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3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School


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A B O U T S H A M B A L L A S C H O O L ( / PA R T N E R S )
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V I D E O S ( / N E W - PA G E - 4 )
G L O S S A R Y ( / G L O S S A R Y- 2 )
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PA G E - 1 )
V I D E O S ( / N E W - PA G E - The terms identified in this glossary are terms
4) used commonly in the teachings of the global
G L O S S A RY wisdom traditions, and some specifically in the
( / G L O S S A R Y- 2 )
Trans-Himalayan teachings. Since many of the
terms come from a wide variety of traditions,
we have tried to indicate where the term
comes from, what its meaning or meanings are
https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 in that tradition (and sometimes other 1/211
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teachings as well), and if necessary, to clarify
how it is used in the Trans-Himalayan tradition.
Writing this glossary was motivated both by
the desire to provide a tool for clarifying the
meaning of terms used, but also to provide
another form of study for those wishing greater
insight into the philosophy and psychology of
Trans-Himalayan spirituality. When used for
study, a pattern of understanding can be
developed through taking up a theme
represented, at least in part, by a particular
heading and then continuing to explore this
theme through following the related terms (and
ideas) identified in the ‘See also’ section for
that term. In this glossary there are a number
of Sanskrit terms that are used often in the
Trans-Himalayan teachings as well as in the
Hindu, Buddhist and other traditions. Only
those terms that are used fairly often have
been defined here. For a more extensive listing
of Sanskrit terms, see The Shambhala
Encyclopedia of Yoga by Georg Feuerstein
(with over 2000 entries), and for Buddhist
terms see The Shambhala Dictionary of
Buddhism and Zen (with over 1500 entries).
We are indebted to both (among other
sources) in developing this glossary, and they
are highly recommended. We have decided
not to include very many references to spiritual
traditions or specific individuals, primarily
because of the time this would take. The few
that have been included represent some that
are referred to often or have been particularly
influential in the development of Trans-
Himalayan spirituality, though there are many

others that have not been included at this 2/211
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GLOSSARY non-physical
— Shamballa School sources.
Additional entries could also be added if we
were to include even the most general
suggestion of the world’s major spiritual and
religious traditions, and some of their most
significant luminaries. A small number of such
entries are included, leaving the task of a
larger selection to a separate project.

Absolute – A term often used to refer to the

transcendent Reality or Godhead. Often used
in contrast to the term Relativity, the later
referring to the realms of duality including both
the realms of form and manifestation, and the
spiritual worlds of soul, universality and the
unmanifest that, although deeply suffused with
unity, are still to varying degrees tainted by
duality. The Absolute is used in the Trans-
Himalayan teachings to refer to the non-dual
reality of the One Life, or One Boundless
Immutable Principle, which not only
transcends the phenomenal, dualistic universe,
but is also the very essence of Relativity or the
dualistic universe. In this context, the Absolute
is synonymous with nirvana, (Nirguna)
Brahman, Impersonal God, the Transcendent
or Universal Self, emptiness (sunyata), the Tao,
Buddha-nature, the non-dual reality and the
primordial reality. See also Nirvana, Emptiness,
Relativity, Brahman, Buddha-nature, God, Self,
True-nature, Maya, Samsara, One Life, One
Boundless Immutable Principle.

https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 Absolute Wisdom – The fundamental insight 3/211

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or realization into the nature of the Absolute
and the truth that the apparent, relative
universe is none other than a manifestation or
‘appearance’ of the Absolute. This realization
is intuitive and leads to a profound liberation
from identification with Relativity or attachment
to samsara, giving freedom from suffering and
limitation. Absolute wisdom is the essential
insight into the identification of the individual
(and all relative phenomena) with the Absolute.
See also Absolute, Relative Wisdom, Rigpa,
Samadhi, Self-Realization, Awakening.

Adi-Buddha – This term is used in certain

schools of Buddhism to refer to the Absolute –
the universal enlightened Presence. Adi means
‘one’ or ‘first’ and so indicates here the
primordial or ‘original’ Buddha, the Absolute
See also Absolute, Relativity, One Life, One
Boundless Immutable Principle, Nonduality,

Advaita Vedanta – A Hindu philosophy

meaning ‘non-dual end of the Vedas’. Usually
used to refer to the philosophical tradition
most significantly espoused by Shankara,
Advaita Vedanta teaches the radical non-dual
view that there is ultimately no distinction
between the Absolute and Relativity (the
relative universes), and that even the ‘Creator’
is a dualistic, relative reality (although a very
lofty one). The path to God-consciousness in
Advaita Vedanta is typically jnana yoga or the
https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 path of wisdom, and the goal is sahaja 4/211
p , g j
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samadhi or jivanmukti, liberated enlightenment
while living in the world. One of the greatest
modern examples of the Advaita sage is
Ramana Maharshi. See also Absolute,
Relativity, Nondualism, Jnana Yoga, Shankara,
Ramana Maharshi, Maya.

Agni – A Sanskrit term meaning ‘fire’. The

spiritual fire of awakening within all life, active
as both a universal principle of love and
wisdom, and as a personal Presence – the
Christ Spirit. The word Agni first appears in the
Rig Veda, the oldest known scripture of
humanity, where it is used to name the Fire of
the spiritual sacrifice, the Deity of
transformation. Agni is said in the Vedas to
issue seven tongues of flame – that is, to be
the source of the seven rays or elements that
are the foundational essences of relative
existence. Agni is the primordial fire of spiritual
evolution, expressing both the power of
transformation and awakening, as well as the
essence of enlightenment itself. See also Rig
Veda, Vedas, Agni Yoga, Presence, Adi-
Buddha, Seven Rays, Elements.

Agni Yoga – Agni Yoga is one of the advanced

yogas of the Trans-Himalayan tradition. Agni
means divine fire, which is a symbol used in
the Trans-Himalayan tradition for Spirit. A
factor that differentiates Agni Yoga from other
yogas is that it is one that is engaged by the
soul, not the personality, and thus can only be
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enacted once an individual or group has begun
enacted once an individual or group has begun
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

to stabilize their identity in soul. It’s project is

for the soul to engage a profound process of
striving and surrender into the monadic reality
of Absolute realization so as to empower it’s
mission of world work, its full fusion with the
personality, and to bring the monadic spirit
and personality aspects into such identified
relation that the god man essentially is, may
walk upon the Earth. It is an integral path
sharing much in common with other more
comprehensive approaches such as Taoism,
Hindu Tantra and Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga.
The current form of Agni Yoga is similar to
Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga in including an
emphasis on world engagement and working
more from the soul aspect than with complex
technical processes – although these are not
entirely excluded and may be made more
available within the context of Agni Yoga in
time. Agni Yoga includes aspects of karma,
bhakti, jnana, raja, ati and tantra yogas – giving
it much in common with such paths as Tibetan
Buddhism and Integral Yoga. Some elements
that are more unique to Agni Yoga include a
distinctive understanding of many tantric
principles, a more comprehensive science of
the seven elements/rays, a wider synthesis of
techniques from Hindu, Buddhist and others
sources, and a unique science of planetary
consciousness and evolution. Agni Yoga, then,
is a comprehensive and modern path, that,
although having a Sanskrit name, is really a
planetary path expressing a growing
integration of elements from many traditions.
Perhaps one of the most succinct and
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that it is a path of ‘planetary integral tantra’.
See also Agni, Monad, Yoga, Integral Path,
Trans-Himalayan Tradition.

Akasha – Sanskrit: ‘radiance’. Often translated

as ‘space’ or ‘ether’. The term akasha has
been used in a number of ways in the Hindu
tradition, but is very often defined as the fifth
element, subtler than earth, water, fire and air.
It is generally considered the ‘root’ or
primordial element that is the ‘space’ or
foundation for the other elements. Forms or
objects must manifest in space, and this space
is considered to be an actual substance. It is
the unmanifest source and context for the
more concrete levels of the universe. Within
the context of the physical world, the akasha
corresponds to the etheric levels that form the
molding pattern for the more concrete level of
our physical body and universe at large. On a
deeper level, the akasha corresponds to the
formless levels beyond the physical universe
and the psychological realms, the realms of
form. This is the level of our ‘causal body’,
where karmic seeds are stored, and from
which they sprout during each incarnation. So
although this ‘space’ of akasha is formless or
unmanifest, it is rich with the seeds or
potentials of manifestation, and therefore has a
kind of substance to it. The phrase ‘reading
the akashic records’, therefore, can be
understood as gaining the ability to see into
the individual or collective memory or store of
karmic impressions and reviewing the past or
envisioning the future workings out of karma. 7/211
also Elements, Formless, Karma, Etheric
— Shamballa School


Amrita Nadi – In traditional Hindu tantric

teachings on the energy body, the sushumna
nadi is understood as the central nadi that
runs along the spine from the root chakra to
the crown of the head, terminating in the
crown chakra. The amrita nadi, as described
by Ramana Maharshi, is a subtle channel that
continues the sushumna nadi from the crown
and arcing downwards to the heart. In the
Trans-Himalayan teachings, this nadi is
understood as bringing the flow of kundalini
from the crown center, which it reaches on the
path of ascent (which culminates at the third
initiation and leads to absorption in nirvikalpa
samadhi – internal non-dual realization), back
to the heart culminating in the fourth initiation –
sahaja samadhi or uninterrupted rigpa, the
integration of non-dual realization into ordinary
life. The Buddha termed this state ‘nirvana-
with-elements’ (meaning liberation while
maintaining awareness of the phenomenal
universe) and also the Arhat stage of
enlightenment. Many systems view the 3rd
initiation, or the rising of kundalini to the crown
center, as final liberation. The amrita nadi is the
etheric channel involved in the process of
passing beyond the third stage into higher
levels of awakening, when viewed from an
energetic angle. It is also related to the path of
bodhisattvahood which, following the path of
the heart, leads to stages beyond personal

liberation. See also Nadi(s), Chakras, 8/211
3/21/2019 Kundalini,
— Shamballa SchoolNadi, Initiation.

Anatman – Sanskrit term used commonly in

Buddhism meaning ‘no-self’ or ‘nonself’.
Anatta in Pali. See No-self.

