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. Dharma-center

    A Buddhist institution, primarily in non-traditionallly Buddhist countries, where mostly laypersons study and practice Buddhism.


  2. Dharma-protector

    A class of forceful beings, tamed by Buddha or a spiritual lineage master, and made to take an oath to protect the Dharma and its practitioners.


  3. Dharmakaya

    The omnisicient all-loving mind of a Buddha and its voidness (emptiness) of impossible ways of existing.


  4. Dhyani Buddhas

    Western term coined for a set of five Buddha-figures representing the five aspects of an enlightened being,


  5. daka

    A male figure that helps a practitioner to attain blissful awareness of voidness (emptiness) and enlightenment.


  6. dakini

    A female figure that helps a practitioner to attain blissful awareness of voidness (emptiness) and enlightenment.


  7. dana

    Generosity, the willingness to give to everyone everything that one has.


  8. deceptive appearance

    A cognitive object that appears to exist in a manner different from the way in which it actually exists.


  9. dedication

    A prayer for the attainment of a spiritual goal, in which positive force (merit) is directed toward achiving that goal.


  10. dedication prayer

    A prayer for the attainment of a spiritual goal, in which positive force (merit) is directed toward achiving that goal.


  11. deep awareness

    In the context of the five types of deep awareness, a type of principal awareness that all beings have as an aspect of Buddha-nature. It is "deep" in the sense that it is a fundamental way in which the mind works and has always been there, primordially, with no beginning and no end.


  12. deluded awareness

    A primary consciousness that is aimed at the all-encompassing foundation consciousness (alayavijnana) in the Chittamatra system and grasps at it to be the "me" to be refuted.


  13. dependent arising

    The reliance of something on something other than itself for establishing or accounting for its existence. Also translated as "dependent origination."


  14. dependent origination

    The reliance of something on something other than itself for establishing or accounting for its existence.


  15. desire realm

    Of the three planes of samsaric existence, characterized by suffering, the realm in which beings are filled with sensory desires.


  16. destructive

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


  17. destructive actions

    Physical, verbal or mental actions motivated by a disturbing emotion, no sense of values or scruples, and which ripens into unhappiness and suffering for the person who commmits them.


  18. destructive behavior

    Physical, verbal or mental actions motivated by a disturbing emotion, no sense of values or scruples, and which ripens into unhappiness and suffering for the person who commmits them.


  19. detachment

    The constructive mental factor of bored disgust with and thus lack of longing desire for compulsive existence and objects of compulsive existence.


  20. deva

    A sentient being in the rebirth state that, out of the six states of rebirth, has the least amount of suffering.


  21. dharma

    (1) Preventive measures which, if one puts into practice or achieves, prevent the experience of future suffering. (2) Buddha's teachings. (3) Any phenomenon or "thing."


  22. discriminating awareness

    The mental factor that decisively discriminates between what is correct and what is incorrect.


  23. distinguishing

    The mental factor that focuses on an uncommon defining feature of an object as being distinct from everything else.


  24. distorted cognition

    A way of being aware of something that takes its object incorrectly.


  25. distorted view

    The disturbing attitude that regards an actual cause, an actual effect, an actual functioning, or an existent phenomenon as not being actual or existent.


  26. disturbing emotion

    A mental factor that, when it arises, causes oneself to lose peace of mind and incapacitates oneself so that one loses self-control.


  27. dorje

    A ritual instrument used in conjunction with a bell in tantric rituals and signifying skillful means.


  28. dream body

    The subtle body in which one appears in dreams.


  29. dzogchen

    A Mahayana system of practice that entails accessing rigpa, one's own pure awareness, and realizing that it is complete with all good qualities.


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