Five Khandas (Pali) (Skr. Skandhas): or Five Aggregates,
that is, the five components of an intelligent being, or psychological
analysis of the mind:
Matter or Form (rupa) - the physical form responded to the
five organs of senses, i.e., eye, ear, nose, tongue and body;
(2) Sensation or Feeling (vedana) - the feeling in reception
of physical things by the senses through the mind;
(3) Perception and/or cognition (Pali, sanna) (Skr, sanjna)
- the functioning of mind in distinguishing appearances;
(4) Volition or Mental Formation (Pali, sankara) (Skr, samskara)
- habitual action, i.e., a conditioned response to the object
of experience, whether it is good or evil, you like or dislike;
(5) Consciousness (Pali, vinnana) (Skr, vijnana) - the mental
faculty in regard to perception, cognition and experience;
Four Bodhisattva Vows: Chanted daily by Zen students as
an expression of their aspiration.
Four Noble Truths:
of suffering - suffering is a necessary attribute of sentient
Cause of suffering is caused by passions (Cause of Suffering)
Cessation of suffering or extinction of passion (Effect of
The Path leading to the extinction of passion (Cause of Happiness);
i.e. Eightfold Path.
Fugen: One of the great Bodhisattvas. In Japanese, Samantabhadra.
Gassho: (Japanese) To join the palms (in reverence or
Gatha: Verses; poem composed of them.
Geluk: (Tibetan) The virtuous Order. The order of Tibetan
Buddhism founded by Lama Tsong Khapa and his disciples in
the early fifteenth century.
Genjokoan: Realization of Ultimate Reality or The Way
of Everyday Life, one of the key chapters of Dogen Zenji's
Shobogenzo. An important Soto Zen text, it subtly explores
the relationship between practice and realization.
Gotama: Gotama in Pali, Gautama in Sanskrit. The surname
of the Shakya clan into which Shakyamuni was born. Another
name for Shakyamuni.
Graduated Path: Teachings outlining the progressive training
of the mind leading to enlightenment.
Guru: (Sanskrit) Spiritual teacher and guide.
Hara: The centre of gravity of the body, located in the
lower abdomen; the centre of awareness in zazen meditation.
Heart Sutra: A distillation of the vast Prajnaparamita
literature, it is chanted daily in Zen monasteries.
Hinayana: "Inferior Vehicle," a pejorative term,
coined by a group who called themselves followers of the Mahayana,
the "Great Vehicle," to denote the path of practice
of those who adhered only to the earliest discourses as the
word of the Buddha.
Hoben: (Japanese) Upaya. A means or device.
Hotoke: (Japanese) Buddha.
Hua-Yen: Chinese school of Buddhism founded in the seventh
century, which attempted a synthesis of all the major schools,
texts, and traditions of the time. The teachings of mutual
interdependence and mutual causality are hallmarks of the
Hua-Yen Sutra: Last great compendium of Mahayana literature,
completed in China in the eighth century, derived from the
Sanskrit Avatamsaka Sutra.
Hui Neng: The Sixth Patriarch of Zen (Ch'an) Sect in China.
Idhappaccayata: (Pali) This / that conditionality. This
name for the causal principle the Buddha discovered on the
night of his Awakening emphasises the point that, for the
purposes of ending suffering and stress, the processes of
causality can be understood entirely in terms of conditions
in the realm of direct experience, with no need to refer to
forces operating outside of that realm.
Iddhis: (Pali) Attributes or powers of the mind.
Isipatana: The deer-park near Benares (now called Sarnath)
where Buddha gave his first teachings.
Jainism: A religion founded by Nataputta, who was a royal
clan of the Nata tribe in ancient India at the time of Shakyamuni.
Its basic doctrine is non-materialistic atheism.
Jataka Tales: Stories or legends about Buddha's birth
or previous forms of existence.
Je Tzong Khapa: Great 14th centruy Tibetan scholar, teacher
Jhana: Mental absorption. A state of strong concentration
focused on a single object.
Jikijitsu: (Japanese) Head of training and timer of zazen
periods in the Rinzai zendo.
Jijimuge: (Japanese) The doctrine of the Kegon School
of the 'unimpeded interdiffusion' of all Ji, things. Apparently
the last word in the intellectual understanding of the unity
Jiriki: (Japanese) The way of salvation by 'Self-power'
or self-effort as distinguished from Tariki, the way of salvation
by 'Other-power' or an external Saviour.
Jisha: (Japanese) Head of logistical arrangements in the
Jivatman: The soul, as a separate individual.
Jnana: Wisdom; higher intellect.
Jodo: The Pure Land School of China.
