Glossary

Absurdism

This article is about the philosophy. For an extremely unreasonable, silly, or foolish thing, see Absurdity. For absurdist humour, see surreal humour. For the literary genre, see Absurdist fiction. Sisyphus, the symbol of the absurdity of existence, painting by Franz Stuck (1920). Absurdism is the philosophical theory that existence in general is absurd. This implies that the world lacks meaning or a higher purpose...

Eight Verses on Training the Mind

n essence, the short text entitled Eight Verses on Training the Mind presents the practices of cultivating both conventional bodhicitta, or the altruistic aspiration to attain buddhahood for the benefit of all beings, and ultimate bodhicitta, the profound insight into the ultimate nature of reality or “the ultimate mind of enlightenment.” The first seven stanzas present the practices related to the former while the...

Reality

Also known as "meat space" to differentiate it from cyberspace and regular space, which is a vacuum. “How can this chair be a chair and also a quantum probability and also mostly empty space?   How do those different realities co-exist? How can the same “object” follow one set of physics at a conventional scale and another set of physics at the quantum scale?” Let’s start by breaking down the matter we’re...

THE THREE HIGHER TRAININGS

Higher training in morality, in meditation, and in wisdom. The teaching on the Four Noble Truths, which was the Buddha’s first teaching following his attainment of full awakening, represents the foundation for the practices of emptiness and the cultivation of compassion. This teaching underpins everything that the Buddha taught subsequently and helps us to establish a fundamental understanding of the way...

The 7 Levels of Sapience

Self-awareness is ranked as Level 5 information integration and above according to the following criteria: Level 0 – No information integration: Inanimate objects; objects that do not modify themselves in response to interaction – e.g., rocks, mountains. Level 1 – Non-zero information integration: Sensors – anything that is able to sense its environment – e.g., photo-diode sense organs, eyes, skin. Level 2 –...

THREE LEVELS OF UNDERSTANDING

In Buddhism, one speaks of three different levels of understanding, which are sequential—an understanding arrived at through learning and studying, an understanding developed as a result of deep reflection and contemplation, and an understanding acquired through meditative or religious experience. There is a definite order in the sequence of this three. So on the basis of study and learning—which is the first...

THE INNER WORLD OF CONSCIOUSNESS

When we use such terms as “consciousness” or “mind” it often tends to give the impression that we are talking about a single, monolithic entity; but this is misleading. Our own personal experience reveals that the mental world is tremendously diverse. Moreover, when we examine each moment of cognition or mental experience, we realize that they all relate to either internal or external objects. For example, if we...

DEPENDENT ORIGINATION AND THE LAW OF CAUSALITY

A key principle here is dependent origination. This fundamental principle of Buddhism states that everything arises and ceases in dependence upon causes and conditions. The fourth-century Indian Buddhist thinker Asanga identified three key conditions governing this principle of dependent origination. First is “the absence of designer condition,” which pertains to the issue of whether or not there is a transcendent...

THE FOUR PRINCIPLES OF REALITY

Let us return to our discussion of the Buddhist view that all experiences and things come into existence in dependence upon causes and conditions. What does this imply for our own world or experiences, such as the experiences of pain, pleasure, suffering and happiness? Furthermore, since we all possess this natural desire to be happy and to overcome suffering, when we talk about experiencing suffering and happiness...

Table of Contents

Absurdism

This article is about the philosophy. For an extremely unreasonable, silly, or foolish thing, see Absurdity. For absurdist humour, see...

read more

Reality

Also known as "meat space" to differentiate it from cyberspace and regular space, which is a vacuum. “How can this chair be a chair and also...

read more

THE THREE HIGHER TRAININGS

Higher training in morality, in meditation, and in wisdom. The teaching on the Four Noble Truths, which was the Buddha’s first teaching...

read more

The 7 Levels of Sapience

Self-awareness is ranked as Level 5 information integration and above according to the following criteria: Level 0 – No information...

read more