asuras: Beings who like to fight.
Bodhi tree: A pipal tree that is known as the 'tree of enlightenment'. The tree under which Gautama achieved enlightenment and became a Buddha.
Bodhisattva: A compassionate being who enlightens himself and helps others to be enlightened.
Buddha: The Enlightened or Awakened One. The word 'Bodhi' means to awaken.
Buddha Hall: The main room inside a Buddhist temple.
Dharma: Teachings of the Buddha
enlightenment: Understanding the truth of life, freedom from ignorance.
Five Precepts: The five rules of conduct given by the Buddha to his disciples: no killing, no stealing, no sexual misconduct, no false speech, no intoxicants.
Four Noble Truths: The first teachings spoken by the Buddha: the truth of suffering, the cause of suffering, the end of suffering, and the Path leading to the end of suffering.
hungry ghosts: Ghosts that suffer a lot because they are greedy.
Jataka tales: stories about the past lives of the Buddha.
karma: 'Action' or the law of cause and effect. For every action there is a cause.
Kathina: A 'festival of giving' held in autumn, where people make offerings to the monks and nuns.
lotus posture: A meditation posture.
lotus: The lotus symbolizes the purity of the Buddha. It grows out of mud, yet it is not defiled by it.
Mahayana: The tradition of Northern Buddhism.
mantras: Symbolic phrases that Buddhists chant.
meditation: A method of calming and training the mind.
Middle Way: The path in life prescribed by the Buddha, the path between extremes.
Nirvana: An everlasting state of great joy and peace.
Noble Eightfold Path: The Buddha's prescription for ending suffering. It is made up of eight parts: right views, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
offering bowl: A bowl that nuns and monks receive offerings in.
Pali: An ancient language of India that the Buddhist Sutras were originally written in.
Pratyekabuddha: Hermits who become enlightened by themselves.
puja: A Pali word for Buddhist worship.
Sangha: The community of Buddhist nuns and monks.
Sanskrit: An ancient language of India that the Buddhist Sutras were written in.
Six Perfections: The six ideals that a Bodhisattva perfects: giving morality, patience, effort, concentration, and wisdom.
stupas: Monuments to the Buddha
Theravada: The tradition of Southern Buddhism.
Three Refuges: The Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
Tripitaka: The 'three baskets', a collection of the Buddha's written teachings.
Triple Jewel: The Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
Ullambana: A Buddhist festival when offerings are given to the Sangha.
Wheel of Life and Death: The six worldly states of rebirth: gods, asuras, humans, animals, hungry ghosts, and hell-beings.
zafu: A round meditation cushion used in Japanese Buddhism.
Zen: Japanese meditation.