There are a number of terms and references in Zen literature that require context to aid in understanding.
Below is a selection of some of the more common ones that frequently arise. For a more exhaustive list, check out Lion’s Roar Buddhist Glossary
Absolute is oneness, emptiness, the true nature of reality.
Relative is its phenomenal manifestation.
The impulse that moves one towards self-realization.
- Universal truth or law;
- the Buddha’s teachings;
- all phenomena that make up reality.
Author of the Shobogenzo, an important collection of Dharma essays
It is the first of the Four Noble Truths (Life is suffering).
The virtue and value of equanimity is extolled and advocated by a number of major religions and ancient philosophies.
Area in the lower belly used to center one’s attention in meditation and any activity.
The linking of an action’s underlying intention to that action’s consequences.
The demon that tempted Prince Siddhartha (Guatama Buddha) by trying to seduce him with the vision of beautiful women who, in various legends, are often said to be Mara’s daughters.
Not the type which is possessed, but that which is directly and thoroughly experienced.
A complete state of concentration. The mind’s ultimate state of being. Enlightenment. The preliminary state to nirvana.
The opposite of nirvana, which is being free from this cycle of suffering. Nirvana is realized through enlightenment.
The nameless and unnameable source of all things.
The characteristics of human existence that arise out of a deluded view of the universe.