Adhiṭṭhāna: determination; resolution. One of the ten perfections pāramīs).
Aggregate(s)/Khandha(s) (five): Heap; group; aggregate. Physical and mental components of the personality and of sensory experience in general. The five bases of clinging (see upadāna). See: nāma (mental phenomenon), rūpa (physical phenomenon), vedanā (feeling), saññā (perception), saṅkhāra (mental fashionings), and viññāṇa (consciousness).
Akusala: Unwholesome, unskillful, demeritorious. See its opposite, kusala.
Altruistic joy: See muditā.
Anāgāmī: Non-returner. A person who has abandoned the five lower fetters that bind the mind to the cycle of rebirth (see saṃyojana), and who after death will appear in one of the Brahma worlds called the Pure Abodes, there to attain nibbāna, never again to return to this world.
Ananda: One of the Buddha’s principle disciples; his cousin and last attendant
Ānāpānasati: Mindfulness of breathing. A meditation practice in which one maintains one’s attention and mindfulness on the sensations of breathing.Mindfulness of Breathing Sutta
Anupubbī-kathā: Gradual instruction. The Buddha’s method of teaching Dhamma that guides his listeners progressively through increasingly advanced topics: generosity (see dāna), virtue (see sīla), heavens, drawbacks, renunciation, and the four Noble Truths. Gradual Training
Anattā : non-self, not-self; ownerless. No-Self or Not-Self
Anicca (impermanence): Inconstant; unsteady; impermanent.
Anusaya: Obsession; underlying tendency. (The etymology of this term means “lying down with”; in actual usage, the related verb (anuseti) means to be obsessed.) There are seven major obsessions to which the mind returns over and over again: obsession with sensual passion (kāma-rāgānusaya), with resistance (paṭighānusaya), with views (diṭṭhānusaya), with uncertainty (vicikicchānusaya), with conceit (mānānusaya), with passion for becoming (bhava-rāgānusaya), and with ignorance (avijjānusaya).Compare saṃyojana.
Arahat (also Arahant): A “worthy one” or “pure one”; a person whose mind is free of defilement (see kilesa), who has abandoned all ten of the fetters that bind the mind to the cycle of rebirth (see saṃyojana), whose heart is free of mental effluents (see āsava), and who is thus not destined for further rebirth. A title for the Buddha and the highest level of his noble disciples. A fully awakened one.ārammaṇa: Preoccupation; mental object.
Āsava: Mental effluent, pollutant, or fermentation. Four qualities — sensuality, views, becoming, and ignorance — that “flow out” of the mind and create the flood of the round of death and rebirth. See Sabbasava Sutta MN2 tipitaka Also see the sutta on passion, averson, & delusion.Titthiya Sutta: Sectarians See also: SN 46.51
Awakening: See Enlightenment.
Becoming/ bhava: States of being that develop first in the mind and can then be experienced as internal worlds and/or as worlds on an external level. There are three levels of becoming: on the sensual level, the level of form, and the level of formlessness.
Bhikkhu: A Buddhist monk; a man who has given up the householder’s life to live a life of heightened virtue (see sīla) in accordance with the Vinaya in general, and the Pātimokkha rules in particular. See saṅgha, parisā, upasampadā. Code of Discipline
Bhikkhunī: A Buddhist monk; a woman who has given up the householder’s life to live a life of heightened virtue (see sīla) in accordance with the Vinaya in general, and the Pātimokkha rules in particular. See saṅgha, parisā, upasampadā. Bhikkhuni Code of Discipline
Bodhi-pakkhiya-dhammā: “Wings to Awakening” — seven sets of principles that are conducive to Awakening and that, according to the Buddha, form the heart of his teaching:  the four frames of reference (see satipaṭṭhāna);  four right exertions (sammappadhāna) — the effort to prevent unskillful states from arising in the mind, to abandon whatever unskillful states have already arisen, to give rise to the good, and to maintain the good that has arisen;  four bases of success (iddhipāda) — desire, persistence, intentness, circumspection;  five dominant factors indriya) — conviction, persistence, mindfulness, concentration, discernment;  five strengths (bala) — identical with ;  seven factors for Awakening (bojjhaṅga) — mindfulness, investigation of phenomena, persistence, rapture (see pīti), serenity, concentration, equanimity; and  the eightfold path (magga) — Right View, Right Attitude, Right Speech, Right Activity, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration. Wings to Awakening
Bodhisatta: “A being (striving) for Awakening”; the term used to describe the Buddha before he actually become Buddha, from his first aspiration to Buddhahood until the time of his full Awakening. Sanskrit form: Bodhisattva.
