Dictionary of Key Spiritual Terms

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Wylie | Tibetan


See also heart, spirit, soul
  1. sems/ 

    [hon. thugs/  Skt. chitta]

    Biblical: 1) the human mind or heart: snying sems gcig tu gyur/  one in heart and mind (Acts 4:32), mi re res rang gi sems nang /  each in his own mind (Rom. 14:5), nga'i sems ma bde ba/  I had no peace of mind (2 Cor. 2:13), 'jig rten 'di'i lhas sems ldongs su bcug pa yin/  the god of this age has blinded their minds (2 Cor. 4:4); 2) the divine mind: gtso bo'i thugs sus brtags/  who has known the mind of the Lord (Rom. 11:34), nga tshor ma shi ka'i thugs yod/  we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16); 3) mind, soul, or spirit: sems sgyur ma btub pas ma thob pa/  he could bring about no change of mind (Heb.12:17), lus srog sems gsum/  body, spirit, and soul (1 Thes. 5:23), nga'i sems khyed tsho'i rtsar yod/  I am with you in spirit (1 Cor. 5:3), rang gi snying hril po dang /,,sems hril po dang /,,yid hril po nas/  with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Mt. 22:37).

    Buddhist: The terms blo/,,yid/,,sems/  are said to be indistinguishable in common speech (KTM, AMD) and to denote the mind or the (non-physical) heart (AMD). Mind is the agent of awareness and consciousness. In Bst. psychology the mind is not localized to any particular bodily organ (BTT 42) and may include what in English are called the senses (TRI 283). 1) the mind, thought life: sems pa'i las/  [lit. mind + work] mental actions; sems la skyon yod med kyi brtag dpyad/  a test of whether one's mind has any defects (TRC 5), sems rang gi dmigs pa la gnas/  the mind remains on its object of concentration (TRC 186), sems la mun pa babs pa lta bu'i rmugs pa/  to have torpor fall like darkness on the mind (TRC 186); 2) the attitudes or intentions which arise in the mind; which may be: a) wholesome: byang chub sems/  the mind of enlightenment or the wish that all living creatures may be freed from misery (CNG 149), brtse sems/  love; b) unwholesome: gnod sems/  the wish to harm others, 'gran sems/  jealousy or competitiveness (DLP 13); c) neutral: sems pa/  intention (KBT 13), anxiety: sems kyi sdug bsngal/  mental anguish (TRC 272); 3) the agent which operates in rational thoughts, e.g.: concentration: sems rtse gcig pa nyid/  single-pointed mind; one of the four concentrations (KBT 104); will: sems pa/  intention, one of the 51 psychic factors (KBT 13); discipline: sems 'dul thabs/  mental training (DLP 8); concern: sems khur chen po/  a great concern (DLP 8), 'dzam gling zhi bde'i don la sems khur ldan pa'i chos pa tsho/  religious practitioners who are concerned with world peace (DLP 21); worry: pha ma gnyis dang spun tshang mas sems khral mang po byas so/  my family was very worried about me (DPD); forming opinions: kho tsho'i sems la/  in their opinion, thinking that something is true (SLR 10); 4) the seat of emotions: a) fear: sems la 'jigs dngangs skye ba/  frightening (DLP 7); b) tenderness, love (DLP 14), gzhan phan sems/  altruism (DLP 14), byams pa'i sems/  kindness (GSL 14); c) comfort: sems gso ba/  to comfort, encourage (SGN 23); d) gladness: sems dga' ba/  to be glad (DPD); e) happiness sems skyid/  happiness (KPU 5); f) peace: nang sems kyi bde ba/  inner peace (DLP 8); g) sensitivity: skye bo sems bag srab pa/  a sensitive person (DLP 1), h) greed: brnab sems/  covetousness; i) sympathy: gdung sems/  sympathy (DLP 11); j) devotion: chos sems/  devout (DPD); k) sincerity: g.yo sgyu med pa'i sems/  (HTE 170).

    Proverbs: 1) sems ni g.yo zhing 'khyug pa dang /,,bsrung bar dka' zhing zhi dka'/  the mind is unstable and cunning, hard to tame or pacify; 2) chu yi khyim du skyes pa'i nya/,,thang la 'phang ba ji bzhin du/,,bdud kyi yul sa bskyur ba la/,,sems 'di yongs su 'dar bar 'gyur/  as the sea-born fish [trembles when] thrown onto the land, so the mind, cast into the devil's realm, thrashes about (DMP 18).

