Advertisement

Vocabulary refresher course in the language of mindfulness meditation

Vocabulary refresher course in the language of mindfulness meditation
The idylllic grounds at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, Calif.
(Spirit Rock)

The vocabulary of meditation can be a barrier for people who feel that they’re entering a strange world, experts say. Here are some common words.

Buddha: meaning one who is awake, in Sanskrit. The Buddha was a person, not a god, who lived more than 2,000 years ago; from a privileged family, he became a seeker of truth and eventually became enlightened.

Advertisement

Dharma: often used to mean the teachings of Buddhism and meditation.

Mantra: a word -- “om” being perhaps the most famous -- repeated as a way to keep the mind focused on one spot during meditation.

Advertisement

Metta: loving kindness. In metta meditation, a person seeks to evoke such feelings for oneself or others independent of self-interest. Phrases such as, “May I be safe, may I be peaceful and happy,” can be repeated in the meditation.

Mindfulness: “a receptive attention to present-moment experience or attention to present-moment experience with a stance of open curiosity” (from Diana Winston of UCLA).

Transcendental meditation: a form of meditation using a mantra, introduced by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and popularized these days by such people as filmmaker David Lynch.

Vipassana: another name for insight meditation to cultivate mindfulness.

Advertisement

Zafu: a round cushion used for sitting during meditation.

-- Mary MacVean


Advertisement