Glossary of Zen Names and Terms

Mahakashyapa outstanding student of the Buddha. Buddha's successor in leading the sangha.

Mahayana Buddhism: the Buddhism practiced in northern Asia; encompasses schools in China, Korea, Japan, and Tibet.

Ma Jo (709-788 CE) the great patriarch of Chinese Zen during the early T'ang period.

mala: see beads

mantra sounds or words used in meditation to cut through discriminating thoughts so the mind can become clear.

moktak fish-shaped wooden instrument used as a drum to set the rhythm for chanting.

mu nothing, not, nothingness.

Mu Mun Kwan "The Gateless Gate"; a collection of forty-eight traditional kong-an cases composed in 1228 by the monk Mu Mun Ekai (1184-1260); usually studied before the Blue Cliff Record.

nirvana a state of perfect inner stillness and peace; complete extinction of individual existence; cessation of rebirth; entry into bliss.

paramita virtues or "perfections" of a Buddha. In Mahayana Buddhism, these are the six paramitas: dana (generosity), sila (restraint or morality), shanti (patience), vigor (energy or effort), dhyana (meditation), prajna (wisdom).

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