Antahkarana – A term used in the Trans-

Himalayan teachings for the bridge, or
continuity in consciousness, that is stage by
stage established between the various depths
of our being (spirit, soul, form), so that the
consciousness of the self and its differentiated
activities at these three levels of its
operatation, is able to be held simultaneously.
This works according to the recognition that
while we as personalities are often only aware
of ourselves living and acting on the mental,
emotional and physical planes, we are actually
living, conscious and engaged in activities as
souls on the planes of soul, and as monads or
spirits on the two most subtle planes of the
cosmic physical plane right at this moment,
but without a continuity of consciousness
existing between all three. The establishment
of this continuity of consciousness is one
definition of what it means to be a buddha,
and is represented in the Tibetan Buddhist
teaching by the capacity of a buddha to exist
and operate for the benefit of all beings in their
dharmakaya form, their sambogakaya form,
and their nirmanakaya form, engaged perhaps
in at least three different forms of activity and
awareness in three different realms,
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the opportunity for the antahkarana, or this
continuity of consciousness, to be established
further out into the cosmos, thereby allowing
simultaneous consciousness of the planetary,
solar and galactic Logoi in whose bodies we
find our place, as well as our experience of
contact and relationship with the various other
communities of lives who also exist within their
bodies in various realms or states of subtle
matter-energy. In the human being, the
antahkarana is understood to anchor the soul
in the crown chakra, and it can be contrasted
with the sutratma, or life-thread, that anchors
the monad or spirit aspect of our nature, in the
heart chakra. See also Soul, Monad, Self,
Spirit, Sutratma, Logoi.

Anu – Sanskrit word meaning ‘atom’. Term

used in Kashmiri Shaivism (a school of North
Indian Tantra) that means the aspect of the
individualized self, the seed ‘atom’, that
records karmic impressions (called anava-mala
in Sanskrit). Virtually identical to term
‘permanent atom’ used in some Western
Theosophical teachings. See also Permanent

Archangel – A Greek term meaning ‘chief

messenger’. The Trans-Himalayan tradition
uses the term Archangel to refer to the various
orders of super-intelligences that work in
support of the spiritual evolution of individuals,
groups, kingdoms, planets and other orders of
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Archangels for humanity to understand and
cooperate with is the Archangels of the
elements. These are seven orders of
Archangels who ensoul the four elements of
form (earth, water, air and fire) and the three
etheric or ‘mind’ elements. Archangels express
both the Nature or the Shakti aspect of
creation and the Consciousness or Shiva
aspect. They create, sustain, and dissolve the
various bodies of humanity and the nature
kingdoms, creating the elemental lives that are
the nature spirits, and also work with the
development of the soul or consciousness
aspect of all forms of life. Archangels are also
called Dhyani-Buddhas or ‘Buddha Families’ in
some forms of Buddhism, and Devas and
Devis (the masculine and feminine forms) in
Hinduism. See also Holy Spirit, Deva(s),
Elements, Hierarchy.

Archetype – In Agni Yoga the term archetype

is used in its more spiritual significance, rather
than in the Jungian sense in which it carries
more personal, although collective, meaning.
Spiritual archetypes are the patterns behind
manifest forms – the universal molds that give
shape and soul to the outer forms of things
and beings. These archetypes are related to
the notion of Platonic Ideas, Universal
Principles and similar ordering realities. They
are the essential seeds behind all expression.
The Seven Rays might be considered
primordial universal archetypes. In Shamballa,
where planetary purpose is held is reservoir, it
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of all being that has, is and will continue to be
expressed through the Earth, is found. As the
Purpose is translated into Plan by Hierarchy,
additionally, it might be understood that that
Purpose is formulated into archetypal Will-
seeds along the Seven Ray lines, to express it
in a diversity of expressions. See also
Principle, Essence, Laws, Ideas, Shamballa,
Hierarchy, Seven Rays.

Arhat – A term used by the Buddha for the

fourth of four stages of personal enlightenment
(or the arya-marga, the ‘noble or holy path’).
The first stage he called ‘stream-entry’
(meaning entering the stream to nirvana), the
second stage he called the ‘once-returner’
(because it would, on the Buddhist path,
usually take no more than one further
incarnation to become an arhat), the third he
called a ‘non-returner’ (because all physical
karma was now exhausted and so further
development would not require returning to
physical incarnation). The fourth stage, the
arhat, was considered the final stage in
Buddha’s description of the path of individual
liberation, but higher stages on the path of
bodhisattvahood would lead to Buddhahood,
which according to one form of definition in
the Trans-Himalayan teachings, is understood
to be the 7th stage of enlightenment. In the
Trans-Himalayan tradition, the term ‘arhat’ is
used for one who has taken the fourth
initiation. If the stage of arhatship is fully
integrated with the physical world, the
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sahaja samadhi, or in Dzogchen as rigpa. See
also Rigpa, Sahaja Samadhi, Initiation,
Bodhicitta, Bodhisattva, Buddha.

Ashram of Synthesis – a particular ashram

within the Trans-Himalayan School of the
Planetary Lineage, or subtle level community
of initiates, masters and souls that the master
Djwhal Khul first mentioned the formation of in
his work with Alice Bailey, and that then played
a central role in the teachings of the master
Rakozci through Lucille Cedercrans. Within
Hierarchy, or the meta-sangha of liberated
beings on Earth, it is understood in the Trans-
Himalayan teachings that there are seven
fundamental groupings of initiates, masters
and souls, each within the energetic aura or,
and transmitting one of the seven rays. The
Ashram of Synthesis, however, is a subtle level
community gathered around the energies of
the 1st, 2nd and 7th Rays – those of divine Will
and Power, divine Love-Wisdom, and divine
Embodiment and Ritual. These are the three
major energies of the Aquarian zodiacal age
and this is an Ashram whose principle focus is
understood to be the relating of the
consciousness and energy of Shamballa,
Hierarchy, and Humanity – the planetary
crown, heart and throat chakras – so that the
cosmic purpose of the planetary Logos of the
Earth, described elsewhere as the founding of
a station of awakened civilization in God-
realization in the universe through the medium
of humanity, may be increasingly grounded. In
his work with Bruce Lyon, Djwhal Khul 13/211
describes this Ashram to be composed of
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

beings awakened to the One Absolute Life

from all kingdoms. He teaches that it is
composed of buddhas and cosmis spirits
within Shamballa, masters and devas of
Hierarchy, awakened human beings as well as
devas of all other kingdoms also. See also
Hierarchy, Initiate, Master, Buddha, Alice
Bailey, Djwhal Khul, Trans-Himalayan tradition,
Rays, Planetary Logos, Divine Will, Power and
Purpose, Self, Monad, Awakening, Devas,
Shamballa, Planetary Lineage.

Astral Body – Also called the emotional body,

this is the next more subtle body than the
physical. It is the body through which we feel
ordinary sentiments, emotions and desires.
Awareness of some of the experiences of the
astral body is registered primarily through the
solar plexus chakra (for primitive and ordinary
emotions and desires), and the heart chakra
for more elevated feelings. Although the astral
body has the same basic shape as the
physical, it is made of a higher spectrum of
vibrations and can be extended and shaped in
different ways through intention (using such
methods as visualization, sound and feeling).
The astral body, like the physical, has various
senses that can be used to experience the
astral plane (astral environments, landscapes,
etc.) and astral forms including desires and
emotions. When the physical self uses these
astral senses, we call them psychic abilities
such as astral clairvoyance, clairaudience, etc.

The astral body also has active capacities and 14/211
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be extended
— Shamballaor projected beyond the

physical form. This gives rise to various forms

of ‘astral projection’ or out-of-body
experiences, and other forms of astral activity.
The astral body has an etheric aspect, just as
does the physical body, which has astral
chakras, nadis and so on. The various bodies
are joined by their etheric counterparts. All
physical forms have an astral body or
counterpart. This body is sometimes called the
subtle body or the psychic body. See also
Astral Plane, Body(s), Planes of
Consciousness, Etheric Body.

Astral Plane – A dimension or realm of

consciousness of the next octave of energy
beyond the physical world. This realm of
energy is not directly perceivable by ordinary
senses, or by the instruments of modern
science. It is formed by modes of perception
that emphasize the water element. Although
water is the dominant element of the astral
plane, all seven elements are reflected in the
each plane, creating seven major subdivisions
or subplanes of the astral world. People leave
their physical consciousness and function,
usually unconsciously, each night on the astral
plane in sleep, though during normal sleep the
environment is formed by the subconscious
content of one’s own psyche rather than the
astral plane at large, much of which is formed
by the archangels, just as with the physical
universe. See also Planes of Consciousness,
Body(s), Astral Body, Elements.

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Ati Yoga – This is a Sanskrit term from the

Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen tradition indicating
a form of practice that emphasizes direct non-
dual contemplation. This path is similar to
what might be called samadhi yoga in the
Hindu tradition (though it emphasizes
‘external’ samadhi rather than the common
emphasis on ‘internal’ samadhi in most Hindu
forms of yoga), and refers to that stage of the
path that begins with the ability to approach or
enter deep states of non-dual realization. As
such, it is a culminating path that is usually
combined with other yogas that are
preparatory to it. The emphasis in Ati Yoga is
on the revelation of the Absolute Reality – the
natural state of primordial purity and the
spontaneous formation of the manifest
cosmos, rather than any form of
transformation. See also Dzogchen, Rigpa,
Samadhi, Yoga.

Atma – Atma, as differentiated from Atman

(see below) refers in the Trans-Himalayan
teachings to the third, or creative will aspect of
the spirit, or monadic self. See also Spirit,
Monad, Atman, Self.

Atman – A Sanskrit word meaning ‘Self’.

Refers to the liberated spiritual Self, resting
ever in a state of non-dual realization. In
Vedanta, the Atman is considered to be the
innermost being or essence that is unrealized
https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 or obscured in most people because they 16/211
p p y
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confuse themselves with their bodies or
personality. Atman in Vedanta generally
corresponds to the Dzogchen term, Rigpa. See
also Rigpa, Body(s), Presence.

Attunement – To develop an intuitive rapport

with. To sense a person, being, idea, feeling,
energy or other reality in a direct, soulful
manner. Related to what in Sanskrit is called
dhyana, which is often translated as
‘meditation’, attunement is a depth of
relationship that goes beyond preliminary
concentration into a state of intuitive
communion that reveals insight or
understanding beyond sensory or conceptual
knowledge. Attunement is a degree of entering
into a state of inner resonance with, a knowing
through ‘co-vibrating’ with the other.
Attunement is developed through various
stages culminating in complete union or ‘at-
one-ment’, wherein one knows a being or
reality by fully merging with them or it. This
later form of understanding has been called in
Sanskrit prajna (intuitive wisdom) or samadhi.
Attunement is a bridge to samadhi, which
partakes of a greater degree of direct
communion and merging, while being less
complete than samadhi. See also Samadhi,
Meditation, Dhyana, Intuition.

