the mind", awareness of universal truth.

rinpoche gegeen huhuktu ... precious one ... tulku Tib. precious one tibetan

Honorary term for a qualified and enlighted tibetan teacher or spiritual master (geshe). Often used for tulkus, or reincarnates.

rupa ... matter ... Pali "form", "Matter"

Outward shape.
Represented by the Dhyani-Buddha Vairocana.
The image of a Buddha.

Life is the co-existence of mind (nama) and matter (rupa).
more at go: Mind and Matter (Nama-Rupa) at Viet.netViet.net

saddha faith Skt.? Pali? faith

"the positive attitude of our mind and our whole being, without which no spiritual progress can be attained."
"inner readiness and open-mindedness" [ ref ]

Sakyapa Tib.   tibetan - sakya

The Sakyapa lineage, one of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Named after the Sakya monastery in western Tibet it originated from.

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Founded by Khion Konchog Gyalpo in the eleventh century. biblio: Jetsun Pema, Tibet My Storyref

"Sakya" also was the kingdom in which Gautama Buddha was born, and of which he was prince.
(Also called Sakya.)

samadhi ... concentration ... samatha Skt. "concentration" all

Concentration; absorption; meditation. One of the pursuits of the mind in following the Path
May use a mantra, or other techniques for meditation.

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Some good info is here.

samana Skt.  

A Buddhist ascetic.

sambhogakaya saṃbhogakāya enjoy body ལོངས་སྐུ་ longs sku long ku Skt. "enjoyment body" mahayana

"The body of communication, bliss, and the play of energy, in which enlightened mind manifests as the five wisdoms." LionsRoar

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"One of the three aspects of the Buddha's cosmic body. In this body, wisdom and compassion have become one spirit. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

The other two aspects are the dharmakaya (truth body), and nirmanakaya (enamation body),

sampai le Tib.   tibetan

"Sampai Le is the manifest stage of karma in which physical and oral actions occur." biblio: HHDL Introduction to Buddhismref
-- XIV Dala Lama
Also see sempai le.

samsara wheel Skt. "chain"
sara - essence

"our continued existence in the perpetual cycle of habitual tendencies" biblio: Tenzin Gyatso, The Little Book of Buddhism, p.14ref

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The whole round of existence, of jati (birth), bhava (existence), and upadana (attachedness). The never-ending chain of dukkha (suffering).

moksha (liberation) from samsara can be reached through the Buddha Dharma

"To Samsara belongs everything which proceeds from a chain of other causes and which is thus involved in Karma and delusion. ...
Spatially, Samsara is divided into three worlds: the World of the Senses, the World of Form and the World of the Formless. ...
Samsara may also be divided according to the nature of the beings it contains, and by this system there are six divisions ... biblio: HHDL Introduction to Buddhismref
-- XIV Dalai Lama

See also bhava cakra, dharmachakra.

samudaya desire lobha tanha trishna trsna Skt.? "desire"
overwhelming wanting lobha: greed tanha: craving trishna: thirst, desire Also see kama: sexual desire

Wanting, grasping, attachment.

Desire is the cause of suffering. This is the second of the Four Noble Truths

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By desire, all are chained to samsara and dharmachakra, destiny's wheel. Causes jealousy, anger, and hatred (dosha), and is the result of moha (stupidity), and avidya (ignorance). The way to moksha (release) is through the Buddha-Dharma, the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-Fold Path

As trsna, the eighth, and as updana, the ninth, of the twelve links of dependent origination, as pictured on the wheel of life.

sangha Skt.? "society" all
sanjna Skt. "conscience"

Insight, self-knowlege, which leads to compassion.
Represented by the Amitabha Buddha, oldest of the Dhyani-Buddhas.

sankhya Skt.  

A philosophical system

sannyasin Skt. "renunciate" all

Someone who has renounced the world and gone off to meditate.

sanskara Skt. "composition, synthesis"

“This may refer to a work of art; we speak of a musical composition, or a literary composition. it can also mean "decoration", when referring to visual art. Sanskara thus also means "refinement", since art requires the composition of the best of everything.

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“(Hence the word Sanskrit, literally "refined synthesis", the exquisite language of philosophy, consciously selected and composed by scholars from the best elements of the Aryan dialects.)

“For a human being, samskara means "education, refinement, erudition", since that is the decoration of the soul, making a gross mind into a spirtual work of art, the highest intellectual achievement.

