Buddhist Dictionary

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Abbot, (Tib. mkhan po)
In general, the transmitter of monastic vows. This title is also given to a person who has attained a high degree of knowledge of Dharma and is authorized to teach it.

An outstanding Mahayana master of India (11th - 12th century) successively abbot of Vajrasana, Nalanda, and Vikramashila: a prolific author and commentator of Sutrayana and Tantrayana texts. Aware of the imminent decline of Buddhism in India, and in collaboration with his numerous Tibetan disciples, he presided over the translation of many Sanskrit texts into Tibetan.

Abhidharma (Skt.; Pal. Abhidhamma; Tib. ཆོས་མངོན་པ་, མངོན་པ་, chö ngönpa, Wyl. chos mngon pa)
The third of the three pitakas, or collections (literally ‘baskets’), into which the Buddhist teachings are divided. This pitaka, which is associated with the training in wisdom (Skt. prajñā), defines many of the topics mentioned in the sutras, and arranges them in classifications, such as the five skandhas, twelve ayatanas and eighteen dhatus, thereby providing tools for generating a precise understanding of all experience. Artemus Engle writes: Often viewed as little more than a dry and uninspiring catalog of lists and definitions, this material is in fact a repository of the fundamental concepts and ideas that inform all of the major Buddhist philosophical schools and traditions. Great Mahayana figures like Nagarjuna and Asanga should properly be seen as presenting a critical analysis of the early realist tendencies in Buddhist thought, rather than positing views that reject the very framework on which all Buddhist philosophical theories are constructed. On a more practical level, Abhidharma literature contains the subject matter that allows one to investigate and learn with minute precision every aspect of the three Buddhist trainings of morality, one-pointed concentration, and wisdom.

Absence of conceptual contructs, (Tib. spros bral)
This expression is used to refer to the fact that phenomena, in their true nature, are "empty," or beyond the four possible ontological positions: they cannot be said to exist; they cannot be said to not exist; they cannot be said both to exist or not to exist; and they cannot be said neither to exist nor not to exist.

Absolute bodhichitta (Skt. paramārtha cittotpāda; Tib. དོན་དམ་སེམས་བསྐྱེད་, döndam semkyé, Wyl. don dam sems bskyed)
The wisdom that directly realizes selflessness. It only arises through the power of meditating on the path, and is therefore known as ‘subtle bodhichitta, which is gained through reality itself.’ Kamalashila's Intermediate Stages of Meditation says: Absolute bodhichitta transcends the mundane; it is beyond all limitations; it is utterly clear; it is the absolute domain; it is stainless and unmoving, like a candle flame undisturbed by wind. To achieve it, we must devote ourselves for a long time to training in the practices of shamatha and vipashyana.

Absolute truth, (Tib. don dam bden pa)
The ultimate nature of the mind and the true status of all phenomena, the state beyond all conceptual constructs which can be known only by primordial wisdom and in the manner that transcends duality. Thus defined, this is the absolute truth "in-itself" (rnam grangs ma yin pa'i don dam), which is ineffable. This is different from the likeness or similitude of the absolute truth that is experienced or known as one approaches it through the avenues of rational analysis and meditation on the absence of origin and so on. For here one is still within the sphere of the relative truth. Nevertheless, since this is the authentic method of progressing toward a direct realization of the absolute and is in accord with it, it is call the "approximate" absolute (rnam grangs pa'i don dam) or "concordant" absolute (mthun pa'i don dam).

Absolute wisdom, (Tib. don gyi ye shes)
Primordial knowledge, divested of the dualistic mental activity characteristic of the ordinary mind, which "sees" (nondualistically) the ultimate reality or absolute truth.

Absorption of nonperception (Tib. 'du shes med pa'i snyoms 'jug)
The absorption experienced by the insensate gods of the form realms and the gods of the formless realms. In this absorption, the sense consciousnesses are arrested although the defiled emotional consciousness (nyon yid) continues to function.

Absorption or cessation, (Tib. 'gog pa'i snyoms 'jug)
According to the Mahayana presentation, this is the absorption practiced by Shravakas and Pratyekabuddhas as a means of gaining contentment in the course of their present existence. It involves the cessation of the sense consciousness and the defiled emotional consciousness. Bodhisattvas also enter this absorption, not, however, as an end in itself, but as a method of training in concentration.

Accomplishment, (Tib. dngos grub)
Accomplishment is described as either supreme or ordinary. Supreme accomplishment is the attainment of buddhahood. "Common or ordinary accomplishments" are the miraculous powers, (Skt. siddhas), acquired in the course of spiritual training.The attainment of these powers, which are similar in kind to those acquired by practitioners of some non-Buddhist traditions, are not regarded as ends in themselves. When they arise, however, they are taken as signs of progress on the path and are employed for the benefit of the teachings and disciples.

Accumulate an action, (Tib. las gsogs pa)
To perform an action or karma. Actions leave traces in the alaya and will subsequently fructify in the sense of bringing forth experiential effects.

Acharya, Skt., (Tib. slob dpon)
Teacher, the equivalent of a spiritual master or lama.

Action (Tib. སྤྱོད་པ་, chöpa, Wyl. spyod pa)
Dudjom Rinpoche says action is being truly observant of your own thoughts, good or bad, looking into the true nature of whatever thoughts may arise, neither tracing the past nor inviting the future, neither allowing any clinging to experiences of joy, nor being overcome by sad situations. In so doing, you try to reach and remain in the state of great equilibrium, where all good and bad, peace and distress, are devoid of true identity.

Adventitious veil or stain (Tib. གློ་བུར་གྱི་དྲི་མ་, lobur gyi drima, Wyl. glo bur gyi dri ma)
Impermanent emotional and cognitive obscurations that afflict the mind but which, not being intrinsic to its nature, can be removed from it. ‘Adventitious’ means something that is not intrinsically part of us. The implication is that as the ‘stains’ of the four obscurations are not an intrinsic part of our buddha nature, it is therefore possible to purify ourselves of them.

Affirming negative, (Tib. ma yin dgag)
An affirming negative is a negation in which the possibility of another (positive) value is implied. For example, in the statement "It isn't a cat that's on the roof," the presence of the cat is denied, but in such a way as to suggest that something else is there. Compare this with a nonaffirming negative (Tib. med dgag), which simply negates without any further implication, for example, in the statement "There is nothing on the roof."

Afflictions, (Tib. nyon mongs pa), (Skt. kleshas)
Mental factors that produce states of mental torment both immediately and in the long term. The five principle kleshas, which are sometimes called poisons, are attachment, hatred, ignorance, envy, and pride.

Aggregates, (Tib. phung po) see Skandhas
lit. A heap or aggregate. The five skandhas are the component elements of form, feeling, perception, conditioning factors, and consciousness. They are the elements into which the person may be analyzed without residue. When they appear together, the illusion of self is produced in the ignorant discursive mind.

Agitation (Tib. རྒོད་པ་, Wyl. rgod pa)
Together with dullness, is one of the five faults to meditation. Both in their subtle and gross form they are obstacles during the actual practice of meditation.

Akanishtha (Skt. Akaniṣṭha; Tib. འོག་མིན་, Omin; Wyl. 'og min)
In general, the highest of all buddhafields, the place where, according to the Vajrayana, Bodhisattvas attain final buddhahood. There are, in fact, six levels of the Akanishta, ranging from the highest heaven of the form realm up to the ultimate pure land of the Dharmakaya. The word "Akanishtha" means 'not below', or 'above all'. It refers to the pure abodes whose characteristic is, according to the Omniscient Longchenpa, that there is nothing above them, and there are no features from elsewhere that surpass them. So, the name 'Akanishtha' is used throughout the teachings to refer to different abodes, which all share the common characteristic of being the highest, in relation to specific criteria. The great Indian master Buddhaguhya distinguishes six different ways of using the name Akanishtha. Longchenpa speaks of three types of Akanishtha in relation to the three kayas. The highest heaven of the form realm. According to Mahayana, buddhas first reach full enlightenment in Akanishtha, and then manifest enlightenment through a nirmanakaya body in the human realm. Akanishtha (Tib. འོག་མིན་སྟུག་པོ་བཀོད་པའི་ཞིང་ཁམས་, Wyl. 'og min stug po bkod pa'i zhing khams) or Omin Chenpo (Tib. འོག་མིན་ཆེན་པོ་, Wyl. 'og min chen po), in Vajrayana, also refers to the pure sambhogakaya field from which emanate all pure nirmanakaya fields. In the three kaya mandala offering of the Longchen Nyingtik Ngöndro, Akanishtha is also referred to as 'the highest heaven of great bliss, the realm of Ghanavyūha' (Tib. སྟུག་པོ་བཀོད་པ་, Wyl. stug po bkod pa). Akanishtha is also the name of Vairochana's buddha field.

Alaya (Skt. ālaya; Tib. ཀུན་གཞི་, kun shyi; Wyl. kun gzhi)
lit. the ground-of-all. According to the Mahayana, this is the fundamental and indeterminate level of mind, in which karmic imprints are stored. The universal ground or basis. Longchenpa describes alaya in this way: “It is unenlightenment and a neutral state, which belongs to the category of mind and mental events, and it has become the foundation of all karmas and ‘traces’ of samsara and nirvana.”

All-accomplishing wisdom (Skt. kṛtyānuṣṭhānajñāna; Tib. བྱ་བ་གྲུབ་པའི་ཡེ་ཤེས་, jawa drubpé yeshe, Wyl. bya ba grub pa'i ye shes)
One of the five wisdoms. Like a doctor who diagnoses a disease by taking the patient’s pulse and then does all he can to treat and remedy the disease, the buddhas, with their all-accomplishing wisdom, consider beings and the ways by which they might benefit them, and then appear spontaneously and effortlessly, without change or exertion, to benefit those beings.

All-concealing truth - see Relative truth, (Tib. kun rdzob bden pa)
conventional truth, superficial truth, conditional or dependent truth, subjective truth, superficial reality [JV] superficial reality [RY] relative truth [one of the two truths bden pa gnyis 1) the vaibhashikas bye brag smra ba gang zhig bcom pa'am blos cha shas so sor bsal ba na rang 'dzin gyi blo 'dor rung ba'i chos su dmigs pa gzung 'dzin rags pa rnams dang 2) the Sautrantikas mdo sde pa rtog pas btags pa tsam du grub pa'i chos spyi mtshan rnams dang, 3) the mind only school sems tsam pa tha snyad dpyod pa'i rig shes kyis rnyed don kun btags dang gzhan dbang gi chos, 4) madhyamika dbu ma rang mngon sum du rtogs pa'i mngon sum tshad mas rang nyid gnyis snang dang bcas pa'i tshul gyi rtogs par bya ba rten 'brel snang ba'i chos. conventional truth, truth for a concealer, superficial truth, deceptive truth, narratives of former births, one of the (gsung rab yan lag bcu gnyis) twelve divisions of the teachings, relative truth [one of the (bden pa gnyis) two truths] [IW] relative/ conventional/ superficial truth; conventional truth apparent reality, deceptive truth; relative truth. one of the bden pa gnyis. two truths, superficial truth, truth for a concealer; Relative Truth, [samvrittika satya] [RY] relative (level of) truth [RB] Relative truth (kun rdzob bden pa): lit. "all-concealing truth". This refers to phenomena in the ordinary sense, which, on the level of ordinary experience, are perceived as real and separate from the mind and which thus conceal their true nature. [MR]

All-ground consciousness (Skt. ālayavijñāna; Tib. ཀུན་གཞི་རྣམ་པར་ཤེས་པ་, kun shyi nampar shépa, Wyl. kun gzhi rnam par shes pa)
The eighth of the eight consciousnesses posited by the Chittamatra and Svatantrika-Madhyamika schools. In these systems, there are three mental consciousnesses, of which two are active (the sixth and seventh) and one is inactive (the eighth). It is a subtle, neutral level of consciousness, in which traces of past actions are stored as 'seeds' ready to ripen into future experience. All-ground consciousness is mentioned in Yogachara related sutras and is systematically described in treaties by Asanga and Vasubandhu. Mipham Rinpoche explained: The state of consciousness that is mere clarity and knowing, which does not veer off into an active sense cognition, and which is the support of habitual tendencies, is called the alayavijñana, the consciousness that is the universal ground (ཀུན་གཞི་རྣམ་ཤེས་, Wyl. kun gzhi rnam shes). The alayavijñana or all-ground consciousness is neutral, neither positive nor negative. It is not as coarse as the other seven forms of consciousness. Thrangu Rinpoche explains: The eighth consciousness [...] is the basis or ground for the arising of all other types of consciousness. It is that fundamental clarity of consciousness, or cognitive lucidity, that has been there from the beginning. As the capacity for conscious experience, it is the ground for the arising of eye consciousness, ear consciousness, etc. Like the seventh, it is constantly present, constantly operating, and it persists until the attainment of final awakening.

Amrita (Skt. amṛta; Tib. བདུད་རྩི་, dütsi, Wyl. bdud rtsi)
lit. the ambrosia that overcomes the Demon of Death, one of the four maras. The draft of immortality and symbol of wisdom. the Sanskrit word amrita means “deathless”; in Tibetan it is བདུད་རྩི་, dütsi, because, it is said, “it is the medicine that overcomes the fearful state of death.” The Tantra of the Secret Cycle elaborates: To samsara which is like mara (བདུད་, dü) When the elixir (རྩི་, tsi) of the truth of Dharma is applied, It is called nectar (བདུད་རྩི་, dütsi). The medicinal nectar of amrita effects healing and siddhis, or attainments, on every dimension. The Thirteenth Dalai Lama wrote: “All the siddhis, it is said, including the accomplishment of the vajra body of immortality, come as a result of the qualities of amrita.” The Eight Volumes on Nectar explain: Curing the four hundred and twenty-four illnesses And destroying the four maras, It is the essence supreme, the king of medicines.

Analytical meditation (Skt. vicārabhāvanā; Tib. དཔྱད་སྒོམ་, ché gom, Wyl. dpyad sgom)
The counterpart of settling meditation (Tib. འཇོག་སྒོམ་, jokgom). This refers to the practice of investigation and analysis, undertaken on the basis of the calm of shamatha, in order to bring about insight or vipashyana.

Ancient Translation School, (Tib. gsang sngags snga 'gyur)
Referred to also as the Nyinma or Ancient school, the original tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Its adherents study and practice the tantras (and their related teachings) that were translated in the first period between the introduction of the Buddhadharma to Tibet in the eighth century and the period of the New Translation inaugurated by Rinchen Zangpo (958 - 1051).

Anger (Skt. pratigha; Tib. ཁོང་ཁྲོ་, kong tro; Wyl. khong khro)
One of the root destructive emotions and one of the fifty-one mental states defined in Abhidharma literature. According to the Compendium of Abhidharma, it belongs to the subgroup of the six root destructive emotions. In the Khenjuk, Mipham Rinpoche says: Tib. ཁོང་ཁྲོ་བ་ནི་སེམས་ཅན་དང་སྡུག་བསྔལ་དང་སྡུག་བསྔལ་གྱི་གཞི་ལ་ཀུན་ནས་མནར་སེམས་པ་སྟེ། བདེ་བར་རེག་པ་ལ་མི་གནས་ཤིང་ཉེས་སྤྱོད་ཀྱི་རྟེན་བྱེད་པའོ། Anger is a mind which is hostile towards a sentient being, suffering or the cause of suffering. It prevents one from remaining in peace and is the support for negative actions. (Rigpa Translations) Anger is the hostile attitude towards a sentient being, a painful object, or pain [itself]. It makes one not abide in peace and creates the basis for negative action. (Erik Pema Kunsang)

Anuyoga (Skt.; Tib. རྗེས་སུ་རྣལ་འབྱོར་གྱི་ཐེག་པ་, Wyl. rjes su rnal 'byor; Eng. 'subsequent yoga')
The second of the three yanas of powerful transformative methods specific to the Nyingma school, which consists of meditation on emptiness, the inner yoga of channels, winds-energies and essences (Tib. tsa lung tiklé). Visualization of the deities is generated instantly, rather than through a gradual process as in Mahayoga. The vehicle of Anuyoga , or ‘following yoga’, is so-called because it mainly teaches the path of passionately pursuing (or ‘following’) wisdom, in the realization that all phenomena are the creative expression of the indivisible unity of absolute space and primordial wisdom. One’s mind is matured through the thirty-six empowerments in which the four rivers—outer, inner, accomplishing and secret—are complete, and one keeps the samayas as described in the texts. Through logical reasoning one determines that which is to be known, the fact that all phenomena are characterized as being the three mandalas in their fundamental nature, and realizes that this is so. Meditation practice here consists of two paths. On the path of liberation one practises the non-conceptual samadhi of simply resting in a state that accords with the essence of reality itself, and the conceptual samadhi of deity practice, in which one visualizes the mandala of supporting palace and supported deities simply by reciting the mantra of generation. On the path of skilful means one generates the wisdom of bliss and emptiness through the practices of the upper and lower gateways. One practises the conduct that is beyond adopting or abandoning in the recognition that all perceptions are but the display of the wisdom of great bliss. At the culmination of Anuyoga’s own uncommon five yogas, which are essentially its five paths, and the ten stages that are included within these five, one attains the level of Samantabhadra. King Dza, who also received the Mahayoga tantras, received the Anuyoga tantras from Vajrapani and Licchavi Vimalakirti—one of the Five Excellent Ones of Sublime Nobility who received the Anuyoga tantras from Vajrapani at the summit of Mount Malaya. They were in turn transmitted to the siddha Kukkuraja, and then passed to Nupchen Sangyé Yeshé who taught them in Tibet.

Approach and Accomplishment of the Three Vajras (Tib. རྡོ་རྗེ་གསུམ་གྱི་བསྙེན་སྒྲུབ་, dorje sum gyi nyendrub, Wyl. rdo rje gsum gyi bsnyen sgrub) aka Orgyen Nyengyü (Tib. ཨོ་རྒྱན་བསྙེན་བརྒྱུད་, orgyen nyen gyü, Wyl. o rgyan bsnyen brgyud)
One of the eight practice lineages which was brought to Tibet by Orgyenpa Rinchen Pal. These teachings were given to him directly by Vajrayogini, when he travelled to Oddiyana. For further reading: Ringu Tulku, The Ri-me Philosophy of Jamgön Kongtrul the Great (Boston & London: Shambhala Publications, 2007), pages 153-154 & 189-191.

Approach, Accomplishment, and Activation, (Tib. bsnyen pa, grub pa, las sbyor)
Three consecutive stages in the practice of a sadhana. In the first stage the practitioner becomes familiar with the figure and mandala of the meditational deity. In the second stage, the deity is "accomplished," and in the third, different enlightenment activities are practiced.

Arhat (Skt.; Tib. དགྲ་བཅོམ་པ་, drachompa; Wyl. dgra bcom pa)
lit. "Foe Destroyer." One who has vanquished the enemy of afflictive emotions and realized the nonexistence of the personal self, and who is thus forever free from the suffering of samsara. The name given to the ultimate result of the shravakayana and pratyekabuddhayana, which differ in terms of realisation and qualities. Arhat is also used as an epithet of the Buddha. There are two kinds of arhats: those with remainder and those without remainder. Etymologically, the Sanskrit term can also be interpreted as "worthy one." One who has completely overcome the enemy of the disturbing emotions and is therefore worthy of praise.

Arya (Skt. ārya; Tib. འཕགས་པ་, pakpa, Wyl. 'phags pa)
lit. means 'noble' or 'sublime'. The Tibetan word for Arya (pakpa) means 'elevated' or 'exalted', and refers to the exalted state, surpassing that of an ordinary, samsaric being, which is attained when reaching the path of seeing, whether as a shravaka, pratyekabuddha or bodhisattva. There are four classes of noble beings: arhats, pratyekabuddhas, bodhisattvas, buddhas.

Aryadeva (Skt. Āryadeva; Tib. འཕགས་པ་ལྷ་, Pakpa Lha; Wyl. ‘phags pa lha)
The direct disciples and "heart son" of Nagarjuna. He was a powerful advocate of Nagarjuna's teaching later to be known as the Madhyamika. His most celebrated work is the Catuhshatakashastra-karika, The Four Hundred Verses on the Middle Way. He lived at the turn of the second/third century — one of the six great commentators (the ‘Six Ornaments’) on the Buddha's teachings. He is also counted among the eighty-four mahasiddhas.

Asanga (Skt. Asaṅga; Tib. ཐོགས་མེད་, Tokmé, Wyl. thogs med)
C. 350 C.E., a major figure in Mahayana Buddhism; the co-founder, with his brother Vasubandhu, of the Yogachara philosophy. According to tradition, he received from the Bodhisattva Maitreya the famous Five Treasures in which the views of the Madhyamika and Yogacara are both expounded. He is the source of the Mahayana lineage of Vast Activities, which complements the lineage of the Profound View originating from Nagarjuna and Manjushri.

Ashvaghosha (Skt. Aśvaghoṣa; Tib. རྟ་དབྱངས་, Tayang; Wyl. rta dbyangs)
(b. ca. first century) — originally a Hindu master, known as Durdharṣakāla, Bhavideva (bha bi lha), or Mātṛceta , he became a Buddhist after being defeated in debate by Aryadeva at Nalanda University. He went on to compose many texts in beautiful Sanskrit verse, including the Buddhacharita, the most famous work on the life of Buddha. He authored the important Fifty Stanzas on Following a Teacher.

Aspirational practice, (Tib. mos spyod kyi sa)
The Great Tibetan Dictionary says: "Aspirational practice is the way in which the Dharma is practiced during the path of accumulation and joining where emptiness is not seen directly but conceived of merely through aspiration or term- and object-universals" (conceptually). All practice prior to the attainment of the path of seeing, in which ultimate reality is perceived directly (non-conceptually).

Asuras Skt.; (Tib. ལྷ་མིན་ or ལྷ་མ་ཡིན་, lhamin, Wyl. lha min)
one of the six classes of beings. One of the six classes of beings. Demigods are powerful and intelligent beings who dwell in cavities inside Mount Meru down to the universal golden basis and whose pleasures and abundance rival those of the gods. The dominant characteristic of the demigods is paranoia and jealousy, so they spend all their time fighting and quarreling among themselves over possessions and territories. Seeing that all the gods’ desires are provided by a wish-fulfilling tree whose roots are in their own realm, they constantly wage war against the gods but invariably lose in the face of the overpowering superiority of the gods.

Atisha Dipamkara Shrijñana (Skt. Atiśa Dīpaṃkara Śrījñāna; Tib. ཨ་ཏི་ཤ་མར་མེ་མཛད་དཔལ་ཡེ་ཤེས་, Atisha Marmézé Pal Yeshé; Wyl. a ti sha mar me mdzad dpal ye shes)
Jowo Jé Palden Atisha (ཇོ་བོ་རྗེ་དཔལ་ལྡན་ཨ་ཏི་ཤ་, Wyl. jo bo rje dpal ldan a ti sha) (982-1054) was a great Indian master and scholar, and author of many texts including the Lamp for the Path of Awakening. One of the main teachers at the famous university of Vikramashila, he was also a strict follower of the monastic rule and was widely acclaimed for the purity of his teaching. He spent the last ten years of his life in Tibet, teaching and translating texts, and was instrumental in reinvigorating Buddhism there after a period of persecution. His disciples founded the Kadampa school. Chief among Atisha's Tibetan disciples were the three known as "Khu, Ngok, and Drom," who were renowned as emanations of the three main bodhisattvas—Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri, and Vajrapani: Khutön Tsöndru Yungdrung, Ngok Lekpé Sherab and Dromtön Gyalwé Jungné.

