The state of non-self (an atman). It means non-self, without self, not-self, ego-lessness,
etc. By anatta is meant the fact that there is neither in ourselves or others a lasting
essence, centre or core, that is to be without an essence (sunnata). Therefore anatta does
not only mean being unegoistical, although the understanding of anatta can lead to that.
Through the illusion of the existence of a self (soul or unchanging personality) and the
inevitable accompanying idea of self, arise wrong ideas which gain expression through
such things as pride, suppression, exuberance, aggression, violence and war.
The concept that all compounded things are impermanent
A being who can attain Nirvana, but who chooses not to enter this state in order to help
other beings. The Bodhisattva vow declares that “I will not enter into Nirvana until all
other beings attain enlightenment”. This term is also used to refer to the Buddha in his
previous lives, after he had declared his wish to become a Buddha.
The four lofty states of mind: Metta, Karuna, Mudita, Upekkha
The Awakened One, the Enlightened. This is a name given to a historical individual,
however, it can also be a mental state. A Buddha is a World Teacher who proclaims and
explains the Four Noble Truths, so that he can set others on the path to the attainment of
this same Enlightenment.
The Teachings of the Buddha. The word dharma has many meanings, which is why the
Teachings of the Buddha are referred to as the Buddha-Dharma.
Suffering, stress, discontentment, dysphoria
- Eight-fold Path
This follows from the fourth Noble Truth (below). The Noble Eightfold Path is the means
that leads to the end of suffering:
1. Right view - view and wisdom in accordance with the Truths;
2. Right thought - to think without selfishness, anger and cruelty;
3. Right speech - to speak the truth, not to gossip or slander, not to use rough or
harsh language and not to talk uselessly;
4. Right action - not to kill or harm humans and animals, not to steal directly or
indirectly, not to have pleasure at the cost of others;
5. Right livelihood - to practice an honest and wholesome profession;
6. Right effort - the effort to let the wholesome arise and increase, and to decrease
and remove the unwholesome;
7. Right mindfulness - mindfulness of that which arises in the here-and-now;
8. Right concentration - to be directed and concentrated on a wholesome object or at
what is taking place in the here-and-now.
- Four Noble Truths
1. The noble truth of suffering
Suffering is used here for the word dukkha. "Birth is suffering, ageing is suffering,
sickness is suffering, death is suffering, grief and lamentation, pain and sorrow are
suffering, being associated with that which we don't wish to be associated with is
suffering, to be parted from those who we love is suffering, the non- fulfillment of
wishes is suffering; in short, the factors which build up life are suffering." Both nice,
pleasant and painful, unpleasant circumstances are impermanent (anicca). This forms
a direct threat for individual existence and is therefore a source of anxiety,
excitement, etc. for many.
2. The noble truth of the cause of suffering
The cause of suffering is desire, craving, or longing (tanha). Because we are
confronted with circumstances in and around us there arises an unquenchable thirst
for pleasant sensations. The illusion of a non-changing soul, a self, ego or personality
is the basis of this. In this way we are caught up in ourselves, caught up in the things
outside of ourselves, entangled in the net of suffering. That is why the Buddha
declares: "Don't bite in the bait (i.e. pleasures) of the world," because suffering is the
3. The noble truth of the end of suffering
He who breaks through ignorance, the illusion of a self, will be free of desire. The
flame of passion will go out due to a lack of fuel. The defilements which have not yet
been broken through and which bind us to the Cycle of Rebirth serve as fuel for
endless rebirths in samsara - the conditioned, dependent existence.
4. The Noble Eightfold Path is the means that leads to the end of suffering (see
Eightfold Path above)
A person’s actions
This means compassion which has as its main characteristic the wish to free others from
their suffering. In this way compassion is something totally different from pity. It leads to
generosity and the wish to help others by word and deed. Karuna plays an important role
in the Teachings of the Buddha which are also called the Teachings of Wisdom and
Compassion. It was the Buddha's deep compassion which led to him deciding to expound
the Buddha-Dharma to all beings.
The New or reformed schools of Buddhism including:
• Tibetan Buddhism: in Tibetan Buddhism the emphasis is placed on the path of the
Samma-Sambuddha (becoming fully-enlightened). They divide their system into
Hinayana (Lesser, Small or Inferior Vehicle), Mahayana (Higher Vehicle) and
Vajrayana (Diamond or Superior Vehicle). The teachings of the Buddha are
written in Tibetan. Although the Dalai Lama is sometimes referred to as being the
head of all Buddhists he is exclusively the head of Tibetan Buddhism.(M)
• Zen: This form of Buddhism developed out of Samadhi-meditation, directed
towards the jhana (in Chinese ch'an), and it is especially popular in Japan. The
teachings of Zen Masters are important. In general little is taught over the
Teachings of the Buddha himself.(Z)
• Chinese Buddhism: In addition to the Texts (in Chinese or Sanskrit) the sayings of
the Patriachs are also important. As in other Mahayana Schools there is a strong
affinity with the Bodhisatta-ideal, i.e. to work for the good of all beings and the
postponement of your own Enlightenment until all beings can attain the same
Enlightenment. The most important is Kwan Yin (in Tibetan Buddhism Chenrezi
This can be translated as loving kindness, all embracing love, benevolence, unselfish
universal and unbounded love. Metta points to the mental quality which has the goal of
making others happy. The direct fruits of metta are: beneficence, freedom from irritation
and agitation, peace in yourself and with your surroundings. For this metta should be
developed for all living beings, including the very smallest. Metta is not to be confused
with sensual or preferential love, although the power of metta is compared to the love of
a mother for her only born child.
