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Buddhism - is a highly variated global religion originating in ancient India and predominant in East and Southeast Asia. The various Buddhist traditions can be classified in a number of different ways, but all trace their teachings to Siddhartha Gautama (Pali: Siddhattha Gotama), known by the honorific Shakyamuni Buddha. Most Buddhist traditions share in common the fundamental teachings of the shravakayana - going for refuge in the three jewels (the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha), the Four Noble Truths, and the Noble Eightfold Path. Various Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions feature further elaborations on the mainstream Buddhist tradition.
Buddha - in the Buddhist tradition, a fully enlightened being, most often but not always referring to Siddhartha Gautama, the Shakyamuni Buddha, who is regarded as the founder of the world's Buddhist traditions.
Dharma - in the Buddhist context Dharma refers to the Buddhadharma, the teachings of Buddhism. (It also has a technical usage in the context of the Buddhist abhidharma tradition, wherein it means something like "discrete entity.")
Sangha - a Sanskrit and Pali word which roughly means "assembly" or "community." It traditionally refers to either the community of monks and nuns (the bhikshu and bhikshuni sangha) or the arya-sangha, those who have attained the first stage of enlightenment and are therefore a source of refuge. In contemporary usage it often refers to the general, larger community of Buddhist practitioners.
Mindfulness - (Pali: Sati, Sanskrit: Smrti) - a fundamental meditation technique involving the repeated placement of the mind on a chosen object of attention.
Zen - A tradition of Japanese Buddhism emphasizing meditation.
Insight Meditation - a term used most often by the Insight Meditation Society to translate Vipassana.
Vipashyana - (Sanskrit; Pali: Vipassana) Literally "clear seeing," often colloquially translated as "insight into the nature of reality." Vipashyana is also sometimes used to describe meditation practices designed to cultivate such insight.
Rinpoche - An honorific in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition meaning "precious (one)," and often afforded to lamas, tulkus in particular.
Roshi - A title in Zen Buddhism literally meaning "old teacher" or "elder master." Its usage has never been standardized, but it generally implies some measure of realization on the part of the bearer of the title.
Glossary Compiled by Greg Zwahlen for the IDP.