Bojjhaṅga: see Seven Factors of Enlightenment. (IMV)
Brahmā: “Great One” — an inhabitant of the non-sensual heavens of form or formlessness. The Immaterial World
Brahman (from Pali brāhmaṇa): The brahman (brahmin) caste of India has long maintained that its members, by their birth, are worthy of the highest respect. Buddhism borrowed the term brahman to apply to those who have attained the goal, to show that respect is earned not by birth, race, or caste, but by spiritual attainment. Used in the Buddhist sense, this term is synonymous with arahant.
buddho: Awake; enlightened. An epithet for the Buddha.
Buddha: The name given to one who rediscovers for himself the liberating path of Dhamma, after a long period of its having been forgotten by the world. According to tradition, a long line of Buddhas stretches off into the distant past. The most recent Buddha was born Siddhattha Gotama in India in the sixth century BCE. A well-educated and wealthy young man, he relinquished his family and his princely inheritance in the prime of his life to search for true freedom and an end to suffering dukkha). After seven years of austerities in the forest, he rediscovered the “middle way” and achieved his goal, becoming Buddha. A Sketch of the Buddha’s Life
Citta: Mind; heart; state of consciousness.
Clinging: See upādāna.
Clear comprehension: See sampajañña.
Compassion (Karuna): sympathy; the aspiration to find a way to be truly helpful to oneself and others. One of the four “sublime abodes” brahma-vihāra).
Conditioning: refers to the process in which everything comes into existence due to myriad, co-arising mental and material phenomena. All phenomena arise and vanish, making everything inherently ephemeral and devoid of an enduring core. This cascading process continues ceaselessly, is often outside of awareness, yet drives decisions and behaviors. Lack of insight into ceaseless change (anicca) allows craving (taṇhā) to arise when pleasant contact occurs or aversion (dosa) when unpleasant contact occurs. Suffering ensues when unstable, unpredictable, and perishing phenomena are mistakenly considered reliable sources of well-being, safety, and happiness, and are therefore pursued. See paṭicca-samuppāda for more information on conditioning. (IMV)
Confidence: See pasāda.
Consciousness: See viññāṇa.
Craving: taṇhā; thirst.
Dāna: Giving, liberality; offering, alms. Specifically, giving of any of the four requisites to the monastic order. More generally, the inclination to give, without expecting any form of repayment from the recipient. Dana is the first theme in the Buddha’s system of gradual training (see anupubbī-kathā), the first of the ten pāramīs, one of the seven treasures (see dhana), and the first of the three grounds for meritorious action (see sīla and bhāvanā). Generosity
Dependent origination/dependent arising/ dependent co-arising: A map showing the way the aggregates khandha) and sense media āyatana) interact with ignorance avijjā) and craving taṇhā) to bring about stress and suffering dukkha). As the interactions are complex, there are several versions of paṭicca-samuppāda given in the suttas. In the most common one, the map starts with ignorance. In another common one, the map starts with the interrelation between name nāma) and form rūpa) on the one hand, and sensory consciousness viññāṇa) on the other. Analysis of Dependent Co-Arising The Great Causes Discourse
Dhammapada: A collection of verses believed to have been said by the Buddha and found in the Khuddaka Nikaya, the last of the five collections (nikayas) in the Sutta Pitaka (the collection of suttas or teachings given by the Buddha or one of his chief disciples). Path of Wisdom
Dhamma-vicaya: Applying wisdom and discernment into all that is arising. One of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment. (IMV)
Dharma/ dhamma: (1) Event; a phenomenon in and of itself; (2) mental quality; (3) doctrine, teaching; (4) nibbāna. Also, principles of behavior that human beings ought to follow so as to fit in with the right natural order of things; qualities of mind they should develop so as to realize the inherent quality of the mind in and of itself. By extension, “Dhamma” (usu. capitalized) is used also to denote any doctrine that teaches such things. Thus the Dhamma of the Buddha denotes both his teachings and the direct experience of nibbāna, the quality at which those teachings are aimed.
