- Acute PainAs contrasted with chronic pain which is long-term, acute pain is a short term, direct response to an injury or some physical disturbance (like the stomachache we get from overeating). Acute pain is part of the body's built-in alarm system, signaling an attack and the need for care. This(...)
- AwarenessAwareness may be described as feeling, apprehending, or another way of knowing besides conceptual/thought-based knowing. In fact, we can hold our thoughts in awareness, suggesting that awareness is a larger container or a type of knowing that's bigger than thoughts. Holding our thoughts in(...)
- Chronic PainAs contrasted with acute pain that arises suddenly in response to injury and generally responds quickly to medical treatment, chronic pain is an unpleasant sense of discomfort that persists for more than three months. Chronic doesn't necessarily mean severe. It means long-term. On this(...)
- DiscernmentThe aspect of mindfulness that allows us to distinguish between what is wholesome and what is not in our best interests. Using mindful discernment, we learn to abandon thoughts that are unwholesome and cultivate those thoughts that bring benefit and good. In the process of healing chronic(...)
- DzogchenDzogchen translates as "Great Perfection" or "Great Completion" and refers to the true primordial state of every individual also referred to as the nature of mind. The Dzogchen teachings are carried primarily with the the Nyingma and Bon schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
- EmptinessThis is the central notion of Mahayana Buddhism which understands all individuals and phenomena to be devoid of independent, lasting existence. In the context of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, emptiness refers to the base of reality that carries and permeates all phenomena and makes them possible.
- MahamudraMahamudra literally means "Great Seal" or "Great Symbol," indicating that the totality of existence is encompassed with the seal of ultimate reality, which is emptiness. This is a mystical teaching transmitted primarily by the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.
- MindfulnessMindfulness is a perspective and practice that aims to experience life directly, without preference or prejudice. Mindfulness entails watching our body, mind, emotions, and experiences (the four foundations of mindfulness) in a calm, detached, non-judgmental way that’s both welcoming and(...)
- Primary PainAs distinguished from secondary pain, primary pain is raw information sent by the body to the brain when their is injury or illness.
- PsychogenicHaving a primarily psychological cause or origin rather than a physical one. Other related terms used are psychosomatic and mindbody. A psychogenic syndrome is characterized by a set of associated symptoms that have a psychological origin rather than a physical one.
- Pure PerceptionSeeing things clearly as they are, not through the filters of our mental projections. A way of seeing that arises when the mind is clear and spacious.
- Secondary PainAs distinguished from primary pain, secondary pain is the mind's reaction to primary pain. Secondary pain is highly processed pain that's produced when the mind analyzes raw information being sent by the body to the brain. During this process, the mind teases apart sensations and sifts(...)
- Self-LiberationSelf-liberation is a term is used in both the Dzogchen and Mahamudra teachings. It refers to the spontaneous self-liberation of disturbing thoughts and conflicting emotions. Self-liberation is based on the idea that our thoughts and emotions, like all phenomena, have no intrinsic nature.(...)
- VipassanaVipassana is a Pali word that is usually translated as "insight meditation." It means "seeing clearly," and refers to a simple direct knowing. Another term that's often used is bare knowledge or direct knowledge. Direct knowledge arises when we are able to observe what is occurring without(...)
- WakefulnessIn spiritual terms, a recurring state of awareness in which we are mindfully alert and heartfully engaged in coherent communication, behavior and responses with events, objects, and people.