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A Few Basic Terms.

CittaCitta Veteran
edited March 2014 in Buddhism Basics

A few basic terms that will aid understanding debate on this and other Buddhist forums.


literally ' again becoming ' often translated badly as 'rebirth ' or very badly as 'reincarnation '.

It means our built in tendency to cling to an identity. It might refer to an after death state..but it happens constantly throughout life.


literally 'heaps ' ..our changing bodies, consciousness, perceptions, cognitions, feelings, which are in constant change and from which we weave our self sense. The illusory sense of of a permanent self.
Our repeated clinging to a self sense is one meaning of punabhava..see above.

Brahma Viharas.

the Brahma Viharas are a set of four meditations which aim at increasing Metta ( loving kindness ) Karuna ( compassion ) Mudita ( sympathetic joy ) and Upekkha ( equanimity ) in ourselves.

These are seen as arising together and hang together interdependently..metta for example without upekkha can result in attachment.
Upekkha without metta is likely to result in indifference..and so on.

There is a lot of material on the Brahma Viharas to be found on the internet.



  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited March 2014


    the description of mental relationships (dependent origination) going from ignorance all the way to death.

  • CittaCitta Veteran
    edited March 2014


    ' skillful means ' those actions or practices which lead to greater awareness.

    Meditation is an upaya, but so is painting an elderly neighbours fence..chanting is another upaya..

    Prajna ( sanskrit ) Panna ( pali )

    Wisdom, concentrated Insight that is part of the flux of things. It is ' uncovered ' , not created, by the use of upayas see above.

    Dhamma Vinaya

    The doctrine ( dharma ) and discipline ( vinaya ).

    What the Buddha called the Way that he founded, he did not call it Buddhism..that's a western construct.

  • Bodhicitta

    The awakened mind.

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    Rigpa: Rigpa is the knowledge that follows from recognizing one's nature, the basic pure awareness that is. In cutting through to the basic understanding of this recognition of the true nature one comes to know that there is a primordial freedom from grasping in the mind, and is attainable in the present moment.

    The opposite of rigpa (vidyā, right knowledge or clarity) is marigpa (avidyā, ignorance).

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran
    edited March 2014

    Prajna (from Sanskrit prajñā) - may also be described or interpreted as wisdom, and can be understood within the domain of meditation. It can also be thought of as the direct insight into the essential truth taught by the Buddha, and some have described as being an inherent or acquired prerequisite to attain liberation.

    Incidentally, we all have it, and it may be described as buddha nature.

  • CittaCitta Veteran
    edited March 2014


    Literally " he/she flows into himself "

    Not a place or even a condition, but a misperception which arises constantly by identification with that which is not permanent , which in turn causes suffering.


    " mental absorption " from dhy to see

    Inadequately translated by the English term 'meditation'.

    Dhyana has four stages which range from a realisation of that which disturbs the mind through one pointedness to complete absorption beyond the thinking process.

  • CittaCitta Veteran

    Sems khrid ( Tibetan )

    This is a term from Dzogchen which refers to the 'pointing out instructions by which a teacher qualified to do so brings about a glimpse of Prakriti which is translated as Original Mind , in the mindstream of the student.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    *I will be editing the thread to remove extraneous, off-topic posts, to keep it in line with original intention. If anyone has any objections, let me know. Of course, all and any off-topic post i make will also be deleted.....:D

  • CittaCitta Veteran
    edited March 2014


    Prapanca ( Sanskrit ) and Papanca ( Pali ) concerns the tendency of our minds to speculate more and more..the origin of the word translates as expansion..

    To give an example..it is night. We hear a sound downstairs, our mind forms the idea of a robber.
    It then goes on to tell us a story that becomes more and elaborate..injury.. death..heroism...
    All from hearing a sound. That is papanca.

    Another example we speculate about some future scientific discovery and the way that it will affect humanity..the narrative takes on a life of its own.

    It might be fun but it has little to do with suffering and the ending of suffering.

    It is another exmple of Papanca.

    The Buddha talks about Papanca in the Honeyball Sutta.
    A lesser known sutta/sutra.
    But one that is extremely interesting because it outlines a different model of the Nidanas than the more well known model.
    A model that focuses on our emotional functitioning and the way that it affects perception.

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