Sister or Nun


"A being who has decided to bring all beings to enlightenment and is practicing the Bodhisattva path." ( Words of My Perfect Teacher -WMPT)

Buddha Shakyamuni

"Historical Buddha Gautama, who attained full enlightenment beneath the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, circa 500 B.C.E." (from Treasury of Precious Qualities -TPQ)


The teachings of the Buddha.


Literally "Lord of Refuge." Used in place of "His Holiness." Is a more fluid and personal term, implying that this particular Lama is my Lord of Refuge. Someone who had no relationship or a more distant relationship with the Lama would not necessarily use this term. (from a discussion with Erik Pema Kunsang, translator for Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche)


From the Tibetan: Lanamepa , meaning "nothing more supreme." "Tibetan term for a highly realized spiritual teacher, the equivalent of the Sanskrit word guru " (TPQ). The term Guru literally means "heavy with qualities."


Prayer beads.


Literally "Precious One," used as a title for incarnate Lamas.

Root Lama

[Tib: Tsawe Lama] "1) The principal, or first, spiritual teacher from whom one has received empowerments, commentaries and pith instructions. 2) The teacher who has introduced one to the nature of the mind." (WMPT)


"Method of accomplishment. A tantric meditative practice involving the visualization of deities and the recitation of mantra." (TPQ)


Literally "Way of the Elders." Also known as Hinayana . "The fundamental system of Buddhist thought and practice deriving from the first turning of the wheel of Dharma and centering around the teachings on the four noble truths and the twelvefold chain of dependent arising. Tibetan Buddhism the Hinayana is regarded as an intrinsic part, indeed the foundation, of the teachings and is not disparaged..." (TPQ)

Tibetan Buddhist

One who practices the Vajrayana. The Vajrayana is commonly called "Tibetan Buddhism" because it was the type of Buddhism most widely practiced and preserved in Tibet.


"... used as an honorific title and general term for recognized incarnations of lamas, who are found, usually in childhood, and brought up to inherit the lineage and often the monastic foundations of their predecessors." (WMPT)


"The corpus of teachings and practices based on the tantras, scriptures that discourse upon the primordial purity of the mind." (TPQ)