Ajaan: Teacher; mentor.

Arahant: A Worthy one or Pure one. A person whose heart no longer has any defilements and is thus not destined for further rebirth. A title for the Buddha and the highest level of his Noble Disciples.

Ariyadhana: Noble Wealth; qualities that serve as ‘capital’ in the quest for liberation: conviction, virtue, healthy shame, compunction, erudition, generosity, and discernment.

Avijjā: Ignorance. The basic cause of suffering and stress.

Buddho: Awake. An epithet of the Buddha.

Dhamma (dharma): Event; phenomenon; the way things are in and of themselves; their inherent qualities; the basic principles underlying their behavior. Also, principles of behavior that human beings should follow so as to fit in with the right natural order of things; qualities of mind they should develop so as to realize the inherent quality of the mind in and of itself. By extension, “dhamma” is used also to refer to any doctrine that teaches such things. Thus the Dhamma of the Buddha refers both to his teachings and to the direct experience of the quality of nibbāna at which those teachings are aimed.

Dhutaṅga: A voluntary ascetic practice that monks and other meditators may undertake to strengthen their practice—such as eating only one meal a day, staying in the forest, or not lying down for a set period of time.

Gotarabhū-ñāṇa: Change-of-lineage knowledge. The stage of insight that changes one from an ordinary, run-of-the-mill person to a member of the Noble Saṅgha (see below).

Jhāna: Absorption in a single object or preoccupation, either a physical sensation or a mental notion.

Kamma (karma): Act of intention that results in states of becoming and birth.

Lokadhamma: Affair of the world. The standard list gives eight: wealth, loss of wealth, status, loss of status, praise, criticism, pleasure, and pain.

Lokavidū: Knower of the cosmos. An epithet of the Buddha.

Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna: The great frame of reference. Ajaan Lee’s term for the sense of the body as a basis for mindfulness practice when the mind is in jhāna.

Nibbāna (nirvāṇa): The “unbinding” of the mind from sensations and mental acts, preoccupations and suppositions. As this term is also used to refer to the extinguishing of a fire, it carries the connotations of stilling, cooling, and peace. (According to the physics taught at the time of the Buddha, the property of fire exists in a latent state to a greater or lesser degree in all objects. When activated, it clings and is bound to its fuel. As long as it remains latent or is extinguished, it is “unbound.”)

Nīvaraṇa: Hindrance; mental qualities that hinder the mind from attaining concentration and discernment: sensual desire, ill will, torpor & lethargy, restlessness & anxiety, and uncertainty.

Saṅgha: The community of the Buddha’s disciples. On the noble or ideal level, this refers to all those, whether lay or ordained, who have attained at least their first glimpse of Awakening. On the conventional level, it refers to the Buddhist monastic orders.

Saṅkhāra: Fabrication—the forces and factors that fabricate things (physical or mental), the process of fabricating, and the fabricated things that result.

Vipassanā: Insight meditation. Perceiving events as they actually present themselves to the awareness in terms of the three characteristics of inconstancy, stress, and “not-selfness.”

Vipassanūpakkilesa: Corruption of insight. Intense experiences that can happen in the course of meditation and can lead one to believe that one has completed the path. The standard list includes ten: light, psychic knowledge, rapture, serenity, pleasure, extreme conviction, excessive effort, obsession, indifference, and contentment.

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