Jodo Shinshu: (Japanese) True Sect of the Pure Land; one
of the Pure Land Schools, traced from Shinran Shonin, 1174-1268.
Jukai: (Japanese) The ceremony of becoming a Buddhist.
Ju Lai: in Chinese. He who has fully arrived, the Perfect
One. A title of the Buddha.
Kagyu: (Tibetan) The order of Tibetan Buddhism founded
in the eleventh century by Marpa, Milarepa, Gampopa, and their
Kalpa: (Kalpa in Sanskrit, Kappa in Pali). It is a fabulous
period of four hundred and thirty two million years of mortals,
measuring the duration of world. It is the period of time
between other creation and recreation of a world or universe.
The four kalpas of formation, existence, destruction and emptiness
as a complete period, is called maha kalpa or great kalpas.
Each great kalpa is subdivided into four asamkhyeya-kalpas
or kalpas. Each of the four kalpas is subdivided into twenty
antara-kalpas, or small kalpas. There are different distinctions
and illustrations of kalpas. In general, a small kalpa is
represented as 16,800,000 years, a kalpa as 336,000,000 years
and a mahakalpa is 1,334,000,000 years.
Kama: (Sanskrit) Desire of the senses, especially sexual
desire. The craving which arises from the false belief in
an ego or self separate from the rest of manifestation.
Kamma: (Pali) The principle of causality in moral experience.
Khandha: (Pali) A collection of parts forming a whole.
The elements of existence. The components of the so-called
'self', being Rupa, Vedana, Sanna, Sankhara and Vinnana.
Kanjizai: (Japanese) Avalokitesvara; The One Who Perceives
the [Essential] Self at rest; the one who perceives the emptiness
of perceptions and forms.
Kannon: (Japanese) Kanzeon. Bodhisattva of Compassion.
Kanthaka: The young Buddha's favourite horse.
Kanzeon: (Japanese) Avalokitesvara; The One Who Perceives
the Sounds of the World; incarnation of mercy and compassion.
Kapilavatsu: The capital of the Sakya kingdom. The king
of Kapilavatsu was Suddhodana, who was the father of Shakyamuni.
The present-day Kapilavatsu is in Nepal.
Karma: (Sanskrit), Kamma: (Pali): "action or volitional
activities" the cosmic law of cause and effect: every
physical or spiritual deed has its long-range consequences
as determined by the agent's intention. Sanskrit form: karma.
Karuna: (Sanskrit and Pali) Compassion for all sentient
Kasyapa: Skr. (Kassapa Pali) Main disciple of the Buddha.
Katsu: (Japanese) The shout given by Zen teachers.
Kendo: (Japanese) The way of the swordsman; Japanese fencing.
Kensho: (Japanese) Seeing into one's own nature; first
experience of realization and enlightenment.
Ki: (Japanese) Breath; spirit; spiritual strength.
Kie: (Japanese) Taking refuge.
Kinhin: (Japanese) meditative walk; the formal group walk
between periods of zazen.
Koan: (Japanese) A paradoxical anecdote or story; used
to bring Zen students to realization and to help clarify their
Kondanna: A disciple of Buddha, the earliest convert to
Kosala: Kosala in Pali, Kausala in Sanskrit. One of the
four great states (i.e., Kosala, Magadha, Vansa and Avanti)
in ancient India. The Shakya clan to which Shakyamuni belonged
was under the power and influence of Kosala. The capital of
Kosala was Savatthi where the famous monastery (Bodhi-mandala)
Jetavanna Grove was located.
Koti: A large number.
Ksatriya: Ksatriya in Sanskrit, Khattiya in Pali. The
second of the four Indian Castes at the time of Shakyamuni,
they were the royal caste, the noble landlord, the warriors
and the ruling castes.
Kshitigarbha: A Bodhisattva who seeks to save even those
in hell. In Chinese, Ti Ts'ang.
Ku: (Japanese) Sky, sunyata, emptiness, the void.
Kundalini: (Sanskrit) Blissful energy dormant within the
physical body, aroused through tantric practice and used to
generate penetrative insight into the true nature of reality.
Kung-an or Koan: In Zen, it is a word, or a phrase, or
a story couched in irrational language which cannot be solved
by intellectual processes, but whose meaning must burst on
the mind directly. Kung-an is used as an exercise in breaking
the false thoughts, developing the deep intuition, and achieving
a state of awareness.
Kusinara: Kusinara in Pali, Kusinagara in Sanskrit. The
village where Shakyamuni Buddha died, and was the capital
of the ancient kingdom of Malla.
Kyosaku: (Japanese) Keisaku, cautionary device; the flat,
narrow stick carried by the monitor during zazen.