a list of terms

(Sanskrit), Dag-mé (bDag med) (Tibetan); no-self, the lack of an inherent self that is solid, permanent, separate, continuous, and defined.
Aro gTér
The revealed teachings of Khyungchen Aro Lingma.
attraction, aversion & indifference
öd-chag, zhe-dang & ti-mug (’dod chags, zhe sDang & gTi mug) (Tibetan); the three primary dualistic tendencies dug-sum (dug gSum) (Tibetan) – by which we attempt to relate to existence as a series of conceptual reference points to prove we exist as solid, permanent, separate, continuous and defined beings.
(bar do) (Tibetan); antarabhava (Sanskrit); gap or space. A space or field of a particular quality of experience, which is followed by another space that has its own unique flavour.
see chang chub sem
lé-shi (las bZhi) (Tibetan); the four enlightened activities: enriching, pacifying, magnetising and destroying.
chang chub sem
(byang chub sems) (Tibetan); active compassion, the energy of the enlightened state. The one who realises changchub sem is called changchub sempa (byang chub sems dPa’). This is not a direct translation of the Sanskrit word Bodhisattva, which means ‘one who has Bodhi – the compassionate mind of enlightenment’. ‘dPa’ is a contraction of the word ‘dPa bo’ or ‘dPa mo’, so changchub sempa actually means ‘awakened mind-warrior’.
(chos) (Tibetan): Dharma, as it is, reality, suchness, the way things really are.
chö ku
(chos sKu) (Tibetan), dharmakaya (Sanskrit): the sphere of unconditioned potentiality or emptiness.
see samaya.
see chö-ku
Dorje Tröllö
(rDo rJe gro lod) (Tibetan); ‘Vajra with the loose-hanging belly’. The most wrathful manifestation of Padmasambhava.
Dorje Tsig-dün
(rDo rJe tshig bDun) (Tibetan): the Seven Thunderbolt Phrases. The inspirational song of Padmasambhava.
Dualism is the habit of attempting to divide ‘that which is indivisible’, and then relating to part of the whole as if it were the whole. Dualism is the illusion that it is possible to relate to form rather than the non-dual play of emptiness and form.
(Sanskrit), dug-ngal (sDug bsNgal) (Tibetan): ‘suffering’, ‘unsatisfactoriness’. The sense of dissatisfaction we experience even if our lives are ‘successful’.
(rDzogs pa chen po) (Tibetan), mahasandhi (Sanskrit): ‘Great Completeness’, ‘utter totality’. The path of spontaneity. Also known as shintu naljor or ati yoga Tantra.
four denials
or referential extremes – partial descriptions of reality, which are negated in Buddhism: 1. monism: ‘everything is one’; 2. dualism: ‘everything is not one’; 3. nihilism: ‘nothing means anything’; 4. eternalism: ‘everything means something’.
four naljors
naljor zhi (rNal ’byor bZhi) (Tibetan): the ngöndro of Dzogchen semde. Also see shi-nè, lhatong, nyi-mèd and lhundrüp
gö kar chang- lo
(gos dKar lCang lo) (Tibetan): literally ‘white skirt / long hair’. The manner of dress of ordained ngak’phang practitioners. A name for the ngak’phang sangha.
(Sanskrit), ku (sKu) (Tibetan): the sphere of being. The three spheres of being which are actually indivisible. Also see: chö-ku, ku-sum, long-ku and trulku.
(’khor ba) (Tibetan), samsara (Sanskrit): literally ‘going around in circles’, the cyclic experience of existence. The state in which every activity undermines itself in terms of our attempt to establish ourselves as being solid, permanent, separate, continuous and defined.
Khyungchen Aro Lingma
(khyung chen a ro gLing ma) (1886–1923). The female gTérton who received the Aro gTér in Pure Vision directly from Yeshé Tsogyel. The mother of Aro Yeshé.
(sKu gSum) (Tibetan): the three spheres of being. Also see chö-ku, kaya,long-ku, and trul-ku.
(bLa ma) (Tibetan), guru (Sanskrit): the tantric teacher; Vajra Master.
(lhag mThong) (Tibetan), vipassana (Sanskrit): ‘further vision’; the second of the four naljors of Dzogchen semdé.
(lhun grub) (Tibetan): ‘spontaneity’; the fourth of the four naljors of Dzogchen semdé.
Life circumstances display
The Lama manifests an incredible variety of modes and means in order to serve the needs of disciples. Interacting with the Lama and their life circumstances offers countless opportunities for communication of the non-dual state.
long ku
(long-sKu) (Tibetan), sambhogakaya (Sanskrit): the sphere of intangible appearance, vision, realised energy.
ngakma / ngakpa
(sNgags ma/pa) (Tibetan): mantra woman or man, mantrika. An ordained, non-celibate practitioner who holds the Vajrayana vows.