    Related Terms: 1) sems nyid/  [lit. mind only, mind nature] spirit: pho nya dang /,,sems nyid med/  neither angels nor spirits (Acts 23:8), dkon mchog thug snyid lags/  God is spirit (Jn. 4:24), sems nyid/  mind nature (HTE 186); 2) sems can/  [lit. having a mind] a living being with a mind, a sentient being, an animal (TRI 284); 3) sems pa/  thought, intention (TRI 286); 4) sems rgyud/  mental continuum (TRI 284); 5) sems rten/  an object of meditation (TRI 285); 6) sems sgyur/  change one's mind: sems sgyur ma btub pas ma thob pa/  he could bring about no change of mind (Heb. 12:17), 'phru gu brgyad sems 'gyur nas ma shi ka pa 'byung ngo /  eight children became Christians (DPD); 7) sems dkrug pa/  to trouble another's mind, agitate someone: khyed kyi sems dkrug pa'i gtam thos pas/  we have heard [they] troubled your minds [by what they said] (Acts 15:24); 8) sems brlags/  [lit. mind + lost] depraved mind: sems brlags shing dad pa zog po'i mi/  men of depraved minds and false faith (2 Tim. 3:8); 9) sems khams rig pa/  psychology: nang pa sangs rgyas pa'i sems khams rig pa/  Buddhist psychology (DLP 13); 10) rnam shes sems/  consciousness (HTE 198).

  2. blo/ 

    Biblical: mind, understanding: blo las 'das pa'i dkon mchog gi zhi bde/  the peace of God, which passes understanding (Phil. 4:7), blo snying gcig tu/  united in mind and thought (1 Cor. 1:10), rang gi blo gsar du bsgyur bas gshis kyang sgyur zhig be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom. 12:2).

    Buddhist: 1) mental faculty, mind: blo sbyong /  mental training, study (TRI 188); blo rgya che chung dang /,,bsam pa'i khur che chung gi sgo nas gzhag gi red/  he is categorized according to the stature of his mind or the small or great burden of his thought (TRC 216), blo'i zur cig nas/  from a corner of the mind (TRC 200), blo shugs chen po/  [lit. strong mind] great determination (TRC 256); 2) perception or awareness: blo rig bdun/  the seven awarenesses (CNG 90), blo rig bzhi/  the four types of awareness (TRI 189); 3) wisdom [Skt. buddhi]: blo gros/  intelligence or wisdom, legs pa'i blo gros/  excellent wisdom, one of the 10 boddhisattva grounds (KBT 66).

    Cognates: 1) blo la 'dzin/  to memorize (TRC 2); 2) blo khengs/  to be satisfied (TRC 154); 3) blo yul/  imagination (DLP 7); 4) 'dod blo/  ideal, wish, aim (DLP 22); 5) blo rig intelligence (DLP 23); 6) blo gros/  understanding, mind, intelligence, wisdom: nga'i blo gros la 'bras bu med do/  my mind is unfruitful (1 Cor. 14:14), 'jig rten gyi blo gros/  worldly, unspiritual mind (Col. 2:18), log pa'i blo gros/  depraved mind (Rom. 1:28), sems dang blo gros gnyis pos/  with both mind and spirit (1 Cor. 14:15), de tsho'i blo gros dang /,,bshes bzang /  both their minds and their consciences (Tit. 1:15), blo gros kyi ska rags bcings nas/  gird up your minds (KJV) (1 Pet. 1:13).

  3. yid/ 

    Biblical: mind, heart: yid gsar par gyur cig made new in the attitude of your minds (Eph. 4:23), de tsho'i yid nang nga'i bka' khrims/  I will [put] my laws in their minds (Heb. 8:10) or hearts (Heb. 10:16), rang gi snying hril po dang /,,sems hril po dang /,,yid hril po nas/  with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Mt. 22:37).

    Buddhist: the seat of consciousness and perception, which in Bst. metaphysics extends to the whole world; hence: chos rnams yid kyi rang bzhin te/  all things have the nature of mind (DMP 2). Specifically, yid/  is: 1) the seat of emotions: yid 'ong byams pa/  affectionate love (TRC 321), yid du 'ong ba/  attractive, pleasant (TRC 260), yid la 'bab pa/  pleasing (SLR 15); 2) the rational mind: yid kyi skyabs 'gro/  taking refuge mentally (TRC 73), lus ngag yid gsum/  body, speech, and mind (TRC 244), yid byed/  attention, yid ches/  faith; 3) consciousness: yul shes pa'i cha nas bzhag pa'i rnam shes te/,,sems rnams so/  the consciousness on the basis of which objects are known; thoughts (TDC 2570).

