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Theology Terms (Buddhism/Taoism/Confucianism)

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Bodhisattva
individuals who, despite being one step away from Nirvana, vow not to enter it until they ensure that others can reach Nirvana as well
Shakyamuni
another name for the Buddha, meaning "the sage of the _ tribe"
Buddha
the enlightened one
Dukkha
suffering, anxiety, constant lack of satisfaction
Nirvana
the cooling of the mind, a state beyond pleasure and pain; only achieved after extinguishing all desires
Ahimsa
the Buddhist principle of non-violence
Maitri
the Buddhist principle of compassion, charity (not karuna)
Samadhi
right concentration (a step in the Eightfold Noble Path)
Dharmacakra
Wheel of Life, a symbol representing the eightfold path to Nirvana
anatman
the state of realizing the not-self
Theravada
the branch of Buddhism that venerates Buddha only as a great sage; their ideal is a monk
sangha
Theravadic monastic community
Hinayana
Mocking nickname for the Theravada Buddhists; means "the lesser way"
Mahayana
the branch of Buddhism that's name means "the greater way"
Pure Land
a form of Mahayana Buddhism which offers supplications and petitions to the saving Buddhas
karuna
the virtue of compassion emphasized by the Mahayana Buddhists; it extends to all sentient beings
Buddha nature
the true reality of every sentient being according to Buddhists
Lotus flower
the Buddha holds this up and simply by looking at it, the founder of Tao becomes enlightened
Saving Buddhas
enlightened Buddhas that are like savior figures; they possess infinite compassion for mankind
Zen
a form of Mahayana Buddhism which arrives from its meeting with Taoism; big emphasis on silence and meditation
Zazen
the lotus position of meditation
Kensho
insight into ones nature
Renzai
a school of Zen Buddhism which emphasizes the koan
Koan
stories, statements, or questions designed to break down the natural logic about reality; disciples meditate on these until they attain the proper kensho into its meaning
Ontological non-duality
the main principle of Zen Buddhism that Christians have a problem with
Tao-te-Ching
"The Classic/Standard of the Way and Virtue," written by Confucius
Tao
the one ultimate, eternal, rational principle; all creation is derived from it
Wu Wei
"without acting," the ability of a ruler to rule without force or coercion
Yin and Yang
two harmonious principles which are harmonious rather than contradictory and explain the duality of the world
Te
virtue (Taoism)
T'ien
Heaven (Confucianism)
Analects
the collection of sayings and ideas attributed to the Chinese philosopher Confucius and his contemporaries, traditionally believed to have been written by Confucius' followers
Jen
the supreme good in Confucianism (goodness, or humanity in its perfected state)
Chun-tzu
the Confucian gentleman
Satori
enlightenment in Buddhism