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Unit 4: Buddhism

TermDefinition
Amida/Amitabha Bodhisattva; prince that vowed to attain enlightenment; manifested a Pure Land of Bliss for any who called his name
Anicca/Anitya Impermanence; one of the three marks of existence
anatta/anatman No self/ no permanent soul; one of the three marks of existence
Bodhisattva Someone who delays their enlightenment to help others attain it; Buddha in the making; travel through space and time
Dalai Lama Incarnation of Avalokitesvara (bodhisattva of compassion); political and religious leader of Tibet; Currently 14 incarnations
Deity Visualization/Deity Yoga Vajarayana meditation on a deity in order to develop his or her qualities
dharma/dhamma The teachings and laws for conduct given by the Buddha
Eightfold Path The eight paths to break the cycle of karma and samsara to achieve nirvana (right understanding, intention/thought, speech, action, effort, mindfulness, meditation, livelihood)
Jataka Tales Story Buddha told of one of his past lives. He was an ape king and his subjects fed off of a delicious fruit. When the tree was attacked by a king, the ape king laid himself down as a bridge to save his subjects. This changed the human king
karma/kamma Actions; the law of cause and effect
koan A question used by Zen teachers to boggle the student's mind and thus liberate direct awareness.
Mahayana The "Great Vehicle," the branch of Buddhist schools that stress the altruistic wish to become perfectly awakened in order to free all living beings from suffering.
Vajrayana A branch of Buddhism practiced in the Tibetan diaspora that incorporates deity yoga, mantras, mudras (hand gestures), and mandalas to achieve awakening; sometimes included as a school of the Mahayana
Zen Buddhism A Chinese (chan) and Japanese Mahayana school emphasizing that all things have Buddha-nature, which can only be grasped when one escapes from the intellectual mind.
Nichiren Socially active Buddhists; Truly believe that all humans are good
Nirvana Liberation from mental afflictions, suffering, and rebirth
Pure Land Land without karma; can get to it through invoking the name of a Bodhisattva (Amitabha Buddha)
satori Flash of insight & enlightenment from intense meditation in Zen Buddhism
stupa Monument containing Buddhist relics or images
Dhammapada The Path of Dhamma; early compilation of Buddha's teachings; focuses on right mindfulness; Full awareness of your every action and thought
sangha The monastic community; more broadly, a Dharma community
Four Noble Truths One of Buddha's teachings; 1) There's pain in suffering and life 2) Attachment to impermanent objects causes suffering 3) Suffering ends when craving ends 4) The Noble Eight-fold Path ends suffering
Siddhartha Guatama Prince of the shakya clan; Abandoned a life luxury in order to find the answer to life's suffering; Eventually reached enlghtenment and spread his teachings to others; Established Buddhism; Buddha; Shakyamuni
Thich Nhat Hanh Vietnamese monk; preaches about embracing mindfulness and meditation in everyday life; appeals to the busier and more secular West
Tipitaka Three sections of the Pali Canon, which the Theravada refer to; 1) 2) 3)
Triple Gem The Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha
Vipassana Insight. A meditation technique for developing insight into dukkha, anicca, and anatta
zazen Sitting meditation, in Zen schools
shunyata The doctrine of voidness, emptiness; apart of Mahayana teachings; things don't really exist without us experiencing them
Ashoka Indian king who conquered several areas; after seeing heavy causalities on both sides, studied Buddhism; sent missionaries across his empire to spread Buddhism
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