Atiyoga (Skt.; Tib. ཤིན་ཏུ་རྣལ་འབྱོར་, Wyl. shin tu rnal 'byor)
The highest yana within the classification of nine yanas of the Nyingma school. Atiyoga is synonymous with Dzogchen. The vehicle of Atiyoga, or ‘Utmost Yoga,’ is so-called because it is the highest of all vehicles. It involves the realization that all phenomena are nothing other than the appearances of the naturally arising primordial wisdom which has always been beyond arising and ceasing. One’s mind is matured through the four ‘expressive power of awareness’ empowerments (Tib. རིག་པའི་རྩལ་དབང་, rigpé tsal wang), and one keeps the samayas as explained in the texts. The view is definitively established by looking directly into the naturally arising wisdom in which the three kayas are inseparable: the empty essence of naked awareness beyond the ordinary mind is the dharmakaya, its cognizant nature is the sambhogakaya, and its all-pervasive compassionate energy is the nirmanakaya. The meditation consists of the approach of cutting through resistance to primordial purity (Tib. kadak trekchö), through which the lazy can reach liberation without effort, and the approach of the direct realization of spontaneous presence (Tib. lhundrup tögal), through which the diligent can reach liberation with exertion. The conduct is free from hope and fear and adopting and abandoning, because all that appears manifests as the display of reality itself. Perfecting the four visions of the path, one gains the supreme kaya, the rainbow body of great transference (see rainbow body), and attains the level of glorious Samantabhadra, the thirteenth bhumi known as ‘Unexcelled Wisdom’ (yeshe lama).

Attention (Skt. manaskāra; Tib. ཡིད་བྱེད་, yi jé, Wyl. yid byed)
One of the fifty-one mental states defined in Abhidharma literature. According to the Compendium of Abhidharma, it belongs to the subgroup of the five ever-present mental states. In the Khenjuk, Mipham Rinpoche says: Tib. ཡིད་བྱེད་ནི་དམིགས་པ་ལ་སེམས་འཛིན་པ། Attention is a mind apprehending the object of focus. (Rigpa Translations) Attention describes the process of the mind fixating upon the object concerned (Erik Pema Kunsang)

Avalokiteshvara (Skt. Avalokiteśvara; Tib. སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་ or སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག, Chenrezik or chenrezig wangchuk, Wyl. spyan ras gzigs or spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug)
The "Lord who Sees," is the name of the Bodhisattva who embodies the speech and compassion of all the Buddhas;the Sambhogakaya emanation of the Buddha Amitabha; sometimes referred to as Lokeshvara, the Lord of the World. As one of the Eight Great Close Sons, he is usually depicted as white in colour and holding a lotus. He is of special importance to Tibetans, so much so that he is sometimes described as the patron deity of Tibet. Among his emanations are King Songtsen Gampo — who is credited with authoring the Mani Kabum, a cycle of teachings and practices dedicated to the deity — as well as the lineages of Dalai Lamas and Karmapas.

Awareness translates several key Tibetan and Sanskrit terms, including: ཤེས་པ་, shépa (Wyl. shes pa), which is basic knowing or cognizance ཤེས་བཞིན་, shéshyin [Wyl. shes bzhin), which is also translated as vigilance or watchful awareness རིག་པ་, rigpa (Wyl. rig pa), which is the pure awareness of the Dzogchen teachings

Bardo (Skt. antarābhava, Tib. བར་དོ་, Wyl. bar do)
Commonly used to denote the intermediate state between death and rebirth, but in reality bardos are occurring continuously, throughout both life and death, and are junctures at which the possibility of liberation, or enlightenment, is heightened. Sogyal Rinpoche writes: Bardo is a Tibetan word that simply means a “transition” or a gap between the completion of one situation and the onset of another. Bar means “in between,” and do means “suspended” or “thrown.” The different bardos can be categorized into four or six: The Four Bardos: 1) the natural bardo of this life which begins when a connection with a new birth is first made and continues until the conditions that will certainly lead to death become manifest. 2) the painful bardo of dying which begins when these conditions manifest and continues until the 'inner respiration' ceases and the luminosity of the dharmakaya dawns. 3) the luminous bardo of dharmata which lasts from the moment the dharmakaya luminosity dawns after death and continues until the visions of precious spontaneous perfection are complete. 4) the karmic bardo of becoming which lasts from the moment the bardo body is created and continues until the connection with a new rebirth is made. The Six Bardos include the four above with the addition of: 5) the bardo of meditation (Skt. samādhyantarābhava; Tib. བསམ་གཏན་གྱི་བར་དོ་, Wyl. bsam gtan gyi bar do) 6) the bardo of dreaming (Skt. svapanāntarābhava; Tib. རྨི་ལམ་གྱི་བར་དོ་, Wyl. rmi lam gyi bar do) These two bardos are part of the natural bardo of this life.

Barom Kagyü (Tib. བའ་རོམ་བཀའ་བརྒྱུད་, Wyl. 'ba' rom bka' brgyud)
One of the four major schools of the Dakpo Kagyü, founded by one of Gampopa's four main disciples, Barompa Darma Wangchug (1127-1199). He founded the school's first seat, Barom Gompa, at Sangshyung, in the Nakchu province of Central Tibet. After an avalanche buried this first temple, a second monastery was established in Nangchen, Eastern Tibet, at the invitation of the king of Nangchen. Ever since, the Barom Kagyü lineage has been closely linked with the kingdoms of Nangchen and Tsangsar, and was continued mainly as a family lineage. In recent times, this school has counted masters such as Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and Lama Gendun Rinpoche as its lineage holders.

Basic Vehicle (Skt. Hīnayāna; Tib. ཐེག་དམན་, tek men, Wyl. theg dman)
lit. the 'Lesser Vehicle', but perhaps more accurately understood as 'Vehicle of Lesser Result'. What principally distinguishes followers of the Hinayana from those of the Great Vehicle (Skt. Mahayana) is their motivation. They aspire for the personal liberation of nirvana, and lack the courage to pursue the greater fruition of the Mahayana—this being the enlightenment of all sentient beings. It comprises both the Shravakayana or vehicle of shravakas and the Pratyekabuddhayana or vehicle of pratyekabuddhas.

Beings of Great Scope, (Tib. skyes bu chen po)
Practitioners of the Mahayana teachings who, out of compassion, aspire to buddhahood in order to help beings in the immediate term and to lead them ultimately to enlightenment.

Beings of Lesser Scope, (Tib. skyes bu chung ngu)
Beings who aspire to happiness in the human and divine realms and who, in order to gain it, consciously practice pure ethics according to the karmic law of cause and effect.

Beings of Middle Scope, (Tib. skyes bu 'bring)
Practitioners of the Hinayana teachings who aspire to liberation from the cycle of existences.

Bhagavan (Skt. bhagavant; Tib. བཅོམ་ལྡན་འདས་, chomdendé; Wyl. bcom ldan ‘das)
An epithet of the Buddha. It is usually explained by Tibetan scholars according to its literal meaning in Tibetan as "the transcendent འདས་(dé) one who has vanquished བཅོམ་ (chom) the four maras and possesses ལྡན་ (den) the six fortunes." The Sanskrit word carries the sense of possessing fortune (bhaga). The term has been translated into English as 'blessed one', 'lord', or, following the Tibetan, 'transcendent and accomplished conqueror.'

Bhāvaviveka (Tib. ལེགས་ལྡན་འབྱེད་, lekden jé, Wyl. legs ldan 'byed), aka Bhāviveka (སྣང་བྲལ་, snang bral) or Bhavya (སྐལ་ལྡན་, kalden, Wyl. skal ldan) (c.500-570)
Bhāvaviveka was a sixth century master of the Svatantrika school of Madhyamika. He was critical of Buddhapalita’s interpretation of Nagarjuna’s classic work The Root Verses on the Wisdom of the Middle Way, because he believed Buddhapalita should have put forward independent logical arguments, rather than simply pointing out the flaws in others’ positions. The great master Chandrakirti later defended Buddhapalita’s approach and sought to refute Bhavaviveka

Bhikṣhu, (Pal. bhikkhu; Tib. དགེ་སློང་, gelong, Wyl. dge slong)
Fully ordained monk - a male Buddhist practitioner who has taken the fullest of the seven types of pratimoksha vows. One must be at least 20 years of age to take this set of vows. The Sanskrit term 'bhikṣu' literally means beggar or mendicant; someone who subsists entirely on alms.

Bhumi (Skt. bhūmi; Tib. ས་, sa, Wyl. sa)
The word bhumi literally means ‘ground’. Just as the ground is the support for everything, both animate and inanimate, the bhumis are said to be ‘supports’ for enlightened qualities. So this term is used when referring to the stages a practitioner traverses on the path to enlightenment. There are eight bhumis on the path of the basic vehicle, the ten bhumis of the bodhisattva path, with the eleventh being buddhahood, and thirteen in the Tantrayana. The Dzogchen teachings sometimes speak of sixteen bhumis. Although bhumi is often translated literally as "ground", it has been questioned whether it makes sense in English to speak of a first ground, second ground and so on. For this reason, some translators prefer to translate it as "stage" or simply to leave it untranslated.

Disciple of Shakra Shri (thirteenth century) and exponent of the three vows.

Blessing (Skt. adhiṣṭhāna; Tib. བྱིན་བརླབས་, chinlap; Wyl. byin brlabs or byin gyis brlabs)
In The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, the true meaning of blessing is defined as “a transformation in which your mind transcends into the state of the absolute.” His Holiness the Dalai Lama defines ‘blessing’ in his commentary on the second part of Kamalashila’s Stages of Meditation: The Tibetan word for blessing, chin lap, can be broken into two parts—chin means ’magnificent potential’ and lap means ‘to transform’. So chin lap means ‘transforming into magnificent potential.’ Therefore, blessing refers to the development of virtuous qualities that you did not previously have and the improvement of those good qualities that you have already developed. It also means decreasing the defilements of the mind that obstruct the generation of wholesome qualities. So actual blessing is received when the mind’s virtuous attributes gain strength and its defective characteristics weaken or deteriorate.

Bodhi tree (Skt. bodhi vṛkṣa; Tib. བྱང་ཆུབ་ཀྱི་ཤིང་, Wyl. byang chub kyi shing)
The tree in Bodhgaya, India under which the Buddha attained enlightenment, which is a pipal, or sacred fig tree (Ficus religiosa).

Bodhicharyavatara (Skt. Bodhicaryāvatāra) or Bodhisattvacharyavatara (Skt. Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra; Tib. བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་དཔའི་སྤྱོད་པ་ལ་འཇུག་པ་, changchub sempé chöpa la jukpa, སྤྱོད་འཇུག་, chönjuk, Wyl. byang chub sems dpa'i spyod pa la 'jug pa)
Introduction to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life – Shantideva's classic guide to the Mahayana path. It is included among the so-called "thirteen great texts", which form the core of the curriculum in most shedras and on which Khenpo Shenga provided commentaries.

Bodhichitta (Skt. bodhicitta; Tib. བྱང་ཆུབ་ཀྱི་སེམས་, chang chub kyi sem, Wyl. byang chub kyi sems)
The compassionate wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. Buddhist scholars have debated whether bodhichitta is to be categorized as the 'main mind' (Tib. གཙོ་སེམས་, tso sem; Wyl. gtso sems) or a 'mental state' (Tib. སེམས་བྱུང་, sem jung; Wyl. sems byung). Asanga and Vasubandhu were among those claiming it is a mental state, while Arya Vimuktasena and Haribhadra believe that it is the main mind. In his Light on the 25,000 Verses (Tib. ཉི་ཁྲིད་སྣང་བ་, nyi khrid snang ba), Arya Vimuktasena specifies that it is the mental consciousness (Tib. ཡིད་ཀྱི་རྣམ་ཤེས་, yid kyi rnam shes). Bodhi means our ‘enlightened essence’ and chitta (Skt. citta) means ‘heart’ or 'mind', hence the translation ‘the heart of enlightened mind’. The most famous definition of bodhichitta appears in Maitreya's Abhisamayalankara: Arousing bodhichitta is: for the sake of others, longing to attain complete enlightenment. This has twin aspects or purposes: 1) focusing on sentient beings with compassion, and 2) focusing on complete enlightenment with wisdom. Khenpo Pema Vajra defines bodhichitta as "the wish to attain enlightenment in order to free all other sentient beings from the sufferings of existence and lead them to the unsurpassable bliss of omniscience." Khenpo Tsöndrü defines the generation of bodhichitta as "a special type of mental consciousness endowed with two aspects, inspired by the cause, longing to bring about the welfare of others, and accompanied by the support, longing to attain complete and perfect awakening. "Bodhichitta is categorized into ‘relative’ or ‘conventional bodhichitta’, and ‘absolute bodhichitta’. Relative bodhichitta entails the compassionate wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all living beings and to train in the methods to achieve that aim. Absolute bodhichitta is the direct insight into the absolute nature of things.Within relative bodhichitta there is also the distinction between ‘bodhichitta in aspiration’ and ‘bodhichitta in action’, which is portrayed by Shantideva as the difference between deciding to go somewhere and actually making the journey: "Understand that, briefly stated, Bodhicitta has two aspects: the mind aspiring to awaken, and actual application. just as one understands the difference between wishing to go and going on a journey, the wise should understand these two, recognizing their difference and their order." ༈ བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་དེ་མདོར་བསྡུས་ན། ། རྣམ་པ་གཉིས་སུ་ཤེས་བྱ་སྟེ། ། བྱང་ཆུབ་སྨོན་པའི་སེམས་དང་ནི། ། བྱང་ཆུབ་འཇུག་པ་ཉིད་ཡིན་ནོ། ། འགྲོ་བར་འདོད་དང་འགྲོ་བ་ཡི། ། བྱེ་བྲག་ཇི་ལྟར་ཤེས་པ་ལྟར། ། དེ་བཞིན་མཁས་པས་འདི་གཉིས་ཀྱི། ། བྱེ་བྲག་རིམ་བཞིན་ཤེས་པར་བྱ། །

Bodhichitta in action (Tib. འཇུག་པ་སེམས་བསྐྱེད་, Wyl. ‘jug pa sems bskyed)
One of the two subdivisions of relative bodhichitta, it is the enactment of the wish to benefit others. It is explained as pledging oneself to the cause of enlightenment by engaging in the six paramitas. Shantideva compares it to embarking upon a journey having developed a wish to do so. 'jug pa sems bskyed, developing the bodhi-mind of application. mind-generation of application [RY], developing the bodhicitta of application [so that all sentient beings may attain buddhahood arouses the bodhicitta wish to actually begin practicing the six paramitas etc.] [IW], developing the bodhicitta of application [IW]

Bodhichitta in aspiration (Tib. སྨོན་པ་སེམས་བསྐྱེད་, Wyl. smon pa sems bskyed)
One of the two subdivisions of relative bodhichitta, it is the aspiration to attain enlightenment for the benefit of others. It is explained as pledging oneself to the goal. smon pa sems bskyed, mind-generation/arousing the bodhicitta of aspiration [IW], mind-generation of aspiration, [def. byang chub thob par 'dun pa [RY].

Bodhisattva (Skt.; Tib. བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་དཔའ་, chang chub sempa, Wyl. byang chub sems dpa' )
Someone who has aroused bodhichitta, the compassionate wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all beings and also wishes to bring them to that state. Bodhisattvas may be "ordinary" or "nobel" depending on whether they have attained the path of seeing and are residing on one of the ten bodhisattva grounds. The bodhisattvas practise on the basis of their wish to benefit others. They are motivated by bodhichitta, which has as its focus all sentient beings and is characterized by the wish to establish them all at the level of perfect buddhahood, free from the causes and effects of suffering and endowed with all the causes and effects of happiness. With this motivation, they take the bodhisattva vows of aspiration and application in the proper way, through the ritual of either the tradition of Profound View or Vast Conduct. They then observe the points of discipline concerning what should be adopted and abandoned, and heal and purify any impairments. Concerning the basis of their path, how they determine the view, if we speak in terms of philosophical tenets, the approach of Mind Only is to assert that outer objects are not real and all phenomena are but the inner mind, and to claim that the self-aware, self-knowing consciousness devoid of dualistic perception is truly real. The approach of the Middle Way is to realize that all phenomena appear in the manner of dependent origination, but are in reality emptiness, beyond the eight extremes of conceptual elaboration. Through these approaches, on the basis of the explanation of the two levels of reality, they realize completely the absence of any personal self or phenomenal identity. Concerning their path and how they practise meditation, the bodhisattvas realize and train in developing their familiarity with the indivisibility of the two levels of reality, and, on the basis of the yogic meditation that unites shamatha and vipashyana, meditate sequentially on the thirty-seven factors of enlightenment while on the path of training.They practise the six transcendent perfections for their own benefit and the four means of attraction for the sake of others. They attain the level of buddhahood, which is the ultimate attainment in terms of both abandonment and realization since it means abandoning all that has to be eliminated, the two obscurations including habitual traces, and realizing everything that must be realized, included within the knowledge of all that there is and the knowledge of its nature. They accomplish the two types of dharmakaya for their own benefit and the two types of rupakaya for the benefit of others.

Bodhisattva Bhumis (Skt. Bodhisattvabhūmi; Tib. བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་དཔའི་ས་, changchub sempé sa; Wyl. byang chub sems dpa'i sa)
The fifteenth section of Asanga's Yogacarabhumi. A commentary is the Sagaramegha, Bodhisattvabhūmivyākhyā (Wyl. byang chub sems dpa'i sa'i rnam par bshad pa). Translations include, Asanga, The Bodhisattva Path to Unsurpassed Enlightenment: A Complete Translation of Bodhisattvabhumi (Tsadra), Snow Lion, 2016, translated by Artemus B. Engle, and Janice Dean Willis, On Knowing Reality: The Tattvārtha Chapter of Asaṅga's Bodhisattvabhūmi, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2002.

Bodong (Tib. བོ་དོང་, Wyl. bo dong)
One of the smaller Tibetan Buddhist traditions. It is sometimes considered a branch of the Sakya tradition. It also propagated a specific Lamdre lineage that was later incorporated into the Sakya lineage. The tradition goes back to Bodong Rinchen Tsemo, however the teacher who is considered to be the founder was Bodong Penchen Lénam Gyelchok who had a seat at the Bodong E monastery. Je Tsongkhapa studied at Bodong E. Gyalsé Tokmé Zangpo also served as abbott at Bodong E.

Body, (Skt. kaya, Tib. sku) see also Five Bodies
'Body' in the sense of a body or embodiment of numerous qualities. When speaking of two kayas: dharmakaya and rupakaya. The three kayas are dharmakaya, sambhogakaya and nirmanakaya. See also 'three kayas.' [RY] 1) body ; 2) statue, likeness, image ; 3) bodily form/ figure; 4) prefix; 5) kaya; 6) person of high rank [IW] 1) body, form, image, bodily form, figure. 2) kaya, dimension of existence. 3) image, statue. 4) particle used to form honorific, [precedes words referring to parts of the body or to clothing). 5) dimension. 6) person of high rank, Body. buddha body. body form, kaya, primordial contact, dimension, communication, the person of Buddha, image of buddha, image statue; Body, Kaya. One! (form of address); (enlightened) body/ form/ embodiment; image, statue; Kayas. [RY] kaya; dimension of enlightened being; (enlightened) body/ form/ embodiment [RB] kaya, body, dimension, primordial contact, authentic existence, embodied being, real being, existential value of being, being-as-value, existential significance, possibilities of being in the world, pattern of person's existence, beings in an environment, incarnate existence, significant being-in-the-world, authentic being in the world, true existence, structures of experience, dimension of existence, Guru's Body, forms, communication, buddha-bodies, honorific, his, hers, or yours, dimension of awakening, dimension of form, enlightened embodiment, dimensions of awakening, awakened dimensions, bodily form, statue, forms of deities, figure, enlightened form. [JV]

Bön (Tib. བོན་, Wyl. bon)
the ancient indigenous religion of Tibet. Although the term “Bön" is often used to refer to the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet as David Snellgrove explains, this is historically misleading: The bon were one class of priests among others, whose practices and beliefs are covered by the general term of lha-chos, which may be translated perhaps as ‘sacred conventions’. The term bön, as referring to a whole set of religious practices, would seem to have come into use at a later stage in deliberate opposition to the new use of chö which now had the meaning of Sanskrit dharma limited specifically to the religion of Shakyamuni. Thus there is probably no such thing as pre-Buddhist Bön.... According to Snellgrove, “Bön” was not a label for an organized religion before the introduction of Buddhism and it now refers to a system of beliefs and practices that have been influenced by Buddhism.

Brahma (Skt. Brahmā; Tib. ཚངས་པ་, tsangpa, Wyl. tshang pa)
Is one of the principal gods in the Indian pantheon, who came to prominence in the puranic period. He is considered to epitomize the energy of life, light, and growth, and to actually be all things and all beings. His body is constituted by the fifty sacred seed syllables of the divine language of perfection, Sanskrit. Brahma is not at all destructive, unlike Shiva and Indra, who are capable of great destruction and violence, but is the essence of creativity. There are said to be four abodes of Brahma, or Brahma realms, of immeasurable love, compassion, joy and equanimity. Also Brahma was the first to appear after Buddha Shakyamuni attained enlightenment, with an offering of a thousand-spoked golden wheel, requesting him to turn the teaching wheel of the dharma. Not to be confused with Brahmin – the priestly caste in Hinduism, Brahman – a metaphysical concept in Hinduism, or Brahmanas – a layer of text in the Vedas.

Brahmin or brahman (Skt. brāhmaṇa; Tib. བྲམ་ཟེ་རིགས་, Wyl. bram ze)
Is the priestly caste, one of the four castes or hereditary classes (Skt. varṇa) of Hinduism, the others being the kshatriya, vaishya and shudra.This term often indicates hermits and spiritual practitioners. It should be noted that the Buddha rejected the caste system and proclaimed on several occasions that the true Brahmin is not someone so designated through an accident of birth, but one who has thoroughly overcome defilement and attained freedom. Not to be confused with Brahman – a metaphysical concept in Hinduism, Brahma – a Hindu god, or Brahmanas – a layer of text in the Vedas.

Buddha (Skt.; Tib. སངས་རྒྱས་, Sangyé, Wyl. sangs rgyas)
Usually refers to Shakyamuni Buddha, the Indian prince Gautama Siddhartha, who reached enlightenment in the sixth century B.C., and who taught the spiritual path followed by millions all over Asia, known today as Buddhism. Buddha, however, also has a much deeper meaning. It means anyone who has completely awakened from ignorance and opened to his or her vast potential for wisdom. A buddha is one who has brought a final end to suffering and frustration and discovered a lasting and deathless happiness and peace. The Tibetan term for Buddha, སངས་རྒྱས་, Sangyé, is explained as follows: སངས་, Sang means ‘awakening’ from the sleep of ignorance, and ‘purifying’ the darkness of both emotional obscurations and cognitive obscurations. རྒྱས་, Gyé means ‘opening’, like a blossoming lotus flower, to all that is knowable, and ‘developing’ the wisdom of omniscience—the knowledge of the true nature of things, just as they are, and the knowledge of all things in their multiplicity. The Seventy Verses on Taking Refuge says: One who sleeps no more in ignorance, And in whom genuine wisdom is brought forth, Has truly awoken as an awakened buddha, Just as one wakes from ordinary sleep. As it says, ‘awakened’ means that ending the slumber of ignorance is like waking from sleep. And: Their minds have opened to all that is knowable, And they have overcome the tight seal of delusion, So the awakened have blossomed like lotus flowers. As it says, they are like ‘blossoming’ lotus petals in the sense that through their genuine wisdom they have overcome the tendency to ‘shut down’ through lack of knowledge, and their minds are open to all that can be known.

