Glossary of Zen Names and Terms

AIGO (Korean) word for responding to an incomprehensible situation, such as sudden death, or grief, or even surprise.

Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi (Sanskrit) "perfect universal samadhi"; the enlightenment experience in which a person becomes a Buddha.

Avalokitesvara (Sanskrit) bodhisattva of compassion (see Kwan Seum Bosal).

Beads a string of beads resembling a bracelet or necklace, used for counting bows or repetitions of a mantra in various sects of Buddhism. Also known as a "mala."

Bhikshu (Sanskrit) a fully ordained monk.

Bhikshuni (Sanskrit) a fully ordained nun.

Blue Cliff Record (Chinese: Pi-Ye-Lu; Japanese: Hekigan Roku) compiled in 1125 CE, one of the most important collections of kong-ans, still in use today.

Bodhi (Sanskrit) "awakening"; enlightenment.

Bodhidharma (Sanskrit) the first Zen patriarch; he reputedly came to China in 520 CE. and sat for nine years facing a wall at Shao-Lin temple.

Bodhisattva (Sanskrit) a being whose actions promote unity or harmony; one who vows to postpone one's own enlightenment in order to help all sentient beings realize liberation; one who seeks enlightenment not only for oneself but for others. The bodhisattva ideal is at the heart of Mahayana and Zen Buddhism.

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