Sunday, June 5, 2011


Abhinivesa: insistence; automatic perceptual and conceptual belief in the apparent existence of self and objects; the way things appear due to conditioned patterning of perception and thought.

Prapanca: conceptual fabrication, the stream directed by imprinted preconceptions, including the internal flow of thought constructs and the self and the environment they create. Conceptual elaboration... clinging to words or concepts... the web of words and concepts in which one gets entangled when clinging... the root of all contentions.

Samsara: the world of habitual patterns; from sam, together, intensive; andsara, to go, run, flow, hasten; so samsara means going about, busyness, endless migration, unceasing commotion and unrest. The created world of dissatisfaction and struggle.

Samskara: conditioned mental formations, all constructs, good, bad, or indifferent: dispositions, tendencies, volitions, impulses, emotions, strivings, and reactions. The process by which reactive emotional patterns are formed by, and then continue to form, our experience of the world. The volitional factor in samskaras is motivated by desire, which gives rise to karma.

Samyojana: internal formations; knots; agglomerations; binding together; fetters. Five dull knots: confusion, desire, anger, pride, doubt. Five sharp knots: viewing body as self, extreme views, wrong views, perverted views, superstitious views.

Upadana: compulsive automatic patterning of perceptions, thoughts, and emotional reactions according to the conditioning of past experience.

Vasana: tendencies and inclinations; literally, fragrance, from vas: dwelling, residue, remainder. Subliminal inclinations and patterns, traces of past experience and action, residues of thoughts and actions, particularly the residue of ignorance. The driving forces that color and motivate attitudes and future actions; habit energies giving rise to present samsara.

Vikalpa: patterning; the structuring of cognition due to past experience and the traces they have left. Vikalpa gives rise to the apparent world of self and environment and all our emotional reactions to such appearances.

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