Buddhist terms and definitions

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Dharma by Mind Map: Dharma

1. 1. Anicca

1.1. My Definition: Nothing stays fixed.

1.2. all of conditioned existence, without exception, is in a constant state of flux. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impermanence

1.3. The impermanent nature of our experiences is the source of dukkha. We form attachment to the stories we create about experiences and upon experiencing them again, we realize that it is not exactly the same as the way you remember it. Things change and we have to understand that to understand the ending of dukkha.Annica is one of three marks of existence along with dukkha and anatta.

2. 34. Wisdom/Insight

2.1. My definition: the understanding and application of causal relations

2.2. a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgements and actions in keeping with this understanding, Wikipedia

2.3. http://www.eso-garden.com/index.php?/weblog/C16/

3. 33. *Wholesome/Unwholesome

3.1. My definition: motivations that can either bring about flourishing or more dukkha

3.2. Wholesome: promoting health or well-being in body and spirit- Dictionary.com

3.3. Unwholesome: detrimental to physical, mental, or moral well-being

3.4. Everything has the potential to be either wholesome or unwholesome. Motivations and moderation are key in an action or thought being one or the other. This is closely tied with skillful and unskillful and the idea of the middle way.

4. 32. *The Three Root Poisons

4.1. Hatred or Anger

4.1.1. My definition: feelings of ill will that are unskillful

4.1.2. hostile feelings- dictionary.com

4.2. Greed or Craving

4.2.1. the inordinate desire to possess wealth, goods, or objects of abstract value with the intention to keep it for one's self, far beyond the dictates of basic survival and comfort- Wikipedia.org

4.2.2. My definition: wanting to grasp at something that is unskillful and distracts from the dharma.

4.3. Ignorance or delusion

4.3.1. Illusion or darkness, ignorance about the true nature of reality. SGI dictionary

4.3.2. My definition: not living in the present moment and instead making up stories and allowing yourself to take them as true

4.3.3. Ignorance or delusion are a source of dukkha. We allow ourselves to live in the worlds we created, our "cool story bro." By not accepting or being mindful of the true nature of reality we cause suffering. These delusions are papanaca.

4.4. The three root poisons are the habits of an unskillful mind that lead to more dukkha

5. 31. Tathata: suchness

5.1. the true nature of all phenomena or as the original state of things- SGI dictionary

5.2. My definition: things exactly as they are

6. 30. *Sympathetic Joy: (One of the Four Immeasurables)

6.1. the pleasure that comes from delighting in other people's well-being- Wikipedia.org

6.2. My definition: The happiness that comes from other people's happiness.

6.3. Happiness can be so contagious. Even without knowing or sharing the reason for someone else's happiness it is possible to be happy for them for being happy, that is sympathetic joy. The pleasure that results can be shared and be a new source of sukkha.

7. 29. Sunyata: Emptiness

7.1. The absence of any kind of enduring or self sustaining essence. http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhistworld/maha2.htm

7.2. My Definition: This Mahayana term, means that there is no defining thing that is the self.

7.3. sunyata is the skilful means that disentangle oneself from defilement and unsatisfactoriness. http://www.buddhanet.net/cbp2_f6.htm

8. 28. Skillful: (see wholesome)-

8.1. 'karmically wholesome' or 'profitable', salutary, morally good, (skillful) Connotations of the term, are: of good health, blameless, productive of favorable karma-result, skillful.-Urban Dharma Dictionary

8.2. My definition: Thinking or acting in a way that brings about the appropriate result.

8.3. http://www.wellhappypeaceful.com/have-a-great-moment/

9. 27. Sangha

9.1. the community of Buddhist believers- SGI dictionary

9.2. My definition: A group of people who have renounced secular life in order to obtain enlightenment and help others do the same.

