smallA bigA



Ah Q (ah cue): A foolish character in a Chinese novel.

Arhat: An enlightened being with Fruition Status in the Buddha School and one who is beyond the Three Realms.

Assistant Soul ( fu yuanshen): One’s secondary soul(s); Assistant Consciousness.

Asura: “Malevolent spirits,” from Sanskrit.


Baihui (buy-hway) point: An acupuncture point located at the crown of one’s head.

Benti: One’s physical body and the bodies in other dimensions.

Big Lotus Flower Hand Sign: A hand posture for consecration.

Bigu (bee-goo): “Avoidance of grains;” an ancient term for abstinence from food and water.

Bodhisattva: An enlightened being with Fruition Status in the Buddha School, and one who is higher than an Arhat but lower than a Tathagata.

Bodhisattva Guanyin: Known for her compassion, she is one of the two senior Bodhisattvas in the Paradise of Ultimate Bliss.

Book of Changes (Zhouyi): An ancient Chinese book of divination dating from the Zhou Dynasty (1100 B.C.—221 B.C.).

The Buddha Fa: The Buddha Law; the universal principles and law; the way of the universe.


Cao Cao (tsaow-tsaow): Founder and ruler of Wei Kingdom, one of the Three Kingdoms (220 A.D.—265 A.D.).

Celestial eye: Also known as the “third eye.”

Changchun (chahng-choon): Capital city of Jilin Province.

Chongqing (chong-ching): The most populous city in Southwestern China.

Cultural Revolution: A communist political movement that denounced traditional Chinese values and culture (1966-1976).


Da Ji (dah jee): A wicked concubine of the last emperor in the Shang Dynasty (1765 B.C.—1122 B.C.). She is believed to have been possessed by a fox spirit and to have caused the fall of the Shang Dynasty.

Dafa (dah-fah): “Great law” or “Great Way;” principles of the universe.

Dan (dahn): An energy cluster in a cultivator’s body, collected from other dimensions.

Danjing (dahn jing), Daozang (daow zang): Both are Taoist texts for cultivation.

Dantian (dahn-tyen): Field of dan (energy cluster in a cultivator’s body); the lower abdominal area.

De (duh): “Virtue” or “merit;” a precious white substance.

Dharma: Buddha Shakyamuni’s teachings.

Dharma-Ending Age: According to Buddha Shakyamuni, the Dharma-Ending Age is a period of time that represents the decline of Buddhism when Shakyamuni’s Dharma is no longer able to save sentient beings.

Diamond Sutra: One of the primary scriptures in Buddhism.

Digging into a bull’s horn: A Chinese expression for going down a dead end.

Ding: A state of empty, yet conscious mind.


Eight Deities: Well-known Taoist deities in Chinese history.

Eight Trigrams: Also known as Bagua, these eight trigrams are used in Taoist cosmology to represent the fundamental principles of reality, seen as a range of eight interrelated concepts.


Fa (fah): Law and principles in the Buddha School.

Fashen (fah-shun): “Law body;” a body made of gong and Fa.

Fengshui (fung-shway): Chinese geomancy, a practice of reading landscapes.

Five Elements: Metal, wood, water, fire, and earth.

Fruition Status (guowei): One’s level of attainment in the Buddha School, such as Arhat, Bodhisattva, or Tathagata.


Gong: 1. Cultivation energy; 2. A practice that cultivates such energy.

Gongshen (gong-shuhn): A body made of gong or cultivation energy.

Great Jade Emperor: In Chinese mythology, the deity that supervises the Three Realms.

Guanding (gwan-ding): Pouring energy into the top of one’s head; initiation ritual.

Guangdong (gwang-dong) and Guangxi (gwang-shee): Two provinces in Southern China.

Guanyin (gwan-yeen) sect: A cult named after Bodhisattva Guanyin, the “Goddess of Mercy.”

Guiyang (gway-yahng): Capital of Guizhou Province.

Guizhou (gway-jhoe): A province in Southwest China.


Han (hahn): The majority ethnicity of Chinese people.

Han Xin (hahn-sheen): The leading general who helped Emperor Liu Bang establish the Han Dynasty.

