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.


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completing karma

drubje kyi lä (Tib); 'grub byed kyi las (Wyl)

Also called finishing karma, the karmic imprints that ripen to determine the type of experiences we have when we are reborn, as opposed to throwing karma that determines the actual rebirth. There are three types of completing karma: the possessed result and two types of result similar to the cause—that similar in experience and that similar in habit, or tendency. 

four aspects of karma

The four ways karma will ripen, either in this life or a future life. They are: the ripening result, the possessed result, experiencing the result similar to the cause and creating the result similar to the cause.

four outlines of karma

Karma is definite, karma is expandable, we cannot meet the result unless we have created the cause, and once the cause has been created the result cannot be lost.

karma (Skt)

lä (Tib); las (Wyl)

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

Karmapa (Tib)

kar ma pa (Wyl)

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.

throwing karma

phen jä kyi lä (Tib); 'phan byed kyi las (Wyl)

Also called projecting karma, the karmic imprint that ripens at the time of death to propel us into the next rebirth. See also completing karma.