eight Sufferings: Birth; aging; illness; separation from loved ones; being with the despised; not getting what one wants; the flourishing of the Five Skandhas.
Eight Worldly Dharmas, the Winds of Eight Directions. Most people are regularly moved by the worldly winds of the eight directions: Praise; Ridicule; Suffering; Happiness; Benefit; Destruction; Gain; Loss.
Eightfold Path: Buddha's Noble Eightfold Path prescribed eight steps by which a person can achieve liberation from suffering. This is the path by which one ceases to desire happiness through experieince and thereby ceases to suffer. The eight stages are:
1. Right View
2. Right Intention (Resolve)
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action (Conduct)
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration
ego: The external personality or sense of "I" and "mine." Broadly, individual identity.
Ekajati (S): Tibetan: Tse-chik-ma or Ral-chik-ma. "Single-plaited Mother." Also known as Ngag Sung-ma, Mother Protectress of Mantra. Ekajati is the supreme protectress of the Dzogchen Atiyoga teaching, and a guardian of the tantric path, protecting it from the unworthy. She removes obstacles to the life and accomplishment of those who do practice on the Secret Mantra path. She is a guardian of mantras who keeps them from those who are unworthy of using them and ensures those who have been empowered to use them, do so for appropriate purposes. She is wrathful and can assume a number of different forms and colors and the personal protector of the Dalai Lama. She is wrathful and can assume a number of different forms and colors. She can hold various implements and weapons. She wears a wreath of severed heads, usually has one eye in the middle of her forehead, one fang and one breast. She is nearly naked and menacing as she stands amidst a mass of wisdom fire. Ekajti is the highest of protectors. She guides those whom she protects upon the single path of unity of the innate Buddha nature. This is symbolized by the single open eye of wisdom upon her forehead, while her two eyes are sunken and dried, symbolizing the exhaustion of dualistic perception; by the single plait of hair that flows straight upward, symbolizing the single unified path of the Ati Great Perfection; by her single tooth of the realization of the single nature of all that pierces the aorta of dualistic demonic forces; and by her single breast that nutures the pure practioner upon the spiritual attainments of the single essence of ultimate truth.
elemental: Of or like a force of nature in power or effect. An intelligent being of the antarloka connected with the basic elements of nature: rocks, the soil, plants, wind, etc. In the Tibetan tradition, these beings are classified with the gods and propitiated through fire offerings and torma.
empowerment: Tibetan: Wang kur. Tibetan ritual wherein the guru transmits to a student the energy of a particular deity or practice so that the student's efforts may quickly bear fruit. Ritual initiation into a particular practice of meditation, conferred by a Lama who is part of a lineage, and thus himself a recipient and practitioner of such transmissions. Authorization to engage in the meditative practice is not complete without the formal instruction and textual transmission. This opens a particular spiritual path wherein one takes a specific tantric deity as support. The ritual plants the seed of realization in the disciple and provokes spiritual maturity. Tantric initiation is the actual moment and basis for the unbreakable bond which unites master and student from that time forward. In addition, both master and disciple should possess certain prequisite qualifications. For the disciple, the principles and qualities are faith, compassion and aspiration for liberation for the benefit of others. As for the master, he should have united a great number qualities: faith, compassion, one who has engaged the three disciplines of study, contemplation and meditation to the degree where they hold the lineage of transmission for the teachings, accomplished in the necessary practices, having been trained in the performance of the rituals, etc. In every initiation, there is a committment of obedience (S. Samaya/T. Damtsig) and of faith on the part of the disciple towards the Lama as well as towards the Dharma of the Great Vehicle. Initiations called "great" with the support of a Mandala all prescribe the keeping of fourteen tantric root vows. Simply keeping these committments with faith will steer one towards the obtaining of buddhahood within 16 successive births. If, in addition, one puts the path of meditation in practice, the results can be obtained much more quickly. The more expanded rituals comprise four successive consecrations giving the power on the particular paths of meditation while each produces a respective purification and fruit, the entirety bringing the realization of ultimate buddahood.
emptiness: Tibetan: Tong pa nyi; Sanskrit: Sunyata. A word signifying that nothing exists in itself or by itself. Obvious enough at some levels. Whatever appears, is interdependent with everything else, ultimately inseparable from the infinite field of relations within which all events and entities occur/transpire. Everything arises in an ocean of prior causes and conditions. One of the key concepts in Buddhism. emptiness is not an entity or a space, but a useful abstraction representing the truth of no-self, impermanence, the principles of unreality, instability, transience and relativity which pervade the nature of all existence. The doctrine states that phenomena and self have no absolute reality, but are compounded, composed of the skandhas or psycho-physical elements, which when conditions ripen, will aggregate for a time and then disintegrate. Everything is in flow and only relatively invariable. All is unstable in this way, possessing no eternal self-essence or permanent self-nature, i.e. the reality of any apparent self existence is dependent or causally inseparable from roots and supportive conditions which are themselves compounded and impermanent. Emptiness is not nothing or a lack of anything, but indicates the true mode of existence for all and everything. As such, it permeates phenomena. Emptiness is the central theme of Prajnaparamita texts and Madhyamaka philosophy, commonly associated with descriptions of Enlightenment. To the western mind, this is often difficult to understand, leading to the idea that emptiness is a big intellectual "nothing," and therefore quite unattractive and pointless. Two ideas may help correct this view. First, "emptiness" can be understood as the Buddhist way of saying that Ultimate Reality is incapable of being indicated through symbols such as words, much the way that many Christian theologians view the Christian God as infinitely beyond human attempts at description. Second, "emptiness" should not be thought of as another place. Instead, what is being referred to as empty of inherent existence is identical to the world or universe which humans and other sentient beings experience in this very life. In this way, it has something in common with the Hindu notion that this world is simply maya (illusion), the veil of appearances which prevents humans from seeing the true unity of the cosmos (which in Hinduism means the identity of Atman and Brahman). Thus emptiness and the true nature of all interdependent phenomena of this world are the same thing, or as the Heart Sutra says, "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form."
enlightenment: Complete enlightenment is a state of realization in which the most subtle traces of ignorance about the nature of reality are eliminated; sometimes called "the embodiment of the "Three Kayas". There are degrees or stages of enlightenment. See Bhumi.
É-yül (Tib.): Land of primordial awareness.
EVAM (S): Sanskrit bija, or seed syllable. Adverb, lit., "thus," or "so." It is said that all true tantric texts contain this syllable.