220 Spring Avenue Webster Groves, MO 63119 (314) 961-6138 info@missourizencenter.org  
line decor
  
line decor
 
 
 
 

 
 
Glossary

On This Page: [A-E]   [F-J]   [K-O]   [P-T]   [U-Z]


Entries and other foreign words are Japanese (J) unless otherwise noted as Chinese (C), Sanskrit (Skt) or Pali (P).


A-E

[Top of Page]
Agura
Common and easy way of sitting, pulling in both feet under both thighs.
Buddha (Skt P) butsu (J).
Awakened One.
Byojoshin (kore do)
Even and constant mind (is itself the [awakened] way).
Chukai[-sho]
One bell sound signalling the end of sitting.
Daruma (J) Bodhidharma (Skt)
The first patriarch of Zen in China, twenty eighth after the Buddha Gotama (P) or Gautama (Skt).
Dependent Origination [paticcasamuppada (P), pratityasamutpada (Skt), engi (J)]
The truth or law that all phenomena are dependently originated upon causes and conditions, thus phenomena are interrelated and relative in nature. One can rely on this truth, utilize this law, control the relationship, and attain freedom through this process. The insight (awakening) into this law and unconditioned peace [nibbana (P), nirvana (Skt), nehan (J)] comprise two elements of buddhahood. The total mastery and maturity of this law made Gotama Buddha.
Dharma (Skt), dhamma (P), ho (J)
Forms (of existence), norm (law) (of existential forms), and the teaching of it.
Doän
The person in charge of the zendo, sounding signals, leading sutra recitation, etc.

F-J

[Top of Page]
Furyumonji
No building or relying upon letters (conceptual constructs).
Gassho (J) anjali (Skt)
Folding hands expressing total unity and complete harmony of the self and others.
Hakama
Meditation skirt.
Hankafuza
Half cross-legged or half lotus position.
Hokkaijoin (J), dharma-dhatu-samadhi-mudra (Skt)
Dharma realm concentration seal which shows one’s perfect unity with the universal truth (realm).
Igi-soku-buppo
Dignified forms (deportments) are themselves buddha (awakened) dharmas (forms).
Isshu
Folding hands at walking and standing. This is also called shashu.In Rinzai tradition the left hand covers the right hand.
Jikijitsu
The person in charge of the zendo, sounding signals, leading sutra recitation, etc. in the Rinzai tradition.
Jikishi-ninshin
Directly pointing to the human mind.

K-O

[Top of Page]
Kaijo [-sho]
One (bell) sound, signalling the end of sitting.
Keisaku or kyosaku
Wakening device, warding off sleepiness, etc.
Kekkafuza (J) paryanka (Skt)
Full cross-legged or full lotus position.
Kensho jobutsu
Seeing the nature and becoming buddha..
Kesa (J), kasaya (Skt), kasaya or kasava (P)
Monk’s robe. (literally, decayed colored [robe]).
Kinhin (J) cankama (P) cankrama (Skt)
Walking meditation.
Koän (J), Kun-an (C)
Universal truth. In later tradition, usually meant the universal theme(s) taken from deeds and words of the masters, given by the master to the disciple for the latter’s study and realization. The master tests how well the disciple understand and lives it.
Kyoge-betsuden
Transmission outside scriptures, i.e., realization beyond conceptual learning.
Makyo
Devil’s realm. Psychological abnormality, illusion, such as apparition, levitation, etc.
Monjin
Greeting, bowing with gassho. (literally, asking)
Mushin
No superfluous thought, no mental fabrication.
Mushotoku
No grasping, possession (defilement).
Nehan (J), nibbana (P), nirvana (Skt)
Unconditioned peace. (literally, a nautical term describing the calm following a storm).
Obakushu
One of the three living zen traditions, deriving from Obaku (Huan-po).

P-T

[Top of Page]
Rakusu
The simplest kesa with five cloth strips.
Rinzaishu
One of the three living zen traditions. It stresses satori (enlightenment) through koän practice.
Roshi
Reverend teacher, or master.
Samu
Manual works at zendo or zen monastery.
Satori
Enlightenment and insight into the existential truth. Awakening and awakened life based on it.
Seiza
Formal sitting posture, sitting on the lower legs.
Sesshin
Intensive extended sitting (usually one week starting each day at 4 or 5 a.m. and going until 9 p.m.) (literally, embracing or [directly] touching the mind).
Shikan-taza
Pure (unconditioned) sitting at absolute here and now in total awakening and full functioning with no special (limited) ends (no possession, no enlightenment) and no other accessory means thereto, such as recitation, prayer, ritual, etc.
Shijo
Staying at stillness (zazen)
Shijin totsuraku [-datsuraku]
Dropping off the body/mind or freedom from/of the body and mind, essence of zazen, the awakened way.
Sokkon-tosho
“Now-here,” unique zen position.
Sotoshu
One of the three living zen traditions. It stresses shikantaza and igisokubuppo. Dogen later identified as the founder of Japanese Soto repudiated any sectarianism, negating “Soto Sect” or “Zen School,” and admitted only one Awakened Way.
Susokukan
Breath counting meditation.
Sutra (Skt), sutta (P)
Short sentences or aphorisms which facilitate easier memory of the essential tenet of teaching. (literally, suture).
Tan
Allotted seat on the platform (sho) for zazen.
Tanden
Three inches below the navel, where the center of gravity and life lies.
Teisho
Presentation of the gist of the teaching.

U-Z

[Top of Page]
Unyo (J), padakkina (P), pradaksna (Skt)
Right (clockwise, auspicious) circumbulation to express reverence to a person or a tower depositing the person’s remains, showing one’s right side always to the person or the object.
Zabuton
Sitting mattress.
Zafu
Round pillow for zazen. (Formerly called futon, probably shortened form for za [sitting]-futon).
Za-zen
Upright sitting with no mental fabrication. (literally, sitting meditation). San-zen (entering zen) is zazen. Zazen is shikin-totsuraku.
Zen (J), jhana (P), dhyana (Skt)
Zen is from chan (C) the transliteration of jhana or jhan (Prakrit), meaning meditation. It is, however, not the so-called meditation using concepts or other kinds of symbols. It is unconditioned meditation. It is concretely shikantaza, total unconditioned mediation, cessation of all physical and mental fabrications, not only in sitting but also in standing, moving, or lying down.
Zendo
Zazen hall.
Zen-ji
Zen teacher or master, honorific title.
Zuisokukan
Breath watching (literally, following) meditation.

[Top of Page]