Buddha field (Skt. buddhakṣetra; Tib. ཞིང་ཁམས་ or སངས་རྒྱས་ཀྱི་ཞིང་, Wyl. zhing khams or sangs rgyas kyi zhing) or pure realm (Tib. དག་པའི་ཞིང་, Wyl. dag pa'i zhing)
Specifically, a buddha field is a pure realm manifested by a buddha or great bodhisattva. Beings born into a buddha field may travel the path towards enlightenment without falling back into the lower realms. More generally, any place that is seen as a pure manifestation of wisdom is a buddha field. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche says: In the sutras we can read how, on their eve of their attaining enlightenment, bodhisattvas such as Amitabha would make profound prayers and tremendous offerings to all the buddhas. They prayed that they might manifest a buddha field and then emanate themselves within that buddha field, so as to bring the greatest possible benefit to all sentient beings. From the Vajrayana perspective, however, the understanding of buddha fields is a deeper one. The root of the Vajrayana is "pure vision", or the perception of the perfect purity of all phenomena. To enact this purity of perception, we do not perceive the place where we are now as just an ordinary place; we imagine it to be a celestial buddha field." Examples of buddha fields are: Akanishtha—Vairochana's buddha field, in the centre of the buddha fields of the five families Sukhavati—Amitabha's buddha field, to the West Zangdokpalri—Guru Rinpoche's pure land in Chamara. Khenpo Ngakchung wrote: Then, by relying on the six paramitas, we have to train in the pure vision of infinite realms. We train in both pure and impure realms. According to whichever realm we wish for, we pray: “Through the merits gained by practising the six paramitas, in the future may whichever realm, pure or impure realm, I wish to train in, come into being!” We train in them by making our merits the principal cause, and our prayers of aspiration the contributory condition. Examples of pure realms are the buddha-field of Manjushri, or the ‘Blissful’ pure land of Sukhavati, and impure realms are those like the buddha-field of our teacher, the Buddha. Alak Zenkar Rinpoche explains that sbyong ba has the sense of preparing. In other words, by visualizing and praying and aspiring, we actually prepare and set up our pure realm for when we need it

Buddha nature (Tib. kham/rig; Wyl. khams/rigs)
When the Buddha became enlightened he realized that all beings without exception have the same nature and potential for enlightenment, and this is known as buddha nature. Maitreya says: རྫོགས་སངས་སྐུ་ནི་འཕྲོ་ཕྱིར་དང༌། ། དེ་བཞིན་ཉིད་དབྱེར་མེད་ཕྱིར་དང༌། ། རིགས་ཡོད་ཕྱིར་ན་ལུས་ཅན་ཀུན། ། རྟག་ཏུ་སངས་རྒྱས་སྙིང་པོ་ཅན། ། Because the perfect buddhas’s kaya is all-pervading, Because reality is undifferentiated, And because they possess the potential, Beings always have the buddha nature. Maitreya, Sublime Continuum, I, 27.

A 5th-century Indian Theravada Buddhist commentator, translator and philosopher. He worked in the Great Monastery (Mahāvihāra) at Anurādhapura, Sri Lanka and saw himself as being part of the Vibhajjavāda school and in the lineage of the Sinhalese Mahāvihāra. His best-known work is the Visuddhimagga ("Path of Purification"), a comprehensive summary of older Sinhalese commentaries on Theravada teachings and practices. According to Sarah Shaw, in Theravada this systematic work is "the principal text on the subject of meditation." The interpretations provided by Buddhaghosa have generally constituted the orthodox understanding of Theravada scriptures since at least the 12th century CE. He is generally recognized by both Western scholars and Theravadins as the most important philosopher and commentator of the Theravada, but is also criticised for his departures from the canonical texts. The name Buddhaghosa means "Voice of the Buddha" (Buddha+ghosa) in Pali, the language in which Buddhaghosa composed.

Buddhaguhya (Skt.; Tib. སངས་རྒྱས་གསང་བ་, Wyl. sangs rgyas gsang ba)
A great Indian master who played a key role in the transmission of the Mahayoga teachings in India and Tibet. He was a Vajrayana Buddhist scholar-monk. He taught at Vārāṇasī, and spent time in meditation near Mount Kailash. Vimalamitra was one of his students. A major commentary by Buddhaguhya of the Mahavairocana Tantra was written in 760 and is preserved in Tibetan. Hodge translates it into English alongside the text itself. Apart from his commentary on the Maha-Vairocana-Abhisambodhi Tantra, we know little of Buddhaguhya. Buddhaguhya is held to have received teachings from Lilavajra.

Buddhahood (Wyl. sangs rgyas kyi go 'phang)
Is also called "state of enlightenment" or simply "enlightenment". It is the ultimate goal of the Buddhist path attained when we become a buddha. Upon the attainment of buddhahood, enlightenment manifests at three levels, which are known as the three bodies of the Buddha: the Absolute or Truth Body, or dharmakaya; the Enjoyment Body, or sambhogakaya; and the Emanation Body, or nirmanakaya.

Buddhapalita (Skt. Buddhapālita; Tib. སངས་རྒྱས་བསྐྱངས་, Sangyé Kyang; Wyl. sangs rgyas bskyangs)
Was a commentator on the works of Nagarjuna and Aryadeva. His works were criticised by his contemporary Bhāviveka, and then he was defended by the later Candrakīrti, whose terms differentiating the two scholars led to the rise of the Prasaṅgika and Svatantrika schools of Madhyamaka. In this sense, Buddhapālita can be said to have been the founder of the Prasaṅgika Madhyamaka School. Buddhapalita was a great master and exponent of the Prasangika system of Mahayana Buddhism. It is said that he was born in Hamsakrida, South India and from an early age took a deep interest in the teaching of the Buddha. He received novice and full ordination and entered Nalanda monastery where he studied under acharya Sangharaksita, himself a disciple of Nagamitra. Buddhapalita quickly mastered the teachings of arya Nagarjuna and later while resident at Dantapuri monastery in South India he composed many commentaries to the works of Nagarjuna and Aryadeva. In the sixth Century CE Buddhapalita composed his famous commentary to Nagarjuna’s Fundamental Wisdom (Mulasastra) called Buddhapalitavrtti, a work of great clarity and insight. As a true Prasangika treatise it extensively employed consequences to elaborate Madhyamaka view. His younger contemporary Bhāviveka also composed a commentary to Nagarjuna’s work called Lamp of Wisdom (Prajñapradipa) in which he criticized Buddhapalita’s position. It is the way that Bhāviveka criticizes Buddhapalita that belies Bhāviveka's belief in autonomous inference (svatantranumana; Wylie: rang rgyud rjes dpag). Bhāviveka asserted that stating consequences was insufficient. To generate a valid conception of emptiness, one must state autonomously established syllogisms. Candrakīrti (7th century CE), composed the treatise called Clear Words (Prasannpada) as a commentary to the Fundamental Wisdom based on Buddhapalita’s work. In his work Candrakīrti defends Buddhapalita’s position and refutes Bhāviveka’s assertion of autonomous syllogisms. Since Bhāviveka was the first person to clearly distinguish the Svatantrika view from the Prasangika view he is regarded as the founder of the Svatantrika system. Similarly since Candrakīrti was the first person to clearly distinguish Prasañgika view from the Svatantrika he is regarded by Tibetan scholars as the founder or path breaker (Wylie: shing rta rsol 'byed) of the Prasangika system. But Tibetans recognize that Candrakīrti’s explanation arises within the commentarial lineage of Buddhapalita, and for that reason some assert Buddhapalita to be the founder of Prasangika. In general though Nagarjuna and Buddhapalita clearly taught the Prasangika view neither is regarded as the founder of the Prasangika system because historically they did not clearly set forth this view in contradistinction to the Svatantrika view.

Butön Rinchen Drup (Tib. བུ་སྟོན་རིན་ཆེན་གྲུབ་, Wyl. bu ston rin chen grub)
(1290-1364) — a great scholar of the Sarma tradition who compiled the Tibetan Buddhist canon (Kangyur). His lineage is called Shalupa after the name of the place where he mostly resided, Shalu Monastery, near Shigatsé in Central Tibet. His personal writings include a celebrated history of Buddhism (Tib. བུ་སྟོན་ཆོས་བྱུང་, Wyl. bu ston chos byung). He was the 11th Abbot of Shalu Monastery, was a 14th-century Sakya master and Tibetan Buddhist leader. Shalu was the first of the major monasteries to be built by noble families of the Tsang dynasty during Tibet's great revival of Buddhism, and was an important center of the Sakya tradition. Butön was not merely a capable administrator but he is remembered to this very day as a prodigious scholar and writer and is Tibet's most celebrated historian. Buton was born into a family associated with a monastery named Sheme Gomne (shad smad sgom gnas) in the Tropu (khro phu) area of Tsang ... [his] father was a prominent Nyingma Lama named Drakton Gyeltsen Pelzang (brag ston rgyal btshan dpal bzang, d.u.). His mother, also a Nyingma master, was called Sonam Bum (bsod nams 'bum, d.u.). Buton catalogued all of the Buddhist scriptures at Shalu, some 4,569 religious and philosophical works and formatted them in a logical, coherent order. He wrote the famous book, the History of Buddhism in India and Tibet at Shalu which many Tibetan scholars utilize in their study today. After his death he strongly influenced the development of esoteric studies and psychic training in Tibet for centuries. The purpose of his works were not to cultivate paranormal magical abilities but to attain philosophical enlightenment, a belief that all earthly phenomena are a state of the mind. He remains to this day one of the most important Tibetan historians and Buddhist writers in the history of Buddhism and Tibet Panchen Sönam Drakpa (1478-1554), the fifteenth abbot of Ganden monastery, became known as an incarnation of the great lama and historian, Bütön Rinchen Drupa.

Central Land (Tib. yul dbus)
A land in which the Dharma is taught and practiced, as opposed to the peripheral or barbarous lands, so called because the Buddha's teachings are unknown there. From this standpoint, a country devoid of Dharma will still be termed barbarous, even though it may possess a high level of civilization and technology.

Cessation (Skt. nirodha; Tib. འགོག་པ་, gokpa, Wyl. ‘gog pa)
Generally the word refers to the absence or extinction of a given entity. As the third of the four noble truths, it refers specifically to the pacification of suffering and its causes, and is therefore a synonym of nirvana. Cessation is of two kinds: analytical (Skt. pratisaṃkhyā-nirodha; Tib. སོ་སོར་བརྟགས་པའི་འགོག་པ་, sosor takpé gokpa, Wyl. so sor brtags pa'i 'gog pa) and non-analytical (Skt. apratisaṃkhyā-nirodha; Tib. བརྟགས་མིན་འགོག་པ་, tak min gokpa, Wyl. brtags min 'gog pa). In his commentary to Mipham Rinpoche’s Khenjuk, Khenpo Nüden writes: Analytical cessation is the unconditioned aspect of the permanent elimination of destructive emotions and other factors to be eliminated, through the force of developing realization of the undefiling path, such as the wisdom of discernment, within the mind. Non-analytical cessation does not refer to the ceasing of latent habitual tendencies as a result of analysis and investigation, but rather to the absence of a given thing in a particular place due to an incompleteness of necessary causes and conditions, as in the case of horns on a horse’s head, for instance. Another example which is mentioned in the commentaries is the fact that other types of consciousness do not arise when the eye-consciousness is distracted by a visual form. This also includes all the various forms of non-existence (or absence), such as the absence of a vase in a particular place. Cessation in Dzogchen is the cessation of all conceptualizations. There are two cessations: the individual analytical cessation is attained through discriminations and analysis by the mind. The non-analytical cessation is attained through contemplating on the ultimate nature with no mental discriminations.

Chakra, (Tib. 'khor lo)
lit. wheel. These are centers of the psycho-physical wind energy located at the different points on the central channel, from which smaller channels radiate to the rest of the body. Depending on the teachings and practice in question, their number varies from four to six.

Chakravartin, Skt., (Tib. འཁོར་ལོས་སྒྱུར་བའི་རྒྱལ་པོ་, khorlö gyurwé gyalpo, Wyl. 'khor los bsgyur ba'i rgyal po)
A universal monarch. Someone who has the power to overcome, conquer and rule all inhabitants of a four-continent world system. In the Buddhist teachings this is considered an example of the most powerful rebirth possible within samsara. Rebirth as a universal monarch can occur only when the lifespan of the human beings of the four continent world system ranges from eighty thousand to a countless number of years. Universal monarchs are in possession of three sets of seven emblems: the seven precious emblems of royalty, the seven secondary possessions, and the seven types of jewel insignia.

Chandragomin (Skt. Candragomin, Tib. ཙནྡྲ་གོ་མིན་) (seventh century)
A famous seventh century Indian master and scholar who was a lay practitioner, or upasaka, who dressed in white robes and upheld the five lay vows and famously challenged Chandrakirti to a debate in Nalanda that lasted for many years. His writings include Twenty Verses on the Bodhisattva Vow and Letter to a Disciple. A famous quotation of Chandragomin from Letter to a Disciple states, བདེར་གཤེགས་ལམ་བརྟེན་འགྲོ་བ་འདྲེན་པར་ཆས་གྱུར་ཅིང་། ། སེམས་ཀྱི་སྟོབས་ཆེན་མི་ཡིས་རྙེད་པ་གང་ཡིན་པ། ། ལམ་དེ་ལྷ་དང་ཀླུ་ཡིས་རྙེད་མིན་ལྷ་མིན་དང་། ། མཁའ་ལྡིང་རིག་འཛིན་མི་འམ་ཅི་དང་ལྟོ་འཕྱེས་མིན། ། "The path followed and taught by the Buddha in order to guide the world Is within the reach of human beings with strength of heart, but cannot be attained by the gods, nagas, asuras, garudas, vidyadharas, kinnaras or uragas."

Chandrakirti (Skt. Candrakīrti; Tib. ཟླ་བ་གྲགས་པ་, Dawa Drakpa; Wyl. zla ba grags pa)
A renowned Indian scholar who was born in the early seventh century. He is the author of Introduction to the Middle Way, Clear Words and other key works of the Prasangika Madhyamika. His major writings include: Clear Words, Commentary on the Four Hundred Verses on the Yogic Deeds of Bodhisattvas, Commentary on the Seventy Stanzas on Emptiness, Commentary on the Sixty Stanzas on Reasoning, Introduction to the Middle Way and, Seventy Verses on Taking Refuge.

Charvaka (Skt. Cārvāka; Tib. རྒྱང་འཕེན་པ་, gyang penpa, Wyl. rgyang 'phen pa)
Also known as Lokayata (Skt. Lokāyata), is a non-buddhist school of nihilism. The Charvakas are materialistic (believing the four elements to be the sole cause of all phenomena), do not believe in reincarnation and seek happiness (sukha) in this life while it lasts. They deem it as foolish to abandon happiness just because it might come mingled with suffering: it would be like throwing away the rice because of the husk. Sensation (direct perception) is considered to be the only means to acquire knowledge therefore any attempt to construct generalisations (inference) out of sense data is rejected. Consciousness is considered to be a product of matter just like the intoxicating power of alcohol is the product of the fermentation of grains. It is based on this view that Charvakas negate previous lives: no one perceives them. Similarly future lives are denied because body and mind are one entity and, therefore, when the body perishes, the mind also perishes, just like when a stone is destroyed, a design on the stone is likewise destroyed. They also assert that all phenomena arise from their own nature, causelessly. They say: The rising of the sun, the running downwards of a river, The roundness of peas, the sharpness of thorns, The 'eyes' of peacock feathers and so forth all phenomena Arise from their own nature, without being made by anyone.

Charya tantra (Skt. caryātantra; Tib. སྤྱོད་རྒྱུད་, Wyl. spyod rgyud)
aka Upayogatantra or Ubhayatantra (ཨུ་པའི་རྒྱུད་, u pa'i rgyud) — the second of the three outer classes of tantra and the fifth yana according to the nine yana classification. The vehicle of charya or ‘conduct’ tantra is so-called because it places an equal emphasis on the outer actions of body and speech and the inner cultivation of samadhi. It is also called the ‘tantra of both’ (Skt. ubhaya tantra) because its view conforms with that of yoga tantra, while its conduct is similar to that of kriya tantra. One is matured by means of the five empowerments, which include the empowerments of the vajra, bell and name in addition to the water and crown empowerments[2], and then maintains the samayas of charya tantra, as described in the particular texts themselves. The view is determined in the same way as in the yoga tantra. During meditation one visualizes oneself as the samaya being (Skt. samayasattva) and visualizes the wisdom deity (Skt. jñānasattva), who is regarded as a friend, in front of oneself, and then practises the conceptual meditations on the syllable, mudra and form of the deity, and the non-conceptual meditation on absolute bodhichitta by means of entering, remaining and arising. The conduct here is the same as in kriya tantra. In the short term, one attains the common accomplishments and ultimately one reaches the level of a vajradhara of the four buddha families (i.e., the three families mentioned in the results of the kriya tantra vehicle plus the ratna family).

Chittamatrins (Skt. Cittamātra; Tib. སེམས་ཙམ་པ་, Semtsampa; Wyl. sems tsam pa)
The followers of the 'Mind Only', a Mahayana philosophical school founded by Asanga in the 4th century AD. Its followers say that all phenomena are merely mind—the all-ground consciousness manifesting as environment, objects and the physical body, as a result of habitual tendencies stored within the all-ground. This school is also known under the names of Yogachara and Vijñānavāda. It's canonical literature includes, the Avatamsaka Sutra, the Lankavatara Sutra, the Samadhiraja Sutra, the Samdhinirmochana Sutra, and the Shastras, of the Thirty Stanzas, the Treatise on the Three Natures, the Twenty Stanzas. They divide all phenomena into the ‘three natures’: the imputed or 'imaginary', the dependent, and the truly established. Khenpo Ngakchung says: All the dualistic phenomena of the imputed nature and the mind and mental phenomena of the dependent nature are the deceiving phenomena of delusion, the relative truth. The essence of the dependent nature, which is the naturally luminous consciousness, and the fully established nature, which is the fact that this [i.e., the dependent nature] is empty of the dualistic projections of the imputed nature—comprising the nature of reality and wisdom—are said to be the absolute truth. There are two subschools of Mind Only: True Aspectarians and False Aspectarians.

Chö (Tib. གཅོད་, Wyl. gcod)
(literally 'cutting'), also known as the accumulation of the kusulu, is a practice, based on the prajnaparamita, involving a visualization in which the physical body is offered as food to various guests, including evil forces or dangerous spirits, the purpose of which is to destroy or 'cut' the four maras and especially one’s own ego-clinging. Chö was introduced to Tibet by the Indian master Padampa Sangye and his Tibetan disciple, the yogini Machik Labdrön.

Clear light, (Tib. འོད་གསལ་, Wyl. ‘od gsal)
The fundamental innate mind of clear light is considered to be the nature of mind, or the ultimate root of consciousness, and can be understood at several levels: according to the teachings of the sutra system, in the context of the tantric teachings, and in the context of Dzogchen. The unique feature of the Dzogchen approach is that right from the beginning you make the experience of clear light itself manifest, almost as if it were something tangible – a direct, bare experience of clear light. In Dzogchen, on the basis of the clear light itself, the way in which the clear light abides is made vivid and certain by the aspect of rigpa or knowing. This is free from any overlay of delusion and from any corrupting effect, due to conceptual thoughts, that will inhibit the experience of clear light.

Cognitive obscurations (Skt. jñeyavaraṇa; Tib. ཤེས་བྱའི་སྒྲིབ་པ་, ཤེས་སྒྲིབ་, shé drip; Wyl. shes sgrib)
Cognitive obscurations are defined according to their essence, cause and function. In essence, they are thoughts that involve the three conceptual ‘spheres’ of subject, object and action. The Gyü Lama says: "Thoughts that involve the three spheres, These are the cognitive obscurations." Their cause is grasping at phenomena as truly existent, or, in other words, the “self of phenomena”. Their function is to prevent complete enlightenment. According to Mipham Rinpoche, the cognitive obscurations are overcome in their imputation (kun btags) aspect at the path of seeing and in their innate (lhan skyes) aspect on the path of meditation. Complete enlightenment is reached when the most subtle cognitive obscurations--which are habitual tendencies--are overcome by means of what is called the “vajra-like samadhi,” at the end of the tenth bhumi.

Compassion (Skt. karuṇā; Pali karuṇā; Tib. སྙིང་རྗེ་, nyingjé; Wyl. snying rje[1])
One of the four immeasurables. It is defined as the wish that others may be free from suffering and its causes. His Holiness the Dalai Lama says: "When I speak of ‘basic human feeling’, I refer to the capacity we all have to empathize with one another. This is what enables us to enter into the pain of others and, to some extent, participate in the pain of others. Our innate capacity for empathy is the source of that most precious of all human qualities, which in Tibetan we call nyingjé. The term nyingjé has a wealth of meaning that includes: love, affection, kindness, gentleness, generosity of spirit, and warm-heartedness. It does not imply pity; on the contrary, nyingjé denotes a feeling of connection with others. Also, it belongs to that category of emotions which have a more developed cognitive component. So we can understand nyingjé as a combination of empathy and reason. We can think of empathy as the characteristic of a very warm-hearted or well-meaning person; reason as that of someone who is very practical (and truly intelligent and wise). When the two are put together, the combination is highly effective." Its subdivisions are: compassion focused on sentient beings, compassion focused on phenomena, and compassion without focus. These distinctions are made purely in terms of focus (དམིགས་པ་, dmigs pa), whilst in all three cases the attitude of mind (རྣམ་པ་, rnam pa) is the same, i.e. the wish that there may be freedom from suffering. For more see three kinds of compassion

Compassionate energy (Tib. ཐུགས་རྗེ་, tukjé, Wyl. thugs rje).
The Ground of Dzogchen is described as being endowed with three qualities―essence, nature and compassionate energy. The third quality of the Ground is its compassionate energy. Just as the sky and sunlight are indivisible, so the empty essence and cognizant nature are always a unity. This inseparability or unity is called ‘compassionate energy’, the manifestation of the compassionate energy of the enlightened mind. This unceasing compassionate energy is described as: unconfined, unobstructed, and all-pervasive. It too possesses three wonderful qualities: the wisdom that knows, the compassion that is loving and caring, and the power that is able to liberate, protect, and benefit beings and fulfil the enlightened activity of the buddhas. Tulku Tsullo, a student of Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa, describes it in the following way: The manifest power of that wisdom is capable of arising as anything whatsoever, and therefore this compassionate energy pervades all phenomena. All the pure phenomena of nirvana and impure phenomena of samsara―whatever there might be―are merely appearances arising to one’s own mind. All the phenomena of samsara and nirvana are like this; there is not a single phenomenon in samsara or nirvana that is not like this, and which exists from its own side. The nature of conceptual ideas evaluating phenomena and also non-conceptual states of mind is the wisdom of rigpa’s pure awareness. Therefore, in short, all the phenomena of samsara and nirvana are but a display arising through the creative power of the wisdom of rigpa within our own minds.

Compounded phenomena, (Tib. 'dus byas)
A phenomena belonging to the relative level, so called because it appears to arise, abide, and eventually cease.

Conceived object, (Tib. zhen yul)
A technical term in Buddhist logic, used to refer to objects of the conceptual consciousness that identifies and names things. It thus refers to sense objects as apprehended by this consciousness, but also to imaginary objects that are mistakenly assumed to exist. One of the four types of object, is defined as rang 'dzin rtog pas zhen nas rtogs par bya ba. Appearing object (སྣང་ཡུལ་, snang yul), apprehended object (གཟུང་ཡུལ་, gzung yul), conceived object (ཞེན་ཡུལ་, zhen yul), and object of application (འཇུག་ཡུལ་, 'jug yul).Taken/ referent/ conceptual/ determined object [IW], conceived object [RY], ex blang dor dgag sgrub gyi zhen yul the conceived objects of accepting and rejecting, affirming and denying [RY] .