Aurobindo, Sri – (1872-1950), Hindu mystic

and twentieth century India’s most famous
philosopher. Originally a political activist,
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Aurobindo experienced a spiritual conversion
Aurobindo experienced a spiritual conversion
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

while imprisoned for political agitation, leading

to his renunciation of politics upon release and
dedicated the rest of his life to yoga. Sri
Aurobindo eventually formed a spiritual
partnership with a French woman named Mira
Richard who later became known as ‘the
Mother’, and who continued their work after
his passing. Aurobindo considered the Mother
as an incarnation of Shakti or the Goddess.
Aurobindo was a prolific writer, some of his
most important works being The Life Divine
and The Synthesis of Yoga. He also wrote a
profound work about Agni based on passages
from the Rig Veda called Hymns to the Mystic
Fire. Aurobindo and the Mother taught and
embodied a modern path of integrated
spirituality called Purna or Integral Yoga, which
sought to fuse the process of transcendence
with the path of manifestation and service.
Aurobindo’s philosophy combined traditional
yogic ideals with the modern notion of
evolution and the vision of integrating one’s
individual spiritual path with the planet’s
evolutionary development – what he
sometimes called ‘planetary yoga’. Aurobindo
saw Agni or spiritual Fire as the
transformational power of this yoga. Aurobindo
and the Mother also believed that in our time
period a new level of human and planetary
evolution was emerging, marked by what he
termed ‘the descent of supermind’, or the birth
of buddhic or Christ-consciousness at a new
level within the consciousness of the Earth.
See also Purna Yoga, Integral Path, Mother,
Agni, Agni Yoga, Planes of Consciousness.
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Awakening – Awakening involves the direct

perception of the true nature of oneself and all
beings and things. It is an awakening to the
underlying non-dual essence of the universe
that transcends, includes and arises as the
entire spectrum of manifestation. Although this
realization usually emerges gradually, there can
be moments along the way in which one
experiences acute illuminations or openings to
God, Buddha-nature or the Tao. In Zen these
are called experiences of kensho or satori, and
have also been termed mystical experiences,
cosmic consciousness and so on. The
realization of this primordial reality will mature,
eventually, into a persistent awareness that
permeates one’s entire life. In Vedanta this
state of persistent illumination or awakening is
called sahaja samadhi – effortless and
persistent God-consciousness, even during
daily activity, which brings one to full Self-
realization or liberation. These deeper forms of
realization are often called ‘awakenings’
because, whether sudden or gradual, their
emergence frequently feels like a revelation,
the uncovering of a forgotten truth. In the third
phase Trans-Himalayan teachings, awakening
is understood to have both radical and
evolutionary expressions. The radical aspect
relates to realization of the Absolute, which is
possible at any depth of self or on any plane –
though it is more likely to occur on subtler
planes. The evolutionary aspect relates to the
understanding that the amount of cosmos that
one is able to realize as non-dual increases
incrementally as one penetrates into wider and 19/211
more subtle and expansive cosmic realms, and
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

this especially relates to the cosmic paths. See

also Sahaja Samadhi, Initiation, Cosmic Paths,
Trans-Himalayan Tradition, Stream-Enterer,
Samadhi, Soul.

Awareness Practice – The various forms of

spiritual practice can be generally categorized
according to the primary quality that is
emphasized. A given practice may emphasize
either devotion, concentration, inquiry, love,
surrender or other qualities. Those forms of
practice that make awareness or mindfulness
the foremost quality we term ‘awareness
practices’. Buddhism is the tradition that most
stresses awareness practices, although other
forms of practice are also widely used.
Examples of awareness practice include
vipassana, zazen (including shikan-taza), and
the core practices of Dzogchen. Although all
these practice emphasize awareness, other
qualities such as concentration, effort and
equanimity are cultivated as well to support
the development of awareness.. See also
Shikan-taza, Zazen, Vipassana, Seven Factors
of Enlightenment, Rigpa, Monad.

Babaji – Name of an anonymous or ‘hidden’

Himalayan master the existence of whom was
first revealed to the general public in
Paramahamsa Yogananda’s Autobiography of
a Yogi (1946). Babaji is believed by some to
have been born in 203 AD and having
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the age of sixteen, and continues to appear in
that form to this day. This idea is in
accordance with the Trans-Himalayan teaching
that though liberated Masters have moved
beyond the need for gross realm incarnation,
they retain the form signature of the physical
appearance they held at the time of the
initiation that released them from it, in those
times when they manifest in the gross realm at
will. Babaji is said by some to have been
initiated by the great Siddhas (perfected
masters) Boganathar and Agastyar. He has
said that he initiated Shankara and Kabir
(among others), working for centuries behind
the scenes, sending masters into the world to
sustain and reform the world’s spiritual
traditions. In the 19th century he gave the
teachings of kriya yoga to his disciple Lahiri
Mahasaya, who transmitted this ancient form
of tantric practice to numerous disciples,
including Sri Yukteswar, master of the famous
Paramahansa Yogananda. It was Babaji’s plan
to spread kriya yoga to the West through
Yogananda, who came to the United States in
1920 and taught there for three decades,
initiating tens of thousands. Babaji is
understood by some to maintain an ashram or
cite of training in the Himalayan mountains,
and to work through various disciples in both
the East and West. The famous Bulgarian
initiate Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov met Babaji
in India in 1959, and other modern students
testify to his continued physical existence.
Yogananda also described Babaji’s spiritual
‘sister’, Mataji, in his autobiography. See also
Siddha Tradition, Trans-Himalayan School,
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M t ji Y d Sh k Ki Y
3/21/2019 Mataji, Yogananda,
GLOSSARY Shankara, Kriya Yoga,
— Shamballa School

Tantric Yoga, Samadhi, Master.

Bailey, A. A. – (1882-1949) English born

esoteric teacher and author, and responsible,
in collaboration with the Tibetan Master Djwhal
Khul (called variously ‘the Tibetan’, ‘Djwhal
Khul’ or ‘DK’), for some of the most extensive
teachings composing the second phase of the
Trans-Himalayan teachings. Bailey first
embraced Theosophy in her thirties and later
worked independently. She was a prolific
writer, working under the inspiration of the
Tibetan Master who lived in Tibet and with
whom she sustained a telepathic relationship
for thirty years during which time they wrote
eighteen books together (‘the Tibetan’
telepathically inspiring Bailey). Bailey also
formed the Arcane School for the education of
modern spiritual disciples that combined
Eastern and Western teachings in an integral
path of spiritual development emphasizing
study, meditation and service. Bailey was a
disciple working in the ashram of the Master
Koot Humi. The Tibetan Master is understood
to be the most advanced disciple of Koot
Humi. Bailey met the Master Koot Humi at the
age of fifteen when she visited her in his
physical form in Scotland, and she maintained
a conscious ‘inner’ relationship with him, from
her thirties onward. Her writings and ideas
have had a profound influence on the
development of modern Western spirituality
and the ‘New Age’ movement, her influence
remaining largely unrecognized today. The
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Arcane School exists to this day and has
3/21/2019 Arcane School
— Shamballa Schoolto this day, and has

trained many tens of thousands of students.

See also Trans-Himalayan School, Blavatsky,
Theosophy, Djwhal Khul, Koot Humi.

Bhakti Yoga – The path of devotion, love,

surrender, faith and grace. This is a practice
emphasizing the heart (though having a deep
relationship to the sacral and often the throat
centers), and cultivating a relationship of
devotion and surrender towards a guru or
Deity. This is the essence of Christianity, Islam
and many others faiths, and plays a central
role in such traditions as Sikhism, Hinduism
and Tibetan Buddhism. Bhakti and karma
yogas are the most common forms of
spirituality. See also Yoga, Deity Yoga, Tantric
Yoga, Grace, Guru Yoga, Lineage Yoga.

Blavatsky, H. P. – (1831-1891) Born in Russia,

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was the founder of
the Theosophical Society in 1875, and a
charismatic figure in 19th century Indian,
European and American culture. She was
responsible, in collaboration with various inner
Masters of the Trans-Himalayan School, for the
formulation and promulgation of the core
teachings and writings of the tradition’s first
phase. She met her spiritual master, the
Master Morya, at the age of twenty in England
and began a long period of training under his
guidance that culminated in spending two and
a half years in a Tibetan ashram near Shigatse

around 1870. During this long training period 23/211
3/21/2019 (from about—1850
GLOSSARY Shamballato the early 1870s) she was

guided by Morya to study with numerous

spiritual adepts in various locations and
traditions including Canada, United States,
Europe, Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, India and
Tibet. These included Tibetan Buddhists,
Sikhs, Coptics, Christians, Native Americans,
Kabalists, Hindus and others. She appears to
have met over twenty liberated bodhisattvas
and members of Hierarchy during her life.
Closely inspired by her Master Morya, his
close companion the Master Koot Humi, and
the Mahachohan, Blavatsky wrote several
major works including the Secret Doctrine and
the Voice of the Silence (about nada yoga and
bodhisattvahood). Part of her dharma (in
addition to the general vision of the
Theosophical Society – see Theosophy)
included making known to the world the
existence of an Ageless Wisdom of planetary
evolution and awakening; the existence of a
community of liberated Masters, bodhisattvas
and buddhas residing and serving that
planetary awakening on subtle and causal
levels; and initiating one line of the revelation
of planetary purpose that unfolded
progressively in the latter phases of the Trans-
Himalayan tradition, and that included a
profound and new understanding, for
humanity, of the planetary, solar and cosmic
systems of beings and becoming, in which we
find our place. Blavatsky was an initiate who
faced very difficult conditions, yet succeeded
in initiating, with the help of her teachers, a
wave of inspiration and influence that is widely
recognized as both deeply influencing the
modern ‘New Age’ spirituality, contributing 24/211
modern New Age spirituality, contributing
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
significantly to the rejuvenation of Indian
spirituality and its transmission to the West,
and stimulating the interaction of science,
Eastern spirituality and numerous streams of
Western spirituality throughout the world. See
also Theosophy, Trans-Himalayan School,
Bailey, Mataji, Morya.

Bodhicitta – Bodhicitta is the altruistic

motivation to seek enlightenment for the
welfare of all beings. Just as the aspiration to
personal liberation is the motivating cause of
arhatship or individual enlightenment, so
bodhicitta is the karmic or motivating cause
resulting in buddhahood (this motivational
aspect is sometimes called ‘relative
bodhicitta’). Buddhahood is liberating
enlightenment realized and expressed in it
fullest potential through cultivation of the
complete spectrum of spiritual virtues and
capacities in service to universal awakening.
The awakening of bodhicitta results in the birth
of a bodhisattva, a being who strives for
buddhahood as the highest form of service.
The bodhisattva follows the path of perfect
balance of love and wisdom through the
practice of the full potential of human
spirituality. The deepest aspect of bodhicitta
(sometimes called ‘absolute bodhicitta’) is the
realization of non-duality, which supports the
fullest development of love and wisdom. See
also Bodhisattva, Arhat, Buddha, Initiation.

