A Buddhism Glossary

Buddha – the founder of Buddhism from around 500 BCE.

Buddhism – a collection of religions or philosophies founded on the teachings of Buddha. Today, Buddhism is still concentrated predominantly in Asia.

dependent-origination – a description of the chain of rebirth.

Eightfold Path – the practice which will lead to freedom from suffering. The eight “rights” are understanding, thought, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness and concentration.

enlightenment – release from suffering. The goal of Buddhism.

Existence, Three Marks of  – the nature of the world. Conditioned things are marked by impermanence and suffering, and both conditioned and unconditioned things are marked by non-self.

Four Noble Truths – an explanation of suffering and the way to be free of it. Explained as suffering, its root, the solution and practice.

impermanence – the truth that all things without exception are impermanent.

Indus Valley Civilisation – the dominant culture in north and north-west India along the River Indu from around 3,000BCE.

karma – literally ‘deeds’ or ‘action’. The source of rebirth.

mind – considered one of the senses.

non-self – a main root of suffering is caused by doubt about the truth of non-self.

Pataliputra – capital of Mogadha in north-east India, the primary area in which Buddha taught.

rebirth – the cycle of suffering. What Buddhists are attempting to end.

skandha – the illusionary personality rooted in ‘form’, ‘sensation’, ‘perception’, ‘mental formations’ and ‘consciousness’.

suffering – the state of suffering caused by doubt of the truth of impermanence.