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Amitabha Buddha: One of the five “Wisdom” Buddhas. Mantra: “OM AMIDEVA HRIH,” Bīja mantra: “HRIH,” Mudra: “Dhyana” meditation, Direction: west, Color: red. Transformation: from passion & greed to discrimination and valuing diversity.
Akshobhya Buddha: One of the five “Wisdom” Buddhas. Mantra: “OM VAJRA AKSHOBHYA HUM,” Bīja mantra: “HUM,” Mudra: “Bhumipharsa,” touching the Earth, Direction: east, color: blue, Transformation: from hatred to mental clarity. By immovably persevering to keep his vow to never feel anger or disgust at any being, the monk Akshobya became a Buddha. Akshobya represents the steadfast eternal mind, connected with reason and intellect. This entails the mirrorlike wisdom that reflects all things calmly and uncritically with the knowledge of what is real and what is illusion. Evoking Akshobya Buddha thus helps to overcome anger and hatred.
Amogasiddhi Buddha: One of the five “Wisdom” Buddhas. Mantra: “OM AMOGHASIDDHI AH HUM,” Bīja mantra: “AH,” Mudra: “Abhaya” fearless protection, Direction: north, Color: green, Transformation: from envy to personal success.
Avalokitesvara: "One who hears the cries of the world." The embodiment of compassion. As regard for this bodhisattva spread, in China the name, in translation, became Kuan Yin or Kuan Shi Yin.
Bīja mantra: Bīja are “seed” mantras or the smallest meaningful unit of a larger mantra. e.g. “Hri” in “Hridaya.”
Bodhichitta: Sometimes spelled "Bodhicitta", it means "Enlightenment Mind" or "Enlightenment Heart": the mind that strives toward awakening and compassion for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Bodhisattva: One who has vowed to put all other beings first in the journey to enlightenment. The personification of Compassion.
Buddha: A title that is not the name of a specific person. It is derived from the Sanskrit word budh, “to be awakened.” It means one who knows, in the sense of having become one with the Supreme Truth.
Dana: (Skt) The practice of generosity: especially without thought of return.
Dhammapada: One of the earliest sutras.
Dharma: The teachings of the Buddhas: also the laws of cause and effect
Engaged Buddhism: See Interbeing.
Hridaya: Sanskrit for heart or essence.
Hridayam: A mantra that has the sense of movement toward the heart or essence.
Hypostasis: The projection of inner states or processes.
Kuan Yin: also Kuan Shih Yin. Gender of this bodhisattva, sometimes called “Avalokitesvara”, is culturally determined. A sometimes female, sometimes male, personification of compassion whose name means “One Who Hears the Cries of the World.”
Karida: Karida is a Japanese word that means essence or heart. It is equivalent to the Sanskrit Hridaya or English Heart. In its Sanskrit form it begins with the root syllable Hrih the seed mantra for the Bodhisattva Kuan Shih Yin who occupies a central place in Karida practices.
Mahayana: A school of Buddhism that developed from early Theravada and is primarily found in Tibet, China, Korea, and Japan.
Mantra: A sound used as an aid to meditation.
Mara: The personification of the forces of evil.
Mudra: A hand gesture that is symbolic of states of consciousness used as a physical aid to meditation. Various mudras are found in Buddhist statuary.
Parinirvana: Death, with the final achievement of full enlightenment
Prajnaparamita: The most profound wisdom
Pure Land Buddhism: A branch of Mahayana Buddhism. It evolved from the desire to make Buddhism accessible to everyone in everyday life, not just to committed monks. For additional reference see this article.
Ratnasambhava Buddha: One of the five “Wisdom” Buddhas. Mantra: “OM RATNASAMBHA TRAM,” Bīja mantra: “TRAM,” Mudra: “Varada” benevolent giving, Direction: south, Color: yellow, Transformation: from arrogance & pride to equanimity.
Roshi: Japanese term for an old and respected Buddhist teacher.
Sangha: The Buddhist community originally composed of monks and nuns, later expanded to include lay people. Wider inclusion can be found in more modern versions of Buddhism.
Secular Buddhism: A modern movement recognizing that Buddhism continues to be a constantly evolving culture of awakening; a pragmatic approach to early Buddhist teachings and practice.
Six Paramitas: Virtues to be cultivated; Dana or generosity, Sila or proper conduct, Kshant or patience, Virya or right effort, Dhyana or meditation, Prajna or wisdom.
Sutras: Buddhist texts.
Taking Refuge: A personal formal public declaration when becoming a Buddhist.
Theravada: “The Doctrine of the Elders” who formed the first Buddhist Council immediately at the passing of the historic Buddha to form the earliest Buddhism initially spread throughout southern parts of Asia
Three Jewels/Treasures: The term refers to the Buddha, The Dharma, and the Sangha
Vairochana Buddha: One of the five “Wisdom” Buddhas. Mantra: “OM VAIROCHANA HUM,” Bīja mantra: “OM,” Mudra: “Dharmachakra,” teaching, Direction: the center place; Color: white, Transformation: from spiritual blindness to universal truth.
Vajrayana: A form of Buddhism that found its greatest development in Tibet
Vandana Ti-Sarana: (Also known as: Three Refuges or Three Jewels) Statement one makes when choosing to follow the Buddhist Path.
Wisdom Buddhas: These five Buddhas, also referred to as “Dhyani” or “meditation” Buddhas, although an early devopment, reached prominence in Vajarayana and later forms of Buddhism. They each represent one of the five great characteristics of the Buddha.
Wheel of the Dharma: A figurative term expressing the process of learning and teaching of the Dharma