canon: Texts that have special authority in a religious tradition. In Buddhism this includes the Pali Tripitaka followed by the Theravadan School, the Tibetan Tenjur and Kanjur, the Chinese Canon and others. See TRIPITAKA.
Caturmahapratiharya: The Four Great Wonders or the four holy sites of pilgrimage mentioned by the Buddha. This list was expanded to the Eight Great Wonders (Astamahapratiharya).
cause and effect (yin-guo): See “karma.”
causes and conditions: See “karma.”
CE (gong-yuan) stands for the Current Era that began at the estimated date of the birth of the Christ.
celestial beings: (gatyah, tianrén): Beings that normally dwell in the heavenly realms. There are eight types: (1) gods or “devas,” (2) nagas (dragons), (3) yaksas, (4) gandharvas, (5) asuras, (6) garudas, (7) kinnaras, and (8) mahorahas.
Ch’an: A Chinese form of Buddhism that became the basis for major schools in Korea and Japan. Became known as Zen in Japan and Son in Korea. Term is a transliteration of the Sanskrit “dhyana” or meditation. See “Zen.”
Chain of Conditioned Arising: See “dependent origination.”
chakra: Literally, “wheel” or “circle.” It is a term for the centers of subtle or refined energy in the human body. These centers of energy are considered to be sources for psychic or spiritual powers. They can be manipulated by the dharma protectors to allow for the development of supernormal powers. The Buddha taught a different system of developing the chakras than that followed by other Indian methods. There are five chakras recognized in the Buddhist system of yoga.
chanda: Desire, wish, desire or intention. The psychological faculty that motivates action. It can be good, evil, or neutral. The concentration of chanda is one of the four roads to psychic power (riddhipada).
Chandragomin (seventh century): Wrote Twenty Verses on the Bodhisattva Vows. See Kadampa Lineage Chart.
Chandrakirti (600-650): One of the “seventeen great panditas” and considered he greatest exponent of Prasangika Madhyamaka. Wrote Madhyamakavatara, famous commentary on Nagarjuna’s Treatise of the Middle Way. See Kadampa Lineage Chart.
Channa had been the Buddha’s charioteer while the latter was still a prince living in the palace. Because of his prior connection with the Buddha, he was obdurate and refused to submit to discipline. This imposition of the “higher penalty” (brahmadanda) in the Maha-Parinibbana Sutta changed him into an obedient monk
channels: There are three channels that one must open along with one’s “five charkas” to cultivate one’s physical body.
charity: There is no giver since there is no self and the giver’s original nature is emptiness. For the same reason there is no receiver. The original nature of all inanimate things is also empty. Hence, there is no gift.
Chekawa Yeshe Dorje (1102-1176): Kadampa master who wrote The Seven-point Mind Training.
Chen-yen Tsung: Chinese Esoteric Buddhism.
Chenrezig: The Tibetan name for Avalokiteshvara.
Chih-I (536-597): Founder of T’ian T’ai School.
chitta (citta): concentration of thought, mind or consciousness. One of the four bases or roads to psychic power (riddhipada).
Chittamatra School: See “Yogachara School.”
Chod: Tantric practice to “cut through” ignorance and the defilements.
Choegyal Phagpa Rinpoche (1235-1280): Nephew of Sakya Pandita and the fifth of the five patriarchs of the Sakya tradition. He became the spiritual mentor of the Kubilai Khan who established the Sakyas as the rulers of Tibet. Transformed Dzongsar Gonpa into a Sakya institution in 1275 when he returned from China. See also Drogon Chogyal Phakpa (Chojal Pakpa) Rinpoche.
Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, H.E. (1920-2007): Head of Tsar Sub-set of Sakya School.
Chökhor Düchen: Tibetan festival celebrated on the fourth day of the sixth month according to the Tibetan calendar to honor Shakyamuni Buddha’s First Teaching or the “First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma”. For the first seven weeks after his Enlightenment, Buddha did not teach. Encouraged by Indra and Brahma, he then gave his first teachings at Sarnath on the Four Noble Truths.
Chokgyur (Chokling) Lingpa (1829-1879 or 1870): Famous 19th century terton. Reincarnation of Prince Damdzin, son of King Trisong Deutsen. Close to two powerful lamas of the Rime movement–Jamgon Khyentse Wangpo Rinpoche and Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye RInpoche. See also “Urgyen Lingpa.”
Chotrul Düchen: Tibetan festival. During the first two weeks of the Tibetan New Year (which is based on a different system than the Chinese lunar calendar), it is celebrated that the Buddha displayed a miracle each day to increase the merit and devotion of future disciples.