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Bodhisattva From the Sanskrit bodhi
3/21/2019 Bodhisattva – From
GLOSSARY — Shamballa the Sanskrit bodhi –

‘awake’ or ‘awakening’, and sattva – ‘being’ or

‘beingness’. Bodhisattva literally means
‘awakened or awakening being’. In Buddhism,
the term bodhisattva has several meanings.
The most common and essential meaning is
that of a being who is motivated by bodhicitta,
or the aspiration to achieve supreme
enlightenment or buddhahood in order to be of
the greatest benefit to all beings. The term
bodhisattva is generally used in three ways.
Most commonly it is used to refer to those
who are following the spiritual path,
developing love, wisdom and will, with the
motivation of bodhicitta. It is sometimes also
used more specifically to mean those who
have achieved profound personal liberation but
continue to return to the realms of samsara
(reincarnating in the human or other realms
even though they no longer have any personal
karma compelling them to) in order to serve
the awakening of others. These may be called
enlightened or liberated bodhisattvas. Lastly,
the term bodhisattva is sometimes used more
as a kind of title to refer to one who has but
one more incarnation before becoming a
buddha. An example of this type is the
Bodhisattva Maitreya. Although this term is
from the Buddhist tradition, bodhisattvas can
be of any faith or path. The planetary Hierarchy
discussed in the Trans-Himalayan tradition is
understood to be composed of such liberated
bodhisattvas – beings of every tradition and
sphere of human activity who have achieved
liberation into the dynamic reality of the inner
planes, where there is no tradition save the
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of truth, and who remain within the planetary
sphere to serve awakening on and of the
Earth. See also Bodhicitta, Buddha,
Buddhism, Initiation, Sattva, planetary

Body(s) – Also referred to as vehicles, sheaths,

coverings and veils. The human soul
incarnates through a series of three form
bodies (physical, emotional/astral and mental),
all of which have three-dimensional shape, and
one formless body (intuitional or buddhic). The
three form bodies are identical in shape but
are composed of different levels of subtle-
energy. The intuitional body is relatively more
formless than the first three, although it is
‘made’ of a subtle substance that still veils the
light of the monadic self. The three bodies
having form make up the temporary vehicles of
experience for an incarnating human soul,
called in the Trans-Himalayan tradition the
‘personality’. Each body has an etheric aspect
made up of the finer three elements, what the
Buddha termed the three ‘mind elements’,
where the chakras and nadis are located. In
the normal state of consciousness, these three
bodies are superimposed on each other, but
during sleep, out-of-body-experiences or
certain meditation states, the subtler bodies
(astral/emotional and mental) may be
separated from the physical. These subtler
bodies have senses just as do the physical
body, which can be used to experience the
corresponding astral and mental worlds. When
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astral/mental abilities) are used by the
individual in his or her ordinary, physical
awareness, we call them psychic abilities.
Impressions from each of these bodies are
passed to the others and are also experienced
by the soul or inner self. Our personality
vehicles, or three bodies, are built for us by the
Archangels or Devas of the elements. Also see
Planes of Consciousness, Intuitive Body,
Etheric Body, Chakras, Personality, Soul,
Physical Body, Physical Plane, Astral Body,
Astral Plane, Mental Body, Mental Plane,
Archangels, Elements.

Body of Light – see Dzogchen.

Brahman – A Sanskrit word found as far back

as the Vedas used generally to mean the
Absolute. Brahman, or God, is sometimes
differentiated into Saguna Brahman and
Nirguna Brahman. Saguna means ‘with
qualities’, indicating a level of transcendent
reality that may be experienced in a more
personal, although very universal, form.
Saguna Brahman has identifiable
characteristics (such as existence, awareness,
and bliss). Nirguna means ‘without qualities’ –
referring to the radically transcendent non-dual
or unqualified Absolute – a ‘level’ or
‘dimension’ of reality fully transcending all
categories and descriptions, and indeed the
entire cosmic scheme of evolutionary
becoming. According to the vertical and
https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 horizontal definitions of the spirit/matter duality 28/211
p y
3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
as given in third phase Trans-Himalayan
teachings, Nirguna Brahman corresponds to
the horizontal definition of Spirit – the Absolute
Reality that exists entirely apart from the world
of planetary, solar and cosmic becoming.
Nirguna Brahman could also be said to
correspond to the Tibetan Buddhist
Dharmakaya. Saguna Brahman is also
sometimes called Shabda Brahman – the
Absolute manifesting as transcendent sound,
the Word or Logos. See also Non-dualism,
Nirvana, Tao, Emptiness, Buddha Nature, God,
Absolute, Relativity, Logos, Ishvara, Nada,
Holy Spirit, Horizontal and vertical definitions
of the spirit/matter duality.

Buddha – A Sanskrit word meaning

‘awakened’, from the root budh, ‘to awaken’.
Used in Buddhism in two ways. The first is the
pratyeka-buddha – one who has achieved
transcendence of ego and individual karma,
but who reached this goal through a path
motivated by the pursuit of personal liberation;
equivalent to the Arhat. The second type of
buddha is a being who has fulfilled the path of
bodhisattvahood and attained supreme
enlightenment, whose purity is the same as a
pratyeka-buddha, but who has developed
profound capacity for serving the
enlightenment of others through a richer and
more complete development of virtue and
wisdom. This second type is termed a
samyak-sambuddha. In the Trans-Himalayan
teachings, the term ‘buddha’ is used to refer to
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who has taken the seventh initiation. The
beings who compose the planetary crown
chakra, Shamballa, for instance, are the
majority of them understood to be buddhas of
both planetary and cosmic backgrounds.
Additionally, the Logoi manifesting through
planets, solar systems, constellations, galaxies
and universes could be described as planetary,
solar, constellational, galactic and universal
buddhas. According to Tibetan Buddhist
essence teachings such as Mahamudra and
Dzogchen, Buddha is the always-already
awakened awareness that is the natural state
of all beings. Buddhism teaches that there
have been numerous past buddhas, and
buddhas will continue to appear on a cyclic
basis in the future. The most recent buddha
(samyak-sambuddha) was, according to some
teachings, Gautama Buddha (563-483 BC),
who predicted that the coming buddha would
be Maitreya. Gautama Buddha was born in the
foothills of the Himalayas in a small kingdom in
the region that is now Nepal. He was born a
prince in the Shakyas clan, his first name being
Siddhartha, and family name Gautama. He is
commonly called the Buddha (‘the awakened
one’), Shakyamuni (‘silent sage of the
Shakyas’) Buddha, and is often called
Siddhartha Gautama when referring to his life
before his entry into the path of renunciation at
the age of twenty-eight. He attained full
enlightenment at the age of thirty-five, and
spent the next approximately forty years
teaching. He is widely viewed (for instance, in
the Trans-Himalayan School) as the supreme
embodiment of the union of love and wisdom
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f S l B ddhi I iti ti
3/21/2019 for our age.—See
Shamballa Buddhism, Initiation,

Bodhisattva, Bodhicitta, Planetary Logos,

Trans-Himalayan School.

Buddha Nature – A Buddhist term meaning

one’s essential or fundamental being or
essence, which is the same for all beings, and
one with the Absolute. Identical with, and
therefore see also, such terms as Absolute,
Self, Brahman, Rigpa, Atman, Sunyata,
Nirvana, Non-dual, Tao and True Nature.

Buddhi – A Sanskrit term used in various ways

in the traditions. In Hindu tradition, one of the
most common uses of the term buddhi is
‘intuitive intelligence’ or ‘wisdom faculty’. It is
related (with various shades of meaning) to
such terms as gnosis, prajna, intuition, higher
mind, illumined mind and wisdom mind. Very
commonly we find two general meanings
ascribed to the term buddhi in the traditions –
one being what might be called the higher or
abstract mind (ordinarily called the intellect),
and the other being pure intuition. The former
is the function of the higher aspect of the
mental body (called the vijnana-maya-kosa in
Vedanta), the later to the formless intuitional
‘body’ (the ananda-maya-kosa). In the Trans-
Himalayan tradition, buddhi is the term used
for the human soul, the essential core spiritual
consciousness that synthesizes, pervades and
holds inside it the monadic, soul, and
personality aspects of our nature. Specifically,
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of the soul body, which is its sheath of
— Shamballa School

devic substance on the abstract or subtlest

levels of the mental plane. This soul body is
destroyed at the fourth initiation owing to the
increasingly powerful outpouring of energy
from the monad into the personality, thus
burning up the soul body and releasing the
soul onto the buddhic plane and free
functioning within the ashrams of Hierarchy.
Further clarification can be found under
intuition, which is synonymous with the Trans-
Himalayan use of the term buddhi. See also
Body(s), Intuition, Kosas, Mental Body,
Causal/soul Body, Planes.

Buddhism – Religion or path founded by

Gautama Buddha around 500 BC in India. The
Buddha’s teachings are essentialized in the
Four Noble Truths. Buddhism gradually
evolved into several main lineages. The one
that seems to be most strongly based on the
Buddha’s original oral teachings has come to
be called Theravada Buddhism, or ‘the Way of
the Elders’. Within several centuries Mahayana
Buddhism arose. Mahayana is a Sanskrit word
meaning ‘the Greater Vehicle’ (as opposed to
an alternative and somewhat derogatory term
used for the Theravada as ‘Hinayana’, or “the
Lesser Vehicle”), referring to the notion that
Mahayanists viewed their approach as serving
the liberation of a larger number of people due
to making central the ideal of the bodhisattva.
Mahayana Buddhism eventually spread to
various non-Indian regions such as China,
Tibet, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. During the 32/211
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millennium in India,
— Shamballa School another form of
Buddhism arose as a result of incorporating
tantra, which was simultaneously blossoming
within Hinduism. This form of Buddhism
eventually migrated primarily to Tibet where it
has come to be called Tibetan Buddhism,
Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhism (it was also
transmitted as far as Japan where it became
Shingon Buddhism). This form of Buddhism,
sometimes called the ‘third turning of the
wheel of the Dharma’, combined elements of
Hinayana and Mahayana with tantra. It is
subsequently often considered a tantric form
of Mahayana Buddhism. Just as Buddhism
took new forms as it migrated to various
cultures such as China, Japan and Tibet, many
feel we are witnessing a ‘fourth turning of the
wheel’ in our times. Often called American
Buddhism, this new Western form of
Buddhism seems to have certain already
emerging distinguishable characteristics such
as being non-hierarchical, lay-centered rather
that monastic-centered, striving for gender
balance, and drawing on modern psychology.
See also Buddha, Bodhisattva, Four Noble
Truths, Tantra.