9.3. Here is a discussion of sangha as one of the three jewels: http://www.dharma-rain.org/?p=stillpoint07_0707kyogen

10. 26. Samsara

10.1. literally meaning "continuous flow", is the cycle of birth, life, death, rebirth or reincarnation, -Wikipedia

10.2. “Reincarnation, the round of rebirths from which the Buddhists wished to escape.” Herman Hesse

10.3. My definition: the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth that those who have not transcended dukkha are stuck in.

10.4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Samsara.jpg

11. 25. *Renunciation

11.1. 'freedom from sensual lust' Urban Dharma Dictionary

11.2. My definition: letting go of all that ties you to dukkha

11.3. Giving up the ties to sensual pleasures of the world to search for enlightenment. The Buddha renounced his life with his family and wealth to begin a quest for nirvana.

12. 24. *Realize

12.1. My definition: learning what is really the case free from out stories about what is the case

12.2. To bring into a concrete existence, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/realize

12.3. It can be so difficult to not allow our pasts experiences to condition our understanding. To deeply understand something, more than to know just the surface of an idea, we have to realize it in an objective manner, free from our stories.

12.4. http://youtu.be/5zYOKFjpm9s

13. 23. *Radically Re-imagine Relationship

13.1. This term is giving me some dukkha. I am going to try and look at each word individually and construct a definition based on that. The word radical means at the root, like radish. To re-imagine something is to throw out all of your former understanding and think of it as something completely new. To radically re-imagine a relationship would be to start from the very roots of your understanding of how things relate to one another and start over with new conceptions.

14. 22. *Papanca

14.1. the idea of making stories and living one’s life as if the stories are true- Jay Feldman, Unit 12

14.2. My Definition: The way our conditioned minds make up stories and explain experience

14.3. When I first was exposed to the idea of papanca, it made sense to me. I understood exactly what the idea of making up stories and living as if they were true. I find myself doing this all the time, making up whole scenarios based on my impression of a situation. I often end up convincing myself that my story is true and it changes the way I approach situations even though the story could be completely false.

14.3.1. http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS8n8EQnlUwqkv6bxky_3_zyOcEN2aR1emxV6HrQfTSP-lGqX3jzbS7XbBO

15. 21. *Nirvana

15.1. “Literally, ‘extinction, blowing out.’ Used to refer to a death no longer subject to rebirths; the goal of the original Buddhists.” Herman Hesse

15.2. "Extinction of greed, extinction of hate, extinction of delusion: this is called Nibbána" Urban Dharma dictionary

15.3. My definition: transcending the dukkha of existence and samsara

15.4. Nirvana is releasing from dukkha. When there are no more attachments to all of the impermanent, unsatisfactory things that trap us in samsara. Nirvana is not a place like heaven but is instead completion and the ultimate end of enlightenment.

16. 20. *Mindfully, Mindfulness

16.1. to be aware and mindful in all activities and movements both physical and mental. Rahula, What the Buddha Taught, 74

16.2. My definition: care and skill applied to every detail of everything

16.3. Mindfulness is living in the dharma, each phenomenal experience as it arises. I equate it with being present of each detail that comes together to create an experience. Being mindful of all of those details allows us to approach each experience with skill and equanimity to help reach the ultimate goal of ending dukkha.

17. 19. *The Middle Way

17.1. 'Middle Path', is the Noble Eightfold Path which, by avoiding the two extremes of sensual lust and self-torment, leads to enlightenment and deliverance from suffering. Urban Dharma Dictionary

17.2. My definition: avoiding the extremes

17.3. Instead of constantly living for the pursuit of pleasure or the opposite extreme, living pursuing happiness through negative avenues such as self-mortification, choosing the middle ground between the two. We take the middle way, by way of the eight-fold path, to bring about the ending of dukkha.

