GLOSSARY OF COMMONLY USED TERMS
order for people to become familiar with the terms that are being used
in the articles, this Glossary of Terms is being established.
I wish to thank all of the
contributors to this listing. It is through their selflessness that we
are all able to grow & learn by usage of traditional terms &
historical periods of development.
So that people also become familiar
with the different spellings used in English to describe Chinese terms,
I will continuously float back and forth between Pin Yin &
Wade-Giles spellings. If you find that you would like to see further
terms added to the list, please let me know.
Arhat a Buddhist “saint,” or one who has achieved the goal of
individual enlightenment through one’s own effort, associated with
Hinayana form of Buddhism.
Baguazhang "Eight Trigram Palms", this is the name of an internal
Chinese boxing system.
Bai Hui Crown Point, one of the points on the Microcosmic orbit
Boddhisattva an enlightened being who voluntarily postpones his own
nirvana while striving to help all forms of sentient life attain
enlightenment; associated with Mahayana form of Buddhism that stresses
devoutful prayer to such compassionate deities.
Bodhi “enlightenment,” from which the term Buddha is derived.
Bodhidharma Indian monk, whose name is combination of “enlitenment”
(bodhi) and “law/truth” (dharma), who traveled to China and founded the
Chan sect of Buddhism .
Chan - an influential sect of Buddhism in China that emphasized
meditation as a way to enlitenment (known as Son in Korea and Zen in
Diamond Sutra - Buddhist text used by Bodhidharma in his teachings; a
fragment of a copy of this sutra (dated 868 CE) found in Korea is the
oldest surviving printed text in world history.
Dim Hseuh Vital Point Spotting. Typically this term refers to the way
in which poins along the jinluo are used in combat.
Fa Jing Means ‘emitting Jing’. Jing is defined as the combination of
physical strength, qi, and yi in a martial technique
Fu Hsiang/Five Forces a set of five symbolic processes of change
in the universe that can be arranged in productive (or generating),
destructive (or overcoming), and dynamically balanced cycles.
“Four Beginnings” Confucian belief, enunciated by Mencius, that all
humans are born with a sense of compassion, of shame, of respect, and
of right and wrong, and these are the beginning, respectively, of
humanity (jen), righteousnessm (yi), decorum (li), and wisdom (zhi).
Four Books consist of Analects, Mencius, “Great Learning,” and
“Doctrine of the Mean,” contained the essence of Confucianism and
formed the basic curriculum of all educated throughout East Asia.
Fu Xi “Ox Tamer,” first of three mythical (?) culture heroes, father of
Chinese race, taught Chinese how to domesticate animals, hunt and fish,
use fire for cooking.
Gautama Siddhartha son of chieftain of Shakya kingdom (see also
Shakyamuni) in Northern India who lived c.560-480 and who becomes
enlightened c.520 and is thereafter known as the Buddha (the
“Enlightened One”); founder of the great world religion Buddhism.
Gong/Gong Fu Gong Fu means "skill acquired through great time and
effort". This term is usually used to describe martial arts.
Hexagram a graph consisting of 6 lines, each line being either solid
(yang) or broken (yin), that symbolically represents the universe in a
particular state of change (see also trigram); the I Jing consists of
Huang Di “Yellow Emperor,” third of three mythical (?) culture heroes,
founder of Chinese nation, forms of government, record keeping, other
forms of advanced civilization.
Hui-neng 6th patriarch of Chan sect and founder of Southern (China)
School which emphasized direct techniques in the transmission of truth
from master to disciple rather than reliance on discussion of texts
I Ching The Book of Changes, which describes the elements of the
universe, it’s properties, it’s principles, & it’s changes.
Internal Boxing Martial arts based on the development of Taoist
internal alchemy for enhanced martial techniques.
Internal Alchemy The processes used to open all of the channels of
energy flow in the human body for the purpose of enhanced mental,
physical, or spiritual abilities. Often the process used on the path to
Jingluo The paths or channels through which energy travels in the human
Lao Tzu (Laozi) “Master Old One,” probably not historical but reputed
to live in the 6th-5th centuries BCE, “author” of Dao De Jing (Tao Te
Ching, The Classic of Tao and Te) and one of founders of school of
Mahayana the “greater vehicle/raft/path” of Buddhism that stresses the
salvational powers of boddhisattvas (see its counterpart, Hinayana).