Concentration (Skt. samādhi; Tib. ཏིང་འཛིན་, tingdzin, Wyl. ting ‘dzin)
One of the fifty-one mental states defined in Abhidharma literature. According to the Compendium of Abhidharma, it belongs to the subgroup of the five object-determining mental states. In the Khenjuk, Mipham Rinpoche says: Tib. ཏིང་ངེ་འཛིན་ནི་བརྟག་པའི་དངོས་པོ་ལ་སེམས་རྩེ་གཅིག་པ་ཤེས་པའི་རྟེན་བྱེད་པའི་ལས་ཅན་ནོ། Concentration is to have a one-pointed mind with regard to the examined entity. Its function is to support [correct] cognition. (Rigpa Translations) Concentration means to have one-pointed mind with regard to the examined object. Its function is to support [right] cognition.(Erik Pema Kunsang)

Confession (Tib. བཤགས་པ་, shakpa, Wyl. bshags pa)
The process of admitting or 'exposing' one's misdeeds before a witness or support, feeling regret for them and vowing not to repeat them in future. See also the four powers. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche says: "Confession in Mahayana Buddhism has a lot to do with exposing oneself. I don’t really know the meaning of the word “confession”, but I would say that here it means revealing yourself or ‘uncovering’. Uncovering what? Pride, vulnerability, selfishness—all the attachments we cling to and cherish. This is what we are supposed to expose." Chökyi Drakpa says: "The third branch (of the seven branches) is confession, which must involve all four powers. As the power of support, trust in the field of merit as a method for purifying your harmful actions. As the power of regret, develop remorse for all the negativity you have accumulated including the ten non-virtuous actions (the three of the body, the four of the speech and the three of the mind). Feel as much regret as if you had just swallowed poison. As the power of resolve, vow not to repeat them in future. For the power of action as an antidote, consider that all your harmful actions and obscurations, and all those of other sentient beings, are gathered together in the form of a black pile on the tip of your tongue. Then rays of light emanate from the field of merit, strike the pile, and purify it just like a stain being completely washed away. Ultimately, the way to confess and purify is by resting in the luminosity of the dharmakaya nature of mind without grasping at the three spheres (of subject, object and activity) as being true or real."

Confident faith (Tib. ཡིད་ཆེས་ཀྱི་དད་པ་, yiché pé dépa; Wyl. yid ches kyi dad pa)
One of the three kinds of faith. Chökyi Drakpa says: "Confident faith is a confidence in the qualities of the master and the Three Jewels, which cannot be shaken by temporary circumstances or events, and a trust in the laws of cause and effect strong enough to survive the worst kind of circumstances such as illness. This is the kind of faith one should have."

Conqueror, (Skt. Jina, Tib. rgyal ba )
In Buddhist literature, this term is an epithet for buddha (Skt. jina), implying that a buddha is one who has conquered cyclic existence (saṃsāra). More generally, in its Tibetan form, this same epithet is frequently used as an honorific title before the names of highly venerated beings, e.g. Gyalwa Yeshi Norbu (for H.H.the Dalai Lama), or Gyalwa Karmapa, whereas within the Indian tradition as a whole, it is often noted that this term has an even greater currency in Jain texts, where it is equivalent to tīrthaṅkara.

Conscientiousness (Skt. apramāda; Tib. བག་ཡོད་པ་, bak yöpa, Wyl. bag yod pa)
One of the fifty-one mental states defined in Abhidharma literature. According to the Compendium of Abhidharma, it belongs to the subgroup of the eleven virtuous states. In the Khenjuk, Mipham Rinpoche says: Tib. བག་ཡོད་པ་ནི་བླང་དོར་གྱི་གནས་ལ་གཟོབ་པ་ལྷུར་ལེན་པ་སྲིད་ཞིའི་ལེགས་པ་སྒྲུབ་པའི་ལས་ཅན་ནོ། Conscientiousness is the earnest application of care concerning what should be adopted and what should be abandoned. Its function is to accomplish the excellence of existence and peace [samsara and nirvana]. (Rigpa Translations, Erik Pema Kunsang) Conscientiousness is a meticulous concern for what is to be engaged in and what is to be avoided. This is an essential component of maintaining discipline. It is described at length in chapter four of the Bodhicharyavatara.

Contact (Skt. sparśa; Tib. རེག་པ་ or རེག་བྱ་, rekpa or rekja, Wyl. reg pa or reg bya)
One of the fifty-one mental states defined in Abhidharma literature. According to the Compendium of Abhidharma, it belongs to the subgroup of the five ever-present mental states. Contact is also the sixth of the twelve nidanas. In the Khenjuk, Mipham Rinpoche says: Tib. རེག་པ་ནི་(ཡུལ་དབང་ཤེས་)གསུམ་འདུས་ནས་(སྔ་མ་ན་མེད་པའི་)དབང་པོའི་འགྱུར་བ་ཡོངས་སུ་གཅོད་པ(འམ་ཤེས་པ)་ཚོར་བའི་རྟེན་བྱེད་པའོ།[1] Contact is the meeting together of the three (object, sense faculty and consciousness) and the positive determination (or cognition) of the (previously non-existing) faculty. It is the support of sensation. (Rigpa Translations) Contact is the meeting together of the three (object, sense faculty and consciousness) and the cognition of the faculty's (particular) event. It supports sensation. (Erik Pema Kunsang)

Contentment (Tib. chokshé)
The attitude of being satisfied with and grateful for whatever we have. It is an essential prerequisite for genuine happiness.

Craving (Skt. tṛṣṇā; Pal. taṇhā; Tib. སྲེད་པ་, sepa, Wyl. sred pa)
Is identified by the Buddha as the origin of suffering in his first teaching on the Four Truths of the Noble Ones: What is the origin of suffering? It is the craving that perpetuates existence, which is attended upon by the passion for enjoyment, and which finds pleasures here and there. That is the origin of suffering. -- Lalitavistara Sutra -- The Noble Truth of the origin of suffering is this: It is this thirst (craving) which produces re-existence and re-becoming, bound up with passionate greed. It finds fresh delight now here and now there, namely, thirst for sense-pleasures; thirst for existence and becoming; and thirst for non-existence (self-annihilation). -- Dhammacakkappavattana-sutta (Saṃyutta Nikāya) -- Craving is also counted as the eighth of the twelve links of dependent origination. The Dhammacakkappavattana-sutta quote above distinguishes three main cravings: thirst for sense-pleasures (Skt. kāmatṛṣṇā); thirst for existence and becoming (Skt. bhāvatṛṣṇā); and thirst for non-existence or self-annihilation (Skt. vibhāvatṛṣṇā). Craving can also be divided into the three cravings of: the realms of desire, form and formlessness.

Daka (Skt. ḍāka; Tib. དཔའ་བོ་, pawo[1], Wyl. dpa' bo)
Literally 'hero' — the tantric equivalent of a bodhisattva and the male equivalent of a dakini. Strictly speaking the Tibetan for ḍāka is khandro (while the Tibetan for ḍākinī is khandroma). The Tibetan word pawo, literally meaning a hero or virile one, actually translates the Sanskrit word vīra.

Dakini (Skt. ḍākinī; Tib. མཁའ་འགྲོ་མ་, khandroma; Wyl. mkha' 'gro ma)
A female embodiment of enlightened energy. ‘Khandro’ (མཁའ་འགྲོ་) literally means ‘sky-goer’, indicating one who traverses the 'sky' of the expanse of wisdom. Female lamas and the spiritual wives of male lamas often have the epithet 'khandro'.

Defeat, (Tib. pham pa)
A type of transgression of the precepts, a misdemeanor that brings about a complete destruction of the vow.

Defiled mental consciousness or emotional consciousness (Skt. kliṣṭamanas; Tib. ཉོན་ཡིད་, nyön yi, Wyl. nyon yid)
The seventh of the eight consciousnesses. It is focused inwards upon the ground of all, or alaya, mistaking it for a substantial self, with the result that all experience is subsequently divided into wanted and unwanted. It is always present, underlying all ordinary mental states, whether virtuous, non-virtuous or neutral, and only ceases when the noble path is actualized, during the absorption of cessation or at the state of buddhahood. Thrangu Rinpoche explains: The seventh consciousness refers to the most basic level of mental afflictions, or klesha. It refers not to the coarse kleshas, but to the root of the kleshas. Specifically, the afflicted consciousness is the most subtle level of fixation on a self. [...] It is unfluctuatingly present even when one is asleep. When sometimes you have a sense of self, and you think “I”, that is an operation not of the seventh consciousness but of the sixth. [...] Although it is not itself directly observable, the afflicted consciousness is the basis for all coarse fixation on a self and therefore for all coarse kleshas.

Dependent origination (Skt. pratītyasamutpāda; Tib. རྟེན་འབྲེལ་, tendrel, Wyl. rten 'brel)
Means that all phenomena, outer and inner, do not appear without any causes. Nor are they caused by a causeless and permanent creator such as the self, time or God. In fact, they arise through the coming together of their own particular causes and conditions. All outer phenomena (ཕྱིའི་ཆོས་, Wyl. phyi'i chos) arise through dependent origination, in the manner of a seed developing into a sprout, for example. And all inner phenomena (ནང་གི་ཆོས་, Wyl. nang gi chos)—the aggregates of supreme, intermediate or lesser beings—arise through dependent origination in the manner of the twelve links. see also, http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Dependent_origination

Desire (Skt. rāga; Tib. འདོད་ཆགས་, döchak, Wyl. ‘dod chags)
One of the three principal destructive emotions and one of the fifty-one mental states defined in Abhidharma literature. According to the Compendium of Abhidharma, it belongs to the subgroup of the six root destructive emotions. In the Khenjuk, Mipham Rinpoche says: Tib. འདོད་ཆགས་ནི་ཁམས་གསུམ་པའི་ཟག་བཅས་ཀྱི་ཕུང་པོ་ལ་ཆགས་པ་སྟེ་སྲིད་པའི་སྡུག་བསྔལ་སྐྱེད་པར་བྱེད་པའོ། Desire is to be attached to the defiled aggregates of the three realms. It produces the suffering of [samsaric] existence. (Rigpa Translations) Attachment is to be attached to the defiling aggregates of the three realms. It produces the pain of [samsaric] existence (Erik Pema Kunsang)

Desire realm (Skt. kāmadhātu; Tib. འདོད་ཁམས་, dö kham, Wyl. 'dod khams)
The first of the three realms. The desire realm is so called because the beings inhabiting it are prey to intense emotion and crave happiness based on the pleasures of the senses. The desire realm consists of thirty-six abodes where the six classes of beings live.

Destructive emotions (Skt. kleśa; Tib. ཉོན་མོངས་, nyönmong, Wyl. nyon mongs)
The negative, destructive emotions which are the cause of suffering. Some translators prefer not to translate klesha as 'emotion', because, as they point out, we would not immediately think of delusion and doubt, for example, as being ‘emotions’. From the Great Tibetan Dictionary (bod kyi tshig mdzod chen mo): མི་དགེ་བའི་ལས་བསྐུལ་བས་རང་རྒྱུད་རབ་ཏུ་མ་ཞི་བར་བྱེད་པའི་སེམས་བྱུང་།, mi dge ba'i las bskul bas rang rgyud rab tu ma zhi bar byed pa'i sems byung “mental events that incite one to unvirtuous actions and cause one’s being to be very [unpeaceful]” From the Great Tibetan Dictionary: ལུས་སེམས་གདུང་བའི་དཀའ་ལས་སམ་ངལ་དུབ་དང་་། མི་དགེ་བའི་ལས་བསྐུལ་བས་རང་རྒྱུད་རབ་ཏུ་མ་ཞི་བར་བྱེད་པའི་སེམས་བྱུང་།, lus sems gdung ba'i dka' las sam ngal dub dang, mi dge ba'i las bskul bas rang rgyud rab tu ma zhi bar byed pa'i sems byung, “a mental state that afflicts the body and mind with difficulty and fatigue and makes one’s being extremely ill at ease by inciting one to unwholesome actions.” The three main destructive emotions (or three poisons) are ignorance, attachment and aversion. When classified as five, pride and jealousy are added (the five poisons). Pride is a combination of ignorance and attachment, and jealousy is a combination of attachment and aggression. The Abhidharma further categorizes all destructive emotions into: Six root disturbing emotions and Twenty subsidiary disturbing emotions In the Abhidharma it says there are three main causes of negative emotions: Not having abandoned the latent tendencies or predispositions (Tib. ཉོན་མོངས་པའི་བག་ལ་ཉལ་མ་སྤང་, Wyl. nyon mongs pa’i bag la nyal ma spang) Coming into contact with a provocative object (Tib. ཉོན་མོངས་སྐྱེ་བའི་ཡུལ་ཉེ་བར་གནས་པ་, Wyl. nyon mongs skye ba’i yul nye bar gnas pa) Incorrect thinking or an unhelpful attitude (Tib. ཚུལ་བཞིན་མ་ཡིན་པའི་ཡིད་ལ་བྱེད་པ་, Wyl. tshul bzhin ma yin pa’i yid la byed pa) His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said that there are three reasons for believing that the destructive emotions can be eliminated from our minds: All the destructive emotions and mental states are essentially distorted, whereas the antidotes, such as love, compassion and insight, are undistorted and based on how things really are. The antidotes have the quality of being strengthened through training and practice. The essential nature of the mind is pure and undefiled by the destructive emotions. Ringu Tulku Rinpoche says: "Ignorance is the most fundamental of the kleshas, but also the most difficult to work with, so we need to begin with our attachment and aversion. Traditionally the teachings begin with attachment, but I think it is easiest to begin with anger or aversion. Attachment is so strong in us we are not really ready to work on it. Of course, if we can deal with attachment then aversion is taken care of automatically, whereas dealing with aversion will not necessarily rid us of attachment. But most people are not prepared to work on their attachment straight away, although they can quite easily see how anger and aversion are destructive and unpleasant. In a sutra it says this very clearly. It says that of the three poisons, ignorance is the most basic and pervasive. It is like the earth. If we can rid ourselves of this, we will rid ourselves of all the negative emotions, but this is difficult precisely because it is so deep and fundamental. Yet ignorance does not cause us acute pain or present immediate difficulties, nor will it throw us into the hells. So we can deal with it more slowly. Then attachment, it says, is like water: it is very pervasive. It causes us pain and suffering and it is not easy to get rid of. Attachment is not all bad—it has both a negative and positive side, e.g. compassion and love, or the resolution to become enlightened. We can be a little patient with this too. Water takes a long time to dry up. Aversion is compared to fire. It has almost no positive side. Wishing harm for others will always bring us suffering for others and for ourselves too. Aversion then is where we must begin. It has the quality of a flame: it bursts up very quickly and can burn away everything, but when the fuel is no longer there it will go down again just as quickly." According to the Different Yanas In the Hinayana, the shravakas and pratyekabuddhas abandon [destructive] emotions or bring them to cessation. In the causal vehicles of philosophy, the bodhisattvas purify them. In Mantra, the followers of the Outer Tantras transform [destructive emotions] while the followers of the Inner Father and Mother Tantras[2] take control of them. For a practitioner of Atiyoga, the object of abandonment and its remedy are of one taste.

Dharma (Skt.; Tib. ཆོས་, chö, Wyl. chos)
The word used to refer to the teachings of the Buddha (Skt. Buddhadharma). It has many shades of meaning, including ‘the spiritual path’, or ‘spirituality’ in general. It also refers to phenomena, meaning things and events. Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche gives ten meanings for the term dharma, quoting from Vasubandhu’s Well Explained Reasoning: 1) knowable thing, 2) the path (Wyl. lam), 3) nirvana (Wyl. mya ngan las 'das pa), 4) a mental object (Skt. manoviṣaya; Wyl. yid kyi yul), 5) merit (Wyl. bsod nams), 6) life (Skt. āyu; Wyl. tshe), 7) teachings of the Buddha, or its scriptures (Skt. dharmapravacana; Wyl. gsung rab), 8) what is subject to age or change, i.e. material objects (Wyl. 'byung 'gyur), 9) rules (Wyl. nges pa) or religious vows, and 10) spiritual traditions (Skt. dharmanīti; Wyl. chos lugs). The general usage in English for the typography of the term 'dharma' is to use an upper case when referring to Buddha's teachings, the path or the truth of cessation (cases 2, 3 & 7).

Dharma of realization (Tib. རྟོགས་པའི་ཆོས་, tokpé chö, Wyl. rtogs pa'i chos)
Refers to all the qualities to be gained on the five paths, from the path of accumulation onward. For example, in the lesser path of accumulation, the Dharma of realization refers to the four close mindfulnesses; in the middle path of accumulation, it refers to the four genuine restraints; and the great path of accumulation, it refers to the four bases of miraculous powers, and so forth. In addition, the Dharma of realization refers to the wisdom resulting from elimination and realization, which suffuses the minds of supreme beings. Now all the qualities of the path and of wisdom are nothing but the actualization of what is already the essential nature of the mind - the tathagatagarbha. These qualities are not causally produced as something new and extraneous, for the ultimate nature is actualized in no other way than by the elimination or removal of obscurations. In the Mantrayana, these obscurations are removed by following the profound pith instructions which lead straight to the true reality of body, speech, and mind. In the generation-stage practice, which is conceptual, the practitioner meditates on the three seats of the deities, thus causing the co-emergent primordial wisdom to arise. Through the perfection-stage practice, which is non-conceptual, the primordial wisdom is cultivated, together with the dharanis of unforgetfulness, the ten limitless ayatanas, and nine successive absorptions and so forth. Therefore the Dharma of realization comprises all the qualities possessed by beings abiding by the main practices of the path of learning (i.e., the paths of accumulation, joining, seeing, and meditation) and also the path of no more learning (or buddhahood ).

Dharma of transmission (Skt. āgama dharma; Tib. ལུང་གི་ཆོས་, Wyl. lung gi chos)
The Dharma of transmission may be subdivided in various ways. Arising from the "dominate condition," namely the Tathagata himself, it is perceived by beings as the twelve branches of the sacred scriptures, the sutras, poetic epitome, and so forth. And when these are systematized in terms of antidotes to the three poisons, one arrives at the Tripitaka, namely, the Vinaya, the Sutra, and the Abhidharma. Finally, even more profound than the Tripitaka and endowed with even more skillful means is the pitaka of the Vidyadharas.

Dharmadhatu (Skt. dharmadhātu; Tib. ཆོས་ཀྱི་དབྱིངས་, chö ying, Wyl. chos kyi dbyings)
Literally ‘the essence or expanse of phenomena’. All-encompassing space. Dharmadhatu can be synonymous with buddha nature. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche writes: The word for space is དབྱིངས་, ying in Tibetan, dhātu in Sanskrit. […] The word space is used because the dharmadhatu is like the body or realm of empty space where different things, like clouds, birds, and airplanes can fly around without obstruction. This is because the nature of space is empty and nonexistent. Due to this quality of openness, things can occur. Likewise, dharmadhatu is the essence of things—empty and inconcrete—where all phenomena such as trees, houses, mountains, oneself, other beings, emotions, wisdom, and all experiences can occur openly. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche says: The main image of dharmadhatu is that of space—the ‘space of all things’ within which all phenomena manifest, abide and dissolve back into. […] Dharmadhatu is the basic environment of all phenomena, whether they belong to samsara or nirvana. It encompasses whatever appears and exists, including the worlds and all beings.[…] The relationship between dharmadhatu, dharmakaya and [the wisdom of dharmadhatu] is like the relationship between a place, a person and the person’s mind. If there is no place, there is no environment for the person to exist in; and there is no person unless that person also has a mind dwelling in the body. In the same way, the main field or realm called dharmadhatu has the nature of dharmakaya. Dharmakaya has the quality of [the wisdom of dharmadhatu], which is like the mind aspect. […] "Dharmadhatu is adorned with dharmakaya, which is endowed with [the wisdom of dharmadhatu]." This is a brief but very profound statement, because ‘dharmadhatu’ also refers to sugatagarbha or buddha nature.

Dharmakaya (Skt. dharmakāya; Tib. ཆོས་སྐུ་, chö ku; Wyl. chos sku)
‘the Absolute or Truth Body’. Upon the attainment of buddhahood, enlightenment manifests at three levels, which are known as the three bodies of the Buddha: the Absolute or Truth Body, or dharmakaya; the Enjoyment Body, or sambhogakaya; and the Emanation Body, or nirmanakaya. Sogyal Rinpoche writes: Absolute nature is the dharmakaya, the ‘empty’, unconditioned truth, into which illusion and ignorance, and any kind of concept, have never entered. 'Dharmakaya' is also the eighth of the eight topics of the Abhisamayalankara. See Resultant Dharmakaya.

Dharmapalas , Skt., (Tib. chos skyong)
Protectors of the teaching. These are either enlightened beings or spirits and gods who have been subjugated by great masters and bound under oath to guard the teachings.Their task is protect the Doctrine, its upholders and its practitioners. bstan srung - 1) guardians of the teachings/ religion; 2) dharmapalas [wrathful deities who protect the teachings] [IW] bstan srung - 1) guardians of the teachings/ religion; 2) dharmapalas [IW] dam can - a vow-holder; loyal guardians, samaya-bound, vow-holders. protectors; oath-bound one; ex. {chos skyong dam can rgya mtsho} means "the ocean of vowed guardians and dharmapalas" [RY] nag po chen po - Mahakala; great black one. Wrathful aspect of Avalokiteshvara Mahakalas are the chief dharmapalas, protectors of the Dharma. They are either black or dark blue in color and wrathful [RY]

Dharmata (Skt. dharmatā; Tib. ཆོས་ཉིད་, chönyi; Wyl. chos nyid)
— suchness, or the true nature of reality. Sogyal Rinpoche writes: The Sanskrit word dharmatā, ཆོས་ཉིད་, chö nyi in Tibetan, means the intrinsic nature of everything, the essence of things as they are. Dharmata is the naked, unconditioned truth, the nature of reality, or the true nature of phenomenal existence.

Dhatu, Skt., (Tib. khams bco brgyad)
A "sphere" of experience involving a sense power, its object, and the consciousness arising from their conjunction. Although a dhatu in this sense may be considered as a composite of these three elements, in fact each of these elements is referred to as a dhatu in its own right. Thus, the six senses, six objects, and six corresponding consciousnesses may be referred to as eighteen dhatus, as expounded in the Ahbidharma. Space, element, layer, part of a whole, ingredient; esp. element or elementary matter. A constituent element or essential ingredient.

Discipline (Skt. śīla; Tib. ཚུལ་ཁྲིམས་, tsultrim, Wyl. tshul khrims)
Literally, ‘acting appropriately’. The purpose of discipline is to simplify our lives. Discipline is a way of being that is conducive to positive and happy states of mind. It is the first of the three trainings and the second of the six paramitas. Patrul Rinpoche says: "The means of keeping discipline are: Conscientiousness, which is a meticulous concern for what is to be engaged in and what is to be avoided; Mindfulness, which means not forgetting what should be adopted and abandoned; And vigilance, which involves [continually] checking the status of your body, speech and mind. Firstly, through mindfulness, you do not lose sight of what should be adopted or abandoned. Then secondly, because you are checking the status of the body, speech and mind with vigilance, you recognize any occasions when you are tempted to avoid something virtuous or to engage in something negative. At that time, because of your conscientiousness, you recall the benefits of virtuous actions and undertake them, or remember the faults of negative conduct and unwholesome actions and avoid them." Chökyi Drakpa says: "Discipline is divided into the discipline of avoiding negative actions, the discipline of undertaking positive actions, and the discipline of bringing benefit to beings: The first kind of discipline means that you give up even the slightest unwholesome deed of body, speech or mind. The second means that you strive to practise virtue as much as you possibly can, beginning with the tiniest of positive acts. Be sure to embrace these acts with the proper preparation, main part and conclusion. Thirdly, bringing benefit to beings means working for the welfare of others through the four ways of attracting disciples, once the time has come for you to do so, and when you are free from any selfish motivation. For beginners, it is most important to train the mind in the first two types of discipline with the bodhichitta motivation of wishing to benefit others." Also, there is a division in the following three: discipline of protection from fear (Wyl. jigs skyob kyi tshul khrims), discipline of excellent resolve (Wyl. legs smon gyi tshul khrims), which consists of the vow not to commit the ten negative actions in order to obtain rebirth in the higher realms, and discipline of renunciation (Wyl. nges 'byung gi tshul khrims).