Dosa: Aversion; hatred; anger. One of three unwholesome roots mūla) in the mind.
Dukkha: Stress; suffering; pain; distress; discontent. Dukkha
Effort (See Right Effort):definition of the four Right Exertions
Ego: Conditioned habits, identities, preferences, views, perceptions, obsessions, and history that we mistake for a sense of self. For more, see the Five Aggregates of Clinging (the khandas). (IMV)
Ekagattārammana:Singleness of preoccupation; “one-pointedness.” In meditation, the mental quality that allows one’s attention to remain collected and focused on the chosen meditation object. Ekagattārammana reaches full maturity upon the development of the fourth level of jhāna.
Eightfold Path: (see Right entries under R below) the practice of the Dhamma as taught by the Buddha which is the path to end suffering and to realize true freedom. As Bhikkhu Bodhi writes, “The internal unity of the Dhamma is guaranteed by the fact that the last of the Four Noble Truths, the truth of the way, is the Noble Eightfold Path, while the first factor of the Noble Eightfold Path, right view, is the understanding of the Four Noble Truths. Thus the two principles penetrate and include one another, the formula of the Four Noble Truths containing the Eightfold Path and the Noble Eightfold Path containing the Four Truths.” The Way to End Suffering
Emptiness: refers to the absence of an enduring core in anything. Everything is composed of a vast number of changing elements that move in the direction of entropy and death. See “conditioning” above as well as “anatta.” The Lesser Discourse on Emptiness
Enlightenment: A mind free of clinging to any aspect of existence, to any constellation of mind and matter, achieved by recognizing the futility and dire consequences of craving and clinging. (IMV)
Equanimity/upekkhā: a neutral feeling; even-mindedness with experiences that might otherwise be sources of pleasure or pain. Equanimity in Concentration
Feeling: See vedanā. Refers to the flavor (pleasant, unpleasant, neither pleasant nor unpleasant) of sense contact. Not to be confused with emotions or moods.
Fetters: See saṃyojana.
Formations: See saṅkhāra.
Four Determinations: ‘A person has four determinations.’: the determination for discernment, the determination for truth, the determination for relinquishment, the determination for calm. Dhatu-vibhanga Sutta
Four Foundations of Mindfulness/ Satipatthana: Entails mindfulness of body, feelings, mind, and mental phenomenon as they arise and pass away. Satipatthana Sutta
Four Noble Truths: Delineates the reality of suffering or stress, its origin, the understanding that suffering can end, and the path leading to that cessation. Comprises the first limb of the Eightfold Path. Four Noble Truths Study Guide
Generosity: See dāna.
Greed, hatred, delusion: Lobha, dosa, moha. Also known as the Three Poisons which drive becoming and its inevitable suffering.(IMV)
Hindrances (five): Nīvaraṇa, Five Hindrances: obstacles which block the path to awakening : Sensual desire (kamacchanda), Ill-will byāpāda), Sloth and torpor (thina-middha), Restlessness and remorse (uddhacca-kukkucca), Skeptical doubt (vicikiccha). Mental Hinderances and Their Conquest
Idappaccayatā: This/that conditionality. This name for the causal principle the Buddha discovered on the night of his Awakening stresses the point that, for the purposes of ending suffering and stress, the processes of causality can be understood entirely in terms of forces and conditions that are experienced in the realm of direct experience, with no need to refer to forces operating outside of that realm. Feedback Loops
Indriya: Faculties; mental factors. In the suttas the term can refer either to the six sense media āyatana) or to the five mental factors of saddhā (conviction), viriya(persistence), sati (mindfulness), samādhi (concentration), and paññā (discernment); see bodhi-pakkhiya-dhammā.
Impermanence (anicca ): Inconstant; unsteady; impermanent.
Insight: insight or wisdom (paññā in Pali) refer to the first 2 parts of the Eightfold Path, Right Understanding of the Four Noble Truths and Right Intention to practice renunciation and free oneself from any ill-will or thoughts of harming. Essential to the development of insight is seeing how impermanence and the corelessness of all phenomena create stress and suffering. As insight deepens so too does the motivation to seek refuge in what is unconditioned and unchanging, ways of understanding nibbāna. (IMV) See paññā.