17.3.1. And what, monks, is the Middle Way realized by the Thus-Come-One, which gives vision and understanding, which leads to calm, penetration, enlightenment, to Nirvana? It is just this Noble Eightfold Path, namely: Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration. – The Buddha, Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

17.4. Experiencing everything in moderation is how to avoid the dukkha that is present at both extremes.

18. 18. *Loving Kindness: (One of the Four Immeasurables)

18.1. My definition: the desire to bring about pleasure and well-being to others

18.2. friendliness, benevolence, amity, friendship, good will, kindness, close mental union (on same mental wavelength), and active interest in others. Wikipedia

18.3. I relate this idea of loving kindness to the love I feel for close friends or family, separate from intimate love. When I truly care for someone I just want their lives to go well and for them to be happy. I want to act as to bring about these happy feelings for them. The quality of loving kindness, as well as the quality of compassion, develop as the understanding of Buddhism's teachings become clear. ICA teaches that our dukkha is everyone's dukkha which broadens the spectrum of people that you have these feelings for from close relaionships to every sentient being.

18.4. Training our minds in loving kindness makes life a lot easier! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marguerite-manteaurao/kindness-_b_601103.html

19. 17. *Letting Go

19.1. My definition: not grasping

19.2. This is a concept I still find myself struggling with. When we develop attachments they can be so hard to let go. I think attachment to people as constant unchanging forces in my life is where it would be skillful for me to practice letting go. A point comes where I just am causing myself serious second arrow dukkha by not accepting that things change and letting go of my stories and moving on. Letting go is also a skillful way to deal with desires, this is a really interesting article, http://www.buddhanet.net/lmed5.htm

19.3. "Impermanence of things is the rising, passing and changing of things, or the disappearance of things that have become or arisen. The meaning is that these things never persist in the same way, but that they are vanishing dissolving from moment to moment" (Vis.M. VII, 3).Urban Dharma Dictionary

20. 16. *Karma: Intentional Action

20.1. wholesome and unwholesome volitions and their concomitant mental factors, causing rebirth and shaping the destiny of beings. Urban Dharma Dictionary

20.2. My definition: The actions we will that are shaped by our past actions and experiences and affect our future experiences

20.3. My intentional actions now are the conditions for my future experiences. Being skillful in my actions will hopefully create more favorable conditions for my experiences, and the same is true for unskillful and less than favorable conditions.Karma is the volitional actions now not their later effects. Our karmic actions are conditions that shape future karma.

20.4. A beautiful song by Radiohead; http://youtu.be/IBH97ma9YiI

21. 15. *Intimacy

21.1. My definition: A deep closeness that is untainted by stories or projections that results in understanding

21.2. “Enlightenment is intimacy with all things.” –Dogen Zenji

21.3. a close association with or detailed knowledge or deep understanding of a place, subject, period of history, or person dictionary,com

22. 14. *Interdependent Co-Arising: Pratītyasamutpāda

22.1. My definition:Every experience we have is shaped and conditioned by our past experiences, and the experience in the present will condition the way we experience a phenomenon in the future. It is all connected.

22.2. Every moment of our lives, every phenomenon that we experience arises within, and is wholly dependent upon, a vast and complex web of causes/condition. Jay Feldman, Unit 5

22.3. The table is could not exist if not for the wood, the labor of the carpenter, and the screw holding it together. The wood couldn't exist without trees, people willing to log them, and the invention of logging, etc. Every experience comes from infinite other experiences and how they have conditioned the outcomes. There is no first cause, just a circle of conditions.

22.3.1. http://youtu.be/n9GGEFL9unc This is an adorable explanation of ICA!

22.4. I organized my dictionary journal to reflect the idea of interdependent co-arising. All of these concepts are products of one another that are connected like an infinite web. I ultimately chose dharma to be the center of my web of Buddhism because the dharma is the thread that creates this web; it is the truth that ties them to each other.

23. 13. *Flourishing/Happiness

23.1. a deep sense of flourishing that arises from an exceptionally healthy mind. (Ricard reading)

23.2. Happiness and flourishing relate to the term fulfillment in my mind. It is a sense of accomplishment and contentment that is only mad possible through a skillful understanding of the dharma. I am also quite attached to the concept of an exceptionally healthy mind.