Heche (huh-chuh): Also known as “river vehicle,” a Taoist exercise for internal circulation.

Hegu (huh-goo) point: An acupuncture point on the back of the hand, between the thumb and the index finger.

Hetu (huh-too), Luoshu (luoa-shew): Both are prehistoric diagrams that are thought to disclose the course of cosmic changes.

Hinayana: “The Small Vehicle Buddhism.”

Huangdi Neijing: Also known as The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon, a Taoist text for cultivation.

Huiyin (hway-yeen) point: An acupuncture point in the center of the perineum (the area between one’s anus and genitals).

Hun (huhn): Food that is forbidden in Buddhist temples, such as all types of meat.


Idealistic: In Mainland China, this term carries a negative connotation that implies imaginary, superstitious, and unrealistic thinking.

In-Triple-World-Fa: Buddhism holds that one must go through samsara (six paths of reincarnation or the cycle of reincarnation) if one has not reached Beyond-Triple-World-Fa cultivation or beyond the Three Realms.

Investiture of the Gods (Fengshenbang): A classic work of Chinese fiction.

Iron Sand Palm, Cinnabar Palm, Vajra Leg,

Arhat Foot: Types of Chinese martial arts techniques.

It is easier to invite an immortal than to see one off: A Chinese expression commonly used to describe a situation that is easy to fall into, but difficult to get out of.


Jie: A period lasting for two billion years; here the term is used as a number.

Jigong (jee-gong): A well-known Buddhist monk with magic powers in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 A.D.—1279 A.D.).

Jinan (jee-nahn): Capital of Shandong Province.


Lady Queen Mother: In Chinese mythology, the highest-level female deity within the Three Realms.

Lama: A title for a master in Tibetan Buddhism.

Lao Zi (laow-dzz): Founder of the Tao School and author of the Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching) who lived and taught in China around the 5th or 4th century B.C.

Laogong (laow-gong) point: An acupuncture point at the center of the palm.

Last Havoc: The community of cultivators holds that the universe has three phases of evolution (The Beginning Havoc, The Middle Havoc, The Last Havoc), and that now is The Last Havoc’s final period.

Lei Feng (lay fung): A Chinese moral exemplar in the 1960s.

Li (lee): A Chinese unit for distance (0.5 km). In Chinese, “108 thousand li” is a common expression to describe a very long distance.

Liu Bang (leo bahng): Emperor and founder of the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.—23 A.D.).

Lu Dongbin (lyu dong-bin): One of the Eight Deities in the Tao School.

Lunyu (loon-yew): Statement; comment.


Mahayana: “The Great Vehicle Buddhism.”

Mahjong: Traditional Chinese game played by four people.

Main Soul (zhu yuanshen): One’s main soul; Main Consciousness.

Maoyou (maow-yo): The borderline between the yin and yang sides of a human body.

Materialism: A philosophical theory holding that physical matter in its actions and movements is the only reality; everything in the universe, including emotions and thoughts, can be explained by physical laws.

Ming Dynasty: A period between 1368 A.D. and 1644 A.D. in Chinese history.

Mingmen (ming-muhn) point: “Gate of life;” an acupuncture point located at the middle of the lower back.

Moding (muo-ding): As claimed by some qigong masters, touching the top of one’s head to give energy.

Mt. Emei (uh-may): A mountain in Sichuan Province about one thousand miles away from the well at Lingyin (ling-yeen) Temple.


Nanjing (nahn-jing): Capital of Jiangsu Province.

Nirvana: Departing the human world without this physical body; the method of completing cultivation in Buddha Shakyamuni’s School.

Niwan (nee-wahn) palace: Taoist term for pineal body.


Original Soul (yuanshen): This is sub-divided into the Main Soul (zhu yuanshen) and the Assistant

Soul ( fu yuanshen). In traditional Chinese thought, it is believed that many souls exist in the body, governing certain functions and processes.


Produce fire: A Chinese term also meaning “cultivation insanity”; it can be understood both figuratively and literally here.


Qi (chee): In Chinese culture, it is believed to be “vital energy;” compared to gong, it is a lower form of energy.

Qiankun (chyen-kuhn): “Heaven and earth.”

