Take Refuge

To take the three refuges in the Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma, and San˙gha). That is, to seek safety in the Three Jewels and take them as one’s guide to leave behind suffering.


Literally, "Thus-Come One, " a title of the Buddha.


“womb or matrix of the thuscome one”) 1. According to some Mahāyāna scriptures, a pure, immutable essence present in each sentient being that provides the basis for his or her eventual attainment of Buddhahood. 2. A Buddhist school of thought centered on concepts of the Tathāgatagarbha.

Three Vehicles

According to Mahāyāna scriptures, the three sets of teachings or means of practice appropriate to people of three different capacities. A simplified, formulaic explanation of the three vehicles according to Chinese Mahāyāna Buddhists follows: (1) The śrāvaka vehicle (śrāvakayāna; shēngwén chéng 聲 聞乘, “vehicle of the hearers”), the teachings of the Buddha centered around the Four Noble Truths and whose objective is arhatship. (2)The pratyekabuddha vehicle (pratyekabuddhayāna; yuánjué chéng 緣覺乘, “vehicle of those enlightened by [contemplating] conditions,” also called the dújué chéng 獨覺乘, “vehicle of those enlightened alone”), the practices of one destined to become a pratyekabuddha or “solitary buddha,” someone who achieves enlightenment on his own, without assistance from a Buddha, and who lives isolated from human society. (3) The bodhisattva vehicle (bodhisattvayāna; púsà chéng 菩薩乘), the teachings of the Buddha centered on development of the six perfections and whose aim is the achievement of Buddhahood. The first two vehicles are considered Nikāya vehicles and the third vehicle equivalent to the Mahāyāna.

Ten Evil Deeds

Ten deeds or behaviors which lead one to rebirths in unpleasant destinies, namely: () killing, (2) stealing, (3) sexual misconduct, (4) lying, (5) divisive speech, (6) harsh speech, (7) frivolous speech, (8) greed, (9) hatred, and (10) deviant view. Abstention from these ten is called the ten good deeds.

Three Jewels

Collective term referring to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. Buddha refers to the historical founder of Buddhism, Sakyamuni. Dharma is the truth realized by the Buddha, transmitted in the scriptures, and through a lineage of enlightened masters. Sangha is the Buddhist community, originally Sakyamuni Buddha's immediate disciples. In a limited sense it consists of Buddhist monks, nuns, and disciples; in a broader sense it includes all persons connected through belief in and practice of Buddhism. "Taking refuge" in the Three Jewels confirms one as a Buddhist practitioner. Faith in the Three Jewels is the recognition that Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha are all contained within all sentient beings.

Three Realms

The realm of sense-desire (kāma-dhātu or kāma-loka; yùjiè 欲界), the realm of form (rūpa-dhātu or rūpa-loka; sèjiè 色界), and the realm of formlessness (arūpa-dhātu or arūpa-loka; wúsèjiè 無色界). Each realm contains within it a number of destinies or “planes of existence,” as displayed in appendix A. The three realms are also understood to correspond to the different states of mind characteristic of the beings in each realm.

Three Times

The past, present, and future.


(Japanese: Tendai) A Buddhist school which bases its teachings on the Lotus Sutra. Its doctrine stresses the notions of totality and mutual interpenetration. It maintains the identity of the absolute and the world of phenomena, thus emptiness, phenomenality, and the middle are identical and are aspects of a single existence.

Transformation Body (Nirmanakaya)

One of the three bodies of the Buddha: the form that a Buddha manifests to facilitate the deliverance of sentient beings.


Collectively, the three collections, or canons, of early Buddhist teaching (also known as the Pali Canon). The three canons are: the sutra-pitaka, the collections of the Buddha’s teachings; the sastra-pitaka, the collections of treatises and discourses ( including the abhidharma) by the Buddha’ s disciples and bodhisattvas; and the vinaya-pitaka, the collections of rules and regulations set by the Buddha for the communal life of monks, nuns, novices, and laity.

Two Hindrance

According to the terminology of the Consciousness-only school, two obstacles to spiritual practice, namely: (1) afflictive hindrances (kleśa-āvaran .a; fánnˇao zhàng 煩惱障), afflictions stemming from clinging to self which hinder one’s realization of nirvān .a and lead to involuntary rebirth within the three realms, and (2) noetic hindrances (jñeya-āvaran .a; suoˇzhī zhàng 所知障), misperceptions of reality stemming from clinging to one’s previous understandings of Dharma, which hinder one from achieving full omniscience or Buddhahood.