Glossary of Buddhist Terms: Letters A - E
Abandonment Any true cessation. An emptiness of a mind that has completely abandoned a delusion or other fault.
Abhidharma Sanskrit word for `Phenomenology’. See Ocean of Nectar.
Absorption A virtuous single-pointed mind of the form or formless realm. They are of two types: close preparations, which are uninterrupted paths, and actual absorptions, which are released paths. See Ocean of Nectar.
Absorption of cessation An uncontaminated wisdom focused single-pointedly on emptiness in dependence upon the actual absorption of peak of samsara. See Ocean of Nectar.
Absorption without discrimination A concentration of the fourth form realm that observes nothingness and that is attained by stopping gross feelings and gross discriminations. See Ocean of Nectar.
Action close retreat See Close retreat.
Action Tantra See Four classes of Tantra.
Affirming negative See Negative phenomenon.
Aggregate In general, all functioning things are aggregates because they are an aggregation of their parts. In particular, a person of the desire realm or form realm has five aggregates: the aggregates of form, feeling, discrimination, compositional factors, and consciousness. A being of the formless realm lacks the aggregate of form but has the other four. A person’s form aggregate is his or her body. The remaining four aggregates are aspects of his mind. See also Individual aggregates and Contaminated aggregate. See Heart of Wisdom.
Aggression A deluded mental factor that is an increase of the root delusion anger that wishes to hurt or harm others physically or verbally. See Understanding the Mind.
Akanishta A Pure Land where Bodhisattvas attain enlightenment. See Clear Light of Bliss.
Akshobya The manifestation of the aggregate of consciousness of all Buddhas. He has a blue-coloured body.
Alertness A mental factor which is a type of wisdom that examines our activity of body, speech, and mind and knows whether or not faults are developing. See Understanding the Mind.
All Good One An English name for Samantabhadra, a Bodhisattva renowned for his extensive offerings. See Great Treasury of Merit. “
Amitabha The manifestation of the aggregate of discrimination of all Buddhas. He has a red-coloured body.
Amitayus A Buddha who increases our lifespan, merit, and wisdom. He is the Enjoyment Body aspect of Buddha Amitabha.
Amoghasiddhi The manifestation of the aggregate of compositional factors of all Buddhas. He has a green-coloured body.
Analysis A mental factor that examines an object to gain an understanding of its subtle nature. See Understanding the Mind.
Analytical meditation The mental process of investigating a virtuous object – analyzing its nature, function, characteristics, and other aspects. See Joyful Path of Good Fortune and The New Meditation Handbook.
Anger A deluded mental factor that observes its contaminated object, exaggerates its bad qualities, considers it to be undesirable, and wishes to harm it. See Understanding the Mind and How to Solve Our Human Problems.
Appearing object In general, an object that appears to a mind. In the context of generation stage meditation, the appearing object is the mandala and Deities. See Understanding the Mind.
Arhat Sanskrit term for Foe Destroyer. A practitioner who has abandoned all delusions and their seeds by training on the spiritual paths, and who will never again be reborn in samsara. In this context, the term `Foe’ refers to the delusions.
Arya Sanskrit term for ‘Superior being’. Someone who has a direct, or non-conceptual, realization of emptiness. There are Hinayana Superiors and Mahayana Superiors.
Asanga A great Indian Buddhist Yogi and scholar of the fifth century, author of Compendium of Abhidharma. See Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully.
Aspiration A mental factor that focuses on a desired object and takes an interest in it. See Understanding the Mind.
Aspiring bodhichitta A mind that aspires to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all living beings but that does not yet engage in the actual practices of the Bodhisattva’s training. It is like someone intending to go somewhere but not yet setting out on the journey.
Atisha (AD 982-1054) A famous Indian Buddhist scholar and meditation master. He was Abbot of the great Buddhist monastery of Vikramashila at a time when Mahayana Buddhism was flourishing in India. He was later invited to Tibet and his arrival there led to the re-establishment of Buddhism in Tibet. He is the author of the first text on the stages of the path, Lamp for the Path. His tradition later became known as the `Kadampa Tradition’. See Joyful Path of Good Fortune.