This is the sympathetic joy we feel when we see or hear of another's happiness and wellbeing,
it is joy in another's success without being jealous. Through sympathetic joy such
qualities of the heart as happiness and morality are cultivated.
Physical and mental processes which in a complicated mix of conditioning and interdependency
form our existence
- Nirvana or Nibbana
The Pali word Nibbana comes from the words nir and wana. Nir is a negative; wana
means to weave or to crave and is the power which ensures that we go from one life to
another. Nirana is therefore being free from the bond to the cycle of life and death
through the extinguishing of desire.
Community of Buddhists, can be monks, nuns or lay people.
The development of inner peace through intense directedness of mind (meditation).
- Skandhas or khandhas
These form the, or the (five) groups which a non-enlightened person holds onto as being
self or belonging to a self: all physical processes that form the body (rupa), the different
sorts of feeling, the six sorts of sensual perception, the will and the different sorts of
consciousness. Through misunderstanding the interaction between these five groups,
there arises the belief that there is a self or soul which attributes the not yet known to an
unknown, outside of himself, vague power, to whom he should also give service in order
to ensure his safe existence (ie God). As a result the ignorant person is constantly in a
field of tension between his anxieties and desires, his ignorance and his ideas about
reality. The one who understands that this rests upon the illusion of an idea of self, can
free himself from all suffering.
To be without essence, nothingness, state of no-mind.
- Ten Perfections
The Ten Perfections are: 1. To be generous (dana parami), 2. To be virtuous, moral (sila
parami), 3. Not to be selfish or renunciation (nekkhamma parami), 4. To be wise (panna
parami), 5. To be energetic (viriya parami), 6. To be patient (khanti parami), 7.
Truthfulness (sacca parami), 8. Determination (adhitthana parami), 9. Loving Kindness
(metta parami), 10. Even mindfulness (upekha parami) .
- Theraveda (or Hiniyana) Buddhism
The original form or early Buddhism such as is principally practiced in Myanmar, Sri
Lanka and Thailand - this school refers to the oldest Texts, which were written in Pali.
The emphasis is placed on the path of the Arahatta-Buddha (person becoming an
individual Buddha), but the path of the Samma-Sambuddha (full enlightyenment) is also
practiced. There is less ritual than in the most other schools.
This is the ‘Three Baskets’ of the Buddhist Canon; this contains the Teachings given by
the Buddha. The Tipitaka is made up of three parts: 1. Vinaya Pitaka - This collection
contains the Vinaya, the Discipline for the Order of Disciples (the Sangha). The word
vinaya means that which dispels evil. 2. Sutta Pitaka - This collection of teachings
consists of various teachings on Buddhism. 3. Abhidhamma Pitaka - The collection of the
Analytical Reflections, in which the psychological and philosophical aspects of the
Teaching are expounded in accordance with reality. The Tipitaka was first put into
written form (on palm leaves - alu) circa 101-77 BCE near Kandy, Sri Lanka. The
Tipitaka and commentaries are written in Pali, the language spoken by the Buddha, as
well as in Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese.
This is equanimity which is the result of a tranquil, steady and stable state of mind. This
finds expression especially when faced with unhappiness or misfortune. Someone with
equanimity faces every situation with the same courage and without anxiety or
recklessness. If they become aware of another's misfortune, they are neither sorrowful nor
happy. Without prejudice and calmly they treat everyone, in every situation, with the
same inner attitude. Regular contemplation over one's actions (karma) and the results
thereof (vipaka) destroys prejudice and preference, by bringing about the realization that
everyone is the owner and heir of his own actions.
The fruition or results of Karma
Meditation on insight and wisdom through the application of mindfulness with respect to
mental and physical processes. It is the effort to come to understand life as it truly is.
Every time that we become aware of impressions through means of our senses we should
make the effort to see through their illusionary nature. We have the tendency to see the
things in and around us as being perfect, lasting, satisfying and as self or not myself. An
attentive mind however can understand their true nature and learn to see that in reality
they are imperfect, subject to change, finally unsatisfactory and empty of an essence. This
gives the practitioner the possibility to free themselves from fear, confusion and agitation,
and from every other hindrance which hinders them from inner peace and harmony.