Appendix B

The Vocabulary of Silence: A Buddhist Glossary

Trying to understand from words is like washing a dirt clod in muddy water. But if you don’t use words to gain understanding, it’s like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

—Master Yuanwu Keqin (1063–1135)

arhat Worthy one. The ideal of arhatship in Theravada means having nothing more to learn, being free of cravings, attaining nirvana.

Atman Hindu concept of a highest self, inherently one with the trans-personal, Brahman (Eternal Self). To the Buddha, the ultimate reality is an-atman (nonself), the absence of any identity or self-nature.

bardo The state in between death and rebirth.

bodhicitta The thought of enlightenment; the compassionate desire to attain full enlightenment ...

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