Mandate of Heaven theory first developed by the Duke of Zhou,
proclaimed that dynasties ruled only so long as they maintained a
mandate or charge from Heaven (Tian) by providing good rule for the
Ming Men Heaven’s Gate, one of the points on the Microcosmic orbit
Nei Gong The skills or energies developed through Internal Arts
Northern Shaolin The Shaolin Temple Boxing methods taught/practiced in
the northern regions of China emphasizing kicking, constantly changing
stance work, an equal amount of hand/foot techniques, as opposed
to the southern temple boxing styles which emphasize southern traits;
very stationary methods, emphasis on hand techniques, etc.
Pure Land the most popular of Buddhist sects in China, with emphasis on
salvation through devoutful prayer to Amitobha and Guan Yin; sect named
after the paradise (Pure Land) to which one goes after death and
remains until reaching nirvana.
Qi Vital Energy, the Chinese character means "the steam that comes from
cooking rice". Ponder this, it’s meaning is deep.
Shaolin Temple Two Buddhist temples that were academies of learning
traditional Chinese medicine, philosophy, religion & martial arts.
Shang Di “Superior Being,” a powerful deity that Shang ruling house
claimed was their ancestor and from whom they derived right to rule
(cf. concept of Tian).
Shen "Spirit" or Spirit of Vitality. One of the Three Precious
Treasures of Shen, Qi, and Yi.
Shen Nong “Divine Agriculturist,” second of three mythical (?) culture
heroes, taught Chinese people the ways of agriculture and herbal
Sutra a Buddhist text.
Tan Tien/Dan Dien "Field of Elixir", the original source of the body's
energy. The first is found about three fingers below & behind the
navel, called the Lower Tan Tien, the second sits roughly behind the
Solar Plexus, called the Middle Tan Tien, & the third is found in
the location of the so-called Third Eye, & this is called the Upper
Tan Tien. All three must be experienced/studied to understand their
functions & how they are specifically used in different ways as
part of Internal Alchemy Training.)
Tao/Dao I have chosen to define Tao as The Natural Way of Things. The
"Grand Scheme" or "Master Plan" of existence. For the Taoists, an
indescribable oneness or mystical unity that underlies all the
multiplicity and changeableness of the universe; for the Confucians, a
supreme moral standard that guides ones thoughts and actions.
Taoist One who seeks to follow Tao, who makes Its ways their own both
in philosophy AND practice.
Taijiquan This is the name of an internal Chinese boxing system based
on Taiji, or the "Grand Ultimate". It is from this force that Yin and
Yang are manifest.
Theravada Buddhism another name for the Hinayana path of Buddhism, the
name preferred by its devotees.
Tian “Heaven,” universalistic deity introduced in the Zhou period to
legitimate the power of the emperors(cf. concept of Shang Di)
Wai Gong The skills or energies developed through External Arts
Wei Lu The Tailbone, one of the points on the Microcosmic orbit
Wushu "Martial Discipline", refers usually to the standardized martial
routines established by the Chinese government after the Cultural
Revolution for competition.
Xiao “filial piety,” respect one owed his or her parents, or more
generally respect for the elders in a family, the foundation of
Yi Jing Another spelling for I Ching.
Yu last of the three “sage rulers” of ancient China whose son succeeded
him as emperor of the Xia, thus establishing the dynastic principle in
Chinese political tradition.
Zhi “wisdom” or a discerning mind, Confucian notion that one must
constantly be making moral judgements about proper behavior and action.
Zhou, Duke of brother of the first Zhou emperor, thought to be real
architect of dynastic power, formulator of the Mandate of Heaven
Zhu Yuan ancient Chinese statesman, 340-278, whose tragic
drowning/suicide in exile is commemorated in the Dragon Boat festival
held every 5th day of the 5th lunar month.
Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu) “Master Zhuang,” lived 370-285, author of Zhuang
Tzu (Sayings of Master Zhuang) and a co-founder of the school of
Zhongguo (Chung-kuo) “central states,” geographically central states
seen as repository of high Chinese civilization in the Zhou period,
later term borrowed to refer to all of China as the “Middle Kingdom”.