Attachment A deluded mental factor that observes a contaminated object, regards it as a cause of happiness, and wishes for it. See Understanding the Mind.
Attainment ‘Siddhi’ in Sanskrit. These are of two types: common attainments and supreme attainments. Common attainments are of four principal types: pacifying attainments (the ability to purify negativity, overcome obstacles, and cure sickness), increasing attainments (the ability to increase Dharma realizations, merit, lifespan, and wealth), controlling attainments (the ability to control one’s own and others’ minds and actions), and wrathful attainments (the ability to use wrathful actions where appropriate to benefit others). Supreme attainments are the special realizations of a Buddha. See Tantric Grounds and Paths.
Attention A mental factor that functions to focus the mind on a particular attribute of an object. See Understanding the Mind.
Avalokiteshvara The embodiment of the compassion of all the Buddhas. Sometimes he appears with one face and four arms, and sometimes with eleven faces and a thousand arms. At the time of Buddha Shakyamuni, he manifested as a Bodhisattva disciple. Called ‘Chenrezig’ in Tibetan. See Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully.
Awakened One An epithet for Buddha, referring to anyone who has awakened from the sleep of ignorance and is completely free from dream-like samsaric problems and suffering. The ‘sleep of ignorance’ is the sleep of self-grasping in which living beings always remain and from which they have never awakened.
Awareness All minds are included within the five sense awarenesses and mental awareness. There are five types of sense awareness: eye awareness, ear awareness, nose awareness, tongue awareness, and body awareness. There are two types of mental awareness: conceptual mental awareness and non-conceptual mental awareness. See Understanding the Mind.
Bardo See Intermediate state.
Basis of emptiness Any phenomenon with respect to which inherent existence is negated in realizing its emptiness. Since all phenomena, including emptiness itself, are empty of inherent existence, all phenomena are bases of emptiness. In the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in One Hundred Thousand Lines, Buddha explains that all phenomena are included within one hundred and eight categories, from form to omniscient mind, all of which are bases of emptiness. See Heart of Wisdom and Ocean of Nectar.
Basis of imputation All phenomena are imputed upon their parts; therefore, any of the individual parts, or the entire collection of the parts, of any phenomenon is its basis of imputation. A phenomenon is imputed by mind in dependence upon its basis of imputation appearing to that mind. See Heart of Wisdom and Ocean of Nectar.
Beginningless time According to the Buddhist world view, there is no beginning to mind and so no beginning to time. Therefore, all sentient beings have taken countless previous rebirths.
Behar A type of malevolent spirit. See Heart Jewel.
Benzarahi A female Buddha who is the manifestation of the fire element of all Buddhas. She is the consort of Buddha Amitabha.
Bhaga Sanskrit word for the female sex organ.
Blessing ‘Jin gyi lab pa’ in Tibetan. The transformation of our mind from a negative state to a positive state, from an unhappy state to a happy state, or from a state of weakness to a state of strength, through the inspiration of holy beings such as our Spiritual Guide, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas.
Bodhichitta Sanskrit term for `mind of enlightenment’. `Bodhi’ means `enlightenment’, and `chitta’ means `mind’. There are two types of bodhichitta – conventional bodhichitta and ultimate bodhichitta. Generally speaking, the term `bodhichitta’ refers to conventional bodhichitta, which is a primary mind motivated by great compassion that spontaneously seeks enlightenment to benefit all living beings. There are two types of conventional bodhichitta – aspiring bodhichitta and engaging bodhichitta. Aspiring bodhichitta is a bodhichitta that is a mere wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all living beings. Engaging bodhichitta is a bodhichitta held by The Bodhisattva Vow. Ultimate bodhichitta is a wisdom motivated by conventional bodhichitta that directly realizes emptiness, the ultimate nature of phenomena. See also Aspiring bodhichitta and Engaging bodhichitta. See Joyful Path of Good Fortune and Meaningful to Behold.