“Represented by the Dhyani-Buddha Amoghasiddhi.” biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Also meaning the karma formations, the second of the twelve links of dependent origination, as pictured on the wheel of life.

sanyasa sannyasa nekkhamma ངེས་འབྱུང་ nges ‘byung Skt. renunciation
Skt lit. "abandonment"

Giving up mental and material things.

One of the Ten Virtues

Someone who practices sanyasa is a sannyasin.

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"... renouncing attachment, aversion and ignorance, renouncing whatever is toxic, whatever is an extra burden in our lives, whatever complicates and creates knots in our lives."
"We might say that nekkhamma is the direct practice of nonattachment, and that the other virtues are exercises in nonattachment in a less direct way."
"We know what to let go of, when and how [through discernment]. Otherwise it is not renunciation.
— Corrado Pensa, BuddhismNow.com

Thoughts at an extreme(?): "for Buddhists, feeling like you’re ‘losing your grip’ on reality and your once conventional, stable notion of self can mean progress, can carry an air of triumph ..." Ben Joffe

sara Skt. "essence"

Essential part of a person; their soul, strength, worth. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

sat Skt.  

The essence of Brahma, which is the same as the essence of Vishnu. Was never born, nor will it die.

satori Jap.   mahayana - zen

The state of highest perception, achieved in meditation or as a sudden realization.

school བཤད་གྲྭ་ bshad grwa shed ra Eng. "center for teaching"

"The shedra is the school where monks and nuns study the most important Buddhist scriptures, based on the explanations of their teacher, or khenpo." More at RigpaWiki

schools sect ... ... ... Eng. traditions

The parable of the blind men and the elephant can be helpful when thinking about different 'schools' of buddhism.

Many of us find that as our understanding grows, the differences [between the schools] seem less significant. Barbara O'Brien


Tibetan Buddhism has traditions of Nyingma, Kagyud, Sakya, Geluk and Jonang.

"Each of the schools adheres to all the teachings of Hinayana Mahayana, including Tantrayana, for Tibetan Buddhists do not separate these teachings, but pay equal respect to them all. For moral guidance, they conform to the Vinaya rules which are principally followed by Hinayanists, while for more esoteric practices, of every degree of profundity, they use the methods of the Mathayana (mahayana?) and Tantrayana schools." biblio: HHDL Introduction to Buddhismref

"All schools recognize the Dalai Lama as the temporal and spiritual leader of all Tibetans." biblio: Jetsun Pema, Tibet My Storyref

  • "The difference between the wise Buddhist and the sectarian Buddhist is like that between the vastness of space and the narrowness of a vase."
    Kongtrul Rinpoche
    With more useful information, at ViewOnBuddhism.org
  • A nice, and clear, outline of differences at AlanPeto.com
schools of buddhism
'hinayana' 'mahayana'
have been several schools in the past, but now basically one school. tibetan other
geluk kagyu nyingma sakya jonang zen
seed syllable Eng.  

"Each Buddha is associated with a particular Sanksrit letter or syllable that is a condensed form of the mantra connected with this Buddha. When visualizing a Buddha, one begins by visualizing such a syllable, which then melts into light and transforms itself into the Buddha — hence the term 'seed syllable'." biblio: Ricard, Journey to Enlightenment, p.13ref

self atman Eng.   all

The mistaken perception of a solid, permananent entity in oneself and in other beings or things.
"Self" is a concept fabricated by ordinary mind, not by the mind in its true nature.
Tulku Thondup The Healing Power of Mind, Intro, p. 2.ref

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The same eye with which i see god
is the same eye with which god sees me.
— Meister Eckhart

Of course there are alternate realities.
There are over 7 billion on this planet alone.

We are here to learn how to be.
— ??

The whole universe consists of
a cosmic Self playing hide-and-seek (Lila);
hiding from itself (Maya)
by becoming all the living and non-living things in the universe
and forgetting what it really is —
the upshot being that we are all IT in disguise.
Alan Watts

All the violence, fear, and suffering
That exists in the world
Comes from grasping at self.

And so, the purpose of Buddhism is
1) to help us learn how to be, and
2) to help us learn how to let go of that being.
— tmx

sempai le Tib.   tibetan

"Sempai Le is the latent stage of Karma in which physical action is yet to take shape; the state where the impulse to act is subconsicous." biblio: HHDL Introduction to Buddhismref
— Dala Lama
Also see sampai le.

shakti Skt.  

Female energy principle.
Related to the goddess Shakti.

shaman Eng. A person of spiritual power; a seer. mahayana

The word comes from the Sanskrit shramana. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

shramana Skt. "one who makes an effort" mahayana

An ascetic; in china, a Buddhism missionary. It is the origin of the word shaman, a seer. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

shunyata sunyatta, sunyata sunnata emptiness སྟོང་པོ་ཉིད་ Skt. "emptiness" all

The concept that nothing exists independently by itself. Everything exists in dependence on other things.

