Ajaan (Thai):  Teacher; mentor.

Bhava:  Becoming. The act of taking on an identity in a particular world of experience. Becoming can occur on a macro level—as when one takes on a new physical and mental identity after death—or on a micro level, within the mind. There are three levels of becoming, on the levels of sensuality, form, and formlessness.

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.

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.

Khandha:  Aggregate; heap; pile. The aggregates are the basic building blocks of describable experience, as well as the building blocks from which one’s sense of “self” is constructed. There are five in all: physical form, feeling, perception, thought-fabrications, and consciousness. Sanskrit form: skandha.

Luang Puu (Thai):  Venerable Grandfather; a title for an elderly and very respected monk.

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.

Sutta:  Discourse. Sanskrit form: sutra.

Upasika:  Lay female disciple.

Vipassana:  Insight.