Bodhisattva A person who has generated spontaneous bodhichitta but who has not yet become a Buddha. From the moment a practitioner generates a non-artificial, or spontaneous, bodhichitta, he or she becomes a Bodhisattva and enters the first Mahayana path, the path of accumulation. An ordinary Bodhisattva is one who has not realized emptiness directly, and a Superior Bodhisattva is one who has attained a direct realization of emptiness. See Joyful Path of Good Fortune and Meaningful to Behold.
Bodhisattva vow See Vow.
Brahma A worldly god, who resides in the first form realm. See Ocean of Nectar.
Brahmin’s thread The Tibetan term for Brahmin’s thread is ‘tsang pi kupa’, where ‘tsang pa’ means ‘purity’ and ‘kupa’ means ‘thread’. Thus, a Brahmin’s thread is a ritual thread symbolizing non-conceptual omniscient wisdom that is complete purity.
Buddha A being who has completely abandoned all delusions and their imprints. In general, ‘Buddha’ means ‘Awakened One’, someone who has awakened from the sleep of ignorance and sees things as they really are. A Buddha is a person who is completely free from all faults and mental obstructions. Every living being has the potential to become a Buddha. See also Buddha Shakyamuni. See Joyful Path of Good Fortune and Mahamudra Tantra.
Buddhadharma See Dharma.
Buddha family There are five main Buddha families: the families of Vairochana, Ratnasambhava, Amitabha, Amoghasiddhi, and Akshobya. They are the five purified aggregates – the aggregates of form, feeling, discrimination, compositional factors, and consciousness, respectively; and the five exalted wisdoms – the exalted mirror-like wisdom, the exalted wisdom of equality, the exalted wisdom of individual realization, the exalted wisdom of accomplishing activities, and the exalted wisdom of the Dharmadhatu, respectively. See Great Treasury of Merit.
Buddhahood Synonymous with full enlightenment. See Enlightenment.
Buddha Land The pure environment of a Buddha.
Buddha lineage See Buddha seed.
Buddha nature See Buddha seed.
Buddha’s bodies A Buddha has four bodies – the Wisdom Truth Body, the Nature Body, the Enjoyment Body, and the Emanation Body. The first is Buddha’s omniscient mind. The second is the emptiness, or ultimate nature, of his or her mind. The third is his subtle Form Body. The fourth, of which each Buddha manifests a countless number, are gross Form Bodies that are visible to ordinary beings. The Wisdom Truth Body and the Nature Body are both included within the Truth Body, and the Enjoyment Body and the Emanation Body are both included within the Form Body. See Joyful Path of Good Fortune, Tantric Grounds and Paths, and Ocean of Nectar.
Buddha Jewel See Three Jewels.
Buddha seed The root mind of a sentient being, and its ultimate nature. Buddha seed, Buddha nature, and Buddha lineage are synonyms. All sentient beings have Buddha seed and therefore the potential to attain Buddhahood. See Mahamudra Tantra.
Buddha Shakyamuni The Buddha who is the founder of the Buddhist religion. See Introduction to Buddhism. Buddha Shakyamuni is the fourth of one thousand founding Buddhas who are to appear in this world during this Fortunate Aeon. The first three were Krakuchchanda, Kanakamuni, and Kashyapa. The fifth Buddha will be Maitreya. See Introduction to Buddhism.
Buddhas, one thousand According to common appearance, one thousand Buddhas will appear in this world. Buddha Shakyamuni was the fourth and Buddha Maitreya will be the fifth.
Buddhist Anyone who from the depths of his or her heart goes for refuge to the Three Jewels – Buddha Jewel, Dharma Jewel, and Sangha Jewel. See Introduction to Buddhism.
Central channel The principal channel at the very centre of the body, along which the channel wheels, or chakras, are located. See Clear Light of Bliss.
Chakra See Channel wheel.
Chakravatin king An extremely fortunate being who has accumulated a vast amount of merit and as a result has taken rebirth as a king with dominion over all four continents as described in Buddhist cosmology, or, at the very least, over one of the four continents. At present there are no Chakravatin kings in our world, and there is no one who has complete dominion over our continent, Jambudipa. See Great Treasury of Merit.