23.3. My Definition: true fulfillment caused by a mind conditioned by the dharma

23.4. I felt like Matthieu Ricard explained happiness the most eloquently. Here is a youtube link to his discussion on happiness http://youtu.be/-0NYInp-rbc

24. 12. *Equanimity: (One of the Four Immeasurables)

24.1. to be able to face life in all its vicissitudes with calm of mind, tranquillity, without disturbance. Rahula, What The Buddha Taught, 74

24.2. My definition:dealing with life in all its forms with eloquence. (I believe Jonathan Wakeman brought up this point in class but It really resonnated with me.)

24.3. Equanimity is not a quality that I am skillful at. When I am stressed or facing life's vicissitudes I do not usually have a clam mind. Usually I cry, and let my mind dissect the experience and shot myself with some second arrow dukkha. Being able to approach life with equanimity is important to relieving dukkha.

25. 11. *Dukkha (One of the Three marks)

25.1. all existence is suffering- SGI dictionary

25.2. My definition: The unsatisfactory nature of experience.

25.3. Dukkha is unsatisfactory feelings stemming from our grasping onto impermanent situations. We are unsatisfied when we have an experience and we try to grasp onto the feeling of it and what is left doesn't match what our stories about what it was. When we try to label the constantly changing experiences and have ideas that create self and other awareness, there is dukkha. It is somewhat a problem of cognitive dissonance. This is the dukkha we can train our mind to avoid in contrast to the unavoidable dukkha. The types of dukkha we are experiencing can be classified as first and second arrow dukkha; dukkha that is part of the experience that is the unavoidable, first arrows, and the dukkha that we cause ourselves based on our stories, or papanaca, we tell ourselves about the experience, the second arrows. All of existence is impermenant and changing, that is dukkha.

25.4. This semester has been the semester of house music for me, I would suggest listening to this song while you continue reading, I doubt it will cause you any dukkha, it may make you dance however! http://youtu.be/GxpFP1yC0xk

26. 9. *Craving: trsna

26.1. My definition: overwhelming desire for an experience

26.2. In our initial experience we have a reaction of either pleasant, not pleasant , or neutral. Based on that judgement a desire arises for more of that pleasure or a desire to push away what we do not like. Both of these are unwholesome forms of desire; one is forming attachments to things with annica nature and the other is to push away thing that we don't want to deal with. Trsna needs to be experienced in the middle way.

26.3. the craving or desire to hold onto pleasurable experiences, to be separated from painful or unpleasant experiences, and for neutral experiences or feelings not to decline http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%E1%B9%9B%E1%B9%A3%E1%B9%87%C4%81

27. 8. *Compassion (One of the Four Immeasurables)

27.1. In Buddhism, altruistic action that seeks to relieve living beings from their sufferings and give ease and delight to them. SGI dictionary http://www.sgilibrary.org/search_dict.php?id=340

27.2. My definition: the desire to ease the suffering of others

27.3. Compassion is an emotional quality of the heart. Opening the heart of compassion is a term that has been used often in lecture. If everyone is connected through the idea of anatta and ICA, all the dukkha experienced in the world is experienced by all. My dukkha is your dukkha. Our actions to end our own dukkha are fruitless if we do not have compassion towards other's dukkha and try also to alleviate it. Compassion needs to be balanced by wisdom to avoid being taken advantage of or foolish. For me, compassion has been a very interesting concept to study from the Buddhist perspective. I have learned the importance of compassion and developed a desire to end the suffering of all, to be able to relate and feel the pain and sit with the sorrows of others, developing the urge to help them out of whatever they are in.

28. 7. *Causality/Conditionality

28.1. Causation is the fundamental process by which our phenomenal experience arises, comes into being, and passes away. Jay Feldman, Unit 5

28.2. My definition: the relationship between two things that affect and bring about a part of that experience's existence and vice versa.

28.2.1. It is related to the idea of karma, one action is the creates the condition for another experience to arise and that causes the next set of condition factors for the next phenomena. Also, very similar to ICA, every existence is made possible by all the cause and conditions of existence.

