|GLOSSARY OF BROAD SUBJECTS
||The third division of the Tipitaka or Pali Canon that provides a
detailed analysis on the nature of mind and matter.
||In Mahayana Buddhism, a Sanskrit term describing the mind aimed
at awakening, with wisdom and compassion, for the benefit of all sentient
beings. The defining quality of the Mahayana boddhisattva; giving rise to
bodhicitta is what makes a boddhisattva a boddhisattva.
||In Mahayana Buddhism, one who has generated boddhicitta in order
to attain Buddhahood or enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient
beings. Also described as one who
compassionately refrains from entering nirvana in order to benefit others.
||Siddartha Gautama, also known as Gautama Buddha and Shakyamuni,
a wandering ascetic and religious teacher who lived in South Asia during the
5th or 6th century BCE and who founded Buddhism.
|Buddhism - History
|Buddhism and Science
||The ancient Indian philosophical system that developed within
the religio-philosophical tradition of Buddhism and developed among the
subsequent and various schools of Buddhism in ancient India following the
paranirvana (nirvana after death) of Gautama Buddha (c. 5th century BCE).
|Death and Dying/Rebirth/Reincarnation
||In Buddhism, a wide range of divine beings that are venerated in
various ritual and popular contexts.
They may include enlightened Buddhas to regional spirit beings and
devas adopted by Buddhists.
||A Pali term for one of the most widely read and best known Buddhist scriptures
comprising a collection of sayings of the Buddha in verse form.
||Developed in the Tibetan Empire period during the 9th-11th
centuries, it continues to be practiced today both in Tibet and around the
world. A central teaching of the
Yundrung Bon tradition and Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism it is a very
advanced system of meditation on the deepest, subtlest, foundational levels
||Politics and activism within a Buddhist context.
|Four Noble Truths
||The foundational tenets of Buddhism and understood as being the
realisation which led to the enlightenment of the Buddha. They are: Life is suffering; The cause of
suffering is craving; The end of suffering comes with an end to craving;
There is a path which leads one away from
craving and suffering.
|Graded Path / Lam-rim
||A Tibetan Buddhist textual form for presenting the stages on the
complete path to enlightenment as taught by Buddha. There are many versions, but all versions
of the lam-rim are elaborations of Atisa's step-by-step approach in his 11th
century root text A Lamp for the Path to
|Health and Healing
||A concept of action, work or deed, and its effects or
consequences. In the Buddhist context,
the totality of a person's intent, actions, and conduct during successive
incarnations, regarded as causally influencing his or her destiny.
||A body of teachings found in the Kagyu, Sakya, and Gelug
traditions of Tibetan Buddhism which
includes methods for truly
understanding the very nature of our own minds, leading us to
enlightenment. Includes an advanced
and sophisticated form of meditation that focuses on the mind and its
intimate relationship with the world of conventional appearances and with
||The second of the two major traditions of Buddhism, first
developed in ancient India. The
spiritual model of Mahayana is the boddhisattva, motivated by boddhicitta -
relieving the suffering of all sentient beings. Compassion being very important in the
tradition, bodhisattvas - foregoing nirvana - choose to stay in the cycle of
samsara (rebirth) out of compassion for others. Practiced in China, Indonesia, Vietnam,
Korea, Tibet, Mongolia, and Japan it includes a vast array of meditation
practices. Well-known in its Chinese
and Japanese forms, for example Zen and Pure Land Buddhism.
||Mantra: sacred syllables and verses. Mudra: sacred hand gestures.
||Texts generally comprising the Tipitaka: three collections of
texts including Suttas (discourses or oral teachings attributed to the Buddha and a few of his disciples);
Vinaya (rules for the monastic order); and Abhidhamma (scholarly commentary
and analysis on the nature of mind and matter). Together they form the Pali Canon that
comprise the doctrinal foundation of Theravada Buddhism. Other texts include
commentaries and summaries by various scholars.
||Psychology: the study the workings of the mind. Psychotherapy: the discipline of methods to
help a person change behaviour, increase happiness and overcome problems.
||A broad branch of Mahayana Buddhism - practiced today mostly in
China, Japan and Korea.
||Defined as a spiritual practice or discipline that is
followed in order to achieve various
spiritual or ritual objectives such as attaining detachment from worldly
things. It can also refer to a
liturgical manual of instructions to carry out a certain practice.
|Spirituality - General
||The oldest existing form of Buddhism as taught by the Buddha and
one of the two major traditions. The
key text is the Pali Canon. Theravada
Buddhists strive to be arhats - people who have gained true insight into the
nature of reality, following the Noble Eightfold Path to enlightenment
leading to nirvana and freedom from the cycle of samsara (rebirth). Essentially a monastic tradition, Theravada
is practiced mostly in Sri Lanka, parts of Southeast Asia, including
Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia. It tends to be conservative in matters
of doctrine and monastic discipline, and includes the monastic 'forest traditions' of Sri Lanka and
||Consists of four main schools : Nyingma (the oldest); Sakya;
Kagyu (whose origins are the teachers Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa and Milarepa);
and Gelug (the newest and monastic sect whose leader is the Dalai Lama).
|Vajrayana Buddhism / Tantra
||A branch of Mahayana Buddhism that draws upon esoteric Indian
texts (tantras). Now the predominant
form of Buddhism practiced in Tibet and to some extent in East Asia. The
canon includes Kangyur (sutras and tantras), and Tengyur (commentaries). It also includes deity yoga and embraces
the bodhisattva ideal. Vajrayana considers itself the fastest way to
||The word Vipassana means seeing things as they really are. Often referred to as insight meditation, it
is a branch of modern Burmese Theravada Buddhism that gained widespread
popularity in the 20th century in traditional Theravada countries through the
efforts of Burmese teacher Mahasi
Syadaw. Westerners learned Vipassana meditation techniques
from Sayadaw, S.N. Goenka and other Burmese teachers. According to S.N. Goenka, Vipassana
techniques are essentially non-sectarian and have universal application. He went on to inspire meditation centres
worldwide that offer 10-day retreats in Vipassana practice. The American Vipassana Movement includes
contemporary Buddhist teachers such as Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein and
||Generally, titles written for a Western audience that may or may
not lean heavily on the sacred texts but communicate the concepts in a way
that Westerners are more likely to understand. They may be more secular, may be simple and
uncluttered outlining basic practices that a newcomer is likely to
embrace. Many authors in this category
were trained in traditional forms of Buddhism, but now teach in the West.
||Encompasses some of the key foundational aspects of Buddhist
philosophy including Emptiness, Dependant Arising, and the Middle Way.
|Zen Buddhism / Ch'an
||Zen is the Japanese name for a school of Mahayana Buddhism and
aspects of Taoism that emerged in China about 15 centuries ago. In China it is called Ch'an Buddhism. It emphasises vigorous self-restraint,
meditation practice and the subsequent insight into the nature of mind, the
nature of things and the personal expression of this insight in daily life,
especially for the benefit of others. Common features include an emphasis on
simplicity and the teachings of non-duality and non-conceptual
understanding. Traditional martial
arts have also been part of Zen practice. Japanese Zen has gained the
greatest popularity in the West.