(Pali) A Buddhist lay disciple. Feminine form: Upasika.
Upaya: (Sanskrit) A means, device or method; Mahayana
terms for practical means to a spiritual end.
Uposatha: ' (Pali) 'Observance Day', a sacred day or ‘sabbath’,
occurring every lunar fortnight. On this day, Buddhists reaffirm
their Dhamma practice in terms of precepts and meditation.
Urna: (Sanskrit) The jewel or small protuberance between
the eyes of a Buddha Rupa or statue representing the 'third
eye of spiritual vision'.
Uruvela: A town in Magadha where Shakyamuni attained his
enlightenment and Buddhahood in the woods along the Nairanjana
Ushnisha (Sanskrit) The protuberance at the top of the
head of a Buddha Rupa representing the flame of supreme enlightenment.
Vaibhasika: One of the Theravada philosophical schools.
Vajra: (Tibetan, dorje.) Diamond-sceptre held by certain
meditational deities that represents bodhicitta, the mind
of enlightenment; adamantine, pure.
Vajrayana: The path of tantra.
Vedana: (Pali) Sense reaction to contact. The seventh
link in the twelve nidanas, the chain of causation, producing
the craving of thirst for existence.
Venerable: An honorific, title of respect for a Buddhist
monk or nun.
Vesak: In Buddhist tradition it is the date not only of
the Buddha's birth, but also of his Enlightenment and death.
The full moon day of the month corresponding to May in our
Vihara: (Sanskrit and Pali) A dwelling-place for the Sangha.
A retreat or monastery. A state of mind. Hence the Brahma
Viharas, the Brahma-like or divine states of mind.
Vijnana: (Sanskrit) Consciousness; the faculty by which
one cognizes the phenomenal world.
Vimalakirti: A lay contemporary of the Buddha, whose spiritual
attainment is highly regarded. He exemplifies the Mahayana
model of fully realized nonmonastic practice. The Vimalakirti
Sutra contains his teachings.
Vinnana: (Pali) Consciousness; the faculty by which one
cognizes the phenomenal world.
Vinaya: (Pali) The monastic discipline, whose rules and
traditions comprise six volumes in printed text.
Vipassana/Vipashyana: (Pali, Vipassana; Vipashyana, Sanskrit)
penetrating insight into the three marks of existence ; a
term often applied to the practice of meditation in some traditions.
Wat: (Thai) A temple or monastery. Wat Pa, forest monastery.
Wesak or Vesak: A lunar month corresponding to the Western
April-May. The Festival at the Full Moon commemorates the
Buddha's Birth, Enlightenment and Passing.
Wu: No; does not have; case one of the Wu-men kuan, often
the first koan of the Zen student.
Yakka: In popular belief, a kind of ghost, goblin or orge.
Yaksa: The demons in the lower realm, like the Ghost Realm.
They are evil, malignant and violent. They live on earth or
Yama: God of the dead; sometimes, death personified.
Yana: a Sanskrit word means vehicle. A term applied to
Buddhism as a means by which a practitioner cultivates on
the path to enlightenment. The different vehicles correspond
to views of spiritual path, that differ as to the basic attitude
of the practitioner and the means of making progress on the
way. There are categories of one, two, three and five vehicles.
Yasodhara: the wife of Siddhartha Gautama. She later became
a nun (Bhikhuni).
Zafu: (Japanese) The cushion used for zazen or sitting
Zazen: (Japanese) Seated meditation; dhyana; Zen meditation.
Zazenkai: (Japanese) Zazen meeting; a lay Zen group.
Zen: (Japanese) Buddhist school or sect favouring meditation
and intuition rather than scripture as a means to enlightenment,
which passed from China to Japan in the thirteenth and fourteenth
Zendo: (Japanese) Meditation hall. The space in a monastery
in which zazen is practised; it is often set aside exclusively
for this purpose.
Zuise: A special empowerment ceremony currently held only
at the temples of Eiheiji and Sojiji in Japan by new priests
upon reaching the priestly rank.