Causal Body – The term causal body is used

in many teachings, often with differing but
related meanings. Perhaps the common
element in its various usages is that it refers to
a level of being that is more essential and
contains the seeds or causes of what emerges
on the planes ‘below’ it. In this sense we might
also refer to the causal level or body as the
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‘ if t’ b d di i It i lik th
3/21/2019 ‘unmanifest’ body School
GLOSSARY — Shamballa or dimension. It is like the
seed out of which more manifest levels grow.
Because reality, in its relative nature, has many
levels of being, what is ‘causal’ and what is
‘effect’ or manifest is somewhat relative. For
instance, the emotional plane can be
considered causal to the physical, yet the
mental can be considered causal to the
emotional. So we find various usages of the
terms causal or causal body. In certain Sikh
teachings, for instance, the term causal body
is used to mean the concrete mental body,
probably because this body is the subtlest
aspect of the manifested personality, at least
as regards the sensory or concrete experience
of the personality. Yet, from a subtler point of
view, the higher aspect of the mental body, the
subtle or abstract mind, can be considered
more deeply causal to the general field of the
personality. We find this usage of causal body
in Theosophy (Leadbeater/Besant).

Perhaps the most widely used meaning of the

term causal body is found in the Hindu
teachings, such as the classical yoga of
Patanjali (The Yoga Sutras), where the term
probably originated a few thousand years ago
(karana sarira means ‘causal body’ in
Sanskrit). In this system the term refers to what
may also be called the soul body, which is
often considered the final resting place of the
incarnating self in between incarnations. This
is how the term is used most widely in the
Trans-Himalayan teachings. The causal body is
the more permanent aspect of our
reincarnating identity, being the body where
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incarnation, as well as in our experiences in
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

the astral and mental worlds, are stored

between incarnations. It is also the level of our
nature where the essential wisdom and
character developed through each incarnation
is integrated and preserved. While each of the
three more spatially manifested bodies
(physical, astral and mental) have seven major
chakras, along with the primary channels or
nadis, that form the foundation of each body,
the causal body contains a more essential
version of these etheric centers that expresses
as a single, multi-faceted and multi-
dimensional chakra or lotus. This may be
called the ‘soul body’ and has also been called
the ‘egoic lotus’. As this ‘meta-body’ or lotus
manifests on the lower planes, beginning at
the etheric mental level, it differentiates into a
more three-dimensional shape with seven
spatially distinct chakras and numerous lesser
centers and channels. The causal body has
been called the karana sarira or ‘causal body’
in yoga, the ananda-maya-kosa in Vedanta,
the soul or higher self, and the permanent
personality (Daskalos).

Beyond this level is the liberated human soul,

or buddhic self, which is beyond all personal
desire (personality ‘causes’) and karmic
entanglement. Blavatsky considered the
causal body as a combination of the last two
definitions, the union of the buddhic/intuitive
and soul body/higher mental bodies. A
different example of the use of the term
‘causal’ by Ken Wilber and the Integral
tradition is with reference to the highest three
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causal planes, because from a more
macrocosmic point of view, this trinity of levels
of being are the primordially unmanifest levels
from which arise all levels and aspects of the
manifest universe, human and non-human.
Thus we can see that every plane (from the
lower mental, higher mental, intuitive and
beyond) has been considered ‘causal’ in one
or another teaching.. See also Body(s), Soul,
Buddhi, Wilber, Integral, Planes, Monad, Soul,
Body(s), Intuition, Permanent Personality.

Center(s) – See Chakra

Chakra – Also spelled cakra; Sanskrit for

‘wheel’. Most commonly, the term chakra is
used to refer to psychophysical centers found
in the human pranic or etheric body, though
there are planetary, solar, cosmic and galactic
chakras to be found on those corresponding
levels. They are understood as nexus points
where the pathways of perhaps thousands of
nadis or the living streams of energy-prana
that compose the etheric and other subtle
bodies, converge. The activity of these chakras
creates a vortex of whirling energy, which is
why they are often viewed clairvoyantly as
wheels or vortices. Often, they are described
as having the appearance of lotuses with
various numbers of petals, owing to pattern
that these pathways of energy-prana take in
their convergence at the nexus point, or
chakric centre. In terms of the human level
definition, there are numerous of these chakras 36/211
definition, there are numerous of these chakras
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
throughout the etheric or energy body, with
seven major centers along the spine and in the
head. Each of these centers is a point of
convergence and interplay of physical,
psychological and spiritual energy and
consciousness. The science of chakras is quite
complex, and is explanatory of some of the
most profound mysteries of planetary, solar,
cosmic or galactic being. The chakras serve as
points of transmission and interchange
between the various levels of human nature (or
the corresponding aspects of a planetary,
solar, cosmic, or galactic Logos’ being on
those levels). The activity of each chakra varies
according to the level of spiritual development
of the individual. Each chakra is said to have
different tiers or layers of depth, which reflect
and become activated in response to the
differential outpouring of personality, soul,
monadic or Being-related energies. It is
therefore possible for an individual to have
brought a number of chakras into activation in
terms of the outer personality tier of ‘petals’,
but have yet to deepen that activation to the
soul-consciousness or monadic-being tiers.
Another important differentiation relates to the
level of activation or unfoldment of a particular
chakra. It is one thing for a chakra to have
become activated by some type of energy, but
this does not mean it has begun or unfold so
as to allow its deepest empty centre to act as
a laya point for progressively subtler energies.
These centers exist not only in the etheric or
pranic aspect of the physical body, but also in
the etheric aspect of the astral/emotional and
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located at the crown, the brow, the throat, the
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

heart, the solar plexus, the sacrum, and the

base of the spine.

The energy associated with the chakras can be

transformed and spiritualized, so that one can
approach spiritual development in terms of
working with the chakras and their purification,
transformation and awakening.
Tantric/transformational approaches are often
particularly interested in working with the
chakras. Chakras are key elements to many
esoteric approaches to spirituality, and can be
very valuable to understand for work in fields
like healing and psychotherapy. As essential
elements to the pattern of the microcosm (the
human being), they are also a profound key to
exploration of the macrocosm. In this respect,
they provide a powerful tool in understanding
esoteric teachings on cosmic hierarchy or
holarchy, where each level of being is
understood to be both a whole in itself and yet
but a centre, or chakra, or a larger whole. So,
in the context of the Trans-Himalayan
cosmology, for instance, humanity is
understood as both a single kingdom of nature
within the planetary life as well as a chakra
(specifically the throat chakra) within the subtle
body of the Planetary Logos of the Earth.
Beyond this, that being may be seen as a
single planetary Being of vast realization as
well as a specific chakra within the solar Logos
(the base chakra). Beyond this, the solar Logos
may be seen as one single Being of even
grater levels of cosmic realisation in itself, as
well as the heart chakra of a cosmic
https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 constellational Logos, and so on…See also 38/211
3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
Etheric Body, Nadi(s), Body(s), Kundalini,
Esotericism, Tantra, Elements, Planes of
Consciousness, Logos.

Chi – see Etheric Vitality

Chi Gong – Name of very ancient Chinese

system of esoteric development (according to
the Chi Gong adept Yan Xin, the roots of Chi
Gong date to about 7000 years ago). Chi
means ‘energy’ and gong means ‘ability’ or
‘mastery’, so Chi Gong may be translated as
‘mastery of life energy’. The deeper science of
Chi Gong approaches spiritual practice
through various exercises including movement
(such as in Tai Chi), breathing practices,
visualizations, cultivation of virtue, working
with chakras, and sound. Chi Gong is often
combined with other traditions such as
Buddhism and Taoism. It is also the deeper
practice behind some of the Chinese martial
arts. Chi Gong practice for health, vitality and
longevity are extremely popular in China. Chi
Gong is a key element in what the Trans-
Himalayan tradition would understand as the
Chinese Branch or School of the One
Fundamental School that is rooted in
Shamballa. See also Etheric Vitality,
Esotericism, One Fundamental School,
Chinese School.

Chinese School – One of the several major

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b h f l t’ d l i i it l
3/21/2019 branches
GLOSSARYof our planet’s
— Shamballa School underlying spiritual
lineage, or the One Fundamnetal School of
Shamballa, with its ‘headquarters’ described in
the Trans-Himalayan tradition as being in the
Kunlun mountains of China. It is of very
ancient origin. The Chinese School includes
the development of the Far Eastern culture and
spiritual traditions of China, Japan, Vietnam,
Korea, Taiwan, etc. The primary elements
making up the transmission of the Chinese
School or lineage are Taoism, Shintoism and
Chi Gong. Although the activity of this tradition
is seriously inhibited by the current situation in
China, the Chinese School continues to exist
to this day, with dozens of its leading members
(or ‘Immortals’ as they are called in Taoism)
working and teaching in seclusion in the
mountains of China. See also Chi Gong, Trans-
Himalayan tradition, Planetary Lineage,
Buddhism, Tao(ism), One Fundamental School,

Christ Consciousness – According to one

definition, the term could be understood as
essentially the same as Presence (see
Presence). According to another, in the Trans-
Himalayan tradition, the term is related to the
liberated buddhic consciousness of the human
soul, which is coloured by innate light, love-
wisdom and enlightened will. All beings have
the potential for fully developed Christ
Consciousness. See also Rigpa, Sahaja
Samadhi, Agni, (Absolute) Bodhicitta,
Presence, Self-Realization, Buddhi.

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Christianity – See Esoteric Christianity

Cosmic Paths – One of the foremost

teachings given by Djwhal Khul in his work
with Alice Bailey and then with Bruce Lyon has
related to the paths of continued unfoldment
and awakening that a master engages
subsequent to the 5th initiation. Often, such
advanced stages of realization had not been
considered within the global spiritual
traditions, and yet according to Djwhal Khul,
once a being has radically awakened to the
Absolute and stabilized their self-identification
in spirit, or the monad, there open up whole
new levels of exploration, identification and
development, out into the non-dual cosmos. In
coming to understand this teaching, we need
to remember that the planes extend indefinitely
with progressively subtler realms of energy-
matter transcending, including and
interpenetrating the grosser realms. As plane
access pierces the subtlest of the seven
planes, the plane of adi, the entire sevenfold
spectrum of planes is revealed as the internal
vibratory states of the cosmic physical plane,
and access to realms of greater subtlety,
expansiveness and inclusiveness of
consciousness, energy, relation, and
community throughout cosmos, occurs. On
these paths, the master is able to extend their
realization of non-duality so as to incorporate
more and more cosmic realms, whilst also
abstracting their self-identification from the

monad or spirit, back along the emanating ray 41/211
3/21/2019 so as so establish
GLOSSARY its identification on greater
— Shamballa School

and greater scales of time and space. The

availability of these paths to masters on Earth
is said by Djwhal Khul to an evolutionarily
emergent phenomenon, in that while in his
work with Bailey and Lyon he teaches that
these paths are seven, he also makes the point
that in previous times only two paths were
available to liberated beings on Earth, and in
times to come, two more paths will emerge,
making nine.

