Glossary of Buddhist Terms

Full multilingual glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V Y Z

  1. Chenrezig

    A bodhisattva, or sometimes a Buddha-figure (yidam), embodying and representing the compassion of all the Buddhas.


  2. Chittamatra

    A Mahayana school of Indian Buddhism that does not assert external phenomena, but which does assert the true existence of dependent phenomena.


  3. cakravartin

    A cosmic emperor ruling with a wheel of authority over several island-worlds (continents).


  4. calm abiding

    A state of mind stilled of all flightiness and dullness, settled with lasting concentration on an object and accompanied by an exhilarating sense of fitness.


  5. caring attitude

    The mental factor that takes seriously the situations of others and oneself, and the effects of one's actions on others and on oneself, and which consequently causes one to build up as a habit constructive attitudes and behavior and safeguards against leaning toward tainted or destructive attitudes and behavior. Also translated as "carefulness."


  6. chakra

    A subtle energy node or hub in the subtle body of a human, from which a varied number of energy-channels (nadi) spread out.


  7. chakravartin

    A cosmic emperor ruling with a wheel of authority over several island-worlds (continents).


  8. charya tantra

    In Tibetan Buddhist schools, the second class of tantra practice, which equally emphasizes external behavior and internal methods.


  9. chod

    An advanced tantra practice for cutting off attachment to one's body.


  10. circumambulate

    The practice of walking slowly around an object of veneration, such as a stupa, Buddhist temple or holy place, as a show of respect.


  11. clarity

    The ability, mental activity or event of making cognitive objects arise – or giving rise to cognitive objects – so that they can be cognized; a defining characteristic of mind.


  12. clear light

    The subtlest level of mental activity.


  13. clear light mind

    The subtlest level of mental activity.


  14. close bond

    A type of behavior or a state of mind, which, when practiced, maintains a close connection with either a certain tantra or a certain spiritual master.


  15. closed-mindedness

    A mental factor of being naive about cause and effect or about reality, and being stubbornly closed to any suggestions from someone else.


  16. cognition

    The most general term for the act of knowing something, but without necessarily knowing what it is or what it means.


  17. cognitive sensor

    The dominating condition that determines the type of cognition a way of being aware of something is, for instance the photosensitive cells of the eyes.


  18. collective karma

    Karmic tendencies and potential built up jointly by a group of beings, the results of which they experience in common.


  19. compassion

    The wish for someone to be free from suffering and from the causes for suffering.


  20. complete stage

    The second stage of anuttarayoga tantra practice, in which everything is now complete for engaging in the practices that act as the immediate causes for reaching enlightenment.


  21. completion stage

    The second stage of anuttarayoga tantra practice, in which everything is now complete for engaging in the practices that act as the immediate causes for reaching enlightenment.


  22. concentration

    The mental factor that keeps the mental activity focused and abiding with continuity on an object. It may vary in intensity from weak to strong.


  23. concept

    A general term for a mental category.


  24. consciousness

    A class of ways of being aware of something that cognizes merely the essential nature of its object, such as its being a sight, a sound, a mental object, etc.


  25. constructive

    States of mind, or physical, verbal, or mental actions motivated by them, which ripen into happiness to be experienced by the person on whose mental continuum they occur. Since the term carries no connotation of moral judgment, the translation "virtuous" is misleading for this term.


  26. constructive actions

    Physical, verbal or mental actions that ripen into happiness to be experienced by the person on whose mental continuum they occur.


  27. contacting awareness

    The mental factor that differentiates that the object of a cognition is pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral.


  28. conventional truth

    A true fact about a phenomenon that veils or conceals a deeper true fact about the same phenomenon.


  29. craving

    The mental factor of a strong longing desire either not to be parted from a feeling of happiness, to be parted from a feeling of unhappiness, or for a neutral feeling in deep meditation not to decline.


  30. crown chakra

    In the anuttarayoga class of Buddhist tantra, the subtle energy-hub located at the crown of the head in the central channel of the subtle body.


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