Jhāna [Skt. dhyāna]: Mental absorption. A state of strong concentration focused on a single physical sensation (resulting in rūpa jhāna) or mental notion (resulting in arūpa jhāna). Development of jhāna arises from the temporary suspension of the five hindrances (see nīvaraṇa) through the development of five mental factors: vitakka(directed thought), vicāra (evaluation), pīti (rapture), sukha (pleasure), and ekaggatārammana (singleness of preoccupation). First, Second, Third, Fourth Jhana
Karma/ Kamma[Skt. karma]: Intentional acts that result in states of being and birth. Taking Responsibility for One’s Actions
Karuna (compassion): sympathy; the aspiration to find a way to be truly helpful to oneself and others. One of the four “sublime abodes” (brahma-vihāra).
Kasina: clay, colored disks used as objects of meditation to collect and concentrate the mind.
Khandha(s) Aggregates (five) : Heap; group; aggregate. Physical and mental components of the personality and of sensory experience in general. The five bases of clinging (see upadāna). See: nāma (mental phenomenon), rūpa (physical phenomenon), vedanā (feeling), saññā(perception), saṅkhāra (mental fashionings), and viññāṇa (consciousness).
Kilesa: Defilement — lobha (passion), dosa (aversion), and moha (delusion) in their various forms, which include such things as greed, malevolence, anger, rancor, hypocrisy, arrogance, envy, miserliness, dishonesty, boastfulness, obstinacy, violence, pride, conceit, intoxication, and complacency.
Kusala: Wholesome, skillful, good, meritorious. An action characterized by this moral quality (kusala-kamma) is bound to result (eventually) in happiness and a favorable outcome. Actions characterized by its opposite (akusala-kamma) lead to sorrow. See kamma. The Wholesome and the Unwholesome
Magga: Path. Specifically, the path to the cessation of suffering and stress. The four transcendent paths — or rather, one path with four levels of refinement — are the path to stream-entry (entering the stream to nibbāna, which ensures that one will be reborn at most only seven more times), the path to once-returning, the path to non-returning, and the path to arahantship. See phala.
Majjhimā: Middle; appropriate; just right.
Māra: The personification of evil and temptation.
Mindfulness: Remembering to focus one’s attention on the present moment while calmly perceiving one’s feelings, thoughts, emotions, moods, and bodily sensations through the lens of the Eightfold Path. (IMV)
Mental habits: rapidly arising patterns of response that were conditioned by pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral contact and have ignorance as their base. (IMV)
Muditā: Appreciative/sympathetic joy. Taking delight in one’s own goodness and that of others. One of the four “sublime abodes” brahma-vihāra).
Mūla: Literally, “root.” The fundamental conditions in the mind that determine the moral quality — skillful kusala) or unskillful akusala) — of one’s intentional actions (see kamma). The three unskillful roots are lobha (greed), dosa (aversion), and moha(delusion); the skillful roots are their opposites. See kilesa (defilements).
Nāma-rūpa: Name-and-form; mind-and-matter; mentality-physicality. The union of mental phenomena (nāma) and physical phenomena (rūpa), conditioned by consciousness viññāṇa) in the causal chain of dependent co-arising (paṭicca-samuppāda). Cessation of Name-and-Form
Nāma-rūpa: Name-and-form; mind-and-matter; mentality-physicality. The union of mental phenomena (nāma) and physical phenomena (rūpa), conditioned by consciousness (viññāṇa) in the causal chain of dependent co-arising (paṭicca-samuppāda). Sammaditthi Sutta
Nibbāna [Skt. nirvāna]:Liberation; literally, the “unbinding” of the mind from the mental effluents (see āsava), defilements (see kilesa), and the round of rebirth (see vaṭṭa), and from all that can be described or defined. As this term also denotes the extinguishing of a fire, it carries the connotations of stilling, cooling, and peace. (According to the physics taught at the time of the Buddha, a burning fire seizes or adheres to its fuel; when extinguished, it is unbound.) “Total nibbāna” in some contexts denotes the experience of Awakening; in others, the final passing away of an arahant. “This is Peace”
Nibbidā: Disenchantment; aversion; disgust; weariness. The skillful turning-away of the mind from the conditioned samsaric world towards the unconditioned, the transcendent — nibbāna
Nimitta: Mental sign, image, or vision that may arise in meditation. Uggaha nimitta refers to any image that arises spontaneously in the course of meditation. Paṭibhāga nimitta refers to an image that has been subjected to mental manipulation.