Of the seven that Djwhal Khul has taught on,

three are understood to lead to penetration
onto the cosmic astral plane, three to
penetration onto the cosmic mental plane, and
one to penetration onto the cosmic buddhic.
Each of them ultimately involves work with
form, on cosmically physical, astral, mental,
and buddhic levels. Prior to liberation it is often
the formless which is emphasized, and yet it is
a fascinating thought to consider that once a
being is fully liberated – once the root of their
Awareness has awakened to its root that
transcends, includes and arises as the entire
relative reality moment–to-moment-to-
moment, the orientation reverses, and turns
back with a indomitable love, will and
commitment, towards the universal spectrum
of form. This is the making of a kosmic

Of the seven paths he has described in his

work with Alice Bailey and Bruce Lyon, six lead
to other centers of service within the galaxy,
while one involves the master choosing to stay
within the aura of the Earth so as to serve the
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f l ti d k i i ll
3/21/2019 process of —evolution
GLOSSARY and awakening in all
Shamballa School

kingdoms herein. Of these beings that choose

to stay, their continued unfoldment entails their
abstraction of identity into the pure love-
energy of the cosmic astral plane, but their
retained abiding within the cosmic physical
plane. From their already established non-dual
awakening to the Great Perfection of the whole
cosmic gross plane, their abstraction of self-
identification deeper into the cosmic astral
allows the development of cosmo-centric
structures of consciousness, expressed
within the cosmic physical plane. Their work is
to develop sensitivity to extra-planetary
relationships, other galactic civilizations, as
well as to those liberated buddhas that have
chosen to ensoul planets, solar systems,
constellations, and galaxies. As their
abstraction of identity into wider and wider
spheres of cosmic life continues, they expand
their identification from that of the purpose of
the Earth in cosmos, to that of our solar
system and eventually our galaxy, without
transcending the cosmic physical plane. This
is understood to be a profoundly challenging
path of deep sacrifice, and is called by Djwhal
Khul, “The Path of Earth Service”.
Simultaneously these masters choose which
sphere of evolutionary complexity (quarks to
atoms to molecules to cells to organisms,
plants, fauna, humanity…) to work with on
Earth, so as to facilitate the emergence of the
particular divine expression that the Logos of
the Earth is seeking to express through that

Those masters who choose the second path 43/211
3/21/2019 abstract both
GLOSSARY theirSchool
— Shamballa identity and realm
penetration onto the cosmic mental plane,
from which point they are able to embrace in
non-dual realization the cosmic mental, astral
and physical planes as the Absolute, whilst
engaging cosmocentric structural
development to profound levels. These
masters work with the electro-magnetic
polarities of the cosmos on extremely subtle
levels of energy-matter. They are described as
coming to eventually relate the enlightened
energies transmitted from and between the
Pleiades and the Great Bear to our solar
system and the Earth. Both of these
constellations are understood to be both
ensouled by to profoundly advanced beings,
and to be home to civilizations far in advance
of our own.

The masters who choose the third path again

learn to abstract their self-identification so as
to penetrate into and incorporate into their
non-dual awakening, the cosmic mental plane.
From this summit of abiding and out of great
compassion, they develop the extraordinary
siddhi of learning to envelop and ensoul an
entire planet with their consciousness and
energy so as to hold it as a field for the
evolution and awakening of all beings therein.
These are the masters who go on to become
planetary Logoi. The path of training for them
is understood to be extremely long, and they
study within the very subtle body-minds of
those planetary Logoi who at the beginning of
this cycle of cosmic manifestation, chose to
ensoul each of the planets of our solar system.
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Th f th th i k “th P th t
3/21/2019 TheGLOSSARY
fourth —path is known
Shamballa School as “the Path to
Sirius”, and the masters who engage this path
abstract their identity and realm penetration
onto the csmic astral plane, and anchor their
presence within the energy-body of the great
sun, Sirius. Sirius has figured prominently in
the ancient mythologies of the traditions such
as that of the Ancient Chinese, the Persians,
the Babylonians, the Ancient Greeks (where
the apparent movement of Sirius through the
heavens was celebrated during the Eleusinian
initiations), the Ancient Egyptian (who
considered Sirius the most important star in
the heavens and based their entire calendar
around it), and such African lineages as the
Dogon of Mali. In many, it is understood as the
original home of humanity and the source of
the Mystery Traditions themselves. In the
Trans-Himalayan teachings, Sirius is
understood a great nexus of outstandingly
enlightened cosmic community, and as
ensouled by an exceptionally enlightened
cosmic Logos. In a manner that echoes the
Sirian connection with our solar system and
planet described in the traditions, Djwhal Khul
states that the decisions and methods of the
meta-sangha of liberated masters who remain
on Earth to serve and guide the evolution and
awakening of life here, is itself telepathically
guided by the community of buddhas on
Sirius. The masters who choose this fourth
path pass to this community, where from
radical awakening on a cosmic scale, they
continue to move through highly advanced

https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 The masters who take the fifth path are 45/211
understood to abstract their locus of identity
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

and penetration onto the cosmic mental plane,

thereby including all within the cosmic mental,
astral and physical in the non-dual embrace of
the Absolute, and also unfolding cosmocentric
structures of cosmic mind. Their work is
understood to relate to the prismatic
transmission of the sevenfold forces of kosmic
shakti, or the seven rays, through cosmos. The
role of these masters is to perfect their
transmission capacity of the seven rays to and
through the seven chakras of the planetary
Logos of the Earth. It is stated that they then
abstract their presence into the subtle energy-
body of the sun so as to expand their
transmission capacity to a solar scale, before
then exiting our solar system to develop the
capacity to transmit to and through, an entire

The sixth path involves an expansion of the

third, with these masters abstracting their self-
identification and penetration onto the cosmic
buddhic plane so as learn to project their
consciousness and energy to ensoul and
envelop an entire solar system. These beings
go on to become solar Logoi. They are
understood to learn within the very subtle
body-minds of the planetary Logoi presently
ensouling the planets of our solar system, then
the solar Logos who ensouls our solar system
itself, before passing into the very subtle body-
minds of other solar Logoi who are presently
ensouling solar systems elsewhere in the
galaxy. The masters who take this path
necessarily learn to project their energy-bodies
https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 and consciousness so extensively so as to 46/211
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hold space for the Logoi ensouling planets to
reside within their being as their embodied
chakra system.

The seventh and final path Djwhal Khul

discusses as presently available to liberated
masters involves the abstraction of their
identity and penetration onto the kosmic
mental plane, from which, in their radically
awakened and cosmically experiential
structures of consciousness, they direct the
forces of karma for the entire solar system,
whilst relating it in energy and consciousness
to the ensouled constellation and the
civilizations of the Great Bear, and the
supermassive black hole at the galactic center.
It is understood to be the destiny of these
masters to work ever within the presence of
the galactic Logos that envelops the entire
galaxy with its consciousness and energy.

Earth is understood to embody the base

chakra of the solar Logos in the Trans-
Himalayan teachings, and a consideration of
this point opens up the possibility of
considering the cosmic paths from both
bottom up and top down perspectives. When
we consider the cosmic paths from a bottom
up perspective, we vision masters engaging
their paths of unfolding into extraordinary new
horizons, extending their realization of non-
duality, their height of self-identification, their
cosmocentric mind development, and their
penetration into cosmic planes into ever
greater and more expansive spheres. From the
top-down perspective, however, we see units
https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 of solar and galactic kundalini rising along the 47/211
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cosmic nadi channels of the subtle energy
bodies of planetary, solar and galactic Logoi.
Or we see them remaining within the aura of
the solar base chakra to ground realization to
the Absolute at one of the densest points of

Dark Night of the Soul – A phrase used by St.

John of the Cross to describe a period of
spiritual difficulty which can include a sense of
despair, diminished hope and faith, loss of
connection to Spirit, feelings of spiritual failure,
loss of meaning, acute sense of imperfections,
and similar challenges. St. John identified two
forms of the dark night – the dark night of the
senses and of the spirit. Of these he says “The
one night or purgation will be sensory, by
which the senses are purged and
accommodated to the spirit, and the other
night or purgation will be spiritual, by which
the spirit (inner being) is purged and denuded
as well as accommodated and prepared for
union with God through love.” The ‘dark night’
is essentially a death preceding a rebirth, and
so in some traditions such as Zen has been
referred to by such terms as the ‘Great Death’.
In the view of the Trans-Himalayan tradition
(and various other traditions) these major
death and rebirth cycles are several and are
related to a being’s passage through the
initiations of the soul – the death of
identification with the physical body, the
emotional self, the mind, the personality as a
whole, then the release of the essential
monadic being from the intuitive self or soul. 48/211
Each of these involves a corresponding ‘dark
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

night’, culminating in the initiatory experience

itself, which progressively liberates and
empowers the essential being. See also St.
John of the Cross, Self-realization, Initiation.

Deity – In Trans-Himalayan occultism, a term

usually referring to a God or ensouling being of
some system of manifestation. The human
monad might be described as a deity, for
instance, as might a planetary, solar, cosmic,
galactic or universal Logos. Such deities
typically have specific defining characteristics
such as compassion, power or wisdom,
according to their primary Ray type.
Alternatively, the term can refer to the various
facets of God or Divinity in personified terms.
Such deities need not have bodies or forms,
but do, as described in various traditions, have
specific spiritual qualities and powers.
Included in the category of ‘Deities’ would be
Archangels, Devas, Dhyani-Buddhas and Gods
and Goddesses. Examples of various types of
Deities include Ishvara, Adi-Buddha, Isis, Kali,
Tara, Kuan Yin, Shiva and Vishnu. In some
definitions of Deity, not all Deities are
enlightened or fully enlightened. Yet in their
corresponding traditions, all of the Deities
mentioned above are usually considered fully
enlightened beings. Some teachings
understand Deities as usually being great
enlightened Presences who were human at
some point in their history, somewhere, and
are now a type of higher order master who

have progressed in spiritual evolution into 49/211
3/21/2019 having a more
GLOSSARY universal
— Shamballa School scope of expression.
Some cosmologies view one or more Deities
as being ‘Creators’ in the sense of being
responsible for the existence of the universe.
Non-dual cosmology (such as Advaita
Vedanta, Buddhism and third phase Trans-
Himalayan occultism) does not see any Deity
as an ‘Absolute Creator’, that is, an ultimate
source of the universe, but rather recognize
various forms of Deities as having relative
creativity (such as the various classes of Logoi,
or the Archangels of the Elements) or as being
more like universal teachers or saviors. See
also Deity Yoga, Adi-Buddha, Logos, God,
Archangel, Form, Ajata-vada.