Chandrakirti (circa 7th century AD) A great Indian Buddhist scholar and meditation master who composed, among many other books, the well-known Guide to the Middle Way, in which he clearly elucidates the view of the Madhyamika-Prasangika school according to Buddha’s teachings given in the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras. See Ocean of Nectar.
Changing suffering For samsaric beings, every experience of happiness or pleasure that arises from samsara’s enjoyments is changing suffering, because these experiences are contaminated and have the nature of suffering. See Joyful Path of Good Fortune.
Channels Subtle inner passageways of the body through which flow subtle drops moved by inner winds. See Clear Light of Bliss.
Channel wheel ‘Chakra’ in Sanskrit. A focal centre where secondary channels branch out from the central channel. Meditating on these points can cause the inner winds to enter the central channel. See Clear Light of Bliss and Tantric Grounds and Paths.
Charavaka A non-Buddhist school current in Buddha’s day, which denied inferential cognizers, rebirth, the laws of karma, and so forth, and which encouraged a hedonistic attitude to life. See Ocean of Nectar and Understanding the Mind.
Chekhawa, Geshe (1102-1176) A great Kadampa Bodhisattva who composed the text Training the Mind in Seven Points, a commentary to Bodhisattva Langri Tangpa’s Eight Verses of Training the Mind. He spread the study and practice of training the mind throughout Tibet. See Universal Compassion.
Chenrezig See Avalokiteshvara.
Chittamatra The lower of the two schools of Mahayana tenets. `Chittamatra’ means `mind only’. They are so-called because they assert that all phenomena are merely the nature of mind. A Chittamatrin is a proponent of Chittamatra tenets. See Meaningful to Behold and Ocean of Nectar.
Clairvoyance ‘Ngön she’ in Tibetan, literally meaning ‘heightened awareness’. Abilities that arise from special concentration. There are five principal types of clairvoyance: the clairvoyance of divine eye (the ability to see subtle and distant forms), the clairvoyance of divine ear (the ability to hear subtle and distant sounds), the clairvoyance of miracle powers (the ability to emanate various forms by mind), the clairvoyance of knowing previous lives, and the clairvoyance of knowing others’ minds. Some beings, such as bardo beings and some human beings and spirits, have contaminated clairvoyance that is developed due to karma, but these are not actual clairvoyance.
Clear appearance Generally, a clear perception of the object of meditation. More specifically, a Secret Mantra practice whereby the practitioner, having generated himself or herself as a Deity and the environment as the Deity’s mandala, tries to attain clear appearance of the whole object to his or her concentration. It is the antidote to ordinary appearance. See Guide to Dakini Land.
Close placement of mindfulness A path of concentration that depends upon mindfulness and wisdom. There are four types: close placement of mindfulness of body, close placement of mindfulness of feelings, close placement of mindfulness of mind, and close placement of mindfulness of phenomena. See Ocean of Nectar.
Close retreat A retreat during which we strive to draw close to a particular Deity. This can be understood in two ways: drawing close in the sense of developing a special relationship with a friend, and drawing close in the sense of becoming more and more like the Deity. An action close retreat is a close retreat in which we collect a certain number of mantras and conclude with a fire puja. See Heart Jewel, Guide to Dakini Land, Essence of Vajrayana, and Tantric Grounds and Paths.
Collection of merit A virtuous action motivated by bodhichitta that is a main cause of attaining the Form Body of a Buddha. Examples are: making offerings and prostrations to holy beings with bodhichitta motivation, and the practice of the perfections of giving, moral discipline, and patience.
Collection of wisdom A virtuous mental action motivated by bodhichitta that is a main cause of attaining the Truth Body of a Buddha. Examples are: listening to, contemplating, and meditating on emptiness with bodhichitta motivation.
Collective karma The karma we create when we act in association with others. Those who create karma together also experience its effects together.
