This glossary contains an alphabetical list of Buddhist terms that you may find on this website. Many of the terms now include phoneticized Sanskrit (Skt) as well as two forms of Tibetan—the phonetic version (Tib), which is a guide to pronunciation, and transliteration using the Wylie method (Wyl). Search for the term you want by entering it in the search box or browse through the listing by clicking on the letters below. Please see our Content Disclaimer regarding English terms in LYWA publications that may be outdated and should be considered in context.

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preliminary practices

ngondro (Tib); sngon ‘gro (Wyl)

The practices that prepare the mind for successful tantric meditation by removing hindrances and accumulating merit. These practices are found in all schools of Tibetan Buddhism and are usually done 100,000 times each; the four main practices are recitation of the refuge formula, mandala offerings, prostrations and Vajrasattva mantra recitation. The Gelug tradition adds five more: guru yoga, water bowl offerings, Damtsig Dorje purifying meditation, making tsatsas and the Dorje Khadro burning offering practice.