Buddhist Rituals & Beliefs 3

Within the Vajrayana school of Buddhism, the achievement of enlightenment is viewed as a process that may be accomplished during one lifetime, which differs from other schools associated with the religion. Another belief system is mentioned, which is called Pure Land Buddhism.


zazen: In Japanese, this word is used to mean “sitting” or “absorption.” This refers to one of the basic meditation practices associated with Zen Buddhism. This is one that is performed while sitting.


Zen: This is the Japanese word that is used to refer to “meditation.” This is a word that is associated with Mahayana Buddhism, which pays attention to the meditation aspect of the Buddhist religion. It pays less focus on the doctrines or various scriptures. This form of religion was established throughout China before finding its way to Japan.


vajra: In Sanskrit, the word translates to “diamond” or “thunderbolt.” This is actually a tool that is used during rituals. It possesses a double head, which is connected to the Tibetan system of Buddhist beliefs. This instrument is also used alongside a ritual bell. This particular object is placed in the right hand and stands for compassion, among other things.


zemban: This is a word associated with the Japanese, which refers to a board that is placed underneath the chin, so that followers who are meditating in the sitting position will not fall over from lack of sleep.


zendo: This is the name of the large hall where sitting mediations are practiced. These halls can be found within Zen monasteries.


Vajrayana: This school of Buddhism deals with achieving enlightenment at a faster pace, meaning that it can be accomplished within one lifetime. Another way to refer to this type of Buddhism is called Tantric Buddhism. Sometimes, it is often associated with Tibetan Buddhism.


paritta:  This is a ritual that deals with Buddhist healing, as well as a rite associated with blessings. 


Pure Land Buddhism: This is the name given to the devotional form of Mahayana Buddhism, which involves a rebirth into a realm that is referred to as the Pure Land, which represents paradise. It is believed that the attainment of nirvana can be easily reached because enlightenment is easier to achieve. If you ever have a chance to visit one of their practice centers, you will encounter chanting of the Amida Buddha, as well as a deep devotion to this Buddha. The origins of this Buddhist movement are connected to India, which then spread to other countries, such as Japan and China. In Japan, you will find that this is the most popular form of the Buddhist religion.


rainbow body: There is a belief that matter is transformed into a pure light when certain states of meditation are reached. The rainbow body refers to the highest level of attainment within a realm. For more information on this state, you may want to do further research on what various colors represent within the Buddhist religion.


Ratnakuta: This term refers to a collection of Mahayana scriptures, which only offer a limited amount of surviving texts. In the original Sanskrit, only four of these works have made it throughout the years. It is said that only about 50 of these scriptures actually existed.


samsara: In Sanskrit and Pali, this term means “wandering.” It is used to refer to the cycle that involves both death and rebirth.