Aro Dictionary

The Sanskrit term for drüpthab.
The Sanskrit term for damtsig.
The unsatisfying way of experiencing the world as deficient and wrong. Samsara is the result of dualised view. Literally, ‘cyclic existence’.
A community of Buddhist practitioners. Sometimes refers specifically to the community of ordained practitioners. There are two divisions of the ordained Sangha: the red or monastic Sangha of monks and nuns, and the white or ngak’phang Sangha of Tantrikas.
The ‘new schools’ of Tibetan Buddhism: Kagyüd, Sakya, and Gélug. The Sarma schools are based on new translations of the Indian Tantras made in the Eleventh Century. Compare Nyingma.
The Tibetan spelling is gSar ma.
The practice of visualising oneself as a yidam.
Read more about: self-arising
Self-liberation is the path of Dzogchen. Phenomena are self-liberated when we instantaneously recognise their non-dual nature, and allow them to be as they are. Compare renunciation and transformation.
Read more about: self-liberation
Sem-dé is the first of the three series of Dzogchen. It is the ‘Series of the nature of Mind’. It contains a ngöndro, the four naljors, that makes it possible to approach Dzogchen sem-dé on its own terms, rather than via Tantra.
The Tibetan spelling is sems sDe.
Read more about: sem-dé
Dzogchen is divided into three ‘series’ (or ‘categories’ – Tibetan ): sem-dé, long-dé, and men-ngag-dé. These three contain progressively less conceptual content. There is much to say about sem-dé, less about long-dé, and virtually nothing about men-ngag-dé.
The Tibetan spelling is sDe.
Read more about: series
The Sanskrit term for shi-nè.
Shi-nè literally means ‘peaceful abiding’ in Tibetan. It refers to the direct perception of emptiness without conceptual interpretation. It also refers to several meditation methods that aim to find this experience by stilling the mind. Shi-nè is the first of the four naljors of Dzogchen sem-dé. The second is lhatong.
The Tibetan spelling is zhi gNas.
The equivalent Sanskrit term is shamatha.
Aro sKu-mNyé is a system of physical exercises that give rise to extraordinary sensations in the subtle body. Through experiencing these sensations, it is possible to find the presence of non-dual awareness in the dimension of tactility. Aro sKu-mNyé derives from Dzogchen long-dé.
Read more about: sKu-mNyé
subtle body
The energetic body. It is described in terms of ‘channels’ (or ‘spatial nerves’); ‘winds’ (or ‘energies’); and ‘points’ (or ‘elemental essences’).
Used in two ways. A sutra is a Buddhist sacred text, generally expressing teachings from Sutrayana. ‘Sutra’ is also used as a shortened form of Sutrayana.
The Buddhist yana whose path is renunciation. The base is suspicion of samsara, and the result is direct perception of emptiness. Sutrayana consists of Hinayana and Mahayana. Compare Tantrayana and Dzogchen.