Commitment being A visualized Buddha or ourself visualized as a Buddha. A commitment being is so called because in general it is the commitment of all Buddhists to visualize or remember Buddha, and in particular it is a commitment of those who have received an empowerment into Highest Yoga Tantra to generate themselves as a Deity.
Commitments Promises and pledges taken when engaging in certain spiritual practices.
Common attainments See Attainment.
Completion stage Highest Yoga Tantra realizations developed in dependence upon the winds entering, abiding, and dissolving within the central channel through the force of meditation. See Clear Light of Bliss, Tantric Grounds and Paths, Guide to Dakini Land, and Essence of Vajrayana.
Compositional equanimity A mental factor that functions to keep the primary mind free from mental sinking and mental excitement. See Understanding the Mind.
Compositional factors The aggregate of compositional factors comprises all mental factors except feeling and discrimination, as well as non-associated compounded phenomena. See Heart of Wisdom.
Concealment A deluded mental factor that, motivated by attachment to wealth or reputation, wishes to conceal our faults from others. See Understanding the Mind.
Conceived object The apprehended object of a conceptual mind. It need not be an existent object. For example, the conceived object of the view of the transitory collection is an inherently existent I, but this does not exist. See Understanding the Mind.
Concentration A mental factor that makes its primary mind remain on its object single-pointedly. Generally, the terms ‘mental stabilization’ and ‘concentration’ are interchangeable. More specifically, the term ‘concentration’ is used to refer to the nature of concentration, which is single-pointedness, and the term ‘mental stabilization’ is used to refer to the function of concentration, which is stability. See Joyful Path of Good Fortune, Understanding the Mind, and Meaningful to Behold.
Concentration being A symbol of Buddha’s Truth Body, usually visualized as a seed-letter at the heart of a commitment being or a wisdom being. It is so called because it is generated through concentration.
Conceptual mind A thought that apprehends its object through a generic, or mental, image. See Understanding the Mind.
Conclusive reason Any reason that is qualified by the three modes. See Understanding the Mind.
Confession Purification of negative karma by means of the four opponent powers – the power of reliance, the power of regret, the power of the opponent force, and the power of promise. See The Bodhisattva Vow.
Conqueror A Buddha is called a ‘Conqueror’ because he or she has conquered all four types of mara. See also Mara.
Consciousness The six consciousnesses, or primary minds, are the eye consciousness, ear consciousness, nose consciousness, tongue consciousness, body consciousness, and mental consciousness. See Understanding the Mind.
Consideration for others A mental factor that functions to avoid inappropriate actions for reasons that concern others. See Understanding the Mind.
Contact A mental factor that functions to perceive its object as pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. See Understanding the Mind.
Contaminated phenomenon Any phenomenon that gives rise to delusions or that causes them to increase. Examples are the environments, beings, and enjoyments of samsara. See Joyful Path of Good Fortune.
Contentment Being satisfied with one’s inner and outer conditions, motivated by a virtuous intention.
Conventional bodhichitta See Bodhichitta.
Conventional nature See Ultimate nature.
Conventional truth Any phenomenon other than emptiness. Conventional truths are true with respect to the minds of ordinary beings, but in reality they are false. See Heart of Wisdom, Meaningful to Behold, and Ocean of Nectar.
Correct belief A non-valid cognizer that realizes its conceived object. See Understanding the Mind.
Creative yoga See Generation stage.
Cyclic existence See Samsara.
Dakini Land The Pure Land of Heruka and Vajrayogini. In Sanskrit it is called `Keajra’ and in Tibetan `Dagpa Khachö’. See Guide to Dakini Land.
Dalai Lama This title, meaning `Ocean Lama’, was given by the Mongolian ruler Altan Khan to Sonam Gyatso (AD 1543-1588). Although he was the first to be so called, he became known as the third Dalai Lama, his two previous incarnations acquiring posthumously the titles of first and second Dalai Lama. See Heart Jewel.
Damaru A small hand-drum used in Tantric rituals. Playing the damaru symbolizes the gathering of the outer Dakinis into our body, and the manifestation of the inner Dakini (the mind of clear light) within our mind through the blazing of inner fire. It is also used as a music offering to the Buddhas.
