Bodhisattva: One who practices to help the other.
Bonno: (Jap. "troublesome-suffering") An illusion or attachment.
Dharma: The teachings of the Way, cosmic truth.
Deshimaru, Taisen: (1914-1982) Japanese Soto Zen Master who brought Zen to Europe and the West.
Dogen, Eihei: (1200-1253) Japanese Zen Master who brought Zen to Japan from China.
Dojo: (Jap. the place where one practices the Way). Where zazen, kinhin and ceremony are practiced.
Dokan: The ring of the Way. Endless practice.
Fukanzazengi: "Universal Recommendation for Zazen." A text by Dogen, sometimes chanted.
Fuse: A gift given without thought of return.
Gassho: A bowing gesture of respect for all existences.
Genmai: The traditional breakfast.
Gyoji: The repetition of the practice.
Hara: The body's center in Zen practice. An area a few inches below the navel, deep in the abdomen.
Hannya Shingyo: The Heart Sutra, chanted after morning and evening zazen.
Hishiryo: The samadhi of zazen, absolute thought, beyond thinking and non-thinking.
Katto: Complication, contradiction.
Keizan: (1267-1365) Great Japanese Soto Zen Master. Wrote Denkoroku and Zazen Yôjinki.
Kesa: The robe of zazen, of the transmission, of true Zen practice. Sewn by hand and received upon ordination.
Kinhin: Walking zazen.
Kontin: (Jap. "darkness-sinking"). A state of mind characterized by sleepiness, depression, lack of energy.
Kusen: Oral teaching given during zazen.
Kyosaku: "Wake-up" stick that strikes the shoulders as an aid in one's zazen practice; also the person who gives it.
Mahayana: "The Great Vehicle", Practice for the sake of others.
Mondo: Question-answer session between master and disciples.
Mudra: A hand posture.
Mushotoku: No profit, no goal, no object. The essential attitude of not running after, not grasping.
Mujo: Impermance, constant change.
Naraka: A Hell-like dimension in Buddhist cosmology.
Rakusu: A small five-band kesa.
Roshi: Zen Master
Pai: A prostration. See "sampai".
Sampai: Three prostrations. Like gassho, a gesture of respect for all existences.
Samu: Zen work practice for the sangha.
Sangha: The community of those who practice the Way together.
Sanran: (Jap. "dispersed-confused") Over activity of the mind.
Seiza: A kneeling posture.
Sesshin: "To touch the mind." A Zen retreat.
Shiho: The transmission from master to disciple.
Shikantaza: (Jap. "Only sitting") A name for the zazen practice of concentration without object.
Shusso: Chief assistant to the Master.
Soto: One of the chief schools of Zen Buddhism.
Tenzo: Temple cook.
Teisho: Oral teaching given outside of zazen time.
Unsui: "Clouds and water." A term for Zen monks.
Zafu: Sitting cushion for zazen.
Zazen: Sitting Zen practice.
Zenji: A title given to the head of Eihei-ji or Soji-ji, the two chief training temples in Japanese Soto Zen Buddhism.