Cause and Condition  refer to the primary cause (causes) and the secondary causes (conditions).  For example, the seed of a flower is a primary cause; the elements of soil, water and sunlight could be considered as secondary causes.

Cause and Effect (Karma)   is the most basic doctrine in Buddhism, which explains the formation of all relations and connections in the world.  The universal Law of Cause and Effect means that the arising of each and every phenomenon is due to its own causes and conditions, and the actual form, or appearnce, of all phenomena is the effect.  The Law of Cause and Effect (Karma) follows us like our shadow.

The deed (karma) produces a fruit under certain circumstances; when it is ripe then it falls upon the one responsible.  It is particularly the intention of actions that cause a karmic effect to arise.  Since the time of ripening generally exceeds a lifespan, the effect of actions is necessarily one or more rebirths, which together constitute the cycle of existence.

Chan  is the Chinese translation of the Sanskrit term dhyana; it refers to meditative concentration.  Chan was introduced in China by Bodhidharma , who arrived in China from India around the sixth century C.E.  “The mind itself is Buddha” is the essential teaching introduced by Bodhidharma .  Its basis of teaching is beyond any doctrines and not rely on any written or verbal communication.  Chan is transmitted directly from the mind of the master to the mind of the student.  Chan reflects wisdom, humor, and compassion.  Chan  raises life to the level of art.  (See:  Zen)

“The Sound of One Hand Clapping” was a well known Koan (or Kung-An) used by Chan practitioners as a subject for contemplation.

Chan Buddhism  is one school of Chinese Buddhism.  It was founded by Bodhidharma,  emphasizes the cultivation of intrinsic wisdom, and teaches that enlightenment is clarifying the mind and seeing one’s own true nature.  The traditional Chan Buddhism does not rely on any kind of spoken or written language.  It emphasizes “the transmission from mind to mind” in preserving its wisdom.

Today, the practitioners of the modern Chan Buddhism  encourage people to apply “Free the Heart from Hatred, Free the Mind from Worry, Live Simply, Give More and Expect Less,” in managing one’s life.

Coexistence means compassion and harmony.  All sentient beings in the Dharma realm rely upon one another, forming a living oneness upon which all depend for survival.  Only through compassion can we accept the other, and only through harmony can we survive and coexist together.

Companionship.  “Through companionship with good men comes listening to good advice, thereby faith, thereby wise reflection, thereby mindfulness and clarity of consciousness, thereby sense-control, thereby 3-fold good conduct (3 wholesome deeds), thereby the 4 Foundations of Mindfulness, thereby the 7 Factors of Enlightenment, thereby liberation through wisdom.”

Compassion,  the wish for all others to be free from suffering and its causes, is the outstanding quality of all bodhisattvas and buddhas. Compassion and wisdom are the principal virtues in Buddhism.  Compassion must be accompanied by wisdom in order to have the right effect.  Compassion and wisdom are the true source of genuine happiness.  It means impartial and loving concern without attachment, tolerance without condition, and harmony and respect among all living beings.  Compassion with wisdom is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity.  It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensable to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.  The virtue of compassion is embodied in the Kuan Yin .

Concentration is the mental state of being firmly fixed, is the fixing of the mind on a single object.  The development of concentration may procure a 4-fold blessing:  (1) present true happiness, (2) knowledge and vision, (3) mindfulness and clear comprehension, (4) extinction of all cankers.  Right concentration is one of the 7 Factors of Enlightenment, one of the 5 Spiritual Faculties and Powers, and the last link of the Noble 8-fold Path.

The Buddha said, “A person who is mentally concentrated see things according to reality…….just as when a lighted lamp is brought into a dark chamber, the lamp-light will destroy the darkness, and produce and spread the light, just so will Insight, once arisen, destroy the darkness of ignorance and produce the light of knowledge.”

Contemplation means deep spiritual thought or meditation; concentration of the mind on spiritual matters.  Usually, the term refers to the contemplation on the Buddha, His teachings (the Dharma), His noble community (the Sangha), and heavenly beings; and further contemplation on death, the body, and mindfulness of inhaling and exhaling.  Above practices bring about the release from the 3 unwholesome roots: greed, hatred and delusion.

Condition is something on which something else, the so-called ‘conditioned thing,’ is dependent, and without which the latter cannot be.  According to Buddhism, everything mental or physical happens in accordance with the Law (of Karma) and conditions.

Consciousness.  There are 8 consciousnesses: (1) sight consciousness, (2) hearing consciousness, (3) scent consciousness, (4)  taste consciousness, (5) touch consciousness, (6) ordinary mind consciousness, (7) defiled mind consciousness, and (8) Alaya consciousness.

Alaya Consciousness, the eighth consciousness, is also called ‘storehouse consciousness’, or ‘Karma repository.’   It is the basic consciousness of everything existing — the essence of the phenomenal world.  It contains the seeds of every psychological phenomenon.

All Karma created in the present and previous lifetimes are stored here in Alaya consciousness.  The Alaya Consciousness is regarded as that which undergoes the cycle of existence (or cycle of birth and death).  All the actions and experiences of life that take place through the first seven consciousnesses are accumulated as Karma in this Alaya Consciousness, which at the same time exerts an influence on the workings of these seven consciousnesses.

Craving is the chief  root of suffering, and of the ever continuing cycle of rebirths.  “Clinging” is an intensified degree of craving.  The Buddha said, “He who has destroyed craving overcomes all sorrow.”  (See:  Attachment)

Corresponding to the 6 sense-objects, there are 6 kinds of craving:  Craving for visible objects, for sounds, odors, tastes, bodily impressions, and mental impression.  Corresponding to the 3-fold existence, there are 3 kinds of craving:  Craving for Sensual existence, for Fine-material existence, and for Immaterial existence.

Cycle of Existence (or Cycle of Birth and Death):  taking uncontrolled rebirth under the influence of disturbing attitudes and karmic imprints.  It is a succession of rebirths that a being goes through within the various modes of existence until it has attained liberation and entered nirvana. (See: Samsara)


(Spring Liao, 06/01/2011) (6/10/11)