Dedication Dedication is by nature a virtuous mental factor; it is the virtuous intention that functions both to prevent accumulated virtue from degenerating and to cause its increase. If we dedicate our virtuous actions of body, speech, and mind to our own and others’ enlightenment, we prevent the merit of these actions from being destroyed or depleted and ensure that we experience their good results. See Joyful Path of Good Fortune.
Degenerate times A period when spiritual activity degenerates.
Deity ‘Yidam’ in Sanskrit. A Tantric enlightened being.
Deity body Divine body. When a practitioner attains an illusory body, he or she attains an actual divine body, or Deity body, but not a Deity’s body. A Deity’s body is necessarily a body of a Tantric enlightened being. See also Divine body. See Tantric Grounds and Paths.
Deluded doubt A two-pointedness of mind that interferes with the attainment of liberation or enlightenment. See Understanding the Mind.
Deluded view A view that functions to obstruct the attainment of liberation. See Understanding the Mind.
Delusion A mental factor that arises from inappropriate attention and functions to make the mind unpeaceful and uncontrolled. There are three main delusions: ignorance, desirous attachment, and anger. From these arise all the other delusions, such as jealousy, pride, and deluded doubt. See also Innate delusions and Intellectually-formed delusions. See Understanding the Mind.
Delusion-obstructions See Obstructions to liberation.
Demi-god A being of the demi-god realm, the second highest of the six realms of samsara. Demi-gods are similar to gods but their bodies, possessions, and environments are inferior. See Joyful Path of Good Fortune.
Demon ‘Mara’ in Sanskrit. Anything that obstructs the attainment of liberation or enlightenment. There are four principal types of demon: the demon of the delusions, the demon of contaminated aggregates, the demon of uncontrolled death, and the Devaputra demons. Of these, only the last are actual sentient beings. The principal Devaputra demon is wrathful Ishvara, the highest of the desire realm gods, who inhabits Land of Controlling Emanations. Buddha is called a `Conqueror’ because he or she has conquered all four types of demon. See Heart of Wisdom.
Denial A deluded mental factor that does not wish to purify non-virtuous actions that we have committed or downfalls that we have incurred. See Understanding the Mind.
Dependent arising See Dependent-related phenomenon.
Desire realm The environment of hell beings, hungry spirits, animals, human beings, demi-gods, and the gods who enjoy the five objects of desire.
Desirous attachment See Attachment.
Devaputra See Mara/demon.
Dharma Buddha’s teachings and the inner realizations that are attained in dependence upon practising them. ‘Dharma’ means ‘protection’. By practising Buddha’s teachings, we protect ourself from suffering and problems.
Dharmadhatu The ultimate truth of phenomena.
Dharma Jewel See Three Jewels.
Dharmakaya Sanskrit term for the Truth Body of a Buddha.
Dharmakirti (circa 6th to 7th century AD) A great Indian Buddhist Yogi and scholar who composed Commentary to Valid Cognition, a commentary to Compendium of Valid Cognition, which was written by his Spiritual Guide, Dignaga. See Understanding the Mind.
Dharmapala See Dharma Protector.
Dharma Protector A manifestation of a Buddha or Bodhisattva, whose main function is to eliminate obstacles and gather all necessary conditions for pure Dharma practitioners. Also called the Sanskrit `Dharmapala’. See Heart Jewel.
Dharmarakshita (circa 10th century AD) One of Atisha’s Teachers. He composed Wheel of Sharp Weapons.
Dharma Wheel A collection of Buddha’s teachings. Sometimes `Dharma Wheel’ is used to refer to the heart channel wheel because this is the place where we visualize the Dharmakaya, which is the source of the Dharma Wheel. See also Wheel of Dharma.
Dignaga (circa 5th century AD) A great Indian Buddhist Yogi and scholar who composed a number of works on logic and cognition, the most famous being Compendium of Valid Cognition. See Understanding the Mind.
Direct perceiver A cognizer that apprehends its manifest object. See Understanding the Mind.