Dominant condition (Skt. adhipatipratyaya; Wyl. bdag po'i rkyen)
One of the four of conditions systematized by Vasubandhu in his Abhidharmakosa to explain the functioning of causality. The other three are the causal condition( rgyu'i rkyen ), the immediately preceding condition (de ma thagpa'i rkyen ), and the objective condition (dmigs pa'i rkyen). The enabling cause is explained as the dominant condition. Its characteristics are not hindering the arising of the result and being suitable to be a condition.

Doubt (Skt. vicikitsā; Tib. ཐེ་ཚོམ་, tétsom, Wyl. the tshom)
One of the six root destructive emotions, which are themselves part of the fifty-one mental states defined in Abhidharma literature. Doubt is also one of the seven kinds of cognition identified in Buddhist logic and epistemology. In the Khenjuk, Mipham Rinpoche says: Tib. ཐེ་ཚོམ་ནི་བདེན་པའི་དོན་ལ་ཡིད་གཉིས་ཟ་བ་སྟེ། དགེ་བའི་ཕྱོགས་ལ་མི་འཇུག་པའི་ལས་ཅན་ནོ།, Doubt means to be of two minds about the meaning of the [four] truths. Its function is to prevent one from engaging in what is wholesome. (Rigpa Translations); Doubt means to be of two minds about the meaning of the [four] truths. Its function is to make one not engage in what is virtuous. (Erik Pema Kunsang); It is characterized by uncertainty as regards the truth and acts as the basis for not engaging oneself in virtue. Sogyal Rinpoche writes: I sometimes think that doubt is an even greater block to human evolution than desire and attachment. Our society promotes cleverness instead of wisdom, and celebrates the most superficial, harsh, and least useful aspects of our intelligence. We have become so falsely "sophisticated" and neurotic that we take doubt itself for truth, and the doubt that is nothing more than ego's desperate attempt to defend itself from wisdom is deified as the goal and fruit of true knowledge. This form of mean-spirited doubt is the shabby emperor of samsara, served by a flock of "experts" who teach us not the open-souled and generous doubt that Buddha assured us was necessary for testing and proving the worth of the teachings, but a destructive form of doubt that leaves us nothing to believe in, nothing to hope for, and nothing to live by. His Holiness the Dalai Lama says: "There are actually three types of doubt: incorrect doubt, uncertain doubt, and correct doubt. The first type involves starting to think about the truth but still doubting it is correct. The second is more open but ambivalent and unsure of what is correct or incorrect. The third is when we start to believe in the truth."

Downfall, (Tib. ltung ba )
A transgression of one of the precepts, which, if not properly confessed and repaired, will result in rebirth in the lower realms.

Dualistic perception, (Tib. གཟུང་འཛིན། gzung 'dzin )
The perception of ordinary beings. The apprehension of phenomena in terms of subject and object, and the belief in their true existence. Object and subject duality, graspable object and grasping subject, grasping and fixation, dualistic fixation, grasper and the grasped, perceiver and the perceived, apprehendable and the apprehender. (IW)

Dzogchen or Dzogpachenpo (Skt. Mahāsaṅdhi or Atiyoga; Tib. རྫོགས་པ་ཆེན་པོ་, Wyl. rdzogs pa chen po)
The ‘Great Perfection’, or ‘Great Completeness’. The practice of Dzogchen is the most ancient and direct stream of wisdom within the Buddhist tradition of Tibet. Sogyal Rinpoche describes it as "the heart-essence of all spiritual paths and the summit of an individual’s spiritual evolution". As a way in which to realize the innermost nature of mind—that which we really are—Dzogchen is the clearest, most effective, and most relevant to the modern world. Dzogchen is both the final and ultimate teaching, and the heart of the teachings of all the Buddhas. Though generally associated with the Nyingma or Ancient School of Tibetan Buddhism founded by Padmasambhava, Dzogchen has been practised throughout the centuries by masters of all the different schools as their innermost practice. Its origins reach back to before human history, and neither is it limited to Buddhism, nor to Tibet, nor indeed even to this world of ours, as it is recorded that it has existed in thirteen different world systems. Dzogchen is an abbreviation of the Tibetan word Dzogpachenpo. ‘Dzogpa’ means ‘complete’, or ‘the end’; ‘chenpo’ means ‘great’. It is widely translated as “Great Perfection”, but this may imply a perfection that we strive to attain, a journey towards a goal of Great Perfection, and this is not the meaning of Dzogchen. Dzogchen is explained as Ground, Path and Fruition, and from the point of view of the Ground of Dzogpachenpo, it is the already self-perfected state of our primordial nature, which needs no ‘perfecting’, for it has always been perfect from the very beginning, just like the sky. It is uncreated, yet spontaneously accomplished. Traditionally ‘Dzogchen’ can be traced to two original Sanskrit terms. The first is Mahasandhi, which means the gathering of all or the quintessence, signifying that Dzogchen is the very essence, the cream and the heart juice of all teachings. Hence many of the teachings are known as ‘Nyingtik’ or ‘Heart Essence’, for example the Longchen Nyingtik. The second term is Atiyoga, which means ‘primordial yoga’; Ati indicates the topmost, summit or zenith. It has the sense of scaling a mountain, reaching the peak and having a view over everything. For Atiyoga or Dzogchen stands at the apex of the characteristic Nyingmapa presentation of the Buddhist path as Nine Yanas or vehicles, with the three Inner Tantras special to the Nyingma tradition: Mahayoga, Anuyoga and Atiyoga. The zenith of all yanas, Atiyoga represents the culmination of an individual’s spiritual evolution, the point where all spiritual disciplines and paths have been traversed. The term ‘Maha Ati’ has also been used for Dzogchen in recent times by masters like Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. The lineage of Dzogchen is traced from the Dharmakaya Samantabhadra to the Sambhogakaya—the five buddha families and Vajrasattva, who are Samantabhadra’s own self-reflection. This is the Mind Direct Transmission (Tib. Gyalwa Gong Gyü). Vajrasattva appeared to the first human master Garab Dorje, who was born in Oddiyana, empowered him, and instructed him to write down the Dzogchen Tantras. The transmission then passed to Mañjushrimitra, Shri Singha and Jñanasutra through the Sign Transmission of the Vidyadharas (Tib. Rigdzin Da Gyü), and was continued in Tibet by Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra and Vairotsana. From Padmasambhava onwards is counted as the Oral Transmission (Tib. Gangzak Nyen Gyü). The first human Dzogchen master, Garab Dorje. The ultimate source of the teachings of Atiyoga or Dzogchen is the Primordial Buddha Samantabhadra. Whilst the root of Dzogchen is the 6,400,000 verses or shlokas, the actual tantras are said to number 22,000. Dzogchen can be categorized into gyü, lung and mengak. Gyü is the tantras, lung (Skt. agama) the clarification of the tantras, and mengak (Skt. upadesha) the experiential instruction given by the master. he 6,400,000 verses of the Dzogchen tantras were divided by Mañjushrimitra into three categories or series: the category of mind (Semdé), the category of space (Longdé), and the category of Secret or Pith Instruction (Mengakdé). Shri Singha further divided the Mengakdé into four cycles: outer, inner, secret and innermost, unexcelled. The core of the Mengakdé are the teachings of Nyingtik, ‘Heart Essence’, and amongst the most important Nyingtik cycles are the Vima Nyingtik, taught in Tibet by Vimalamitra; the Khandro Nyingtik, taught in Tibet by Padmasambhava; and the Longchen Nyingtik, the essence of the Dzogchen teachings of the great master Longchenpa, revealed by Jikmé Lingpa. Many practitioners of Nyingtik in Tibet attained the rainbow body. The Semdé and Longdé were transmitted in Tibet mainly by Vairochana and Vimalamitra, and the Mengakdé by Vimalamitra and Padmasambhava. The three categories are taught to suit the capacities or disposition (kham) of individual students. For example, for someone who is more intellectually inclined or analytical, there is the teaching of Semdé, and for a person who is drawn more to nature and inclined towards simplicity, there is Longdé. The teachings which place more emphasis on the natural condition of the mind (sem kyi né luk), were classed by Mañjushrimitra as Semdé, the category of mind. There are twenty-one main tantras of Semdé, exemplified by the Kunjé Gyalpo. Five were translated into Tibetan by Vairotsana, and thirteen translated later by Vimalamitra, Nyak Jñanakumara and Yudra Nyingpo. Longdé teachings are characterized as those that emphasize ‘freedom from effort’. Chief amongst the tantras of Longdé is the Longchen Rabjam Gyalpo. In Mengakdé, which is superior to both Semdé and Longdé, there are many texts, mainly the Seventeen Tantras of the Innermost Unexcelled Cycle in the Nyingma Gyübum; principal amongst these is the root tantra, the Reverberation of Sound Tantra (Tib. Dra Thal Gyur).

Eager faith (Tib. འདོད་པའི་དད་པ་, döpé dépa; Wyl. ‘dod pa’i dad pa)
One of the three kinds of faith. Chökyi Drakpa says: "Eager faith is the eager wish to abandon negative actions having reflected on their faults; and the eager wish to undertake positive actions having considered the benefits they bring. It is similar to the yearning that someone suffering from extreme thirst has for water."

Eight consciousnesses, or more literally, eight collections of consciousness (Skt. aṣṭavijñānakāya; Tib. རྣམ་ཤེས་ཚོགས་བརྒྱད་, namshé tsok gyé, Wyl. rnam shes tshogs brgyad)
These eight are mentioned in the writings of the Yogacara school. The six consciousnesses, of the foundation teachings, are; visual (or eye) consciousness (Skt. cakṣur-vijñana; Tib. མིག་གི་རྣམ་ཤེས་, Wyl. mig gi rnam shes), auditory (or ear) consciousness (Skt. śrotra-vijñana; Tib. རྣ་བའི་རྣམ་ཤེས་,Wyl. rna ba'i rnam shes), olfactory (or nose) consciousness (Skt. ghrāṇa-vijñana; Tib. སྣའི་རྣམ་ཤེས་, Wyl. sna'i rnam shes), gustatory (or tongue) consciousness (Skt. jihva-vijñana; Tib. ལྕེའི་རྣམ་ཤེས་, Wyl. lce'i rnam shes), tactile (or body) consciousness (Skt. kāya-vijñana; Tib. ལུས་ཀྱི་རྣམ་ཤེས་, Wyl. lus kyi rnam shes), mental (or mind) consciousness (Skt. mano-vijñana; Tib. ཡིད་ཀྱི་རྣམ་ཤེས་, Wyl. yid kyi rnam shes). To the six consciousnesses mentioned in the Abhidharma texts of the basic vehicle are added a seventh, defiled mental consciousness or emotional consciousness, and eighth, an all-ground consciousness. According to Mipham Rinpoche, the eight consciousnesses transform into the five wisdoms in the following way: Alaya transforms into the wisdom of dharmadhatu. Alaya consciousness transforms into mirror-like wisdom. Emotional consciousness transforms into wisdom of equality. Mental consciousness transforms into the wisdom of discernment. Five sense consciousnesses transform into the all-accomplishing wisdom.

Eleven virtuous states (Skt. ekadaśa kuśala; Tib. དགེ་བའི་སེམས་བྱུང་བཅུ་གཅིག་, gewé semjung chuchik, Wyl. dge ba’i sems byung bcu gcig)
The eleven virtuous states are a category of mental states among the fifty-one mental states, so-called because they are virtuous states of mind or factors that can act as antidotes against destructive emotions. They are: (1) Faith (Skt. śraddhā; Tib. དད་པ་), (2) Dignity (Skt. hri; Tib. ངོ་ཚ་ཤེས་པ་), (3) Propriety (Skt. apatrāpya; Tib. ཁྲེལ་ཡོད་པ་), (4) Nonattachment (Skt. alobha; Tib. མ་ཆགས་པ་), (5) Nonaggression (Skt. adveṣa; Tib. ཞེས་སྡང་མེད་པ་), (6) Nondelusion (Skt. amoha; Tib. གཏི་མུག་མེད་པ་), (7) Diligence (Skt. vīrya; Tib. བརྩོན་འགྲུས་), (8) Pliancy or flexibility (Skt. praśrabdhi; Tib. ཤིན་ཏུ་སྦྱང་བ་), (9) Conscientiousness (Skt. apramāda; Tib. བག་ཡོད་པ་), (10) Equanimity or evenness (Skt. upekṣā; Tib. བཏང་སྙོམས་), (11) Nonviolence (Skt. avihiṃsā; Tib. རྣམ་པར་མི་འཚེ་བ་).

Emotional obscurations (Skt. kleśā-varaṇa; Tib. ཉོན་སྒྲིབ་, nyön drip, Wyl. nyon sgrib)
Are defined according to their essence, cause and function. In essence, they are the opposite of the six paramitas, as described in the Gyü Lama: "Thoughts such as avarice and so on, These are the emotional obscurations." Their cause is grasping at a personal ego, or the “self of the individual”. They function to prevent liberation from samsara. According to Mipham Rinpoche, the emotional obscurations are overcome in their imputation (kun btags) aspect at the path of seeing and in their innate (lhan skyes) aspect on the path of meditation, during the first seven bhumis, the so-called 'impure bhumis'.

Empowerment (Skt. abhiṣeka or abhisiddhi; Tib. དབང་, Wyl. dbang, wang) or granting an empowerment (Skt. abhiṣiñca, Tib. དབང་བསཀུར་བའ་, Wyl. dbang bskur ba)
Refers to the Vajrayana ritual which awakens the special capacity for primordial wisdom (Tib. yeshe) to arise in the mind of the disciple. It is called 'empowerment' because when we receive it, we are empowered to follow a particular spiritual practice, and so come to master its realization. It is said in the Secret Mantra Vehicle, there can be no accomplishment without empowerment, for that would be like a boatman without oars. And also, without empowerment there's no accomplishment, you can't get oil from pressing sand. Empowerments can only be granted by qualified vajra masters and requires for the students receiving them to maintain the specific vajrayana precepts (Skt. samaya), on the basis of the refuge and bodhisattva vows. (See Two Causes & Four Conditions for further details.) Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche reminds us of the real meaning of 'empowerment': "The most common description of abhisheka is that it is a transfer of power during a ceremony to give recipients the authorization to hear, study and practise the teachings of the vajrayana; we therefore “receive an empowerment.” But the problem is that receiving an empowerment suggests someone is giving us a power we previously lacked, and is a long way away from the true spirit of tantric initiation. During an initiation we are introduced to an aspect of ourselves that already exists within us but that we have yet to recognize, and it is the activation of this recognition that we call 'empowerment' or 'initiation'. This is the real meaning of abhisheka. Abhisheka is a Sanskrit term, and its two fundamental meanings have been translated into Tibetan as torwa and lugpa. Torwa is usually translated as “dismantling” and refers to the cocoon of ignorance in which we are wrapped and that needs to be dismantled; and lugpa is translated as “pouring”—as in “pouring blessings”—and more obliquely, as “discovering our buddhanature.” Tsele Natsok Rangdrol explains the etymological definition of empowerment in the following way: "Formerly your body, speech and mind followed deluded habitual tendencies and possessed no independent power. The method that now provides you with natural authority over the indivisible state of the four kayas is called 'empowerment'." Empowerment is to ripen or mature our buddha nature. Even though all beings possess the buddha nature, without receiving empowerment it is not possible to receive blessings and accomplishments through a particular practice, just as it will never be possible to get oil by pressing sand. His Holiness the Dalai Lama says: "When an empowerment is conferred on you, it is the nature of your mind—the buddha nature—that provides a basis upon which the empowerment can ripen you. Through the empowerment, you are empowered into the essence of the buddhas of the five families. In particular, you are ‘ripened’ within that particular family through which it is your personal predisposition to attain buddhahood." In addition, to these aspects, Patrul Rinpoche adds that empowerments; repair violated and broken samayas, enable you to meditate on all the paths of the generation phase, the perfection phase, and the Great Perfection, prevent obstacles and errors from arising, and allow all your attainments to develop more and more. According to Khenpo Ngakchung: "In general there are three types of empowerment; the ground empowerment, the path empowerment, and the result empowerment. The ground empowerment is so called because when the nature of mind, sugatagarbha, is realized, this constitutes the "empowerment" of nirvana, and when it is not realized, this constitutes the "empowerment" of the three worlds of samsara. This nature is actually what is to be matured in the ground empowerment of the path empowerment . The path empowerment is divided into three: ground, path, and result; the ground empowerment of the path empowerment, the path empowerment of the path empowerment, and the result empowerment of the path empowerment. In the very instant following the result empowerment of the path, one gains mastery of the wisdom of omniscience and has authority over everything in samsara and nirvana." When other sources refer to ground, path and fruition empowerments, they most usually refer to what Khenpo Ngakchung presents as the ground empowerment of the path empowerment, the path empowerment of the path empowerment, and the result empowerment of the path empowerment. In this context, Patrul Rinpoche explains that, "The empowerment that we receive when we are first introduced into the mandala by an authentic Vajra Master is the ground empowerment. The fourfold empowerment that we take by ourselves when we practice Guru Yoga, without depending on anyone or anything else, is the path empowerment. The empowerment that we obtain at the moment of the ultimate fruit, called the "great ray of light empowerment" or the "empowerment of indivisible profundity and radiance," is the fruit empowerment, perfect and total buddhahood." And Tulku Thondup says, empowerments given to disciples who have not been initiated before are called causal empowerment. The empowerment given to students for developing their maturation or restoring the broken precepts are classified as empowerment of the path. And empowerments given to those who are ready to achieve the final attainment and which cause the disciple to attain the ultimate fruition are classified as empowerments of result because they bring the final result. According to the inner tantras, there are four levels or stages within any ground empowerment of the path empowerment; the vase empowerment (Wyl. bum pa'i dbang; Skt. kalaśābhiṣeka), the secret empowerment (Wyl. gsang ba'i dbang; Skt. guhyābhiṣeka), the knowledge-wisdom empowerment (Wyl. shes rab ye shes kyi dbang; Skt. prajñājñānābhiṣeka), and the precious word empowerment. Two causes and four conditions are necessary for an empowerment to fully take place. The two causes are the associated cause (mtshung ldan gyi rgyu) which is the presence of the buddha nature, and the cooperative cause (lhan cig byed pa'i rgyu) which is the use of various substances (rdzas) during the empowerment, such as the vase, image cards and so forth. The four conditions are; the causal condition (rgyu'i rkyen) is the disciple who has faith and intelligence. the dominant condition (bdag rkyen) is the teacher who is fully qualified. The objective condition (dmigs rkyen) is the teacher's knowledge of the empowerment, deities, and mantras, and samadhi, and the immediate condition (de ma thag rkyen) is the previous phase or empowerment, since each phase prepares the student for what follows, and that is why empowerments must be given in the proper sequence.

Emptiness (Skt. śūnyatā; Tib. སྟོང་པོ་ཉིད་, tongpa nyi; Wyl. stong pa nyid)
The absence of inherent existence in all phenomena, which was explained by the Buddha in the sutras of the second turning of the Wheel of Dharma, and further elaborated upon by masters such as Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti. Sogyal Rinpoche says: "Unfortunately, the word ‘emptiness’, which is used to translate the Sanskrit term shunyata, carries a connotation of a nothing-ness, or a void. Happily, there is a wonderful definition in Tibetan that captures its true meaning: Tib. རྟག་ཆད་དང་བྲལ་བ་, tak ché dang dralwa, which translates as: ‘free from permanence and non-existence'. Generally, all philosophies tend to fall into one of two extremes: ‘eternalism‘: believing in the existence or permanence of something, or ‘nihilism‘: believing in non-existence. Shunyata goes beyond both of these extremes, because it is neither permanent nor non-existing, and that is, ultimately, how things are." Shunyata is often compared to space, which is defined in Buddhism as the complete openness, or 'unobstructedness', which allows anything to occur. Likewise, because reality is 'empty' and not fixed in any way, it is said that anything is possible. As Nagarjuna said: "To whomever emptiness is possible, All things are possible." Shunyata is often compared to space, which is defined in Buddhism as the complete openness, or 'unobstructedness', which allows anything to occur. Likewise, because reality is 'empty' and not fixed in any way, it is said that anything is possible. There are many synonyms for emptiness. As it says in Distinguishing the Middle from Extremes: "Emptiness, in short, has these synonyms: Suchness, authentic limit of reality, Absence of marks, absolute, And dharmadhatu." In his commentary to this verse, Mipham Rinpoche explains that emptiness is called “suchness” because it does not change into anything else; just as it was before, so it remains after. Likewise, it is called “authentic limit of reality” because it is the authentic, unmistaken way entities are. It is called “the absence of marks” because the nature of emptiness is the cessation of all marks of conceptual elaboration. It is called the “ultimate truth” because it is the sphere that the sacred wisdom of the noble ones engages in. It is called the “dharmadhatu“ because it is by observing this that all the qualities of the path arise, and so it is the space (dhatu), or the cause, of all noble qualities. Nagarjuna does not put forward emptiness as another view about reality. In fact, he says: "The victorious ones say that emptiness undermines all dogmatic views, those who take a dogmatic view of emptiness are said to be incurable." And, " I prostrate to Gautama, who, out of compassion, taught the sacred Dharma that leads to the relinquishing of all views."

Enlightened activity (Tib. ཕྲིན་ལས་, trinlé, Wyl. phrin las)
The activity of the buddhas for the welfare of beings. It is characterized as being spontaneously accomplished, everlasting and all-pervasive (Tib. རྟག་ཁྱབ་ལྷུན་གྲུབ་, tak khyab lhündrub, Wyl. rtag khyab lhun grub).

Enlightened qualities of a buddha, (Tib. སངས་རྒྱས་ཀྱི་ཡོན་ཏན་, sangye kyi yönten, Wyl. sangs rgyas kyi yon tan)
According to Abhidharma tradition there are eighteen unshared qualities of a buddha, and also thirty-nine qualities exclusive to a buddha. Whereas according to the Abhisamayalankara there are twenty-one sets of immaculate qualities.

Enlightenment or Awakening (Skt. bodhi; Tib. བྱང་ཆུབ་, changchup; Wyl. byang chub, Tib. སངས་རྒྱས་, sangyé; Wyl. sangs rgyas)
The Tibetan term for Buddha, Sangyé, is explained as follows: Sang means ‘awakening’ from the sleep of ignorance, and ‘purifying’ the darkness of both emotional obscurations and cognitive obscurations. Gyé means ‘opening’, like a blossoming lotus flower, to all that is knowable, and ‘developing’ the wisdom of omniscience—the knowledge of the true nature of things, just as they are, and the knowledge of all things in their multiplicity. The Seventy Verses on Taking Refuge says, "One who sleeps no more in ignorance, and in whom genuine wisdom is brought forth, has truly awoken as an awakened buddha, just as one wakes from ordinary sleep." As it says, ‘awakened’ means that ending the slumber of ignorance is like waking from sleep. And, " Their minds have opened to all that is knowable, and they have overcome the tight seal of delusion, so the awakened have blossomed like lotus flowers." As it says, they are like ‘blossoming’ lotus petals in the sense that through their genuine wisdom they have overcome the tendency to ‘shut down’ through lack of knowledge, and their minds are open to all that can be known. Chang means purified and chub means replete. As Khenpo Kunpal says, "Since all that is to be abandoned, the two obscurations together with any habitual tendencies, has been cleansed away, we say that it is 'purified' (chang), and since all the qualities of wisdom that are to be realized are fully present, we say that it is 'replete' (chub)." Enlightenment is of three kinds: the enlightenment of shravakas, pratyekabuddhas and fully enlightened buddhas.