This also means, since nothing can exist independently, the non-existence of a "self", of an ultimate self-nature (anatman, no-self).

Emptiness (sunyata) is a synonym for the insight of seeing not-self (anatta). ref

More at RigpaWiki and Wikipedia

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It does not mean that there is nothing. It's more like, it means that there is everything.

"there is no real correlate in [English], no single word or idea that can cover this ground of disrupted reality." go: more at LionsRoar.com (new window - secure tab)ref

This is what we experience in the bardo. go: more at LionsRoar.com (new window - secure tab)ref

To be realized through dhyana (meditation) so that bodhi (enlightenment) may be achieved.
Tibetan: dependent arising
Important doctrine in Tibetan Buddhism brought over from the teachings of Nagarjuna

metaxu thought: maybe it is human's search for emptiness that causes them to rip into each other, raze forests to the ground, kill rivers, shoot birds out of the sky.

siddhu siddha Skt. "adept"


sipa khorlo ... srid pai khor lo wheel of life wheel of rebirth wheel of becoming dharmachakra bhava cakra bhavacakka Tib. life-wheel (?)

The Wheel of Life, a complex symbolic representation of samsara the earthly cycle of death and rebirth, used primarily in Tibetan Buddhism.

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In the classic Tibetan image of the Wheel of life, it is held by Yama, god of the dead.

Six inner sections of the circle are the six realms of rebirth:
Gods, Demi-gods (Titans), Human Beings, Yi-dag, (Pretas, hungry ghosts) Animals, Hells.

These can be interpreted as the different mental states:

  1. godly (powerful)
  2. human (moral)
  3. hungry ghost (addicted)
  4. animal (amoral)
  5. hells (suffering).

The twelve sections on the circumference show the twelve links of dependent origination: avidya, sanskara, vijnana, nama-rupa, sada yatanani, sparsa, vedana, trsna, updana, bhava, jati, and jara-marana,

more in texts BuddhismNow WisdomLib

six-pointed star Eng.  

In Tantric Buddhism, a symbol of the cervix.

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Originated in ancient Mesopotamia as a symbol of the cervix. Came in to india with the Aryans, where it represented Shakti, the mother. Entered Tibet with the teachings of the Hindu, tantric tradition.
In Judaism, it represents the magen david, shield of King David. Did not become a Jewish symbol until late Middle Ages.

smrti mindfulness sati ... Skt. mindful awareness

"Sati is the capacity to connect with things in an intimate way and yet in a spirit of nonattachment and nonidentification. From the point of view of ego it is a contradiction, or it is a paradox, or it is, frankly, not understand­able, but this is the definition, the structure of awareness, mindfulness, sati." go: discussion on mindfulness, in article about patience by Corrado Pensa at buddhismnow.com (new window - secure tab)">ref

Southern Schools Eng.   hinayana

The schools of Buddhism of Ceylon, Burma, and Thailand. They do not use the same terminology as Mahayana and Hinayana. biblio: Born in Tibet, Chogyam Trungparef

sparsha all Skt. "witness"


study and practice all Skt. "witness"


sukkha sukha happiness ... Skt.? Pali i think "satisfactoriness";
so by extension: "happiness"

Definitive, real, happiness. True absence of unsatisfactoriness, or suffering. To be reached by moksha, liberation, through the Four Noble Truths.

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To be reached through

  1. letting go
  2. inviting positive seeds
  3. mindfulness-based joy
  4. concentration
  5. insight
Thich Nhat Hanh

sukhavati Skt. "happy earth"

The Buddhist "paradise". The land of Amitabha (The Bodhisattva of compassion.

sutantra Skt.  

Samadhi, a division of the Sutra of Tripitaka

sutra Skt. "piece of string"
"the words sutra and sutures have the same root." biblio: The Jew in the Lotusref

1. "threads" of discourse.
2. The texts of Buddhism; verses, mostly on philosphy.
A piece of string used as a measurement, a "rule of thumb" or a yardstick. So also, a book of rules for the religious community.

tantra Skt. "ritual, rule"
"a thread", "a continuity"

1. "methods for training the mind by bringing the future result, or Buddhahood, into the present path."
2. Collection of Hindu, texts brought over to Tibet.
3. Practices associated with Tantrayana

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I think of it as bringing all the daily world into your practice all day.