Chudapanthaka (Chuda): See “Kshudrapanthaka.”
cintamani: Magical or wish-fulfilling jewel which spontaneously provides its owner with whatever he wishes for including wealth, healing of illness, etc. It is also used as a symbolic image for the activities of buddhas and bodhisattvas or the Buddha-dharma and its marvelous powers. See SEVEN JEWELS.
clairvoyance: One of the six supernormal powers, also called the divine or deva-eye.
clarity (salwa): Luminosity or a characteristic of the emptiness of mind. See “luminosity” and “shentong view.”
common karma (gong ye): Can also be translated as collective or group karma.
compassion: See “bodhichitta” and SEVEN JEWELS.
complication (papañca): The tendency of the mind to proliferate issues from the sense of “self.” This term can also be translated as self-reflexive thinking, reification, falsification, distortion, elaboration, or exaggeration. In the discourses, it is frequently used in analyses of the psychology of conflict. The categories of complication stem from the self-reflexive thought, “I am the thinker,” and include the categories of inappropriate attention: being/not-being, me/not-me, mine/not-mine, doer/done-to. The perceptions of complication include such thoughts as “This is me. This is mine. This is my self.” These perceptions and categories turn back on the person who allows them to proliferate, giving rise to internal conflict & strife, which then expand outward.
concealed treasures: Hidden texts. See “termas.”
concentration (chan); Meditation or “dhyana.” Meditative absorption; a state of mind without any distraction. See “Zen” and “contemplation.”
consciousness: The six basic forms of consciousness are eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind consciousness. There is also the “ego consciousness” or seventh consciousness and the “alaya vijnana” or “eight consciousness” as well as the” ninth consciousness” of the Absolute-void.
consciousness element: The great element of consciousness refers to a type of positive conductive force functioning as a result of the interaction among the five great elements. This positive conductive force originates from an invisible force. This invisible force is the great consciousness element. It should not be said that the force that mixes the elements and that is in control of physical, scientific phenomena is a separate deity. This force comes from the scientific relationship between the elements. Nobody is directing the elements. See “six great elements”
Consciousness-only Sect (Fa-hsiang): Founded by Master Xuan Zang (Hsuan Tsang) in China based on Yogachara texts.
contemplation (bhavana): Literally means cultivation. General term for any type of meditational practice involving continuous attention by the mind to any suitable object. The two main types of meditation practiced in exoteric Buddhism are “samattha” or “shamatha” (calming) and “vipashyana “(insight) meditation, while in esoteric Buddhism various forms of visualization are used along with the methods practiced in exoteric Buddhism.
conventional wisdom (kunzop): There are two truths: relative and absolute. This is the relative truth or the perception of an ordinary, unenlightened person who sees the world with all his or her projections based on the false belief in self or ego. See also “ultimate truth.”
correct understanding or intention (samyak-samkalpa, zhèngsi): Also referred to as correct resolve, thought or purpose. Buddha distinguishes three types of right intentions: 1) “renunciation,” 2) “good will,” and 3) “ahimsa.” Part of the Eight-fold Path.
correct views (samyak drsti, zhengjian): Understanding the impermanent and imperfect nature of worldly objects and ideas and the law of karma and karmic conditioning. It begins with the intuitive insight that all living beings are subject to suffering and ends with complete understanding of the true nature of all things. The first item on the Eight-fold Path. See also the “eight fundamental right views of cultivation.”
correspondence: Refers to having one’s three karmas or actions of body, speech, and mind correspond with those of one’s master and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
cultivation (xiu-xing or guang-xiu) is correcting your behavior or how you speak and act and all your conduct that is not in accordance with the teachings of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas so that such conduct is reconciled with the Tripitaka. In this way, you will be acting out of morality (precepts), concentration (samadhi), and wisdom, which represent the three principle trainings of a Buddhist as taught by the Buddha in the “Eight-Fold Path,” the fourth of the Four Noble Truths. Xiu-xing (“show-shing”) literally translates as “to examine one’s conscience and seek perfection.” See “What Is Cultivation” in H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, the Shuragama Sutra, and True Stories About a Holy Monk.
cultivator: Someone who practices Buddhism.
cycle of birth and death (reincarnation) (lun-hui): Until living beings obtain enlightenment or liberation they must continue revolving in the cycle of reincarnation or rebirth whereby they suffer and die. There is no guarantee that one will be reborn as a human or heavenly being. Rebirth depends on your karma and can occur in any of the six realms of existence.
cyclic existence: See “samsara.”