Buddhism Vocab

Amitabha Buddha:

The Buddha of the Western Paradise, a bliss-body Buddha in Mahayana.

Anatta:

“No self”; the doctrine that there is no soul or permanent essence in people and things.

Anichcha:

Impermanence, constant change.

Arhat:

In Theravada, a person who has practiced monastic disciplines and reached nirvana, the ideal.

Bodhi:

Enlightenment.

Bodhisattva:

“Enlightenment being”; in Mahayana, a person of deep compassion, especially one who does not enter nirvana but is constantly reborn to help others; a heavenly being of compassion.

Dharma:

The totality of Buddhist teaching.

Dhyana:

“Meditation”; focusing of the mind; sometimes, stages of trance.

Dukkha:

Sorrow, misery.

Guanyin:

A popular bodhisattva of compassion in Mahayana.

Karuna:

Compassion, empathy.

Koan:

In Chan and Zen Buddhism, a question that cannot be answered logically; a technique used to test consciousness and bring awakening.

Lama:

A Tibetan Buddhist teacher; a title of honor often given to all Tibetan monks.

Maitreya:

A Buddha (or bodhisattva) expected to appear on earth in the future.

Mandala:

A geometrical design containing deities, circles, squares, symbols, and so on that represents totality, the self, or the universe.

Mudra:

A symbolic hand gesture.

Nirvana:

The release from suffering and rebirth that brings inner peace.

Samadhi:

A state of deep awareness, the result of intensive meditation.

Samsara:

Constant rebirth and the attendant suffering; the everyday world of change.

Sangha:

The community of monks and nuns; lowercased, sangha refers to an individual monastic community.

Satori:

In Zen, the enlightened awareness.

Shunyata:

The Mahayana notion of emptiness, meaning that the universe is empty of permanent reality.

Stupa:

A shrine, usually in the shape of a dome, used to mark Buddhist relics or sacred sites.

Sutra:

A sacred text, especially one said to record the words of the Buddha.

Tathata:

“Thatness,” “thusness,” “suchness”; the uniqueness of each changing moment of reality.

Trikaya:

The three “bodies” of the Buddha (The Dharmakaya (cosmic Buddha nature), the Nirmanakaya (historical Buddhas), and the Sambhogakaya (celestial Buddhas)).

Tripitaka:

The three “basket,” or collections, of Buddhist texts.

Vajra:

The “diamond” scepter used in Tibetan and other types of Buddhist ritual, symbolizing compassion.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s