29. 6. Buddha and Buddh

29.1. My definition: One who understands dukkha and the ending of dukkha.

29.2. http://buddhaquotes.tumblr.com/

29.3. One enlightened to the eternal and ultimate truth that is the reality of all things, and who leads others to attain the same enlightenment. SGI library

30. 5. Bodhicitta

30.1. My def: The desire to free all sentient beings from samsara by helping others learn to achieve buddhahood

30.2. The intention to achieve omniscient Buddhahood as fast as possible, so that one may benefit infinite sentient beings. Wikipedia

30.3. These guys are necessarily compassionate.

30.4. http://youtu.be/DafQYGo3Zkc This is a really cool explaination of bodhicitta where Pema Chodron explains it as: a longing to be completely free

31. 4. *Bodhisattva

31.1. one who aspires to enlightenment - SGI library

31.2. My definition; Bodhisattvas feel great compassion to free all sentient beings from samsara, bodhicatta.

31.3. When I was began working on this term I realized that this is the proper term for the people I have been calling monks. This term is for all that are following the path of Buddhism to obtain enlightenment and freedom from the endless cycle of dukkha that is samsara.Bodhisattvas are enlightened to the fact that to end their own dukkha they must end the dukkha of all sentient beings, that is there goal, dukkha and the ending of dukkha, for all.

32. 3. *Attachment

32.1. Grasping at experience as they arise. Jay Feldman, Unit 6

32.2. My definition: Acting on the phenomenon of craving, grasping

32.3. Attachment has been a concept I have truly struggled with as I have began to learn about Buddhism. I find myself liking something so much that I don't want to let it go, I become attached to it. When we develop these feelings we are shooting ourselves with the second arrows of dukkha by not accepting anicca. When we grasp onto things, experiences, or thoughts we are not ready for our conceptions of an experience might not match the reality.

32.4. Attachment to people is still one concept of Buddhism that I still struggle with. I am one of those boy crazy college girls who falls in love with the next boy who takes her out. I know that getting so attached to a person can be dangerous because they are ever changing, annica. Just because I feel so close to them I will only cause myself more dukkha by grasping on to them and being hurt by that change. I have to take the middle way of being a cold person incapable of intimacy and someone who gives away love too easily like the compassionate fool. You have to be able to deal with letting go of things when they are no longer skillful and that is difficult with too much attachment.

33. 2. *Anatta

33.1. My definition: There is no self in the sense of a constant unchanging essence, there is everything

33.2. " Non-self relates to the teaching of Pratītyasamutpāda. It is the idea that if every moment of experience is dependent upon a nearly infinite web of conditions to support its arising, then one could not make sense of an individual thing, a static entity, any essential being." Jay Feldman

33.3. neither within the bodily and mental phenomena of existence, nor outside of them, can be found anything that in the ultimate sense could be regarded as a self-existing real ego-entity, soul or any other abiding substance. Urban Dharma Dictionary

33.4. In every experience there is the universe. This is what helps me understand anatta in relation to ICA. There is not an individual self, who/what we are is a combination of ever changing conditions. "I", "me", and "self" are convenient labels we use to describe the changing conditions. The concept of self leads to craving, attachment, ill-will, it is the true source of dukkha.

33.5. there is no ghost in the machine

34. 10. *Dharma

34.1. The Dharma is really just the simple truths arising in every moment of every day. Jay Feldman, Unit 2

34.2. My definition: the truth that is the reality of right here right now

34.3. "There is nothing in the universe or outside, good or bad, conditioned or non-conditioned, relative or absolute, which is not included in this term." Rahula 58

34.4. Every moment as it arises, as we experience every thing that goes into creating what we are experiencing, is the dharma. It is truth. There is nothing more true or more real than each moment we are living. Being present to understand and be fully capable of experiencing every moment is understanding the dharma. For a more complete explination, check out the paper I wrote on the dharma here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1F_SIgwtXRpOD8Sax5Cq7vRaT_LDeneC_kAVmgwl-_xg/edit