Qianmen (chyen-mun): One of the major shopping districts in Beijing.

Qigong (chee-gong): A form of traditional Chinese exercise that cultivates qi or “vital energy.”

Qimen (chee-mun) School: “Unconventional School of Cultivation.”

Qin Hui (chin hway): A wicked official of the royal court in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 A.D.—1279 A.D.).

Qing: Emotion, feelings, or sentiment.

Qingdao (ching-dow): A seaport city in Shandong Province.

Qiqihar (chee-chee-har): A city in northeastern China.


Ren and Du: In Chinese medicine, these energy channels are said to be conduits of qi, which constitute an intricate network for energy circulation.

Righteous Fruition (zhengguo): Attainment of Fruition Status (guowei) in the Buddha School.


Samadhi: From Buddhism, “meditation in trance.”

Sarira: A term from Sanskrit, it refers to pearl or crystal-like bead-shaped objects or dan that are found among the cremated ashes of Buddhist cultivators.

Setting up a bodily crucible and furnace to make dan from gathered medicinal herbs: Taoist metaphor for cultivation of internal alchemy.

Shangen (shahn-ghun) point: An acupuncture point located between one’s eyebrows.

Shakyamuni: Also known as Gautama Siddhartha, the historical Buddha.

Shichen (shr-chuhn): A Chinese unit of time for two hours.

Spirit tablet: Enshrined wooden tablet in the home for worshipping ancestors or other spirits at home.

Spiritual civilization: This is a popular term in contemporary China, which refers to the uplifting of people’s minds and morality. In Mainland China, this term is contrasted with “material civilization.”

Srivatsa: “Wheel of light” from Sanskrit, the symbol dates back over 2,500 years and has been unearthed in cultural relics in Greece, Peru, India, and China. For centuries it has connoted good fortune, represented the sun, and been held in positive regard.

Sun Simiao (sun szz-meow), Hua Tuo (hwa-twoah), Li Shizhen (lee shr-jhun), Bian Que (b’yen chueh): Well-known doctors of Chinese medicine in history.

Sun Wukong: Also known as “Monkey King,” a character in the classic work of Chinese fiction, Journey to the West.


Taiji: The symbol of the Tao School, popularly known in the West as the “yin-yang symbol.”

Taiyuan (tie-yu-en): Capital city of Shanxi Province.

Tang (tahng) Dynasty: One of the most prosperous periods in Chinese history (618 A.D.—907 A.D.).

Tangshan (tahng-shahn): A city in Hebei Province.

Tanzhong (tahn-jong) point: An acupuncture point located at approximately the center of the chest.

Tao: 1. Also known as “Dao,” Taoist term for “the Way of nature and the universe;” 2. An enlightened being who has achieved this Tao.

Tathagata: An enlightened being with Fruition Status (zhengguo) in the Buddha School, who has his own paradise and is above the levels of Bodhisattva and Arhat.

Teacher: Also called Master, a respectful way to address a teacher in China.

Three Yin and Three Yang: A collective name for the three yin and three yang meridians of both the hands and the feet.

Tian: “Field” of energy.

Tianzi zhuang (tyen-dzz jwahng): A form of standing qigong exercise in the Tao School.


World of Ten Directions: A Buddhist conception of the universe.

Wuhan (woo-hahn): Capital of Hubei Province.

Wuwei (woo-way): “Non-action,” “inaction,” “without intention.”


Xingming Guizhi: A Taoist text for cultivation.

Xinjiang (sheen-jyang): A province in Northwestern China.

Xinxing (shin-shing): Mind or heart nature; moral character.


Yin (yeen) and Yang (yahng): The Tao School believes that everything contains opposite forces of yin and yang, which are mutually exclusive, yet interdependent, e.g. female (yin) vs. male (yang).

Yuan (yu-en): A unit of Chinese currency.

Yuzhen (yu-jhun) point: An acupuncture point located at the lower back of one’s head.


Zhen-Shan-Ren (jhun-shahn-ren): Zhen (truth, truthfulness); Shan (compassion, benevolence, kindness, goodness); Ren (forbearance, tolerance, endurance, patience).