The word tantra originally meant a loom (connected with tantu, thread), then came to mean any structure.

samsara — our continued existence in the perpetual cycle of habitual tendencies — and nirvana — genuine freedom from such an existence — are nothing but different minifestations of a basic continuum. So this continuity of consciousness is always present. — Tenzin Gyatso biblio: Tenzin Gyatso, The Little Book of Buddhism, p.14ref

BuddismNow WisdomLib

tantrayana Skt. "way of tantra"

Instructions on spiritual method. vajrayana. As differing from Hinayana and Mahayana instructions on philosophy.

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tashi Tib. "auspicious" tibetan

auspicious, lucky.

thamzing Chin.  

"Public punishment carried out by the Chinese Communists. ...

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... The accused is made to stand for several hours in front of the populace gathered for the occasion. Family, children, and friends are obliged to take part. The accused must criticize himself, and those who are close to him must insult him, beat him and even spit on him. Humiiated and held up to ridicule, the accused often asks for a quick death." biblio: Jetsun Pema, Tibet My Storyref

This punishment was introduced to Tibet with the invasion of the Chinese forces. The psychology of this system was explored in the Stanford prison experiment

tat tvam asi Skt. "that you are" all

"You are that"
You are the universe
The relationship between the individual and the Absolute.
"Buddhas and the sentient beings are not two." (Hui Hai)
The most profound messge of the Upanishads.


Theravada Skt.? "way of the elders"

The major section of the hinayana form of buddhism practiced in South-east Asia. (burma, thailand, cambodia, laos, parts of assam in india, sri lanka).


Based on the Pali Canon, the Tripitaka. Emphasizes individual nirvana, and focused more on the original teachings of the historical Buddha than on subsequent commentaries.

Tibetan Buddhism Eng.   tibetan - mahayana

The Buddhism of the country of Tibet, consisting of Mahayana Buddhism and elements of the old Bön relgion of Tibet, and of Tibetan Culture.
Its center is in Lhasa, and its leader is the Dalai Lama.

time Eng.   all

In Christianity and Islam, time is a straight line moving in one direction. In Hinduism and Buddhism, it is circular and never ending. Time is the chain and the wheel of suffering from which one can be liberated.

tonglen Tib. "giving and taking"
tibetan - mahayana

Taking onto oneself the suffering of others on the in-breath, and giving happiness and success to all sentient beings on the out-breath.

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"The practice of tonglen is very simple. We do not first have to sort out our doctrinal definitions of goodness and evil. We simply breathe out any old good and breathe in any old bad." biblio: HHDL Introduction to Buddhismref

Get quote and put here. and do it :) Pema Choedron

More: WikiPedia Naljor

torgya Tib.   tibetan - mahayana

Tibetan ceremony performed at the end of the year, symbolizing the rejection of evil. biblio: Jetsun Pema, Tibet My Storyref

trikaya triple body ... ... Skt.? three body,
three forms

Three aspects of the buddha; three ways that the buddha can manifest in this reality. They are:

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"These three bodies are different manifestations of enlightened mind, and they are also the true nature of all sentient beings. In fact, the transformation of conventional body, speech, and mind into the three kayas is the basis of the Vajrayana path." LionsRoar

triratna three jewels Skt. "three jewels" mahayana?

The Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.

tummo Tib. "inner heat" tantra - mahayana

Advanced tantric meditation practice involving control of automatic processes of the body.

Two Truths
[of reality]
dva satya ... ... བདེན་པ་གཉིས་ bden pa gnyis
Eng. suchness
wheel of life

That there is conventional, everyday reality, and the absolute/ultimate reality of emptiness / interdependence.

Conventional truth is based on appearances, and includes the practice of love, compassion, and bodhichitta. Ultimate truth relates to reality and emptiness of intrinsic existence.
The way that Buddhas help other beings, is by teaching them about reality as it is.
The Dalai Lama

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The best known interpretation is from the Madhyamaka school of Mahāyāna Buddhism, whose founder Nagarjuna originally propounded the doctrine. Wikipedia

The whole is always there — it is only because of the whole that the particular exists, but one cannot see the whole as one would a part. We say it is like the eye which sees, but cannot see itself, or the knife which can cut, but cannot cut itself. So to see the absolute, one should not hold on to anything in the relative world. Two Levels of Truth

The parable of the blind men and the elephant can be helpful when thinking about views of reality.

Some more good discussions are at Buddhism.About.com,

Form is no other than emptiness; emptiness no other than form. Form is exactly emptiness; emptiness exactly form. The Buddha, The Heart Sutra

Which can also be related to matter (form) and energy (emptiness) — you cannot measure both at the same time.