Nīvaraṇa: Hindrances to concentration — sensual desire, ill will, sloth & drowsiness, restlessness & anxiety, and uncertainty.
Nirvāna: liberation (see nibbāna)
Non-returner (anāgāmī): Non-returner. A person who has abandoned the five lower fetters that bind the mind to the cycle of rebirth (see saṃyojana), and who after death will appear in one of the Brahma worlds called the Pure Abodes, there to attain nibbāna, never again to return to this world.
Non-self (anatta) : Not-self; ownerless. “No-Self or Not-Self”
Paññā: Discernment; insight; wisdom; intelligence; common sense; ingenuity. One of the ten perfections pāramīs).
Paññā-vimutti: See vimutti.
Papañca: Complication, proliferation, objectification. The tendency of the mind to proliferate issues from the sense of “self.” This term can also be translated as self-reflexive thinking, reification, falsification, distortion, elaboration, or exaggeration. In the discourses, it is frequently used in analyses of the psychology of conflict. Ball of Honey Sutta
Pāramī, pāramitā: Perfection of the character. A group of ten qualities developed over many lifetimes by a bodhisatta, which appear as a group in the Pali canon only in the Jataka (“Birth Stories”): generosity dāna), virtue sīla), renunciation nekkhamma),discernment paññā), energy/persistence viriya), patience/forbearance khanti),truthfulness sacca), determination adhiṭṭhāna), good will mettā), and equanimity upekkhā). The Ten Perfections Study Guide
Pasāda: Confidence in the Buddha’s awakening and the validity of the Dharmma. (IMV)
Passaddhi: Tranquility, calmness, serenity. One of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment. (IMV)
Paṭicca-samuppāda: Dependent co-arising; dependent origination. A map showing the way the aggregates khandha) and sense media āyatana) interact with ignorance avijjā) and craving taṇhā) to bring about stress and suffering dukkha). As the interactions are complex, there are several versions of paṭicca-samuppāda given in the suttas. In the most common one, the map starts with ignorance. In another common one, the map starts with the interrelation between name nāma) and form rūpa) on the one hand, and sensory consciousness viññāṇa) on the other. Analysis of Dependent Co-Arising SN 12.2, The Great Causes Discourse DN 15
Phassa: Sense contact.
Pīti: Rapture; bliss; delight. In meditation, a pleasurable quality in the mind that reaches full maturity upon the development of the second level of jhāna.
Right Action: A factor of the Eightfold Path, a component of the moral discipline group (silakhandha) along with Right Speech and Right Livelihood. It represents one of the three stages of training. Encouraging right action trains us in higher moral discipline.Three Path Factors
Right Concentration/Samma Samadhi: A factor of the Eightfold Path, a component of the concentration discipline group (samadhikhandha) along with Right Effort and Right Mindfulness. It represents one of the three stages of training. Practicing Right Concentration trains us in higher consciousness.Right Concentration
Right Effort/ Samma Vayama: A factor of the Eightfold Path, a component of the concentration discipline group (samadhikhandha) along with Right Concentration and Right Mindfulness. It represents one of the three stages of training. Practicing Right Effort trains us in higher consciousness. Right Effort
Right Livelihood/ Samma Ajiva: A factor of the Eightfold Path, a component of the moral discipline discipline group (silakhandha) along with Right Speech and Right Action. It represents one of the three stages of training. Engaging in Right Livelihood trains us in higher moral discipline. Right Livelihood
Right Intention/ Samma Sankappa: A factor of the Eightfold Path, a component of the wisdom discipline group (paññakhandha)) along with Right Intention. Developing Right Intention trains us in higher wisdom. Right Intention
Right Mindfulness/Samma Sati: A factor of the Eightfold Path, a component of the concentration discipline group (samadhikhandha) along with Right Concentration and Right Effort. It represents one of the three stages of training. Practicing Right Mindfulness trains us in higher consciousness.Right Mindfulness
Right Speech: A factor of the Eightfold Path, a component of the moral discipline group (silakhandha) along with Right Action and Right Livelihood. It represents one of the three stages of training. Developing Right Speech trains us in higher moral discipline.Right Speech
Right View/Samma Ditthi: A factor of the Eightfold Path, a component of the wisdom group paññakhandha)along with Right Intention. It represents one of the three stages of training. Developing Right View trains us in higher wisdom. (paññakhandha Right View
Rūpa: Body; physical phenomenon; sense datum. The basic meaning of this word is “appearance” or “form.” It is used, however, in a number of different contexts, taking on different shades of meaning in each. In lists of the objects of the senses, it is given as the object of the sense of sight. As one of the khandhas, it refers to physical phenomena or sensations (visible appearance or form being the defining characteristics of what is physical). This is also the meaning it carries when opposed to nāma, or mental phenomena. Name-&-Form
Samatha: calm, serene, tranquil.