(sNgags ’phang) (Tibetan): literally ‘mantra wielding’. A name for the white Sangha of Padmasambhava and Yeshé Tsogyel. Ordained non-celibate Vajrayana practitioners.
(sNgon ’gro) (Tibetan): literally ‘before going’. Preliminary practice.
See trül-ku.
(Sanskrit) The state of perfection. Often understood as the opposite of samsara. However in the realm of realisation there is no samsara or nirvana. From the perspective of Dzogchen, samsara and nirvana are a dualistic concept.
nyi mèd
(nyis med) (Tibetan), ‘non-duality’; the third of the four naljors of Dzogchen semdé.
(rNying ma) (Tibetan): ‘ancient’ or ‘old translation lineage.’ The oldest form of Buddhism in Tibet, founded at the time of Padmasambhava and Yeshé Tsogyel.
(Sanskrit) Pemajungne (padma ’byung gnas) (Tibetan): the ‘Lotus-born’. The Tantric Buddha. Also known as Guru Rinpoche.
Personality display
The Lama’s personality may differ greatly to one’s own, but by experiencing the Lama’s personality as display, the student can discover myriad opportunities for realisation.
Prajnaparamita Sutra
(Sanskrit), nying-do (sNying-mDo) (Tibetan): the Sutra of the perfection of wisdom. The Heart Sutra, whose essential statement is: form is emptiness, emptiness is form.
Presence display
Interacting with the Lama in both formal and informal situations affords innumerable opportunities for communication of the non-dual state simply by being in the Lama’s presence.
(rig pa) (Tibetan), vidya (Sanskrit): primordial nondual awareness. Rigpa can simply mean knowledge or intelligence. In terms of Dzogchen it means presence of awareness in the continuity of Mind – through the arising and dissolution of that which arises in Mind.
(Sanskrit), damtsig (dam tsig) (Tibetan):vVow, sacred word or pledge. The bond of Tantric vows that seals the relationship between Vajra Master and Vajra disciple.
see long-ku.
see khor-wa.
sangyum / sangyab
(Tibetan) (gSang yum/yab) (Tibetan): Female spiritual consort or wife / male spiritual consort or husband.
(zhi gNas) (Tibetan), shamatha (Sanskrit): the practice of silent sitting; remaining uninvolved with thought processes. The first of the four naljors of Dzogchen semdé. See descriptions in Spectrum of Ecstasy and Roaring Silence by Ngakpa Chögyam.
six realms
rig drug (rigs drug) (Tibetan): mind-states associated with the predominance of various distorted emotions. Traditionally physical locations to which one could be reborn as a result of positive or negative karma: hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, humans;, jealous gods, gods.
(Sanskrit), do (mDo) (Tibetan): the first three of the nine yanas according to the Nyingma School: Sravakayana, Pratyékabuddhayana, Bodhisattvabuddhayana. The vehicle that moves towards emptiness and whose principle is renunciation.
(Sanskrit), gyüd (rGyud) (Tibetan): literally ‘thread’, ‘continuity’. The teachings of Buddhism which have as their basis the principle of transformation.
(Sanskrit), gyüd-pa (rGyud pa) (Tibetan): A practitioner of Tantra.
three terrible oaths
A Dzogchen practice of view, positively willing each situation to be exactly as it is. Associated with Dorje Tröllö.
(sPrul sKu) (Tibetan): the sphere of realised manifestation.
Vajra Master
Dorje Lopön (rDo rJe sLob dPon) (Tibetan), Vajra Acharya (Sanskrit): the Lama according to the view of Tantra and Dzogchen
vajra pride
The sense in which practitioners realise themselves to be inseparable from the awareness being.
(Sanskrit), dorje thegpa (rDo rJe theg pa): the six tantric vehicles of the nine vehicles of the Nyingma School. The teachings of Buddhism which have as their basis the principle of transformation.
(Sanskrit), thegpa (theg pa) (Tibetan): vehicle. To be regarded as a complete vehicle a body of teachings must have a base, a path and a fruit. The Nyingma School describes nine vehicles: thegpa gu (theg pa dGu).
Yeshé Tsogyel
(ye shes mTsho rGyal) (Tibetan), Jnana Sagara (Sanskrit): Khandro Chenmo Yeshé Tsogyel, the female Tantric Buddha and spiritual consort of Padmasambhava. Khyungchen Aro Lingma received the Aro gTér directly from Yeshé Tsogyel, and transmitted it to her son Aro Yeshé.