Deity Yoga – A form of devotional spiritual

practice involving some form of focus on, or
worship of, a Deity, which Deity is normally
understood to be the embodiment of some
spiritual principle of archetype. Used
commonly within such traditions as Hinduism
and Tibetan Buddhism, Deity Yoga typically
makes use of sound (as in prayer and mantra)
and visualization (such as with mandalas and
yantras) to invoke and commune with a Deity.
Advanced forms of Deity Yoga concern the
process of ‘transforming’ oneself into the
Deity, thereby gaining profound enlightenment
and the various qualities of the Deity through
identification and, therefore, direct
transmission. See also Deity, Tibetan
Buddhism, Yantra, Mantra, Yoga.

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Deva – From the Sanskrit root div, ‘to shine’,
3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

Devas are ‘the shining ones’. In Hinduism, the

terms deva (masculine) and devi (feminine) are
used to describe both the universal
enlightened Deities such as Shiva, Tara, Kali
and Vishnu, as well as the Nature deities that
are essentially the same as some of the orders
of the Archangels of the Judeo-Christian
tradition. In the Trans-Himalayan tradition, the
term ‘deva’ is most often used in a way
synonymous with Nature Archangel.
Furthermore, the deva kingdom is said to be a
line of planetary evolution that runs occultly
parallel to the human evolution, with the devas
both composing the physical and subtle forms
through which the human monadic spirit
manifests, and being possible to division into
two classes. The first class are those that are
pre self-conscious in their evolutionary
unfoldment, and these are the countless
elemental beings that compose the physical
and subtle forms of the physical, astral-
emotional and mental realms. The second
class are those angelic beings that are post
self-consciousness in their evolutionary
unfoldment, with these beings embodying the
subtle substance and fields of transmission of
the higher planes through which cosmic
energies pass and holding, alongside those
spirits who have achieved liberation through
the human line of evolution, some of the most
prominent and enlightened positions on the
planetary Hierarchy. See also Archangel,
Elements, Nature, Hierarchy, Deity.

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Dharma – A Sanskrit word with various
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

meanings, used in numerous traditions such

as Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. One of
the ways it is used in Hinduism is in its name.
The Hindus did not traditionally called
themselves ‘Hindus’, nor their religion
‘Hinduism’, just as the Native Americans did
not traditionally call themselves ‘Native
Americans’. The Hindu name for their own
tradition is the Santana-Dharma, which can be
translated as ‘The Ageless Wisdom’ or ‘The
Eternal Teachings’. So in both Hinduism and
Buddhism, one meaning of the term Dharma
(often capitalized) is ‘The Teachings’ or ‘The
True Way’. So sometimes when we use the
term Dharma, especially when phrased ‘the
Dharma’, it means the teachings of the
Ageless or Primordial Wisdom Tradition. All
authentic spiritual teachings are manifestations
of ‘the Dharma’, although some may be more
profound or complete than others, while none
begin to exhaust vast richness of the Dharma.
Another meaning of ‘dharma’ (usually not
capitalized) is ‘righteousness’ or ‘virtue’. This
is related to the first meaning but is limited to
its outer significance. Yet another meaning is
as someone’s duty or role in life. In this sense,
a person’s dharma refers to their nature, their
natural place in life, dictated by their karma,
their level of evolution and so on. This is
related to the notion of having a ‘life purpose’,
or a ‘calling’ or ‘mission’. But this ‘dharma’
need not be a special or glamorous role.
Everyone’s essential dharma or calling is to
pursue the path to Self-realization, which may
or may not involve fulfilling a role such as
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being a teacher healer leader etc See also
being a teacher, healer, leader, etc. See also
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

Divine Will, Dharma Yoga.

Dharma Yoga – A term used in Agni Yoga

teachings to refer to the path (or an aspect of a
broader approach) which concerns the
development of a sense of one’s essential or
spiritual purpose or direction, especially
regarding the field of action. In this light,
dharma yoga may be considered an aspect or
form of karma yoga, the path of spiritual
action. The word ‘dharma’ is used here with its
meaning of one’s role or duty in life, which can
be applied to cultivating action in each
moment that is in harmony with one’s true
nature, and also the sense of having an
experience of a general ‘calling’ or life-work,
and also to more specific instances of the
experience of inspiration arising from a higher
or divine will. A common element of dharma
yoga can therefore involve the experience of
the alignment of the individual will with a
deeper, more profound source of direction,
meaning or purpose – the Divine Will, the Tao,
the universal Dharma, one’s divine self, or
other sources of transcended guidance,
inspiration and empowerment. Dharma yoga is
particularly a path concerned with exploring
the relationship between one’s individual will
and some source of more universal direction or
purpose. There are a variety of approaches to
dharma yoga, which reflect differences of
style, stages of development as well as
differing sources of higher will with which one
is aligning, cooperating or surrendering. See
also Karma Yoga, Dharma, Divine Will. 53/211
Karma—Yoga, Dharma, Divine Will.
Shamballa School

Divine Power, Will and Purpose – This is

understood, in the Trans-Himalayan tradition,
as one of the primary qualities of divinity,
alongside Divine Love-Wisdom, Divine
Creative Intelligence, and Divine Being and
Presence, as they expresses on every level of
cosmic evolution in the manifest universe.
Divine Will and Power are described as
primary qualities of the monadic, or 1st aspect
of the human being, which could itself be
considered as both an embodiment and
reservoir of the essential Life energy of the
planetary Logos; with Love-Wisdom
understood as the primary quality of the soul
or consciousness aspect, and creative
intelligence (eventually realized as and in divine
activity) the primary quality of the personality
or form aspect. On a planetary level, the seat
of planetary Power, Will and Purpose is known
in the Trans-Himalayan teachings as
Shamballa – the planetary crown chakra, with
Hierarchy, the planetary heart chakra primarily
expressing Love-Wisdom and humanity, the
planetary throat chakra expressing Creative
Intelligent Activity. It is understood that
planetary Purpose, which is the silent and still
coherence of the essential dynamic Beingness
of the planetary Logos of the Earth, is held in
reservoir in Shamballa, and that when this
energy becomes active it takes the form of
divine Will. This process of stepping down
planetary Purpose into the Great Plan, is
engaged by the liberated Masters and
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contact the reality of Shamballa, and it
involves their translation of the Great Purpose
at the heart of the entire Being of Earth, into
however much of that Purpose can be
expressed during that particular cycle. This
Plan is then stepped down into the various
Ray Ashrams of Hierarchy, the planetary heart
chakra, where it is engaged into a program of
unfoldment through all fields of human and
non-human endeavour. Humanity’s evolution
and progressive awakening are both the result
of this process, and the cause of its continued
advancement, as the three planetary chakras,
Humanity, Hierarchy and Shamballa, become
progressively interrelated. These reservoirs of
divine Power and Purpose are found at all
levels of the universe, with Uranus playing the
same role in the solar system, the Great Bear
on a stellar level, and the supermassive black
hole at the core of each galaxy on a galactic

In other traditions, such as the Indian Tantric

tradition, Divine Power and Will are sometimes
understood as enlightened Shakti, or the
feminine energetic power-expression of the
masculine, dynamic, still and silent Source. In
Islam and Christianity, Divine Will also plays a
central role, though often according to an
understanding of more ethnocentric stages of
consciousness development.

Contact with divine Power, Purpose and Will

occurs through identification with the monadic
depth of identity, which is ever identified with
the One Life of which it is the expression
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result of that identification is both the
transference of identity into that single Reality
of Being, but also an empowerment to move
with power as the One in the service of
planetary awakening. This is how the members
of Hierarchy are understood to work, as are
those beings composing Shamballa, though
on much more mysterious and cosmically
inclined levels. See also Shamballa, Monad,
Hierarchy, Black Hole, Uranus, God, Purpose,
Plan, Shakti.

Djwhal Khul, Master – The Tibetan master

whose teachings, through and with Helena
Blavatsky, Alice Bailey and Bruce Lyon, have
constituted the most comprehensive body of
transmissions in the Trans-Himalayan tradition.
While Blavatsky is understood to have met him
in person a number of times, his transmissions
to Alice Bailey and Bruce Lyon occurred on
subtle levels. Djwhal Khul has described
himself as a Tibetan master who resides as the
abbot of a Vajrayana lamasery in Northern
India, and by Theosophical writers, it is
understood that he incarnated previously as
the Buddhist sage, Aryasangha. Owing to the
body of his teaching having such an extensive
basis in the various energies and beings of the
cosmos, and because of the similarity in
content, a number of Trans-Himalayan
scholars have suggested that Djwhal Khul may
be a master of the Kalachakra Tantra teachings
of Tibetan Buddhism. During his work with
Alice Bailey, he is understood to have been a
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work with Bruce Lyon that he has now passed
through the 6th initiation. He is understood to
be the most advanced student of the Master
Koot Humi, and is now understood to have
assumed the position of head of the Second
Ray Ashram, and with the masters Morya and
Rakozci, he holds a transmission point for the
Ashram of Synthesis. See also Alice Bailey,
Bruce Lyon, Helena Blavatsky, Trans-
Himalayan tradition, Ashram of Synthesis,
Trans-Himalayan School, Master, Guru.