Sammuti: Conventional reality; convention; relative truth; supposition; anything conjured into being by the mind.
Sampajañña: Clear comprehension.
Saṃvega: Urgency to rid the mind of defilements and prevent further becoming, caused by a jarring realization of the perilousness of life. (IMV)
Saṃyojana: Fetter that binds the mind to the cycle of rebirth (see vaṭṭa) — self-identification views sakkāya-diṭṭhi), uncertainty (vicikiccha), grasping at precepts and practices (sīlabbata-parāmāsa); sensual passion (kāma-rāga), resistance (vyāpāda); passion for form (rūpa-rāga), passion for formless phenomena (arūpa-rāga), conceit (māna), restlessness (uddhacca), and unawareness avijjā). Compare anusaya.
Saṅgha: On the conventional (sammuti) level, this term denotes the communities of Buddhist monks and nuns; on the ideal (ariya) level, it denotes those followers of the Buddha, lay or ordained, who have attained at least stream-entry (see sotāpanna), the first of the transcendent paths (see magga) culminating in nibbāna. Recently, particularly in the West, the term “sangha” has been popularly adapted to mean the wider sense of “community of followers on the Buddhist path,” although this usage finds no basis in the Pali canon. The term “parisā” may be more appropriate for this much broader meaning. “Sangha”
Saṅkhāra: Formation, compound, fashioning, fabrication — the forces and factors that fashion things (physical or mental), the process of fashioning, and the fashioned things that result. Saṅkhāra can refer to anything formed or fashioned by conditions, or, more specifically, (as one of the five khandhas) thought-formations within the mind.
Saññā: Label; perception; allusion; act of memory or recognition; interpretation. See khandha.
Satipaṭṭhāna: Foundation of mindfulness; frame of reference consisting of body, feelings, mind, and mental events, viewed in and of themselves as they occur.
Seven Factors of Enlightenment: Mindfulness, Investigation, Energy, Rapture, Tranquility, Concentration, Equanimity. These factors work synergistically to create a powerful, energized, yet tranquil and discerning mind. The cultivation of these factors provides a foundation for insight and full awakening. (IMV)
Sīla: Virtue, morality. The quality of ethical and moral purity that prevents one from falling away from the Eightfold Path. Also, the training precepts that restrain one from performing unskillful actions. Sīla is the second theme in the gradual training (see anupubbī-kathā), one of the ten pāramīs, the second of the seven treasures (see dhana), and the first of the three grounds for meritorious action (see dāna and bhāvanā). Rewards of Virtue
Six bases of contact: sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste, and the mind.
Skillful: in Pali kusala, see above.
Sotāpanna: Stream winner. A person who has abandoned the first three of the fetters that bind the mind to the cycle of rebirth (see saṃyojana) and has thus entered the “stream” flowing inexorably to nibbāna, ensuring that one will be reborn at most only seven more times, and only into human or higher realms. Study Guide on First Stage of Awakening
Spiritual bypass: the use of spiritual ideas and practices to avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks.
Stream-entry/stream-winner: see sotāpanna.
Stress: See dukkha.
Sukha: Pleasure; ease; satisfaction. In meditation, a mental quality that reaches full maturity upon the development of the third level of jhāna.
