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Buddhism Glossary A thru I

For those new to Buddhism or just curious, all the different terms used in Buddhism can be confusing to most. In this article we will look briefly at different terms often heard associated with Buddhism. This article has A thru I

Attachment - In the Four Noble truths, Buddha Shakyamuni taught that attachment to self is the root cause of suffering

Awakening - A Zen term for enlightenment

Avatamsaka Sutra (Flower Ornament) - The basic text of the Avatamsaka School. It is one of the longest sutras in the Buddhist Canon and records the highest teaching of Buddha Shakyamuni, immediately after Enlightenment.

bhikkhu, bikkhuni - A Buddhist monk, a Buddhist nun

Bodhi - Sanskrit for Enlightenment

Bodhi Mind (Bodhicitta, Great Mind) - The spirit of Enlightenment, the aspiration to achieve it, the Mind set on Enlightenment.

Bodhisattvas - Those who aspire to Supreme Enlightenment and Buddhahood for themselves and all beings.

Dharma - a) The teachings of the Buddhas (generally capitalized in English); b) duty, law, doctrine; c) things, events, phenomena, everything.

Dharma Nature - The intrinsic nature of all things. Used interchangeably with "emptiness," "reality."

dukkha - The Buddhist understanding of the nature of life, especially human life. It is suffering, pain, misery, and death

Eight Sufferings - (1) Suffering of Birth; (2) Suffering of Old Age; (3) Suffering of Sickness; (4) Suffering of Death; (5) Suffering of being apart from the loved ones; (6) Suffering being together with the despised ones; (7) Suffering of not getting what one wants; (8) Suffering of the flouishing of the Five Skandhas.

Eight Winds - Winds of Eight Directions. Most people are usually moved by the winds of the eight directions: (1) Praise; (2) Ridicule; (3) Suffering; (4)Happiness; (5) Benefit; (6) Destruction; (7) Gain; (8) Loss.

Eightfold Path - The eight right ways leading to the cessation of sufferings. (1) Right View; (2) Right Thought; (3) Right Speech; (4) Right Action; (5) Right Livelihood; (6) Right Effort; (7) Right Remembrance; (8) Right Concentration

Five Precepts - The precepts taken by lay Buddhists, prohibiting i) killing, ii) stealing iii) lying, iv) sexual misconduct, v) ingesting intoxicants

Four Noble Truths
1)Sufferings; 2)Cause of Sufferings; 3)Cessation of sufferings; 4)The Path leading to the cessation of sufferings.

Great Vehicle - another name for Mahayana tradition.

Gautama - The Buddha's family name, or last name. His first name was Siddhartha.

Guru - A teacher or guide for a novice. This is an important in Vajrayana Buddhism.

Impermanence - refers to the Buddhist notion that all things of samsara are impermanent. Once created, they decay and pass away.

Karma - Volition, volitional or intentional activity.

Kasaya - The monk’s robe, or cassock.

koan - A riddle-like puzzle used for teaching in Zen Buddhism.

Check back next week for L - Z definitions in Buddhism! To be notified when the article is ready, sign up for the newsletter!

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