Ajaan (Thai): Teacher; mentor.

Arahant: A person who has abandoned all ten of the fetters that bind the mind to the cycle of rebirth, whose heart is free of mental defilement, and is thus not destined for future rebirth. An epithet for the Buddha and the highest level of his noble disciples. Sanskrit form: arhat.

Asura: A member of a race of beings who, like the Titans in Greek literature, battled the devas for sovereignty in heaven and lost.

Brahmavihara: Sublime attitude of unlimited goodwill, compassion, empathetic joy, or equanimity.

Buddho: A meditation word meaning “awake.”

Deva: Literally, “shining one.” An inhabitant of the terrestrial or heavenly realms higher than the human.

Dhamma: (1) Event; action. (2) A phenomenon in and of itself. (3) Mental quality. (4) Doctrine, teaching. (5) Nibbana (although there are passages in the Pali Canon describing nibbana as the abandoning of all dhammas). Sanskrit form: dharma.

Dhammapada: A collection of short verses attributed to the Buddha.

Jhana: Mental absorption. A state of strong concentration focused on a single sensation or mental notion. Sanskrit form: dhyana.

Kamma: Intentional act. Sanskrit form: karma.

Kasina: A concentration practice in which one stares at an object until it is imprinted in one’s sense of vision.

Kathina: A ceremony after the end of the Rains Retreat, in which the Sangha is given a piece of cloth that they make into a robe before dawn of the next day.

Luang Pu (Thai): Venerable Grandfather. A term of respect for a very senior and elderly monk.

Metta: Goodwill; benevolence. See brahma-vihara.

Nibbana: Literally, the “unbinding” of the mind from passion, aversion, and delusion, and from the entire round of death and rebirth. As this term also denotes the extinguishing of a fire, it carries connotations of stilling, cooling, and peace. Sanskrit form: nirvana.

Pali: The name of the earliest extant canon of the Buddha’s teachings and, by extension, of the language in which it was composed.

Pasada: Confidence.

Parami: Perfection of the character. The later books of the Canon list ten: generosity, virtue, renunciation, discernment, persistence, endurance, truth, determination, goodwill, and equanimity.

Sala: Hall.

Samsara: The wandering-on through rebirth and redeath.

Samvega: A sense of dismay, terror, or urgency.

Sangha: On the conventional level, this term denotes the communities of Buddhist monks and nuns. On the ideal level, it denotes those followers of the Buddha, lay or ordained, who have attained at least their first taste of the deathless.

Sankhara: Fabrication.

Satipatthana: Establishing of mindfulness. The act of being ardent, alert, and mindful to stay with any of four things in and of themselves—body, feelings, mind-states, or mental qualities—while putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world.

Sutta: Discourse. Sanskrit form: sutra.

Vasana: Tendencies related to past kamma.

Vinaya: The monastic discipline.

Vipassana: Insight.

Wat (Thai): Monastery.