Key Pali Terms

What do the words Buddha, dharma, and sangha mean?

Buddha refers both to the historical man who was born in what is now southern Nepal and taught in northern India 2,600 years ago, and to awakening or enlightenment. The word literally means “one who is awake.” Dhamma [Sanskrit: dharma] refers to the nature of things, natural law, or fundamental truth; the teachings of the [...]

2014-10-27T12:26:01-07:00August 20th, 2014||

What does the word jhāna mean?

Jhāna refers to a type of absorptive concentration that develops through one-pointed attention on a fixed meditation subject. Four levels of concentrated attainment—simply named the First Jhāna, Second Jhāna, Third Jhāna, Fourth Jhāna—describe successive stages that are characterized by increasingly subtle qualities of happiness, bliss, peace, and clarity. Jhāna concentration produces a unified and undistracted [...]

2016-08-24T09:27:55-07:00August 20th, 2014||

What is meant by metta or “loving-kindness”?

Metta or “loving-kindness” refers to a profound state of friendliness and goodwill. It is the wish that other beings should enjoy internal and external safety, mental and physical happiness, and ease of well-being. Click here to read an article on loving kindness meditation.

2017-02-16T09:34:59-08:00August 20th, 2014||

What does the word vipassanā mean?

Vipassanā means insight or clear seeing. It refers to meditative practices that illicit direct insight into physical and mental phenomena as they arise and disappear. Click here to read an article on Vipassanā.

2017-02-16T09:34:59-08:00August 20th, 2014||


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