Equanimity (Skt. upekṣā; Pali upekkhā; Tib. བཏང་སྙོམས་, tang nyom; Wyl. btang snyoms)
One of the fifty-one mental states defined in Abhidharma literature. According to the Compendium of Abhidharma, it belongs to the subgroup of the eleven virtuous states. It is also one of the four immeasurables, and in meditation practice, it is the eighth antidote, which is the antidote to the fifth fault of (over-application). For the later, see the five faults and eight antidotes. In the Khenjuk, Mipham Rinpoche says: Tib. བཏང་སྙོམས་ནི་ཆགས་སྡང་གཏི་མུག་མེད་པར་སེམས་རྣལ་དུ་གནས་པ་སྟེ། ཉོན་མོངས་པའི་སྐབས་མི་འབྱེད་པའི་ལས་ཅན་ནོ། Equanimity is the mind resting naturally, free from attachment, anger and delusion. Its function is to avoid giving occasion for the destructive emotions to arise. (Rigpa Translations) Equanimity is the mind resting naturally, free from attachment, anger and delusion. Its function is to avoid giving occasion for the disturbing emotions [to occur in one's stream-of-being]. (Erik Pema Kunsang)

Essence (Tib. ངོ་བོ་, ngowo; Wyl. ngo bo),
The Ground of Dzogchen is described as being endowed with three qualities, essence, nature and compassionate energy. The first quality is that its essence is empty, being primordial purity or kadak.

Eternalism (Skt. nitya dṛṣṭi; Tib. རྟག་པའི་ལྟ་བ་, Wyl. rtag pa'i lta ba or Skt. nityānta; Tib. རྟག་པའི་མཐའ, Wyl. rtag pa'i mtha')
One of the so-called 'two extremes', eternalism is the belief that there is a permanent and causeless creator of everything; in particular, that one's identity or consciousness has a concrete essence which is independent, everlasting and singular. There are many different brands of eternalism; they can be classified into three hundred sixty views, sixty-two false positions, eleven systems, and so on. All can, however, be condensed into the five tarka schools, or speculative systems.

Faith (Skt. śraddhā; Tib. དད་པ་, dépa, Wyl. dad pa)
One of the fifty-one mental states defined in Abhidharma literature. According to the Compendium of Abhidharma, it belongs to the subgroup of the eleven virtuous states. In the teachings on refuge, it is said to be the gateway to taking refuge, which is of three kinds: vivid faith, eager faith and confident faith.[1]. In the practice of meditation, it is the third antidote, from among the eight antidotes, and is the antidote for laziness. In the Khenjuk, Mipham Rinpoche says: Tib. དད་པ་ནི་ཡང་དག་པའི་གནས་ལ་དང་འདོད་ཡིད་ཆེས་པ་སྟེ་འདུན་པའི་རྟེན་བྱེད་པའོ། Faith is to have a vivid and eager mind towards, and have confidence in, that which is authentic and true. It supports interest. (Rigpa Translations) Faith is admiration of, longing towards, and trust in that which is true. It supports determination. (Erik Pema Kunsang)

Field of merit (Skt. puṇyakṣetra; Tib. tsok shying; Wyl. tshogs zhing)
Literally, 'field of accumulation', is the focus, or object, before which we practice offering, prayer, prostrations, and so on, in order to accumulate merit and wisdom. The fact that our practice and positive actions are performed in the presence of, or directed towards, such powerful objects (Tib. yul nyenpo) enhances their effect.

Five elements (Tib. བྱུང་བ་ལྔ་, jungwa nga, Wyl. 'byung ba lnga)
The outer elements that constitute all matter. They are: earth (Skt. pṛthivī; Tib. ས་, Wyl. sa), water (Skt. ab; Tib. ཆུ་, Wyl. chu), fire (Skt. tejas; Tib. མེ་, Wyl. me), air (or wind) (Skt. vāyu; Tib. རླུང་, Wyl. rlung) , and space (Skt. ākāśa; Tib. ནམ་མཁའ་, Wyl. nam mkha'). These outer elements interact with the inner elements within our own physical body, and the potential and quality of these five elements also exist within our mind. Mind’s ability to serve as the ground for all experience is the quality of earth; its continuity and adaptability is water; its clarity and capacity to perceive is fire; its continuous movement is air; and its unlimited emptiness is space. In the Vajrayana the five elements are understood to be, and perceived as the Five female buddhas or five mothers: Buddhalochana (Tib. Sangyé chenma) the consort of Akshobhya, who represents the purity of the element earth, Mamaki (Tib. Mamaki) the consort of Ratnasambhava, who represents the purity of the element water, Pandaravasini (Tib. Gökarmo) the consort of Amitabha, who represents the purity of the element fire, Samayatara (Tib. Damtsik Drolma) also known as Green Tara, the consort of Amoghasiddhi, who represents the purity of the element wind, Dhatvishvari (Tib. Ying Chukma) also known as Vajra Datvishvari or White Tara, the consort of Vairochana, who represents the purity of the element space.

Five paths (Skt. pañcamārga; Tib. ལམ་ལྔ་, lam nga; Wyl. lam lnga)
The five paths are: the path of accumulation (Skt. sambhāramārga), the path of joining (also called 'engagement' or 'junction') (Skt. prayogamārga), the path of seeing (or 'insight') (Skt. darśanamārga), the path of meditation (or 'cultivation') (Skt. bhāvanāmārga), the path of no-more-learning (Skt. aśaikṣamārga). These five paths incorporate the entire spiritual journey, as described in the Mahayana, from its very beginnings with the taking of the bodhisattva vow and the generation of relative bodhichitta, up until its culmination at the stage of complete enlightenment. It is said in the pith instructions that the path of accumulation is the stage of understanding, the path of joining is the stage of experience, and the path of seeing is the stage of realization.

Five poisons (Skt. pañca kleśaviṣa; Tib. དུག་ལྔ་, duk nga, Wyl. dug lnga)
The five poisons are the following disturbing emotions: desire, anger, delusion or ignorance, pride, jealousy. These five can be further condensed into the three poisons: pride is a combination of ignorance and desire (or attachment), and jealousy is a combination of attachment and aggression.

Five skandhas (Skt. pañcaskandha; Tib. ཕུང་པོ་ལྔ་ pungpo nga; Wyl. phung po lnga)
The five psycho-physical aggregates, which according to Buddhist philosophy are the basis for self-grasping. They are: form (Skt. rūpa; Tib. གཟུགས་, Wyl. gzugs), feeling or sensation (Skt. vedanā; Tib. ཚོར་བ་, Wyl. tshor ba), perception (Skt. saṃjñā; Tib. འདུ་ཤེས་, Wyl. ‘du shes), formations (Skt. saṃskāra; Tib. འདུ་བྱེད་, Wyl. ‘du byed), consciousness (Skt. vijñāna; Tib. རྣམ་ཤེས་, Wyl. rnam shes). The Sanskrit word skandha means an aggregate, heap or bundle. Sogyal Rinpoche wrote: Once we have a physical body, we also have what are known as the five skandhas — the aggregates that compose our whole mental and physical existence. They are the constituents of our experience, the support for the grasping of ego, and also the basis for the suffering of samsara. And Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche said: The five skandhas represent the constant structure of the human psychology as well as its pattern of evolution and the pattern of the evolution of the world. The skandhas are also related to blockages of different types — spiritual ones, material ones, and emotional ones. When we look more closely at what it is that we call ‘I’, we can see that it includes several elements, not just the parts that make up our physical bodies, but also our various senses and our minds. In Buddhism, when we want to examine the self more precisely, we can make use of the five categories, which we call the ‘five skandhas’. In actual fact, all conditioned phenomena may be included within these five groups, but when we are investigating the self, we limit ourselves to the form of our bodies, and our own thoughts and so on.

Form realm (Skt. rūpadhātu; Tib. གཟུགས་ཁམས་, zuk kham, Wyl. gzugs khams)
The second of the three realms, only 'populated' by gods and divided into seventeen heavens. The cause for being reborn in one of these heavens is the favourable karma accumulated through the practice of one of the four dhyanas, each 'causal meditative dhyana' acting as a cause of rebirth in one of the corresponding 'resultant dhyana levels'. The Seventeen Heavens of the Form Realm (Skt. rupadhatuvasiñjati; Tib. གཟུགས་ཁམས་གནས་རི་བཅུ་བདུན་, Wyl. gzugs khams gnas ri bcu bdun) include: Five Pure Heavens (Tib. གཙང་གནས་ལྔ་, gtsang gnas lnga); (1) Unexcelled (Skt. Akaniṣṭha; Tib. འོག་མིན་, Omin; Wyl. 'og min), (2) Extreme Insight/Great Vision (Skt. Sudarśa; Tib. ཤིན་ཏུ་མཐོང་, Wyl. shin tu mthong), (3) Perfect Appearance/The Marvellous (Skt. Sudṛśa; Tib. གྱ་ནོམ་སྣང་བ་, Wyl. gya nom snang ba), (4) The Painless/Without Distress (Skt. Atapa; Tib. མི་གདུང་པ་, Wyl. mi gdung pa), and (5) The Slightest/Not So Great (Skt. Abṛha; Tib. མི་ཆེ་བ་, Wyl. mi che ba). Note: the five pure heavens are also a result of the fourth dhyana meditation, but are only accessible to noble beings. Fourth Dhyana (Tib. བསམ་གཏན་བཞི་པ་, bsam gtan bzhi pa); (6) Great Fruition (Skt. Bṛhatphala; Tib. འབྲས་བུ་ཆེ་, ‘bras bu che), (7) Increasing Merit (Skt. Puṇyaprasava; Tib. བསོད་ནམས་འཕེལ་, bsod nams ‘phel), and (8) Cloudless (Skt. Anabhraka; Tib. སྤྲིན་མེད་, sprin med). Third Dhyana (Tib. བསམ་གཏན་གསུམ་པ་, bsam gtan gsum pa); (9) Most Extensive Virtue (Skt. Śubhakṛtsna; Tib. དགེ་རྒྱས་, dge rgyas), (10) Immeasurable Virtue (Skt. Apramāṇaśubha; Tib. ཚད་མེད་དགེ་, tshad med dge), and (11) Lesser Virtue (Skt. Parīttaśubha; Tib. དགེ་ཆུང་, dge chung). Second Dhyana (Tib. བསམ་གཏན་གཉིས་པ་, bsam gtan gnyis pa); (12) Clear Radiance (Skt. Ābhāsvara; Tib. འོད་གསལ་, ‘od gsal), (13) Immeasurable Radiance (Skt. Apramāṇābha; Tib. ཚད་མེད་འོད་, tshad med ‘od), and (14) Lesser Radiance (Skt. Parīttābha; Tib. འོད་ཆུང་, ‘od chung). First Dhyana (Tib. བསམ་གཏན་དང་པོ་, bsam gtan dang po); (15) Great Brahma (Skt. Mahābrahmaṇa; Tib. ཚངས་པ་ཆེན་པོ་, tshangs pa chen po), (16) Priests of Brahma (Skt. Brahmapurohita; Tib. ཚངས་པ་མདུན་ན་འདོན་, tshangs pa mdun na ‘don), and (17) Heaven of Brahma (Skt. Brahmakāyika; Tib. ཚངས་རིས་, tshangs ris).

Form, (Skt. rūpa, Tib. གཟུགས། (Wyl. gzugs) n. Pron.: zuk )
Form. Characterized in the sutras as able to be form. What this means is that form is that which can be harmed: it can be destroyed or deformed. This derives from the etymology of the Sanskrit word rūpa. It is interesting the that English word form has exactly the opposite etymology--stressing the fact that something can be put together or formed--but in essence the meaning is the same, because all that is formed must disintegrate. Form is synonymous with matter. Forms include the internal sense bases of eye, ear, nose, tongue and body, and also the external sense bases of form, sound, smell, taste and touch. Form also refers specifically to the objects of the eye consciousness as well as to the ten sense bases in general. Forms are not just static material objects: physical actions such as prostrations or killing are also forms, because they are the objects of eye or other consciousness. Sometimes translated as matter, but the translation form is preferable both because it is more common and because it allows differentiation between the terms form and matter, which although synonymous, are characterized differently. In its broadest sense, form is spoken of in terms of causal and resultant forms. Causal forms are the elements of earth, water, fire and wind, and then the resultant forms – which are made from these elements – are said to include the five sense faculties and their objects, as well as a slightly more problematic category called ‘imperceptible forms’, which we do not need to go into here. The sense faculties are not the ordinary sense organs—our eyes and ears and so on—but subtle forms within the sense organs. They have particular shapes which are described very precisely in the Abhidharma literature. The first of the sense objects is visual form, which means the various colours and shapes that appear to our eyes. Broadly speaking, colours may be divided into the primary colours—which according to the Abhidharma are white, red, yellow and blue—and the secondary colours. They may be pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. Sounds, the objects of the ears, may occur naturally or be man-made, or they may be a combination of the two, such as when a person beats a drum. A lot of sounds are just meaningless noise, but some impart meaning. In the case of the latter, they might be a vehicle for ordinary notions, or else the sublime, liberating message of the Dharma. As with sights, sounds can be pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. Smells or odours can be natural or artificial, and once again, pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. Tastes are said to be of six kinds, roughly translated as sweet, sour, bitter, hot, astringent and pungent. Textures, or tactile sensations, may be felt on the body’s surface or in its interior. Interior ‘textures’ include hunger and thirst, and the feelings that come with being ill or deeply relaxed. In this investigation, form means our physical bodies. More generally, it is all that we can see, hear, smell, taste and touch, and also the subtle faculties that do the seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching. (visual) form; material form [RB] recollection, recollecting power, retention, substance, appearance, "form". sight objects, metaphor [in poetics]. image, figure, body, [visible / physical] form, form skandha, form-body, rupakaya. one of the phung po lnga the five aggregates / skandhas. object for the organ of sight mig gi yul statue. [dharani]. long sacred verbal formula. (visual) form; material form, solid forms [RY] form material substances [RY] matter [ggd] [RY] things [capable of] having visual form/ sense qualities * [power of] recollection, retention, substance, appearance, sight objects, poetic metaphor, image, figure, body, form [skandha/ body/ realm, rupakaya, statue, dharani * [f 'dzugs],, will [insert, hold, found, establish, set up, construct, hoist, plant, poke, prick, stab] [IW] rupa, physical, material, forms, visible form, stature, objects, sight, beauty, relatively stable patterns, color-form, objective constituent of any cognitive situation, gestalt, concretizations, substance, appearance, thrust into, SA 'dzugs pa, body, outward form of anything, matter, matter, color-shape, visual forms [JV]

Formations (Skt. saṃskāra; Tib. འདུ་བྱེད་, Wyl. ‘du byed)
The fourth of the five skandhas. Conditioned existence, formation, impulses, karmic formations, power of thought, volition aspects of being caught up in a situation, conditioned events, compositional factors, formation of karma, mental formations, formative action, impulses of mental action, functions, action, function.

Formless realm (Skt. arūpadhātu; Tib. གཟུགས་མེད་ཁམས་, Wyl. gzugs med khams)
The third of the three realms, where gods without any form dwell in four types of perception spheres. Four Perception Spheres (Tib. སྐྱེ་མཆེད་མུ་བཞི་, Wyl. skye mched mu bzhi); Infinite Space (Skt. ākāśānantyāyatana; Tib. ནམ་མཁའ་མཐའ་ཡས་, nam mkha’ mtha’ yas), Infinite Consciousness (Skt. vijñānanyāyatana; Tib. རྣམ་ཤེས་མཐའ་ཡས་, rnam shes mtha’ yas), Nothing Whatsoever (Skt. ākiṃcanyāyatana; Tib. ཅི་ཡང་མེད་པ་, ci yang med pa), and Neither Existence Nor Non-existence (Skt. naivasaṃjñānasaṃjñāyatana; Tib. ཡོད་མིན་མེད་མིན་, yod min med min). Being the highest possible state in worldly existence, this fourth sphere is also called the Peak of Existence (Tib. སྲིད་པའི་རྩེ་མོ་, Wyl. srid pa'i rtse mo).

Four immeasurables (Skt. caturapramāṇa; Tib. ཚད་མེད་བཞི་, tsémé shyi, Wyl. tshad med bzhi)
These four are; equanimity (Tib. བཏང་སྙོམས་, tangnyom), which is the wish that beings may be free from the attitude of attachment to some and aversion to others, love (Tib. བྱམས་པ་, jampa), which is the wish that living beings may have happiness and its causes, compassion (Tib. སྙིང་རྗེ་, nyingjé), which is the wish that living beings may be free from suffering and its causes, and joy (Tib. དགའ་བ་, gawa), which is the wish that living beings may remain happy and their happiness may increase further.

Four maras (Skt. catvāri māra; Tib. བདུད་བཞི་, dü shyi; Wyl. bdud bzhi)
Are the four types of obstructive, 'demonic' forces (sometimes also translated as 'demons') which create obstacles to practitioners on the spiritual path. It is important to understand that they have no inherent existence and are only created by the mind. There are two categorizations of the four maras; one according to the Sutrayana, and one according to the Vajrayana, which is especially related to the teachings on the practice of chö. According to the Sutrayana the mara of the aggregates (Skt. skhandamāra; Tib. ཕུང་པོའི་བདུད་, Wyl. phung po'i bdud), which symbolizes our clinging to forms, perceptions, and mental states as ‘real’; the mara of the destructive emotions (Skt. kleśamāra; Tib. ཉོན་མོངས་ཀྱི་བདུད་, Wyl. nyon mongs kyi bdud), which symbolizes our addiction to habitual patterns of negative emotion; the mara of the Lord of Death (Skt. mṛtyumāra; Tib. འཆི་བདག་གི་བདུད་, Wyl. 'chi bdag gi bdud), which symbolizes both death itself, which cuts short our precious human birth, and also our fear of change, impermanence, and death; and the mara of the sons of the gods (Skt. devaputramāra; Tib. ལྷའི་བུའི་བདུད་, Wyl. lha'i bu'i bdud), which symbolizes our craving for pleasure, convenience, and ‘peace’. The Great Tibetan Dictionary gives the following descriptions: The mara of the aggregates prevents one from accomplishing virtue, since if one possesses the aggregates (created by karma and destructive emotions), then one falls under the sway of sickness, aging and decay; the conditions preventing one from accomplishing virtue. The mara of the destructive emotions prevents one from accomplishing virtue, since one is under the power of destructive emotions such as desire and anger. The coarse mara of the destructive emotions are the root and subsidiary destructive emotions. The subtle mara of the destructive emotions are for example the emotional habitual tendencies in the mind of an arhat. The mara of the Lord of Death causes one to be powerless regarding the ceasing of the life-force faculty. The mara of the sons of the gods prevent one from accomplishing virtue through the jealousy of the desire realm's sons of the gods. The coarse mara of the sons of the gods is Garab Wangchuk (kāmadeva), the lord of the realm Controlling Others' Emanations. The subtle mara of the sons of the gods is for example distraction which makes one unable to overcome any of the first three maras. According to the Vajrayana the tangible mara (Tib. ཐོགས་བཅས་ཀྱི་བདུད་, Wyl. thogs bcas kyi bdud), the intangible mara (Tib. ཐོགས་མེད་ཀྱི་བདུད་, Wyl. thogs med kyi bdud), the mara of exultation (Tib. དགའ་བྲོད་ཀྱི་བདུད་, Wyl. dga' brod kyi bdud), and the mara of conceit (Tib. སྙེམས་བྱེད་ཀྱི་བདུད་, Wyl. snyems byed kyi bdud).

Four Noble Truths (Skt. catvāryāryasatyā; Tib. འཕགས་པའི་བདེན་པ་བཞི་, pakpé denpa shyi, Wyl. 'phags pa'i bden pa bzhi)
The Four Noble Truths or the Four Realities of the Aryas, were taught by Buddha Shakyamuni as the central theme of the so-called first turning of the wheel of the Dharma after his attainment of enlightenment. They are: the truth (or reality) of suffering (Skt. duḥkha-satya; Tib. སྡུག་བསྔལ་གྱི་བདེན་པ་) which is to be understood, the truth (or reality) of the origin of suffering (Skt. samudaya-satya; Tib. ཀུན་འབྱུང་བའི་བདེན་པ་), which is to be abandoned, the truth (or reality) of cessation (Skt. nirodha-satya; Tib. འགོག་པའི་བདེན་པ་), which is to be actualized, and the truth (or reality) of the path (Skt. mārga-satya; Tib. ལམ་གྱི་བདེན་པ་), which is to be relied upon. The four truths can be divided into two pairs of cause and effect, known as the cause and effect of 'thorough affliction' or samsara, and the cause and effect of 'complete purification' or nirvana.

Four obscurations (Tib. dribpa shyi; Wyl. sgrib pa bzhi)
There are four obscurations that hinder us from realizing our true nature. They are: karmic obscurations, emotional obscurations, cognitive obscurations, and habitual obscurations. Yukhok Chatralwa Chöying Rangdrol says: Karmic obscurations include naturally negative actions and infringements of vows. Emotional obscurations were defined by Lord Maitreya as: Any thought involving avarice and so on Is held to be an emotional obscuration. Any thought involving avarice, lack of ethical discipline and so on, which impedes the pure enactment of the transcendent perfections, is held to be an emotional obscuration. Regarding cognitive obscurations, Lord Maitreya says: Any thought involving subject, object and action, Is held to be a cognitive obscuration. Any thought involving the three conceptual spheres of subject, object and action, which impedes the complete accomplishment of the transcendent perfections, is held to be a cognitive obscuration. The habitual obscurations are explained according to the sutras as extremely subtle forms of cognitive obscuration, like the scent left behind in a container which once held musk. In the mantra tradition, they are the habitual tendencies of the transference of the three appearances, which are to be overcome by vajra-like primordial wisdom. What do these four kinds of obscuration obscure? Naturally negative actions obscure the temporary attainment of the higher realms. Infringements of vows obscure the temporary attainment of the higher realms and the ultimate attainment of the three kinds of enlightenment. Emotional obscurations obscure liberation. Cognitive obscurations and habitual obscurations obscure the level of omniscience.

Four reliances (Skt. catuḥpratisaraṇa; Tib. རྟོན་པ་བཞི་, tönpa shyi, Wyl. rton pa bzhi)
The four are rely on the message of the teacher, not on his personality (gang zag la mi rton/ chos la rton); rely on the meaning, not just on the words (tshig la mi rton/ don la rton); rely on the real meaning, not on the provisional one (drang don la mi rton/ nges don la rton); rely on your wisdom mind, not on your ordinary, judgemental mind (rnam shes la mi rton/ ye shes la rton).

Four seals (Tib. སྡོམ་བཞི་, dom shyi, Wyl. sdom bzhi)
The four seals or the four hallmarks of the Buddha's teachings are: All that is conditioned is impermanent, all that is tainted is suffering, all phenomena are empty and devoid of self, Nirvana is peace. These are said to be the hallmark of the Buddha’s teaching, and it is often said that the mark of a real Buddhist is that he or she accepts these four. Of course, taking refuge is the real entrance to the Buddhist path, and that which serves to distinguish Buddhists from non-Buddhists, but in terms of the View, these four statements encapsulate the uniqueness of the Buddha’s teachings and really set the Buddhadharma apart from all other religions and philosophies.

