Fearless in Tibet: The Life of the Mystic Terton Sogyal (44 page)

BOOK: Fearless in Tibet: The Life of the Mystic Terton Sogyal
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smoke offering
Ritual offering of aromatic plants, medicines, and wood, such as juniper and cedar, that are moistened and placed on a fire to create smoke that cleanses the external environment of pollution and purifies the yogi’s internal channels from psychic knots; also made to local deities out of respect for entering or using their land.

stupa
(Sanskrit) A reliquary monument symbolizing the enlightened mind of the buddhas. Stupas can vary in size and shape but often have a wide square base, a rounded middle, and a tall conical section at the top.

tantra
(Sanskrit) Literally, thread or continuity.
Tantra
refers to both the texts of Vajrayana Buddhism and the tantric tradition in general, which teach the natural purity of the mind. Tantra begins with the view that the final attainment or result has been within the nature of mind from the very beginning, but has been obscured by ignorance.

Tara
(Sanskrit; Tibetan
Drolma
) Female deity associated with compassion and enlightened activity.

terma
(Tibetan) A spiritual treasure concealed by Padmasambhava and Lady Yeshe Tsogyal in the earth, sky, water, or in the mind-stream of certain individuals. Termas are discovered, or revealed, at a specified time for the benefit of beings, by tertöns, or treasure revealers, who are the incarnations of Padmasambhava’s 25 closest disciples. Termas may be texts containing liturgies, religious practices, spiritual advice, and scrolls inscribed with dakini script, or may be blessed objects such as statues, ritual implements, medicine, or relics.

tertön
(Tibetan) Treasure revealer; one who reveals
terma
s that were hidden in his or her mind-stream or as physical objects in Tibet and throughout the Himalayas during the 8th century by Padmasambhava and Lady Yeshe Tsogyal; incarnations of Padmasambhava’s 25 closest disciples. See
terma
.

Tibet
The nation composed geographically of three main provinces: U-Tsang (central and western Tibet), Kham (eastern Tibet), and Amdo (northeastern Tibet).

torma
(Tibetan) Ritual cake, usually hand molded from butter, roasted barley flour, and spiritual medicine, and colored with dyes, to symbolize a deity, a mandala, an offering, or a weapon.

tsok
(Tibetan; Sanskrit
ganachakra
) Tantric feast assembly to accumulate merit and purify samaya commitments; practiced regularly, especially on significant lunar days or to mark an auspicious occasion.

tulku
(Tibetan) Literally, emanation body; the reincarnation of a previous spiritual master who, at the time of death, was able to direct his next rebirth. Used in common speech to refer to any incarnate lama who is also often addressed as “Rinpoche.” Chinese publications often incorrectly translate
tulku
as “living buddha.”

vajra
(Sanskrit; Tibetan
dorje
) A ritual scepter symbolizing compassion and skillful means. In Vajrayana rituals, the vajra represents the masculine principle and is the counterpart of the bell, which represents the feminine principle and the wisdom of emptiness; the union of skillful means and wisdom is the awakened mind.

Vajrayana
(Sanskrit) The Diamond (
vajra
) Vehicle (
yana
); the tantric branch of Mahayana Buddhism, which utilizes a wide variety of methods, including mantra and visualization of deities, and which gives great emphasis to the role of the teacher.

view
The genuine nature of phenomena; sustaining the realization of emptiness; first in the common triad of view, meditation, and action.

wind
(Sanskrit
prana
) The wind-energies or psychic-wind that moves through the subtle channels of the body’s psychophysical system; normal wind perpetuates the movement of dualistic thought patterns of ignorance, hatred, and desire; normal wind can be transmuted through yogic practice into wisdom wind.

yogi
(Sanskrit; feminine,
yogini
) A practitioner of yoga; one in union with the natural state. The term implies a practitioner who has some degree of spiritual realization.

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BOOK: Fearless in Tibet: The Life of the Mystic Terton Sogyal
10.7Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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