Pali Terms

This list of terms is courtesy of the Insight Meditation Center (IMC). You may want to visit their Dhamma Lists page to see many of the Buddha's enumerated teachings. 

anapanasati:  mindfulness of breathing
anatta:   not-self
anicca:   impermanence; inconstancy
Arahat:   liberated one
 

bhavana:   meditation
bhikku:   monk
bhikkuni:   nun
bodhi:   awakening; enlightenment
bodhicitta:   awakened heart-mind
Bodhisatta:  A future Buddha 
 (In Sanskrit, the language of the northern transmission, it is Bodhisattva) 
Buddha:   (literally: the awoken one) an enlightened being
 

citta:   mind, consciousness 

Dhammaliberating law discovered by the Buddha, summed up in the Four Noble Truths; also “the Truth,” reality, natural law, all physical and mental phenomena. (In Sanskrit, the language of the northern transmission, it is Dharma.)
dosa:   aversion
dukkha:   unsatisfactoriness, suffering, pain, distress, discontent, stress,
jhana:  meditative absorption, a state of strong concentration. 
 (Sanskrit: dhyana)  

kalyana mitta:   spiritual friend
kamma: (literally “action”) The law of cause and effect; intentional acts  (Sanskrit: karma): 
karuna:   compassion
khanda:  five aggregates which form the raw material for one’s sense of self: form/body, feeling, perception,             mental formations, consciousness (Sanskrit: 
skandha) 
kilesa:  defilement There are three: greed, aversion, and delusion 

lobha:   greed 

magga:   path
metta:   lovingkindness, good will
moha:   (literally: to be stupified) delusion 

nibbana the cessation of suffering, enlightenment, liberation  (Sanskrit: nirvana)  

papañca:   complication, proliferation;   mind’s tendency to proliferate issues from the sense of “self.”
parami: perfections, virtues necessary for the realization of Awakening 

sacca:   truth
saddha:   (literally: to place one’s heart on)  faith, confidencesamadhi:   concentration; meditative absorption sampajañña:  alertness
samsára:   “perpetual wandering,” worldly suffering; round of rebirth; pursuit of renewed existence
samvega:   spiritual urgency
sangha: community of Buddhist monks & nuns; recently, “community Buddhist practitioners.”
sati:   mindfulness; noticing, being aware of what’s happening in the momentsila:   moral conduct; precept; virtue; moral restraint sukha:   happiness; pleasure; ease; bliss sutta:   (literally: thread) discourse of the Buddha or one of his leading disciples  (Sanskrit: sutra) 

tanha:   (literally: thirst) craving
Tathagata: (literally: thus gone) an enlightened person
Theravada:  (literally: Doctrine of the Elders), school of Buddhism inspired by the Pali Canon of Buddha’s teachings. It is the predominant religion of southeast Asia (Thailand, Sri Lanka, Burma).
Tipitaka:   (literally: three baskets) The Pali Canon has three divisions:

1.     Sutta Pitaka- discourses of the Buddha, (Five collections-nikayas- 10,000 suttas)

2.     Abhidhamma Pitaka- treatises offering systematic treatment of topics in the suttas

3.     Vinaya Pitaka- rules for ordained monks and nuns

upekkha:   equanimity
Vipassana:   literally, “to see clearly”; insight; insight into the truth of anicca (impermanence), anatta (not-self), & dukkha or unstatisfactoriness, to see things as they really are
viriya:   effort; persistence; energy