Four tenet systems (Tib. གྲུབ་མཐའ་བཞི་, drubta shyi, Wyl. grub mtha' bzhi)
In the Indian Mahayana Buddhist monasteries, such as Nalanda, monks studied four systems of Buddhist tenets. These systems are Vaibhashika, Sautrantika, Chittamatra, and Madhyamika.

Four thoughts (Tib. བློ་ལྡོག་རྣམ་བཞི, lodok nam shyi, Wyl. blo ldog rnam bzhi)
These are the four contemplations that turn the mind away from samsara, namely: 1) the difficulty of finding the freedoms and advantages, and 2) the impermanence of life, which turn the mind away from the concerns of this life; and the reflections on 3) the defects of samsara, and on 4) action (karma: cause and effect), which turn the mind away from our attitudes and conduct with respect to future lives.

Fully ordained monk (Skt. bhikṣu; Pal. bhikkhu; Tib. དགེ་སློང་, gelong, Wyl. dge slong)
A male Buddhist practitioner who has taken the fullest of the seven types of pratimoksha vows. One must be at least 20 years of age to take this set of vows.

Gelug (Tib. དགེ་ལུགས་, Wyl. dge lugs)
The Gelug is one of the four main traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. It is the latest of the Sarma schools and was founded by the great Tsongkhapa (1357-1419) in the 15th century. Based on the Kadampa tradition founded by Atisha, it spread quickly through the activity of Tsongkhapa's many illustrious disciples, and eventually became the predominant school in Tibet, with major centres around Lhasa and in Amdo. Tsongkhapa's followers were first known as the Gandenpas or Riwo Gandenpas, after the monastery of Ganden, which he founded, and only later became known as Gelugpas—'the Virtuous Ones'. They also became known as the New Kadampas.

Generosity (Skt. dāna; Tib. སྦྱིན་པ་, jinpa; Wyl. sbyin pa)
Generosity the first of the six paramitas, is defined as an attitude of giving. Chökyi Drakpa says: The first of these, generosity, is divided into material giving, giving the Dharma, and giving protection from fear. You should practise these three kinds of generosity according to your capacity. At the very least, you should offer Sur (burnt offerings) and water tormas, since this offering incorporates all three kinds of giving. Maitreya says: སྦྱིན་པ་མི་མཐུན་ཕྱོགས་རྣམས་དང་། ། རྣམ་པར་མི་རྟོག་ཡེ་ཤེས་ལྡན། ། འདོད་པ་ཐམས་ཅད་ཡོངས་རྫོགས་བྱེད། ། སེམས་ཅན་རྣམ་སྨིན་བྱེད་རྣམ་གསུམ། ། Generosity in which adverse factors have disappeared, endowed with wisdom that is non-conceptual, completely fulfills all wishes, and brings all beings to maturity at the three levels. Maitreya, Ornament of Mahāyāna Sūtras, XVII, 8

Ground (Tib. གཞི་, shyi, Wyl. gzhi)
All the Buddhist teachings are explained in terms of Ground, Path, and Fruition. In the general Buddhist teachings, the Ground is also referred to as the buddha nature. The buddha nature speaks of our potential for enlightenment, the seed of buddha or seed of enlightenment that all of us have within us. At the moment, the Ground of our true nature is obscured and we are on the path of delusion, but we can cut through that delusion, to return to our original nature. The way we do that is by taking the Path of View, Meditation and Action. Through View, Meditation and Action, we recognize the Ground of our true nature and make it into our reality. When the Ground is fully realized, that is theFruition: we attain complete liberation and become a buddha. The ground of Dzogchen is the fundamental, primordial state, our absolute nature, which is already perfect and always present. It is described as being endowed with three qualities: its essence, its nature and its compassionate energy. Although conceptually we make distinctions between them, these three qualities of the ground of being are united.

Ground luminosity (Tib. གཞིའི་འོད་གསལ་, Wyl. gzhi'i 'od gsal)
Sogyal Rinpoche writes: In Dzogchen the fundamental, inherent nature of everything is called the "Ground Luminosity" or the "Mother Luminosity." This pervades our whole experience, and is therefore the inherent nature of the thoughts and emotions that arise in our minds as well, although we do not recognize it. What happens at the moment of death, for everyone, is this: The Ground Luminosity dawns in vast splendor, and with it brings an opportunity for total liberation—if, and only if, you have learned how to recognize it.

Guru Yoga (Skt. guruyoga; Tib. བླ་མའི་རྣལ་འབྱོར་, lamé naljor; Wyl. bla ma'i rnal 'byor)
Guru Yoga is the practice of merging one’s mind with the wisdom mind of the master. The practice consists of visualizing the guru (either in his own form or in the form of deity), requesting his blessings, receiving his blessings, and merging one's mind with the master's wisdom mind. Dudjom Rinpoche said: In particular, it is vital to put all your energy into the Guru Yoga, holding onto it as the life and heart of the practice. If you do not, then your meditation will be very dull, and even if you make a little progress, there will be no end to obstacles, and no possibility of true, genuine realization being born within the mind. Therefore by fervently praying with uncontrived devotion, after a while the direct blessing of the wisdom-mind of the lama will be transmitted, thereupon empowering you with a unique realisation, beyond words, born deep within your mind.

Habitual obscurations (Skt. vāsanā varaṇa; Tib. བག་ཆགས་ཀྱི་སྒྲིབ་པ་, bakchak kyi dribpa, Wyl. bag chags kyi sgrib pa)
The habitual obscurations are explained according to the sutras as extremely subtle forms of cognitive obscuration, like the scent left behind in a container which once held musk. In the mantra tradition, they are the habitual tendencies of the transference of the three appearances, which are to be overcome by vajra-like primordial wisdom.

Habitual tendencies (Skt. vāsanā; Tib. བག་ཆགས་, bakchak, Wyl. bag chags)
Habitual tendencies are karmic seeds implanted within the all-ground consciousness.

Ignorance or mis-knowing (Skt. avidyā; Tib. མ་རིག་པ་, ma rigpa, Wyl. ma rig pa)
One of the fifty-one mental states defined in Abhidharma literature. According to the Compendium of Abhidharma, it belongs to the subgroup of the six root destructive emotions. It is also the first of the twelve links of dependent origination and the basis of all other destructive emotions. In the Khenjuk, Mipham Rinpoche says: Tib. མ་རིག་པ་ནི་ལས་འབྲས་དང་བདེན་པ་དཀོན་མཆོག་རྣམས་ཀྱི་ཚུལ་མི་ཤེས་པ་སྟེ། ཀུན་ཉོན་རྣམས་འབྱུང་བར་བྱེད་པའོ། Ignorance is not knowing [the law of] karma of cause and effect, the [four] truths, and the [virtues of the] Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. It causes the thorough affliction to arise. (Rigpa Translations). Ignorance means not knowing the [law of] actions and their effects, the [four] truths, and the [virtues of the] Precious Ones. It causes all affliction to occur. (Erik Pema Kunsang). In the Dzogchen teachings ignorance is said to be the failure to recognize our true nature. In the Dzogchen teachings ignorance is said to be the failure to recognize our true nature.

Impermanence (Skt. anitya; Tib. མི་རྟག་པ་, mitakpa, Wyl. mi rtag pa)
Impermanence which is defined as "momentariness" (Skt. kSaNika, Tib. སྐད་ཅིག་མ་, Wyl. skad cig ma), is an important feature of the Buddha's teachings. "All conditioned things," it says in the teaching of the four seals, "are impermanent." Reflection on impermanence is one of the so-called "four thoughts", the outer or ordinary preliminaries. It of two kinds, the coarse impermanence of a given continuum (rags pa rgyun gyi mi rtag pa) and the subtle impermanence of momentary change (phra ba chos nyid kyi mi rtag pa).

Indivisible moments of consciousness (Skt. kṣaṇa; Tib. ཤེས་པ་སྐད་ཅིག་ཆ་མེད་, shepa kechik chamé, Wyl. shes pa skad cig cha med)
Indivisible moments of consciousness are the basis for coarser levels of consciousness according to lower schools of Buddhist philosophy, such as the Vaibhashikas.

Inner tantras (Tib. ནང་གི་རྒྱུད་, Wyl. nang gi rgyud)
In the context of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism, this refers to the three classes of, Mahayoga tantras, Anuyoga tantras and Atiyoga tantras. In the context of the Sarma schools this refers to the single class of the Anuttarayoga Tantra, which can be sub-divided into, Father Tantras, Mother Tantras and Non-dual Tantras.

Intelligence or Wisdom (Skt. prajñā; Tib. ཤེས་རབ་, sherab, Wyl. shes rab)
One of the fifty-one mental states defined in Abhidharma literature. According to the Compendium of Abhidharma, it belongs to the subgroup of the five object-determining mental states.

Irreversible Bodhisattva, (Tib., slob pa phyir mi ldog pa)
The Perfection of Wisdom in 8000 Lines Chapter XVII ~ATTRIBUTES, SIGNS, AND TOKENS OF IRREVERSIBILITY ~ Various Tokens of Irreversibility Subhuti: What, O Lord, are any attributes, tokens and signs of an irreversible Bodhisattva, and how do we know any Bodhisattva is irreversible? The Lord: This level of 'we common people', this level of 'we Disciples', this level of 'we Pratyekabuddhas', this level of 'we Buddhas' -- these levels and we are all called the 'Level of Suchness'. Thought as well, all these are Suchness, not two, nor any one divided, neither discriminated amongst, nor undiscriminated between, a Bodhisattva is revealed as within Suchness and not other than this nature of dharma. Realizing one's firm stance as Suchness, one neither imagines nor discriminates in this. With this sense awakened is one revealed thus. Once this is realized, even if one goes away from this assembly, because one's hearing is also Suchness, one does not and can not in any circumstance hesitate, does not and can not become perplexed, does not and can not doubt, and one is not stupefied by thought [concerning any or all of form, feeling, perceptions, impulses, or consciousness] as 'it is not thus'. On the contrary, one is firmly aware as 'it is just thus, just Suchness', and with this, one realizes one's being as such. Just so, one does not prattle away about everything which comes into one's head. Such a one only speaks if this is considered beneficial for another, and not if this may not. One does not look in final judgement on what others do or don't do. Endowed with such attributes, tokens and indications of Suchness, a Bodhisattva may be borne in mind as irreversible from full enlightenment. full section can be read here, http://rywiki.tsadra.org/index.php/ChapterXVII_%E2%80%94_Attributes,_Tokens,_and_Signs_of_Irreversibility_(RiBa)

Irreversible faith (Tib. ཕྱིར་མི་ལྡོག་པའི་དད་པ་, chirmidokpé depa; Wyl. phyir mi ldog pa'i dad pa)
When we truly realize the natural state, this gives rise to an irreversible faith in our teacher and the Three Jewels. ‘Irreversible faith’ is sometimes presented as the fourth type of faith, after ‘confident faith’. It is a faith that is so much a part of ourselves that even if our lives were at risk, we would never give it up.

Jambudvipa (Skt. Jambudvīpa; Tib. འཛམ་བུའི་གླིང་, Dzambuling, Wyl. ‘dzam bu gling, Eng. 'Rose-Apple Continent')
One of the four continents, which is situated to the south of Mount Meru. Its shape is trapezoidal or resembling the shape of an axe-head. It is the human world in which we live. “Since this continent is adorned by [a jambu/Jambubriksha] tree, it is known as the 'Continent of Jambu', or Jambudvipa. The jambu tree is presumed by some to be the rose-apple tree (Eugenia jambolana). More recent scholarship suggests that it may be a variety of plum. However, legend says that only one jambu tree exists, which is not visible to ordinary persons but only to enlightened beings.”

Joy (Skt. muditā; Pal. muditā; Tib. དགའ་བ་, gawa, Wyl. dga' ba)
The wish that living beings may remain happy and their happiness may increase further. One of the four immeasurables. Whenever you see someone who is wealthy and powerful, and apparently enjoying all the pleasures of the higher realms, or whenever you see someone who possesses the qualities of scriptural learning and realization, do not feel resentful or envious of them, even if you consider them to be an enemy. Instead, feel joyful and make the wish that their riches and power increase even further. And pray that all sentient beings may experience the same kind of good fortune. Train your mind in this way, again and again.

Kadampa (Tib. བཀའ་གདམས་པ་, Wyl. bka' gdams pa)
The tradition founded by Atisha in which all the Words (ka) of the Buddha are taken as practical instructions (dam). The Kadampa tradition followed the lamrim ('graded path') approach of the three levels of spiritual capacity set out by Atisha in his Lamp for the Path of Awakening. They relied upon the so-called 'seven divine dharmas', i.e., the four deities of Shakyamuni, Avalokiteshvara, Tara and Achala, and three pitakas.

Kagyü (Tib. བཀའ་བརྒྱུད་, Wyl. bka' brgyud)
One of the four main traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. The Kagyü tradition is one of the ‘Sarma’ or ‘new’ schools that mainly follow the tantras translated during the later transmission of the Buddhadharma to Tibet around the 11th century. Often called ‘the Practice Lineage’, the Kagyü tradition places great emphasis on intensive meditation practice, and on guru yoga, the power of devotion and the transmission from master to disciple. Apart from Tibet and all across the Himalayan regions, the Kagyü tradition has a very strong following in South East Asia and Malaysia, and has long since taken root in the West. The name ‘Kagyü’ is sometimes said to refer to ‘the lineage of the four instruction transmissions’ (kabab shyi gyü) held by the mahasiddha Tilopa from Bengal.

Kalpa (Skt.; Tib. བསྐལ་པ་, Wyl. bskal pa)
An aeon, a vast period of time related to the different phases of a great universe (or trichiliocosm), according to Abhidharma literature. There are many different types of kalpas corresponding to different lengths of time such as great kalpas, intermediary kalpas, small kalpas, incalculable kalpas, bright kalpas, dark kalpas, kalpa of formation, kalpa of duration, etc.

Kama (Tib. བཀའ་མ་, Wyl. bka' ma)
Means ”the words of the Buddha". In general, it refers to all the teachings given by the Buddha, in the form of Buddha Shakyamuni, but also Samantabhadra, Vajradhara and so on, and that have transmitted orally from master to student from the buddha to the present day. All Buddhist traditions transmit the teachings of the words of the Buddha orally, from teacher to student. However, teachings of the Nyingma tradition of Tibet, principally, are also transmitted in a more direct way called terma that mostly originated, but not exclusively, with Guru Rinpoche, the ‘second buddha’. Therefore, the Nyingmapa tradition speaks of the kama and terma as the two main sets of teachings. Their kama teachings have been gathered in the Nyingma Kama collection, and the termas in the Treasury of Precious Termas.

Kangyur (Tib. བཀའ་འགྱུར་, Wyl. bka' 'gyur)
Literally the 'translated words' of the Buddha. The Kangyur is a collection of the Buddha's own teachings in their Tibetan translation. The words of the Buddha are the sutras and the tantras. The parent collection of the Kangyur is the Tengyur that gathers the treatises composed by the great Indian masters of the first millennium in Tibetan translation. Though these collections aimed at exhaustiveness, most Nyingma tantras were left out by their Sarma compilers. This lead to the creation of the Nyingma Gyübum that brings together the Nyingma tantras. The compilation of the first version of the Kangyur was finalized by the great scholar Butön Rinchen Drup (1290-1364). Several versions of the compilation existed in Tibet, among which the most notable are those from Dergé, Lhasa, Narthang, Choné, Peking, Urga, Phudrak, and Tok Palace. Before the compilation work started, most of the texts in these collections existed in several translations. The editors chose the one they considered the best. While the 'chosen one' became authoritative, most of the other ones disappeared. The different editions mostly show minor variations in the texts collected.

Karma (Skt.; Tib. ལས་, lé; Wyl. las)
Literally means 'action' but it also refers to the process of cause and effect whereby positive actions result in happiness and negative, harmful actions lead to suffering. The real message of the teachings on karma is responsibility. Ringu Tulku Rinpoche says: Karma refers to all that we have done, and so everything that we are now is, in this sense, a karmic result. All that we are in the present moment, including our body and the other aggregates, is a karmic result. In fact we call them Tib. རྣམ་སྨིན་གྱི་ཕུང་པོ་, nam min gyi pungpo—the ‘aggregates that are the result of karmic ripening’. So, the way we are now is due to our karma. Maybe a Buddha could tell us exactly why we have this kind of hair, or this kind of mouth, or these eyes and so on, because it is very complex and involves not just one or two causes but many many different causes. Sometimes, in order to help us understand how particular actions contribute to particular kinds of result, such as how good actions bring about good results and how bad actions bring about bad results, the Buddha told stories like those we find in the Jataka tales. But things do not happen just because of one particular cause. We do not experience one result for every one thing that we do. Rather, the whole thing—the entire totality of our experience and actions—has an impact on what we become from one moment to the next. Therefore karma is not just what we did in our last life, it is what we have done in this life too, and what we did in all our lives in the past. Everything from the past has made us what we are now—including what we did this morning. Strictly speaking, therefore, from a Buddhist point of view, you cannot say that there is anything in our ordinary experience that is not somehow a result of our karma. I think that it is very important to understand this because often people see karma as a kind of punishment. They think that they did something wrong in the past and now they are being punished for it, and then, after the punishment is over, their karma will be gone. People can even think that there is nothing they can do to change their fate, and that they should just sit there, passively, waiting for it all to play itself out. That is a very bad mistake. As I said, karma means that everything you are now is the result of many different factors. It is never entirely your fault if you have a problem. It is your karma, yes, but it cannot be seen as exclusively your fault, because things happen for many reasons. Of course, it is partly your fault, but it is not just because you made a mistake in the past and now you are being punished for it. On the contrary, it is due to all the circumstances that you have gone through, all the bad things and even all the good things—everything. If you see karma in this way, you can see that there is always something you can do to change it. There are factors which have made you what you are now, but that does not prevent you from doing something and creating new causes and conditions. Of course, we might have some limitations in our capacity to do things, because of our limited intelligence or resources or whatever, but at any given time, we can act in either a positive or a negative way. We always have this choice, all the time. We are quite powerful. We can easily create a lot of harm. Or we could also do lots of good things. And whatever we do will be influenced by the force of our personality and what we are now, so there is always the impact of our past, but there is also our own willpower and our own efforts and intentions in the present. They too have an effect. If you can see things this way, I think you will understand karma more clearly. Things do happen as a result of particular causes, but that does not mean that everything is totally predetermined. We can change, not necessarily just like that [clicks his fingers], but we can change.

Karmic obscurations (Tib. ལས་ཀྱི་སྒྲིབ་པ་, Wyl. las kyi sgrib pa)
Karmic obscurations include naturally negative actions and infringements of vows. Naturally negative actions block or 'obscure' the temporary attainment of the higher realms. Infringements of vows block the temporary attainment of the higher realms and the ultimate attainment of the three kinds of enlightenment.

Kaya (Skt. kāya; Tib. སྐུ་, ku, Wyl. sku)
The Sanskrit word kaya literally means ‘body’ but can also signify dimension, field or basis. This term designates the different manifestations or dimensions of a buddha. The Tibetan word ku is the honorific term used to refer to an enlightened being's ‘body’, whereas lü (Wyl. lus) designates an 'ordinary' person's body.

Knowledge of all aspects, or omniscience (Skt. sarvajñāna; Tib. རྣམ་མཁྱེན་, namkhyen, Wyl. rnam mkhyen)
Knowledge of all aspects (or omniscience) is defined as knowing directly, and in a single instant, all aspects, without exception, of things in their real nature and in all their multiplicity. Knowledge of all aspects is the first of the eight topics of the Abhisamayalankara. It can be subdivided into two aspects: the omniscience which knows the nature of things (Skt. yathā; Tib. ཇི་ལྟ་བ་, jitawa; Wyl. ji lta ba) and the omniscience which knows all things in their multiplicity (Skt. yāvat; Tib. ཇི་སྙེད་པ་, jinyepa; Wyl. ji snyed pa). An illustration of the former is the true cessation present in the continuum of the noble Buddha. The latter includes both the omniscience which knows the features of all knowable phenomena without exception, and the omniscience which knows the seventy points, the chief amongst all causes and effects. It is present only in the continuum of a noble Buddha.

Kriya tantra (Skt. kriyātantra; Tib. བྱ་རྒྱུད་, ja gyü, Wyl. bya rgyud)
The first of the three outer classes of tantra and the fourth yana according to the nine yana classification. The kriya tantras, or ‘action’ tantras, are so-called because they are concerned mainly with external conduct, the practices of ritual purification and cleanliness and so on. The initial point of entry to the path of secret mantra vajrayana is ripening empowerment, so here one receives the water empowerment, which establishes the potential for ripening into the dharmakaya, and the crown empowerment, which establishes the potential for ripening into the rupakaya. Then one keeps the general samayas of the kriya yoga as they are explained in the particular texts themselves. In terms of determining the view, the basis of the path, one realizes that the ground of purification, the nature of mind itself, is the wisdom of empty clarity, and is ultimately beyond all extremes of elaboration, such as existing, not existing, appearing or being empty. Then one views the aspects of relative appearance, which are what must be purified, as the characteristics of the completely pure deity. As for the path and the way of practising meditation, it centres around the four realities: the reality of oneself and the reality of the deity are practised by means of the six aspects of the deity, by visualizing oneself as the samaya form (Skt. samayasattva) and then invoking the wisdom being (Skt. jñānasattva) into the space in front, considering oneself as a servant and the deity as one’s master. One then focuses upon the reality of the mantra recitation which is the sound, and on the mind and the ground, and meditates upon the reality of concentration, which consists of remaining in the ‘flame,’ continuation of sound and culmination of sound. One performs the three kinds of ritual purification, changes the three types of clothing, adopts a diet of the three white foods and practices ritual fasting and mantra recitation. In the short term, one becomes a desire realm vidyadhara, and ultimately one attains awakening as Vajradhara of one of the three buddha families: of the family of enlightened body, Vairochana, of the family of enlightened speech, Amitabha, or of the family of enlightened mind, Akshobhya.

Kyerim (Skt. utpattikrama; Tib. བསྐྱེད་རིམ་, Wyl. bskyed rim)
The ‘generation’ or ‘development phase’ of practice—otherwise known as visualization practice—the goal of which is to purify our perception into the purity of our inherent nature. Sogyal Rinpoche writes: The development stage consists of three phases, known as ‘the three samadhis’: The practice of Mahayoga begins with meditation on emptiness, the ‘samadhi of as-it-isness’ where all phenomena are realized as empty in their pure nature. This is the realization of absolute bodhichitta. From this state arise exuberant waves of compassion in what is known as the ‘samadhi of all-perceiving compassion’. This is the realization of relative bodhichitta. The union of these two is known as the causal samadhi, in which state arises a seed-syllable, from which rays of light emerge, purifying the entire environment of samsara and the beings within it into the nature of emptiness. One’s mind becomes this seed-syllable, which in turn transforms into the pure appearance of the deity. The mandala is seen as the palace of the deity. The form of the deity is the indivisible appearance of skilful means and wisdom. All experience is perceived as the retinue and activity of the deity. As one realizes that all perceptions, sounds and thoughts are the vajra-nature, one rests in this state of vajra dignity. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche says: “To practise the Inner Tantra one should realize that everything is primordially pure. Accordingly all outer elements are not perceived as ordinary, but as the five female buddhas. The five aggregates within the body are also not perceived as ordinary, but as the five male buddhas. In the same way, the eight consciousnesses as well as their eight objects are perceived as the eight male and eight female bodhisattvas. In this way one will not only see the purity of all phenomena, but one will also perceive the ‘great evenness of samsara and nirvana’. So samsara is not considered to be something to be discarded and nirvana something to be achieved, but as the Great Union of purity and evenness. Such a state is not something which has to be fabricated anew; it has been there since the very beginning. The essence of kyerim, or Mahayoga is to recognize all appearances as the deity, all sounds as the mantra, and all thoughts as the dharmakaya. This is the most profound path, through which one can actualize all of the qualities of the body, speech and mind of the Buddha.”