Universal Vehicle Eng.  

The Greater Vehicle, or Mahayana Buddhism.
See also Individual Vehicle.

upadana ... ... attachment ... Skt. "attachedness" all

Attachedness. Part of samsara to which all human beings are chained.

upasaka Skt. "follower" (?) all

follower, student.

upavastha Skt.  

Confession by a Buddhist monk of any breach he has committed against the monastic rules (pratimoksha), of the order, in the monks' gathering.

upekkha Skt. "equanimity" all


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"Nothing must be allowed to disturb the crystal clarity of the Buddhist mind, All strong emotions are harmful; suffering is to be expected anyway; death is not frightening for those who are not attached to life. A Buddhist fears no enemies since he hates no one." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

One of the four rules of: metta, karuna, mudita, upekkha. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

ushnisha Skt.?  

The raised dome on top of the Buddha's head. It contains his superior knowledge and understanding, and implies that he was predestined for enlightenment.

vajrayana Skt. "Way of the Vajra", "diamond truth" tantra - mahayana


veda oida wissen Skt. sacred knowledge all

Greek "oida", German "wissen" - to know

vidyadhara Skt. "wisdom-bearers"

Bearers of wisdom - the dharani.

vijnana consciousness vijñāna ... རྣམ་ཤེས་ nam shes nam shey Skt. consciousness all


"awareness of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc." ref

“Consciousness is everywhere” ref

Also see mind.

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In tibetan buddhism:

Represented by the second Dhyani-Buddha, Akshobhya biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

The third of the twelve links of dependent origination, as pictured on the wheel of life.

In science and buddhism:

"New theories in neuroscience suggest consciousness is an intrinsic property of everything, just like gravity."
(Integrated Information Theory (IIT), a fundamental theory of consciousness)
discussion between neuroscientist Christof Koch and the Dalai Lama

vajra dorje Skt.   tibetan - mahayana

thunderbolt; diamond

vehicle yana Eng.  

A path, or way, to spiritual growth, and eventually liberation.

vihara monastery gompa wat Skt.  

A Buddhist monastery in the Theravadan tradition.

vinaya ethics shila Skt. morality all

Religious ethics, the principles of morality; one of the pursuits of the mind in following the Path.

violence Eng.   all

"... from the Buddhist viewpoint, theoretically speaking, violence is considered just a method, so the method is not very important. What is important is motivation. The goal. ...
"Violence is like a very strong pill or drug. For a certain illness it's very useful, but there are a lot of side effects." biblio: The Jew in the Lotusref

vipassana lhagthong meditation Skt.   all

A method of meditation, Specifically, insight meditation, practiced in Theravada Buddhism. Involves becoming aware of the processes of the mind through observation.

virya viriya energy Skt. energy

One of the Five Spiritual Faculties

Wheel of Dharma Eng.   all

The Buddha's teachings. When he taught, he "turned the Wheel of dharma".

war Eng.  

What is it good for.

A social activity that is a holdover of our monkey days.

more about

Along with its related illusions such as "patriotism", "nationalism", "politics", etc., is used by individuals to vent their emotions, by nation-states and governments to control their people, and by businesses to make money — all because caught in samsara and attachedness.

words ... ... ... ... Eng.   all

According to the Pali canon ... the fabrications of language cannot properly be used to describe anything outside of the realm of fabrication.
Thanissaro Bikkhu - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/likefire.pdf

yabyum Tib.   tantra - tibetan - mahayana

The union of Wisdom and Method, represented as sexual union between a fierce diety and a dakini.

yajamana Tib. benefactor tibetan

Mongolia as benefactor entered into a priest-patron relationship with Tibet in the 13th c. CE.

yantra Skt.   tantra - mahayana

Sacred diagrams. Used in tantrayana.

Zen meditation dhyana Thiền Chán ch'an jhana བསམ་གཏན། bsam gtan sam ten Jap. meditation mahayana

A form of buddhism that emphasises insight meditation and immediate experience over ritual and study.

Some teachers of Zen are Bodhidharma, Dogen, D. T. Suzuki, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Alan Watts.

more about the word

The word in various languages are forms of the word dhyana — insight, meditation — except the Tibetan samten, which is a direct translation.

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Zen places supreme emphasis on self-power: on the active mobilization of all one’s energies towards the realization of the ideal of enlightenment.

Tibetan Zen

Sam van Schaik has found a tradition of Tibetan Zen in an extensive study of rare ninth- and tenth-century Tibetan manuscripts from Dunhuang. Lion's Roar, 20 April 2016