  4. bsam pa/ 

    [hon. thugs bsam/ ]

    Biblical: 1) mind: khyed tsho'i snying dang bsam pa rnams/  your hearts and minds (Phil. 4:7); 2) an attitude of mind: thugs nyid kyi bsam pas tshe mtha' med pa dang zhi bde/  the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace (Rom. 8:6), 'jig rten pa'i bsam pas dkon mchog gi bka' khrims la mi nyan/  the worldly mind does not obey God's law (Rom. 8:7); 3) change one's mind: bsam pa bsgyur te khong ni lha zhig go zer ro/  they changed their minds and said he was a god (Acts 28:6); 4) thought: ye shus de rnams gyi bsam pa mkhyen nas/  Jesus knew their thoughts (Mt. 9:4); 5) will: lung bstan gang yang mi'i bsam pa las ma byung /  prophecy never had its origin in the will of man (2 Pet. 1:20,21).

    Buddhist: 1) attitude: snying thag pa nas re ltos 'cha' ba'i bsam pa/  the attitude which relies on them from the heart (TRC 73), bsam pa de 'dras shig dang ldan pa/  with this kind of attitude (TRC 73), grogs po'i bsam pa/  a friendly attitude (TRC 167); 2) reflection, consideration: bsam pa zer ba de sangs rgyas kyi bka' la sogs pa thos nas de'i don la tshul bzhin du brtag dpyad legs par byas pa'i sgo nas nges shes rnyed par byed pa'i bsam pa zhig la zer gyi yod pa red/  reflection is the faculty which examines well the teaching of the scriptures and their commentaries and finds valid knowledge (TRC 184), bsam pas brtag dpyad yag po byas/  having done a good examination by way of reflection (TRC 185), bsam pa dang /,,sgom pa/  reflection and meditation (TRC 242); 3) rational thought, thinking: bsam pa'i sgo nas skyes bu chung ngu'i mchog de las kyang lhag pa red/  the so-called middle individual is superior also to the best small individual from the point of view of his thinking (TRC 217), snying rje'i bsam pa/  the thought of compassion (TRC 218), phyi ma phan chad la bde ba'i bsam pa/  a thought of happiness for the future (TRC 227), ngos kyi bsam par/  in my opinion (DLP 8); 4) moral action: sems pa'i las dang /,,bsam pa'i las/  mental actions and deliberative actions (TRC 287); bsam pa'i las zer ba ni/,,sems pa des kun nas bslangs pa'i lus ngag gi bya ba dge mi dge lung ma bstan gsum po de la zer gyi yod pa red/  deliberative action signifies the three, virtuous, non-virtuous, and indeterminate acts of body and speech (TRC 287), mi rnams kyis 'dod rngams dang /,,phrag dog gis kun nas bslangs pa'i bsam pa shugs cher 'khyer ba yin na/  when people are motivated mainly by thoughts of greed and jealousy (DLP 11), snying rje'i bsam pa/  a sense of compassion (DLP 16), bsam pa la yang nang gses kyis nyon mongs pa dang /,,kun slong /,,'du shes bcas gsum yod pa red/  within the thought there are the three: the passion, the motivation, and the singling out (TRC 243).

    Cognates: bsam pa zhan/  [lit. the quality of the heart is poor] not having religious knowledge, or not living up to the knowledge one has (AMD).

    Related Terms: 1) sems/  p. bsams/  f. bsam/  imp. soms/  to think or have one's mind set on: 'jig rten pas 'jig rten gyi bya ba sems/,,thugs nyid pas thugs nyid kyi bya ba sems so/  those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires (Rom. 8:5); 2) shes pa/  understanding: de tsho'i shes pa gsal bar mdzad de/  he opened their minds (Lk. 24:45), 'on kyang de rnams kyi shes pa 'thug por gyur to/  but their minds were made dull [lit. "thick"] (2 Cor. 3:14); 3) rang gi las la don gnyer/  "mind your own business": rang gi las la don gnyer/  mind your own business (1 Thes. 4:11,12); 4) dgongs pa/  [hon. thugs dgongs/ ] desire, intention, or will, especially the will of God: gtso bo'i thugs dgongs su yis shes/  who has known the mind of the Lord (1 Cor. 2:16), nyid kyi thugs dgongs mi 'gyur/  [the Lord] will not change his mind (Heb. 7:21), thugs nyid kyi dgongs pa mkhyen no/  knows the mind of the Spirit (Rom. 8:27); 5) thag bcad/  to make up one's mind; decide, resolve: slar khyed tsho skyo ba'i mjal phrad ngas mi byed par thag bcad pa yin/  I made up my mind that I would not make another painful visit to you (2 Cor. 2:1); 6) smyo/  to be "out of one's mind", insane: khyod smyo'o/  you're out of your mind (Acts 12:15), khong smyo'o zer/  they said, "He is out of his mind" (Mk. 3:21).