Lama (Tib. བླ་མ་, Wyl. bla ma as the contraction of Tib. བླ་ན་མེད་པ་, Wyl. bla na med pa; Skt. guru)
A spiritual teacher in the Vajrayana. There exists several categorizations, such as the four kinds of teacher: (1) the individual teacher who is the holder of the lineage (Tib. གང་ཟག་བརྒྱུད་པའི་བླ་མ་, gangzak gyüpé lama, Wyl. gang zag brgyud pa'i bla ma), (2) the teacher which is the word of the buddhas (Tib. རྒྱལ་བ་བཀའ་ཡི་བླ་མ་, gyalwa ka yi lama, Wyl. rgyal ba bka' yi bla ma, (3) the symbolic teacher of all appearances (Tib. སྣང་བ་བརྡ་ཡི་བླ་མ་, nangwa da yi lama, Wyl. snang ba brda yi bla ma), (4) the absolute teacher, which is rigpa, the true nature of mind (Tib. རིག་པ་དོན་གྱི་བླ་མ་, rigpa dön gyi lama, Wyl. rig pa don gyi bla ma). Or the six categories of teacher: (1) the teacher who is a guide, (2) the mind-liberating teacher, (3) the teacher who grants pith instructions, (4) vow-restoring teacher, (5) teacher who gives empowerments and samayas, (6) general teacher.

Lamdré (Skt. mārgaphala; Tib. ལམ་འབྲས་, Wyl. lam ‘bras)
'Path with the Result' instructions, related to the deity Hevajra, are the highest teachings within the Sakya school. It consists of two parts: the first part called Triple Vision explains the Sutrayana path, the second part called Triple Tantra explains the Tantrayana part focusing on esoteric Hevajra teachings. Lamdré developed later into two major lines of transmission: (1) the general presentation known as Lamdré Tsokshé (Explanation for Assemblies) and, (2) the secret presentation known as Lamdré Lopshé (Explanation for Private Disciples). As H.H. Sakya Trizin explains: "The term lamdré means 'path and result'. This term indicates that this sacred system of teachings encapsulates the core Sakya philosophy and practices resulting in the realization of the indivisibility of samsara and nirvana."

Lamrim (Tib. ལམ་རིམ་, Wyl. lam rim)
'Graded path' — the step-by-step approach to the teachings set out by the great Atisha in his most important work, Lamp for the Path of Awakening and subsequently adopted by all schools of Tibetan Buddhism, but especially the Kadampa and Gelugpa schools. The lamrim tradition categorizes beings according to three levels of spiritual capacity.

Laziness (Skt. kauśīdya; Tib. ལེ་ལོ་, Wyl. le lo)
One of the fifty-one mental states defined in Abhidharma literature. According to the Compendium of Abhidharma, it belongs to the subgroup of the twenty subsidiary destructive emotions. It is also one of the five faults, because it prevents us from even beginning the practice of meditation and prevents diligence. It is of three kinds. In the Khenjuk, Mipham Rinpoche says: Tib. ལེ་ལོ་ནི་ཉལ་སྙེལ་འཕྲས་སོགས་ཀྱི་བདེ་བ་ལྟ་བུའི་བྱ་བ་ངན་པ་ལ་ཞེན་ནས་དགེ་བའི་ཕྱོགས་ལ་མི་སྤྲོ་ཞིང་འཇུག་པ་ལྷོད་པར་བྱེད་པ་བརྩོན་འགྲུས་ཀྱི་མི་མཐུན་ཕྱོགས་སོ། Laziness is to cling to unwholesome activities, such as the mere joy of lying down, resting, or stretching out, and to procrastinate, without taking delight in and engaging in what is virtuous. It is the opposite of and unfavourable condition for diligence. (Rigpa Translations). Laziness is to cling to unwholesome activities such as lying down, resting, or stretching out, and to procrastinate, without taking delight in and engaging in what is virtuous. It is the opponent of diligence. (Erik Pema Kunsang). The Bodhicharyavatara (VII, 3) mentions three causes of laziness: (1) savouring the pleasurable taste of idleness, out of attachment to the pleasures of distraction and a failure to exert yourself in virtue; (2) an indulgence in sleepiness and an increasing desire to lie in bed upon your pillow; and, (3) the failure to be saddened by the sufferings of samsara. Three Kinds of Laziness (ལེ་ལོ་གསུམ་, le lo gsum) are : (1) the laziness of lethargy or inactivity (སྙོམ་ལས་འཛིན་པའི་ལེ་ལོ་, snyom las 'dzin pa'i le lo), (2) the laziness of attachment to negative behaviour (བྱ་བ་ངན་པ་ཞེན་གྱི་ལེ་ལོ་, bya ba ngan pa zhen gyi le lo), (3) the laziness of self-discouragement or despondency (སྒྱིད་ལུག་བདག་ཉིད་བརྙས་པའི་ལེ་ལོ་, sgyid lug bdag nyid brnyas pa'i le lo). Patrul Rinpoche says: Spurred on by the hook of impermanence, you can overcome the laziness of inactivity. The laziness of attachment to negative behaviour can be overcome by thinking about the joys of the sacred Dharma. The laziness of self-discouragement can be overcome by encouraging yourself and bolstering your self-confidence.

Liberation (Skt. mokṣa; Tib. ཐར་པ་, Wyl. thar pa)
Usually means freedom from samsara, either by attaining the state of an arhat or the state of perfect enlightenment of a buddha. It can also occasionally have the meaning of performing the action of liberation, a practice to liberate the consciousness of a malignant being into a buddha field.

Lojong (Tib. བློ་སྦྱོང་, Wyl. blo sbyong)
Literally ‘training the mind’, or ‘transforming the mind’. These teachings, which emphasize the practice of bodhichitta and especially relative bodhichitta and the 'exchanging oneself for others', were introduced to Tibet by Lord Atisha in the eleventh century. Unlike the lamrim teachings, which were also introduced by Atisha at the same time, and which can be practised by anyone, the lojong teachings are intended primarily for disciples of the highest capacity and were not taught widely until the time of Geshe Chekawa. The word lo means mind, but specifically the untamed thinking mind. Jong can mean to learn, exercise, train, purify or refine. Zenkar Rinpoche explains that in this context jong means to use powerful remedies or antidotes in order to subjugate, tame or transform the mind. These powerful remedies, which include both skilful means and wisdom are employed to subjugate the self-clinging, based on a false conception of self, that is at the root of all suffering. The wisdom methods, such as meditative analysis, lead to the realization of selflessness, while the skilful means focus on the development of great compassion, through the meditative practices of equalizing ourselves and others (Wyl. bdag gzhan mnyam pa), exchanging ourselves and others (Wyl. bdag gzhan brje ba) and considering others as more important than ourselves (Wyl. bdag las gzhan gces pa).

Longchen Nyingtik (Tib. ཀློང་ཆེན་སྙིང་ཐིག་, Wyl. klong chen snying thig)
A Nyingma cycle of teachings and practice, which was discovered by Jikmé Lingpa as mind terma. The Longchen Nyingtik terma consists of tantric sadhanas and teachings. The Nyingtik teachings are the innermost secret teachings of Dzogchen. The Dzogchen teachings were revealed to Prahevajra (Tib. Garab Dorje) by Vajrasattva, and passed down through an unbroken lineage to present day masters. Within the Dzogchen teachings, there are three categories of teachings suitable to students of different capacity.The Nyingtik is the innermost secret cycle of teachings of the Category of Pith Instructions; this cycle is the most direct approach for students of the highest capacity. Within the Nyingtik teachings, there are tantras and instructional texts. Regarding the instructional texts, Tulku Thondup explains: The instructional teachings are elucidated and condensed in two major traditions of Nyingtik. The first one is the detailed teachings for/of the scholars, brought to Tibet by Vimalamitra and known as Vima Nyingtik. It is mainly based on the Seventeen Tantras and the Troma tantra. The second one is the profound teachings for/of mendicants [or yogis], brought to Tibet by Guru Padmasambhava and known as Khandro Nyingtik. It is mainly based on the Longsal Barma tantra. In the fourteenth century in Tibet, the great master Longchen Rabjam became the lineage holder of both of these Nyingtik traditions, and wrote a commentary on each tradition. Longchen Rabjam (1308-1364), also known as Longchenpa, was one of the greatest Dzogchen masters in the Nyingma tradition, and amongst the most brilliant and original writers in Tibetan Buddhist literature. He brought together into a cohesive system the teachings of Vima Nyingtik and Khandro Nyingtik, on which he wrote the ‘Three Yangtik’ or Inner Essencess. Four centuries later, Jikmé Lingpa was tremendously inspired by the teachings of Longchenpa. After Jikmé Lingpa discovered the terma of Longchen Nyingtik (which included tantric sadhanas and teachings) he entered into a three-year retreat in the caves of Chimphu in which he fervently invoked Longchenpa with a Guru Yoga he had composed. Longchenpa appeared to him in three visions, through which he received the blessing and transmission of the wisdom body, speech and mind of Longchenpa, empowering him with the responsibility of preserving the meaning of the teachings of Longchenpa, and of spreading them. As a result, Jikmé Lingpa’s mind became one with the wisdom mind of Longchenpa. In this way, Jikmé Lingpa became the lineage holder of Longchenpa’s teachings on the Vima Nyingtik and Khandro Nyingtik. Jikmé Lingpa was a reincarnation of both King Trisong Detsen and Vimilamitra. Therefore, the Nyingtik teachings of these two major lineages flowed together in Jikmé Lingpa. The Longchen Nyingtik lineage includes both the terma of Longchen Nyingtik discovered by Jikmé Lingpa, and teachings of Longchen Rabjam on Vima Nyingtik and Khandro Nyingtik that were revealed to Jikmé Lingpa in a series of visions. Most of the rituals and mudras of the Longchen Nyingtik tradition find their source in the Lama Gongdü, on which Jikmé Lingpa wrote his famous commentary, called a Detailed Commentary on the Lama Gongdü. The Lama Gondü is therefore held in high regard.

Loving kindness (Skt. maitrī; Pali mettā; Tib. བྱམས་པ་, jampa, Wyl. byams pa)
The wish that beings may have happiness and its causes. One of the four immeasurables. Since these beings have shown you exactly the same kindness as your current parents, cultivate love for them all and wish them happiness in order to repay their past kindness. Train yourself to be like parents caring for a small child, or a mother bird looking after her young, so that all your actions of body, speech and mind are undertaken only to ensure the happiness and well-being of others.

Madhyamaka (Skt.; Tib. དབུ་མ་, uma, Wyl. dbu ma)
Refers to both the state of the Middle Way as well as the texts that express this ultimate meaning such as the Mulamadhyamaka-karika by Nagarjuna. The state of the Middle Way is the freedom from all extremes, as it is said in the Samadhiraja Sutra: "Existence and non-existence are extremes, purity and impurity are extremes as well, thus, having relinquished both extremes, the wise do not dwell even in the middle." The meaning expressed by the term Madhyamaka is, we could say, the sphere of reality (dharmadhatu), beyond all extremes. This can then be further divided into: the Ground Madhyamaka, the unity of the two truths; the Path Madhyamaka, the unity of skilful means and wisdom; and the Fruition Madhyamaka, the unity of the two kayas. These are all beyond extremes: The Ground Madhyamaka, the unity of the two truths, is beyond all extremes because it is beyond the extremes of eternalism and nihilism. The Path Madhyamaka, the unity of skilful means and wisdom, is beyond the extremes of exaggeration and denial. The Fruition Madhyamaka, the unity of the two kayas, is beyond the extremes of samsaric existence and the peace of nirvana.

Madhyamika (Skt. Mādhyamika; Tib. དབུ་མ་པ་, umapa; Wyl. dbu ma pa)
The followers of the Middle Way philosophy, which teaches freedom from all extremes. They say that just as truly existent external phenomena were refuted by the Chittamatra school, a truly existent perceiving mind must also be refuted, since both are equally lacking in inherent existence, being mere dependent originations. The Madhyamika school originates with Nagarjuna, who commented upon the direct meaning of the Prajñaparamita sutras in his Collection of Reasoning, which includes the famous Root Verses on the Middle Way. There are two ‘schools’ or streams within the Madhyamika: the Svatantrika and the Prasangika. These two approaches came about when two Indian masters wrote slightly different commentaries to Nagarjuna’s Root Verses text. Buddhapalita insisted that the followers of Madhyamika should not make any independent assertions, but merely show the absurd consequences of holding to any extreme position. This approach is called prasangika, meaning “consequence”. The other, Bhavaviveka, thought it was acceptable to use what is called “autonomous syllogism” (svatantra). This approach is called svatantrika. There has been some disagreement in Western scholarship on the use of the terms Madhyamaka and Madhyamika. Great San­skritists such as T. R. V. Murti, a member of the Sanskrit Commission set up by the Indian government in 1959, advocated the use of "Madhyamika" on all occasions. Others use Madhyamaka for the system and the texts, and Madhyamika for its advocates.

Thirteen great texts (Tib. གཞུང་ཆེན་བཅུ་གསུམ་; shyung chenpo chusum, Wyl. gzhung chen po bcu gsum)
There are thirteen classics of Indian Mahayana philosophy, still used in Tibetan centers of education throughout Asia and beyond, particularly the Nyngma tradition, with overlap with the others. They cover the subjects of vinaya, abhidharma, Yogacara, Madhyamika, and the path of the Bodhisattva. They are some of the most frequently quoted texts found in works written from centuries ago to today. (I).- Vinaya - 1) Pratimoksha Sutra - Shakyamuni Buddha 2) Vinayasutra - Gunaprabha (II).- Abhidharma - 3) Abhidharma-samuccaya - Asanga 4) Abhidharmakosha - Vasubandhu (III).- Profound View - 5) Mulamadhyamaka-karika Nagarjuna 6) Madhyamakavatara Chandrakirti 7) Chatuḥshataka shastra Aryadeva 8) Bodhicharyavatara Shantideva (IV).- Vast Conduct - 9) Abhisamayalankara Maitreya 10) Mahayanasutralankara Maitreya 11) Madhyantavibhanga Maitreya 12) Dharmadharmatavibhanga Maitreya 13) Uttaratantra Shastra Maitreya. The first text is the Sutra for Individual Liberation or Sutra of the Discipline or Pratimokṣha Sūtra from the Buddha, containing all the precept for monastics. The second text is the Vinayasutra by Gunaprabha (7th century) who was a student of Vasubandhu. According to Ringu Tulku's The Ri-me Philosopy of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great, "Vasubandhu had many great students, and four of them were considered to be better than himself; Gunaprabha was the one who was better in the Vinaya. Gunaprabha put the four sections of the Vinaya into the proper order, and condensed the seventeen topics of the Vinaya into a shorter format; this is called the Vinaya Root Discourse. He wrote another text called the Discourse of One Hundred Actions, which gives practical instructions on activities related to the Vinaya." The Compendium of Abhidharma or the Abhidharmasamuccaya by Asanga. This work on abhidharma does exist in a full, if somewhat dated English translation by Walpola Rahula. There is an excellent commentary on it by Traleg Rinpoche, published by KTD, Asangha's Abhidharmasamuccaya. Vasubhandu's Abhidharmakosha is the Hinayana treatise on abhidharma and is translated in Jewels from the Treasury which also includes the commentary by the Ninth Karmapa, Wangchuk Dorje. Nagarjuna most famous work, The Root Stanzas of the Middle Way or Mulamadhyamaka-karika is the first work on Madhyamyaka. The Root Stanzas holds an honored place in all branches of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as in the Buddhist traditions found in China, Japan, and Korea, because of the way it develops the seminal view of emptiness (shunyata), which is crucial to understanding Mahayana Buddhism and central to its practice. Chandrakirti's Introduction to the Middle Way or Madhyamakavatara. This book includes a verse translation of the Madhyamakavatara by the renowned seventh-century Indian master Chandrakirti, an extremely influential text of Mahayana Buddhism, followed by an exhaustive logical explanation of its meaning by the modern Tibetan master Jamgön Mipham, composed approximately twelve centuries later. Chandrakirti's work is an introduction to the Madhyamika teachings of Nāgārjuna, which are themselves a systematization of the Prajnaparamita, or "Perfection of Wisdom" literature, the sutras on the crucial, but elusive concept of emptiness. Aryadeva's Four Hundred Stanzas or Chatuḥshataka shastra was written to explain how, according to Nāgārjuna, the practice of the stages of yogic deeds enables those with Mahayana motivation to attain Buddhahood. Both Nāgārjuna and Aryadeva urge those who want to understand reality to induce direct experience of ultimate truth through philosophic inquiry and reasoning. The Bodhicharyavatara, or The Way of the Bodhisattva, composed by the eighth-century Indian master Shantideva, has occupied an important place in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition throughout its history. It is a guide to cultivating the mind of enlightenment through generating the qualities of love, compassion, generosity, and patience. The Ornament of Clear Realization or Abhisamayalankara The Abhisamayalamkara summarizes all the topics in the vast body of the Prajnaparamita Sutras. Resembling a zip-file, it comes to life only through its Indian and Tibetan commentaries. Together, these texts not only discuss the "hidden meaning" of the Prajnaparamita Sutras—the paths and bhumis of sravakas, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas—but also serve as contemplative manuals for the explicit topic of these sutras—emptiness—and how it is to be understood on the progressive levels of realization of bodhisattvas. Thus these texts describe what happens in the mind of a bodhisattva who meditates on emptiness, making it a living experience from the beginner's stage up through buddhahood. Ornament of the Great Vehicle Sūtras or Mahayanasutralankara The Ornament of the Great Vehicle Sūtras or Mahayanasutralankara. The Ornament provides a comprehensive description of the bodhisattva’s view, meditation, and enlightened activities. Bodhisattvas are beings who, out of vast love for all sentient beings, have dedicated themselves to the task of becoming fully awakened buddhas, capable of helping all beings in innumerable and vast ways to become enlightened themselves. To fully awaken requires practicing great generosity, patience, energy, discipline, concentration, and wisdom, and Maitreya’s text explains what these enlightened qualities are and how to develop them. Middle Beyond Extremes contains a translation of the Buddhist masterpiece Distinguishing the Middle from Extremes. This famed text, often referred to by its Sanskrit title, Madhyāntavibhāga, is part of a collection known as the Five Maitreya Teachings. Maitreya, the Buddha’s regent, is held to have entrusted these profound and vast instructions to the master Asaṅga in the heavenly realm of Tuṣita. Distinguishing Phenomena from Their Intrinsic Nature -Dharmadharmatavibhanga. Outlining the difference between appearance and reality, Distinguishing Phenomena from Their Intrinsic Nature shows that the path to awakening involves leaving behind the inaccurate and limiting beliefs we have about ourselves and the world around us and opening ourselves to the limitless potential of our true nature. By divesting the mind of confusion, the treatise explains, we see things as they actually are. This insight allows for the natural unfolding of compassion and wisdom. The Treatise on the Sublime Continuum or the Uttaratantra Shastra presents the Buddha's definitive teachings on how we should understand this ground of enlightenment and clarifies the nature and qualities of buddhahood. A major focus is “Buddha nature” (tathāgatagarbha), the innate potential in all living beings to become a fully awakened Buddha.

Three kinds of compassion (Tib. སྙིང་རྗེ་གསུམ་, nyingjé sum, Wyl. snying rje gsum)
Compassion focused on sentient beings (Tib. སེམས་ཅན་ལ་དམིགས་པའི་སྙིང་རྗེ་; Wyl. sems can la dmigs pa'i snying rje), compassion focused on phenomena (Tib. ཆོས་ལ་དམིགས་པའི་སྙིང་རྗེ་; Wyl. chos la dmigs pa'i snying rje); and compassion without focus (Tib. དམིགས་མེད་ལ་དམིགས་པའི་སྙིང་རྗེ་; Wyl. dmigs med la dmigs pa'i snying rje). Khenpo Namdrol explains: “Compassion focused on sentient beings is the wish that beings might be free from their suffering, without any thought as to whether those beings are permanent or impermanent, truly existent or illusory. Then, compassion focused on phenomena is a similar wish that beings might be free from suffering, made in the knowledge that those beings are impermanent. Compassion without focus is the wish that suffering beings might be free from suffering and attain enlightenment, complete with the knowledge that those beings lack any true existence.” Many great masters such as Mipham Rinpoche agree that these three types of compassion share the same essence, the wish to free beings from suffering. They are distinguished only in terms of their particular object of focus. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche explains that the object of the first type of compassion, compassion focusing on sentient beings are all ordinary beings who suffer from the suffering of suffering and the suffering of change, as well as shravakas and pratyekabuddhas still on the path. These are beings who are helplessly reborn in samsara by the power of karma and destructive emotions, rather than by their own free will. Sogyal Rinpoche explains that this is compassion where the prime focus is the suffering of another sentient being and the wish to see that being free from suffering. This type of compassion focuses on suffering that is more immediately evident and visible such as poverty or sickness. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche explains further that this kind of compassion is often called 'common compassion' because it is common to both Buddhists and non-Buddhists. Compassion focused on phenomena arises in one who recognizes the impermanence of phenomena and understands that everything compounded is subject to eventual change and disintegration. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche explains that the object of this kind of compassion are all beings who suffer from the all-pervasive suffering of conditioned existence. This includes all beings who are the object of the first kind of compassion, as well as bodhisattvas on all of the ten bhumis in post-meditation and even shravaka and pratyekabuddha arhats. Sogyal Rinpoche explains that based on a deeper understanding of the nature of sentient being's existence, such as the recognition of the transient nature of his or her life or the recognition of his or her non-substantiality, a feeling of compassion without reason arises even though there is no ‘overt suffering.’ With this kind of compassion you begin to see more globally and understand the general nature of samsara which is suffering. Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche comments, "Beings are completely impermanent. There is nothing remaining from one moment to the next in terms of the beings' basic nature. However, because beings think that they are permanent and think that there is something there which remains and continues, they suffer. They suffer because they cling to their belief in permanence." Compassion without focus arises in one who recognizes the emptiness of all things. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche explains that the objects of this kind of compassion are all beings who have not completely realized emptiness, i.e. anyone who has not reached the level of complete enlightenment. Since it involves understanding both the selflessness of phenomena and the selflessness of the individual it is referred to as 'uncommon'. Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche says, "Beings are empty of any inherent existence, and yet because they think that things are real, they suffer." Milarepa said, "Seeing emptiness, have compassion."

Twelve ayatanas (Skt. dvādaśāyatana; Tib. སྐྱེ་མཆེད་བཅུ་གཉིས་, kyemché chunyi, Wyl. skye mched bcu gnyis)
the six sense objects (or six outer sources): sights (Skt. rūpa-āyatana; Wyl. gzugs kyi skye mched); sounds (Skt.śabda-āyatana; Wyl. sgra'i skye mched); smells (Skt. gandha-āyatana; Wyl. dri'i skye mched); tastes (Skt. rasa-āyatana; Wyl. ro'i skye mched); textures (Skt. spraṣṭavya-āyatana; Wyl. reg bya'i skye mched); mental objects (Skt. dharma-āyatana; Wyl. chos kyi skye mched) the six sense faculties (or six inner sources): eyes (Skt. cakṣur-āyatana; Wyl. mig gi skye mched); ears (Skt. śrotra-āyatana; Wyl. rna ba'i skye mched); nose (Skt. ghrāṇa-āyatana; Wyl. sna'i skye mched); tongue (Skt. jihva-āyatana; Wyl. lce'i skye mched); ; body (Skt.kāya-āyatana; Wyl. lus kyi skye mched) mind (Skt. mano-āyatana; Wyl. yid kyi skye mched)