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Glossary

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Dakini

(skt.: dakini; tib.: khandro ma) Literally, a sky-goer, but sometimes also translated as space-goer, celestial woman or cloud fairy. A being who has attained high realizations and helps arouse blissful energy in a qualified tantric practitioner.

Damaru

(tib.: da ma ru) A small hand drum used in tantric rituals.

Degenerate time

(skt.: kaliyuga; tib.: tso den du) Sometimes also called the Dark Age. It is the time we live in now, when violence and conflict are norms of human society rather than exceptions to the general rule. Also, it is viewed as the end of a cycle of Buddhas Teachings. Traditionally, this is thought to mean that the purity of the Teachings, as well as peoples ability to put them into practice, is at risk of declining. Time of degeneration is marked by five degenerations of time, sentient beings, lifespan, actions or views and afflictions.

Dependent origination
(skt.: pratityasamutpada; tib.: ten drel) The way that all phenomena exist conventionally. The principal that nothing exists independently. There are three ways how phenomena come into being (each more subtle): 
1. phenomena come into being in dependence upon causes and conditions
2. phenomena come into being in dependence upon their parts
3. phenomena come into being in dependence upon the mind imputing or labeling them
Dharma
(skt.: dharma; tib.: cho) The word Dharma has different meanings: 
1. usually it refers to spiritual teachings, usually those of Shakyamuni Buddha
2. it can refer to realizations (Nirvana for example) obtained by implementing spiritual teachings;
3. literally dharma means to hold. So any object in the world which holds definable characteristics (simply said: most objects) is dharma; 
4. it can also refer to any truth, such as the sky is blue.
Dharma protector

(skt.: dharmapala; tib.: cho kyong) Beings who vow to protect and guard the teachings of the Buddha and its followers. Dharma protectors can be either mundane (virtuous samsaric beings) or wisdom Dharma protectors (emanations of Buddhas or Bodhisattvas).

Dharmakaya

(tib.: chu ku) Dharma body. The omniscient mind of a fully enlightened being, which, free of all coverings, remains meditatively absorbed in the direct perception of emptiness while simultaneously cognizing all phenomena. The basis for Dharmakaya is collection of wisdom. Dharmakaya can be divided in Jnanadharmakaya and Svabhavakaya.

Dharmapala

(skt.: dharmapala; tib.: cho kyong) Beings who vow to protect and guard the teachings of the Buddha and its followers. Dharma protectors can be either mundane (virtuous samsaric beings) or wisdom Dharma protectors (emanations of Buddhas or Bodhisattvas).

Dhyana

(skt.: dhyana/jhana; tib.: sam ten) Very deep meditation or concentration that can be reached by the practice of samadhi. This is where one attains supernormal powers, sees his past lives, and gains wisdom of the true nature of reality. There are four levels of dhyana which correspond to the four levels of the form realm. This very deep meditation can also result in being born in these four levels of the form realm.

Dorje
(skt.: vajra; tib.: dorje) Literally means diamond or thunderbolt. A tantric implement symbolizing method (compassion or bliss), held in the right hand (the male side), usually in conjunction with a bell, which symbolizes wisdom and is held in the left hand (the female side).
Duality

Duality means that the way we percieve is discordant to reality, not the same as what is in fact the case. The way it appears is out of harmony with the way it actually exists.

Dukkha

(skt.: dukkha; tib.: dug ngel) Suffering. The root word of dukkha implies the axle of a wheel that is out of place, so that the wheel wobbles and creates inappropriate stresses on the axle. Thus dukkha is the pain and dissatisfaction in life that arises from thoughts, speech, and actions which are out of alignment.

Language

Words of Wisdom

"If, with the rope of mindfulness, you bind firm the elephant of the mind, you will let go of every fear and find virtue close at hand."
- Shantideva

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