labha: Gain. One of the “eight winds.”
lam-rim: A system of teaching Buddhism in Tibet that was started by Atisha. See Tsongkhapa’s Lam-rim chenmo as an example.
lama (la-ma or huo-Fo): General Tibetan term for spiritual teacher or guru. See also “rinpoche.”
Lama Achuk (A-qiu La-ma): Current Nyingma Dharma King living in China. Full name is Bian-ahi (the Omniscient One), Aqiu Jian-yang Long-duo Jia-can.
Lankapuri: Land of the Rakshasas, near the country of Uddiyana.
lapis lazuli: Semi-precious, deep blue or azure colored transparent or translucent stone.
Larampa Geshe: Highest degree; Doctorate of Buddhism.
Law of Cause and Effect: Summarized in the four general characteristics of karma.
layman, laywoman, layperson: Non-monastic follower of the Buddha.
learning, two types: The first type is proficiency in both exoteric and esoteric Buddhism. The second type is mastery of the Five Vidyas.
Lent, Buddhist: The Buddhist Lent starts on the first day of the waning moon of the eighth lunar month. The tradition of Buddhist Lent or the annual three-month Rains Retreat dates back to the time of early Buddhism in ancient India when all holy men, mendicants and sages spent three months of the annual rainy season in permanent dwellings. They avoided unnecessary travel during the period when crops were still new for fear they might accidentally step on young plants. In deference to popular opinion, the Buddha decreed that his followers should also abide by this ancient tradition, and thus began to gather in-groups of simple dwellings. This tradition is still observed in the Theravadan countries in south-east Asia. During this time the monks teach those desiring to become monks and lay men and lay women. The lay members may also observe stricter discipline during this period. The period ends with the Pavarana ceremony.
Lha Bab Düchen: The twenty-second day of the ninth month according to the Tibetan calendar that is celebrated by Tibetans as when Shakyamuni Buddha’s Descent from the Tushita Heaven. Buddha’s mother had been reborn in Indra’s heaven. To repay her kindness and to benefit the gods, Buddha spent three months teaching in the Tushita Heaven.
Lha-cham Mandarava: See “Mandarava.”
liberation (jie-tuo) or the release from worldly cares (samsara) is another term for enlightenment that means being free from samsara or the cycle of birth and death (reincarnation).
lineage: A line of descent from a particular holy source and all those associated with this lineage. See “Lineage Chart.”
Lion’s Roar Buddha: Future Buddha who realizes the Great Happiness Wisdom Body. Currently incarnated as the Mahasattva, Dunsum Chenpa (the Karmapa).
Little Road: See “Kshudrapanthaka.”
Living Buddhas (huo-Fo): Refers to rinpoches who represent the power of the Buddha-dharma and who may be reincarnations of previous rinpoches, but the literal translation of the Chinese term itself is not really valid nor are all huo fos necessarily rinpoches. If there are “living” Buddhas, there must be “dead” Buddhas as well, which is not correct. It is a term coined during the Qing Dynasty by Empress Dowager Tsu Hsi (1834-1908). The term “Huo-Fo” is more correctly translated to mean guru or lama. See “rinpoche.”
lojong: “Seven points in training the mind” teachings brought to Tibet by Atisha.
lohan: See “arhat.”
Longchen Nyingthig (Nyingthik) : Highest practice of the Great Perfection Dharma within the Nyingma Sect. Re-discovered by Jigme Lingpa in eighteenth century as a terma. Jigme Lingpa’s main disciple Dharma King Dodrupchen vowed to preserve and protect this tradition through his current and future incarnation. See also “Vimalamitra.”
Longsal Nyingpo (1625-1682/92 or 1685-1752): Famous terton or treasure revealer of Kathok Monastery. Also known as Rigdzin Longsel Nyingpo or Essence of the Clear Expanse. Believed to be an incarnation of Chokro Luyi Gyaltsen, one of the twenty-five close disciples of Padmasambhava who transcribed and helped Guru Padmasambhava conceal terma treasures. Current nirmanakaya emanation as Dharma King Lama Achuk of the Nyingma Sect.
Longchenpa (1308-1363) (Longchen Rabjampa): Famous Nyingma Dharma King and abbot of Samye Monastery who spent most of his time in retreat. He wrote the Seven Treasures, an extensive analysis of the Great Perfection tantras, gathering together the heart-essence of the teachings of Guru Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra, and Yeshe Tsogyal.
Longevity Dharma: Esoteric dharma practice to prolong one’s life so as to enable one to become enlightened and help more living beings.
Lopson Sonam Tsemo Rinpoche (1142-1182): One of the five patriarchs of Sakya School.
Lotus Sutra: Mahayana sutra that contains many famous parables. See “Saddharma-pundarika Sutra.”
lower realms: sometimes referred to as a “bad destination.” Includes the hell realms, the realm of the hungry or frustrated ghosts, and the animal realm–all rebirths that are inferior to a human or heavenly birth. See “six realms of existence.”
Luding Khen (1967- ): Current head of Ngor Sub-sect of Sakya School.
Luminosity (salwa): In the teachings of the vajrayana everything is void, but this voidness is not completely empty because it has luminosity or clarity that allows all phenomena to appear. It is a characteristic of emptiness.