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. Rinpoche

    A title, literally meaning "Precious One," given to a reincarnate lama (tulku) or the abbot of a monastery.


  2. Rupakaya

    A network of physical forms in which a Buddha appears in order to benefit others.


  3. rangtong

    The voidness (emptiness) of self-established existence.


  4. realization

    A stable, correct understanding of some point in the Dharma, such as voidness (emptiness), which brings about a lasting attainment and positive change in the person who has it.


  5. rebirth

    Past and future lives on the mental continuum of an individual limited being (sentient being), driven by unawareness, disturbing emotions and compulsive behavior.


  6. reflexive awareness

    The cognitive faculty within a cognition that takes as its cognitive object the consciousness within the cognition that it is part of.


  7. refuge

    A direction that one puts in one's life that will protect one from true suffering and its true causes, and, when one reaches the goal of this direction, allows one to avoid true suffering and its true causes forever. Mostly translated on this website as "safe direction."


  8. regard

    According to Vasubandhu, the mental factor that takes its object to have some level of good qualities and may be either accurate or distorted.


  9. regret

    The mental factor of not wishing to repeat doing something, either proper or improper, that one did or that someone else made one do.


  10. reincarnation

    Past and future lives on the mental continuum of an individual limited being (sentient being), driven by unawareness (ignorance), disturbing emotions and compulsive behavior (karma).


  11. relative truth

    In the Mahayana tenet systems (Chittamatra and Madhyamaka), a true fact about a phenomenon that veils or conceals a deeper true fact about the same phenomenon.


  12. renunciation

    The definite determination to be free of samsara and to gain liberation, and with which one is willing to give up true suffering and true causes. Also translated as "determination to be free."


  13. retreat

    An intensive period of prolonged, repeated meditation.


  14. rigpa

    In the dzogchen system, the subtlest level of awareness, which is totally untainted by any of the fleeting stains of mental obscurations


  15. ripening

    The process whereby a karmic cause gives rise to its result.


  16. root guru

    The spiritual teacher that inspires one the most.


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