Direct valid cognizer A non-deceptive cognizer that apprehends its manifest object. See Understanding the Mind.
Discrimination A mental factor that functions to apprehend the uncommon sign of an object. See Understanding the Mind.
Distraction A deluded mental factor that wanders to any object of delusion. See Understanding the Mind.
Divine pride A non-deluded pride that regards oneself as a Deity and one’s environment and enjoyments as those of the Deity. It is the antidote to ordinary conceptions. See Guide to Dakini Land.
Dominant condition That which principally assists the development of a sense or mental awareness. See Understanding the Mind.
Dorje Shugdän A Dharma Protector who is an emanation of the Wisdom Buddha Manjushri. His main functions are to avert the inner and outer obstacles that prevent practitioners from gaining spiritual realizations, and to arrange all the necessary conditions for their spiritual development. See Heart Jewel.
Dromtönpa (AD 1004-1064) Atisha’s foremost disciple. See Joyful Path of Good Fortune.
Drops There are two types of drop in the body: white drops and red drops. These are the pure essence of sperm and blood. When the drops melt and flow through the inner channels, they give rise to an experience of bliss. See Clear Light of Bliss and Tantric Grounds and Paths.
Dualistic appearance The appearance to mind of an object together with the inherent existence of that object. See Heart of Wisdom.
Dullness A deluded mental factor that functions to make both the body and mind heavy and inflexible. See Understanding the Mind.
Eight freedoms and ten endowments Eight freedoms from impediment to spiritual practice and ten special conditions for spiritual practice that characterize a precious human life. See Joyful Path of Good Fortune.
Eight Great Sons The eight principal Mahayana disciples of Buddha Shakyamuni: Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri, Vajrapani, Maitreya, Samantabhadra, Ksitigarbha, Sarvanivaranaviskambini, and Akashagarbha. At the time of Buddha, they appeared in the aspect of Bodhisattvas, demonstrating the correct manner of practising the Mahayana paths and helping to spread Buddha’s teachings extensively for the benefit of others.
Eight signs of dissolution Internal signs that the inner winds are dissolving within the central channel. For a detailed description of each sign, see Clear Light of Bliss.
Eight unfree states Eight states into which we can be reborn. They are: rebirth as a hell being, rebirth as a hungry ghost, rebirth as an animal, rebirth as an ordinary god, rebirth in a country where there is no religion, rebirth where there is no Buddhadharma, rebirth with mental or physical disability, and rebirth as one who holds wrong views denying Dharma. They are called `unfree’ states because they allow no freedom for spiritual practice. See Joyful Path of Good Fortune.
Eight Verses of Training the Mind Lojong Tsig Gyema in Tibetan. Composed by Bodhisattva Langri Tangpa in the eleventh century, this text reveals the essence of the Mahayana Buddhist path to enlightenment. For a full commentary, see Eight Steps to Happiness.
Eight worldly concerns The objects of the eight worldly concerns are happiness and suffering, wealth and poverty, praise and criticism, and good reputation and bad reputation. These are called `worldly concerns’ because worldly people are constantly concerned with them, wanting some and trying to avoid others. See Universal Compassion and Joyful Path of Good Fortune.
Element (Tib. kham) The nature of any phenomenon. All phenomena hold their own natures, which are all included within the eighteen elements. See also elements, four. See Heart of Wisdom and Ocean of Nectar.
Elements (Tib. jung wa) Earth, water, fire, wind, and space. All matter can be said to be composed of a combination of these elements. There are five inner elements (those that are conjoined with the continuum of a person), and five outer elements (those that are not conjoined with the continuum of a person). These elements are not the same as the earth of a field, the water of a river, and so forth. Rather, the elements of earth, water, fire, wind, and space in broad terms are the properties of solidity, liquidity, heat, movement, and space respectively.
Emanation Animate or inanimate form manifested by Buddhas or high Bodhisattvas to benefit others.