Suññata (emptiness): refers to the absence of an enduring core in anything. Everything is composed of a vast number of changing elements that move in the direction of entropy and death. See “conditioning” above as well as “anatta.” emptiness
Sutta [Skt. sūtra]: Literally, “thread”; a discourse or sermon by the Buddha or his contemporary disciples. After the Buddha’s death the suttas were passed down in the Pali language according to a well-established oral tradition, and were finally committed to written form in Sri Lanka around 100 BCE. More than 10,000 suttas are collected in the Sutta Piṭaka, one of the principal bodies of scriptural literature in Theravāda Buddhism. The Pali Suttas are widely regarded as the earliest record of the Buddha’s teachings. The Basket of Suttas
Taṇhā: thirst, craving, desire.
Ten perfections pāramīs), pāramī, pāramitā: Perfection of the character. A group of ten qualities developed over many lifetimes by a bodhisatta, which appear as a group in the Pali canon only in the Jataka (“Birth Stories”): generosity dāna), virtue sīla), renunciation nekkhamma), discernment paññā), energy/persistence viriya), patience/forbearance khanti), truthfulness sacca), determination adhiṭṭhāna), good will mettā), and equanimity upekkhā). The Ten Perfections Study Guide [MORE]
Three Poisons: ignorance, craving, and aversion.
Three Refuges: the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
Tranquility : see Passaddhi (IMV)
Triple jewel /Triple gem: see Three Refuges
Unbinding: See nibbāna.
Upādāna: Clinging; attachment; sustenance for becoming and birth — attachment to sensuality, to views, to precepts and practices, and to theories of the self.
Unskillful : The term used in Buddhism to refer to thoughts and actions that are not conducive to the happiness and well-being of oneself and others. “Unskillful” lacks the judgmental connotation of “sin.”
Vedanā: Feeling — pleasure (ease), pain (stress), or neither pleasure nor pain. See khandha.
Vesak, Vesakha, Visakha, Wesak, etc. (visākha): The ancient name for the Indian lunar month in spring corresponding to our April-May. According to tradition, the Buddha’s birth, Awakening, and Parinibbāna each took place on the full-moon night in the month of Visakha. These events are commemorated on that day in the Visakha festival, which is celebrated annually throughout the world of Theravāda Buddhism. excerpt from Four Years’ Sermons
Vicāra: Evaluation; sustained thought. In meditation, vicāra is the mental factor that allows one’s attention to shift and move about in relation to the chosen meditation object. Vicāra and its companion factor vitakka reach full maturity upon the development of the first level of jhāna.
Vijjā: Clear knowledge; genuine awareness; science (specifically, the cognitive powers developed through the practice of concentration and discernment).
Vijjā-caraṇa-sampanno: Consummate in knowledge and conduct; accomplished in the conduct leading to awareness or cognitive skill. An epithet for the Buddha.
Vimutti: Release; freedom from the fabrications and conventions of the mind. The suttas distinguish between two kinds of release. Discernment-release (paññā-vimutti) describes the mind of the arahant, which is free of the āsavas. Awareness-release (ceto-vimutti) is used to describe either the mundane suppression of the kilesas during the practice of jhāna and the four brahma-vihāras [see AN 6.13], or the supramundane state of concentration in the āsava-free mind of the arahant.
Viññāṇa: Consciousness; cognizance; the act of taking note of sense data and ideas as they occur. There is also a type of consciousness that lies outside of the khandhas — called consciousness without feature (viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ) — which is not related to the six senses at all. See khandha.
Vipāka: The consequence and result of a past volitional action kamma).
Vipallāsa: Perceptual distortions in which what is impermanent is seen as permanent, what is suffering is seen as pleasant and free from pain, what is without a self is seen as a self, and what is repugnant is seen as appealing. (IMV)
Vipassanā: Clear intuitive insight into physical and mental phenomena as they arise and disappear, seeing them for what they actually are — in and of themselves — in terms of the three characteristics (see ti-lakkhaṇa) and in terms of stress, its origin, its disbanding, and the way leading to its disbanding (see ariya-sacca).
Vipassanūpakkilesa: Corruption of insight; intense experiences that can happen in the course of meditation and can lead one to believe that one has completed the path. The standard list includes ten: light, psychic knowledge, rapture, serenity, pleasure, extreme conviction, excessive effort, obsession, indifference, and contentment.
Vitakka: Directed thought. In meditation, vitakka is the mental factor by which one’s attention is applied to the chosen meditation object. Vitakka and its companion factor vicāra reach full maturity upon the development of the first level of jhāna.
Wisdom: See paññā.
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“Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.”
– Anguttara Nikaya