This glossary contains an alphabetical list of Buddhist terms that you may find on this website. The glossary includes English, Sanskrit and Tibetan terms. The list of terms is expanding and new listings are added regularly. Search for the term you want by entering it in the search box, or browse through the listing by clicking on the letters below.

Tsechokling Rinpoche. A recent lineage lama of mahamudra; tutor of the Eighth Dalai Lama; founded Tsechok Ling Monastery in Lhasa.

The order of Tibetan Buddhism founded in the eleventh century by Atisha, Dromtönpa and their followers, the "Kadampa geshes"; the forerunner of the Gelug School, whose members are sometimes called the New Kadampas.

A practitioner of Kadam lineage. Kadampa geshes are renowned for their practice of thought transformation

The order of Tibetan Buddhism founded in the eleventh century by Marpa, Milarepa, Gampopa, and their followers. One of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Cf. Nyingma, Sakya and Gelug.

Slang for feces.

Literally, Cycle of Time. A male meditational deity of Highest Yoga Tantra. The Kalachakra Tantra contains instructions in medicine, astronomy and so forth.

Wrathful male meditational deity connected with Yamantaka.

The great Indian scholar from Nalanda Monastery who accompanied Shantarakshita to Tibet to try to revitalize Buddhism there. He is noted for his three texts called Stages of Meditation (Skt: Bhavanakrama).

The second buddha of this eon. See also Krakucchanda, Kashyapa, and Maitreya.

The part of the Tibetan Canon that contains the sutras and tantras; literally, "translation of the (Buddha's) word." It contains 108 volumes.

Skull cup, e.g., the one held by Yum Dorje Nyem-ma.

Action; the working of cause and effect, whereby positive (virtuous) actions produce happiness and negative (non-virtuous) actions produce suffering.

The head of the Kagyü lineage, one of the four Tibetan traditions. The tradition of the Karmapa was founded in 1110. His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje is the seventeenth Karmapa.

The way in which things appear to us influenced by karma created in the past.

The third buddha of this eon. See also Krakucchanda, Kanakamuni, and Maitreya.

Buddha-body or holy body. A body of an enlightened being. See also dharmakaya, rupakaya, three kayas and four kayas.

The pure land of Vajrayogini.

Rangjung Neljorma Khadro Namsel Drönme, a female oracle to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and highly realized being, now also teaching throughout the world.

The area of Tibet east of Lhasa and west of Amdo.

In Tibetan monasteries, colleges are divided into houses (khang-tsen), and monks are generally assigned to these houses according to the region of Tibet (or neighboring country) from which they come.

A disciple of Gönpawa Wangchuk Gyaltsen; the dedicated meditator who could not even find time to cut the thorn bush outside his meditation room.

A white cotton scarf used by Tibetans for greetings and for offering to holy objects.

Also known as Negi Lama and Khunu Rinpoche, he was an Indian scholar of Sanskrit and Tibetan and a great master and teacher of the Rime (non-sectarian) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He famously gave teachings to His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Shantideva’s Guide and was also a guru of Lama Zopa Rinpoche. He composed a well-known text, The Jewel Lamp: A Praise of Bodhicitta, translated into English as Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sea.

In 1975 founded Tibet Center, the oldest Tibetan Buddhist center in New York City; a guru of Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

In full, The Extraordinary Aspiration of the Practice of Samantabhadra (Skt: samantabhadracarya pranidhana, Tib: pak-pa zang-po chö-pä mön-lam gyi-gyel po). A long prayer on the benefits of the mind of bodhicitta, one that Lama Zopa Rinpoche often suggests his students read.

A highly attained and learned ascetic yogi who lived in Dharamsala, India, and who is one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s gurus.

Co-compiler of Mind Training: The Great Collection; holder of the Ngor throne of the Sakya school.

A great meditator who spent over 20 years (six in strict austerity with chu-len practice) in retreat in Tsum, a valley in Nepal, before becoming one of the main teachers at Kopan monastery.

The monastery near Boudhanath in the Kathmandu valley, Nepal, founded in 1969 by Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

A food offering to the Sangha.

The first buddha of this eon. See also Kashyapa, Kanakamuni, and Maitreya.

Also known as Krishnachari and Kanhapa; one of the eighty-four mahasiddhas.

The first of four classes of tantra, also called Action Tantra, because it emphasizes external activities, such as prayers, mudras and so forth.

One of the eight bodhisattvas.

A female form of Avalokiteshvara, revered in Chinese countries, her name is short for Guanshiyin, “She who hears the cries of the world.”

Literally, “coiled”. The system the energy channels (nadis) and centers (chakras) within the human body.

Blissful energy dormant within the physical body, aroused through tantric practice and used to generate penetrative insight into the true nature of reality.

A female tantric deity associated with attracting positive energy and attaining positive goals, red, standing on one leg in a dancing posture and holding a flowery bow and arrow; an aspect of Tara.

A name given to a hidden practitioner.