Emanation Body ‘Nirmanakaya’ in Sanskrit. A gross Form Body of a Buddha that can be seen by ordinary beings. There are two types – the Supreme Emanation Body and the ordinary Emanation Body. The first type can be seen only by those who have pure karma, and the second can be seen by anyone. In general, Buddhas manifest in many different forms and, although the aspect of some of these emanations is mundane, in essence all Buddha’s emanations are fully enlightened beings. See also Supreme Emanation Body. See Joyful Path of Good Fortune, Tantric Grounds and Paths, and Ocean of Nectar.
Empowerment A special potential power to attain any of the four Buddha bodies that is received by a Tantric practitioner from his or her Guru, or from other holy beings, by means of Tantric ritual. The gateway through which we enter Tantra is receiving a Tantric empowerment, which bestows upon us special blessings that heal our mental continuum and awaken our Buddha nature. When we receive a Tantric empowerment, we are sowing the special seeds of the four bodies of a Buddha upon our mental continuum. See Mahamudra Tantra and Tantric Grounds and Paths.
Energy winds See Inner winds.
Engaging bodhichitta A bodhichitta held by The Bodhisattva Vow. After we have taken The Bodhisattva Vow our aspiring bodhichitta transforms into engaging bodhichitta, which is a mind that actually engages in the practices that lead to enlightenment. See also Bodhichitta.
Enjoyment Body ‘Sambhogakaya’ in Sanskrit. A Buddha’s subtle Form Body that can be perceived only by Mahayana Superiors. See Joyful Path of Good Fortune, Tantric Grounds and Paths, and Ocean of Nectar.
Enlightenment Usually the full enlightenment of Buddhahood – an omniscient wisdom whose nature is the permanent cessation of mistaken appearance and whose function is to bestow mental peace on all living beings. Generally, there are three levels of enlightenment: small enlightenment, or the enlightenment of a Hearer; middling enlightenment, or the enlightenment of a Solitary Realizer; and great enlightenment, or the enlightenment of a Buddha, also known as ‘Buddhahood’. An enlightenment is a liberation and a true cessation. See Clear Light of Bliss, Joyful Path of Good Fortune, Ocean of Nectar, Tantric Grounds and Paths, and Mahamudra Tantra.
Ensa Whispered Lineage Another name for the Uncommon Whispered Lineage of the Virtuous Tradition. See also Kadam Emanation Scripture.
Equalizing self and others See Lojong.
Equanimity A balanced mind free from strong attachment and aversion. There are three types of equanimity: equanimity of feeling, which is any neutral feeling; immeasurable equanimity, which is the wish for all beings equally to be free from attachment and hatred; and compositional equanimity, which is a mental factor that functions to keep the primary mind free from mental sinking and mental excitement. See Understanding the Mind and Joyful Path of Good Fortune.
Essence of Wisdom Sutra One of several Perfection of Wisdom Sutras that Buddha taught. Although much shorter than the other Perfection of Wisdom Sutras, it contains explicitly or implicitly their entire meaning. Also known as the Heart Sutra. For a full commentary, see Heart of Wisdom.
Exalted awareness A spiritual realization that knows perfectly the nature of its principal object. Sometimes called `exalted wisdom’. See Tantric Grounds and Paths.
Exalted wisdom See Exalted awareness.
Example clear light A mind of clear light that realizes emptiness by means of a generic image. See Clear Light of Bliss.
Exchanging self with others See Lojong.
Expressive sound An object of hearing that makes its expressed object understood. See Understanding the Mind.
Extreme of attachment Also known as the ‘extreme of samsara’, this refers to being attached to the true existence of phenomena and thus remaining in Samsara due to delusion and karma.
Extreme of fear Also known as the ‘extreme of solitary peace’, this refers to being afraid of the sufferings of Samsara and as a result seeking liberation for oneself alone.
Extremes of existence and non-existence Buddha explains the middle way by refuting the two extremes: the extreme of existence (that phenomena are inherently existent), and the extreme of non-existence (that phenomena do not exist at all). See Ocean of Nectar.
Extreme view A deluded view that observes the I that is the conceived object of the view of the transitory collection and grasps it either as permanent or as completely ceasing at the time of death. See Understanding the Mind.