Duhkha – Sanskrit word (Pali: dukkha)

meaning ‘suffering’ or ‘discontentedness’. A
term used in both Hindu and Buddhist
teachings to describe an unavoidable
characteristic of the experience of being a
separate self, and the desires and attachments
that arise from that misunderstanding. Duhkha
names the fact that suffering is the constant
companion of ordinary life, the fact that no
matter how much temporary happiness we
achieve, it is always tainted by limitation, and
will always pass. Profound insight into the
truth of duhkha is that deep and profound
realization that separative existence is
inherently limited, painful, discouraging and
disappointing. Insight into the truth of duhkha
is the sobering realization that the ego-centric
mode of existence that keeps us bound to
samsara, and in fact is the very basis of the
existence of samsara, is not working and is not
what we really want. It is a waking up to
realizing we are addicted to a narcotic, one
that seems to give us what we want, or at least 57/211
hope of—achieving
Shamballa School
it, but that this is an
illusion because it can never deliver what it
promises. Even when we get what we think we
want, we will eventually loose it. And the very
mode of seeking happiness through attaining
something we perceive as separate from us
always carries with it suffering, because unless
we transcend the experience of separation
permanently, we will continue to suffer,
because suffering is intrinsic to the experience
of separation. Duhkha is the insight into the
fact that our addiction to ego and desire is
unsatisfactory. The complimentary insight to
duhkha is the realization that there is another
mode of being beyond samsara, beyond ego,
which is in fact our true nature. In order to fully
enter this mode of being (nirvana, the Tao,
Christ Consciousness) we must become fully
disillusioned with samsaric existence. These
two insights grow together as we gradually
awaken – disillusionment with the old, and
emergence into the new. See also
Impermanence, Nirvana, Ego, Samsara,
Separation, Suffering.

Dhyana – Sanskrit term for deep meditation,

which is past the stage of basic concentration,
but short of the stage of samadhi. See also
Samadhi, Attunement, Meditation.

Dzogchen – A spiritual transmission held

within the Nyingma School of Tibetan
Buddhism after having been received by
https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 Garab Dorje (said to have been transmitted to 58/211
3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
him from the Adi-Buddha via Vajrasattva), and
the Oral Transmission class of teachings in
Tibetan Bon via its founding buddha, Tonpa
Shenrab. Dzogchen migrated to Tibet from
Central Asia where it merged with, and
continues to be transmitted by, aspects of
both the Bon and Tibetan Buddhist traditions.
Dzogchen, which means ‘Great Perfection’, is
essentially a non-dual transmission
emphasizing the awakening of the individual,
after appropriate preparation, to rigpa or non-
dual Presence by direct transmission from
master to student. The heart of Dzogchen
takes the form of two primary practices
(trekcho and togal) used to ‘cut through’ into
direct, non-dual awareness, and then to
integrate this awareness into daily life. The
practices of Dzogchen tend to emphasise the
integration of non-dual realization and vision.
Dzogchen is transmitted through both the
Nyingmapa Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, and
in a virtually identical form through Tibetan
Bon, and in both it is coupled with traditional
and tantric practices used to prepare one for
the advanced non-dual practices that are the
essence of Dzogchen. Dzogchen is also
characterized by an emphasis on ‘the Great
Transfer’ as the culmination and expression of
the highest realization or ‘attainment’. The
Great Transfer, also known as the ‘Body of
Light’, is the experience of culminating one’s
incarnation by so fully realizing non-dual
presence or enlightenment within one’s
physical body that the body and its elements
are resolved into their light essence, prior to
death, causing the body to disappear from the
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h i l ld (l i l th h i d il
3/21/2019 physical world
GLOSSARY (leaving
— Shamballa School only the hair and nails

behind). A realization nearly as advanced as

the Great Transfer is called the ‘Rainbow
Body’, wherein the body is gradually dissolved
into light over the course of several days just
after death. Garab Dorje, Padmasambhava
and many other Dzogchen masters up until our
times have achieved these consummating
stages of realization, including a North
American who apparently achieved the Great
Transfer while training in the Himalayas in
recent years. See also Rigpa, Non-dualism, Ati

Ego – From the Latin meaning ‘I’. In a spiritual

context the term ‘ego’ is used to refer to the
essential experience of ‘I-ness’, of individual
separate existence in the gross realm of
personality, though in the Trans-Himalayan
teachings, the term is sometimes used to refer
to the incarnating spiritual self, or soul.
According to the first definition, the sense of
ego arises with subject-object dualism, that is,
the experience of being an individual looking
out at an ‘other’ – that is, other beings and the
world at large. Arising from this sense of being
a separate self comes a sense of
incompleteness, since our true nature is non-
dual and intrinsically complete. With the
illusion of being a separate self we also feel
deep within our experience a sense of loss, of
incompleteness, and a desire for ‘something’
to fill that lack. This gives rise to the
unfoldment of various conceptions of what will
fulfill us, and the various desires that are then
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formed Yet the traditions suggest that only the
3/21/2019 formed. Yet—the
GLOSSARY traditions
Shamballa School suggest that only the
realization of our natural state of underlying
wholeness or Buddha Nature, our union with
God, or our non-dual Self, will fully eliminate
this sense of lack and the feelings of craving,
imperfection, loneliness and suffering that
must come with it. Ego has various levels of
expression. There is unconscious ego, normal
human ego and spiritual ego. Spiritual ego can
take the form of making spirituality a way to
prolong the ego rather than transcend it. But
there is also a mature form or ‘spiritual ego’
that is the ‘selfhood’ that aspires to
enlightenment and self-transcendence or Self-
fulfillment. See also Soul, Separation,
Personality, Self, Hindrances, Permanent
Personality, Self-realization.

Elements – According to some of the esoteric

traditions, the elements are fundamental
aspects of experience. They are not mental
concepts, but rather can be directly perceived
by ‘bare attention’ – pure intuitive awareness.
Experiences like noticing an airplane overhead,
an emotional state like grief, or the choice to
buy a loaf of bread – these types of
experiences are conditioned by mental
concepts. The elements are more fundamental
components of experience, and can be directly
perceived with intuition, beyond intellect and
concepts. The following are the seven
primordial elements or building blocks of all

1st Element Self – The Knower,

https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 Atman/Purusha 61/211
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2nd Element Consciousness – Knowing Mind,

Essence, Prajna, Intuition

3rd Element Akasha – Space, The Known

Prakriti, Root Substance

4th Element Air or Wind – Vibration,

Movement, Motion, Vitality

5th Element Fire – Heat and Cold, Light and

Color, Radiation,

6th Element Water – Fluidity, Cohesion

7th Element Earth – Hardness, Solidity,


The Elements may be grouped into two

categories – the first three, the essential Trinity,
and the other four, the Quaternary. The
Buddha referred to the first three elements
(which he also called paramattha dharmas or
‘ultimate realities’) as the ‘mind elements or
dharmas’, and the last four as ‘material
elements or dharmas’, because they have
form. The seven principles or rays may be
understood as different ways of experiencing
these essential elements. Each element also
reflects within it all the other elements, so there
are also 49 ‘sub-elements’, and so on. All
beings, forms and states on every plane of the
universe, manifest and unmanifest, are made
up of various combinations of these elements.
These elements or essences are the building
blocks of Relativity. Beyond all seven elements
or rays is the unconditioned, non-dual reality –
the Absolute. See also Elementals, Principles,
https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 Rays. 62/211
3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

Elemental – Accoring to the Trans-Himalayan

teachings, ‘elementals’ are the billions of pre
self-conscious beings of the devic evolution
that embody the gross and subtle substance
composing the building blocks of the relative
universe. These ‘elementals’ make up the
physical and psychological (astral and mental)
worlds. Physical objects and bodies,
emotions, desires, thoughts, inner
environments, planets, etc. are elementals or
groups of elementals. Our entire personality
sheaths are composed of millions of
elementals just as we as human beings in our
multitudes play a similar though not the same
role within the planetary, solar and cosmic
beings in which we find our place. These
elemental beings are understood to be
treading a path of evolutionary becoming just
as we are, with their path being possible of
advancement and empowerment or retardation
depending upon the dignity of expression that
is attained to by the human soul that is
manifesting through them. See also Elements,
Form, Karma, Mind, Subconscious, Deva.

Emotional Body – See Astral Body

Emotional Plane – See Astral Plane

https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 Emptiness – Translation of the Sanskrit word 63/211

3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
sunyata, a term used often in Mahayana
Buddhism to refer to the Absolute or non-dual
essence of reality. Use of the term ‘emptiness’
in Buddhism, in place of nirvana, seems to
have been initiated by Nagarjuna who used the
term to describe the Absolute as having the
characteristic of being ‘empty’ or ‘void’ of a
self-nature or other eternally permanent
characteristics. All phenomena, even spiritual
phenomena, are ultimately relatively ‘fleeting
manifestations in a stream of endless
transformations’. Emptiness can be
considered, therefore, the nature of the
Absolute because it points to the lack of an
eternal substance distinguishing one thing
from another. The appearance of ‘essence’,
even self-essence, is actually temporary and
changing. All that persists is the Absolute – so
the realization of the ‘emptiness’ of all
impermanent phenomena, even the ‘self’, is
the same as the realization of its true nature,
which is Buddha-nature or the Absolute Self.
Notice under the category of the Elements that
the subtlest element is Self or self-essence.
Although it is the subtlest, most universal and
apparently enduring, it too is one of the
conditioned elements and is therefore part of
samsara or transitory phenomena. Beyond all
seven elements is the ‘emptiness’ or Absolute,
which is the context for all phenomena and
their ultimate nature. The term emptiness,
therefore, does not mean that the Absolute or
non-dual is missing or lacking something, only
that its nature is so transcendent that it is not
possible to attach any limiting label or
characteristic to it. It is ‘empty’ of conditional
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or limiting characteristics yet is the very
3/21/2019 or limiting
— Shamballa School yet is the very
ground or ‘substance’ of all phenomena. Like
any other name for the transcendent reality, it
is inherently limited and has strengths and
weaknesses. Emptiness is synonymous with
nirvana, Brahman, the Absolute, etc. See also
Non-dualism, Nirvana, Tao, Buddha Nature,
God, Absolute, Brahman, No-self, Elements.

Esotericism – The word ‘esoteric’ means that

which is not well known to the general
population. Many fields of human knowledge
or experience are esoteric. In a spiritual
context, esotericism has been used in several
ways. The most general meaning is to indicate
an approach to spirituality that understands
the capacity of individuals to initiate
themselves into the Mysteries of Being through
penetration into inner sources of wisdom or
gnosis. Esoteric religion or spirituality is thus a
direct and personal approach to
transcendence or illumination. Since this is not
the approach to religion or spirituality that the
great majority of humanity takes, it can be
considered ‘esoteric’. Under this meaning
Gnosticism and Rosicrucianism, Christian and
Jewish Kabalah, Hindu yoga and Buddhist
practice, Taoism and shamanism are all
examples of esoteric spirituality (when pursued
for true spiritual transformation). By contrast,
the approach of the average Christian or
Hebrew, Hindu or Buddhist can be considered
exoteric or ‘outer’ religion owing to its
orientation being towards the regulation of
outer conduct rather than inner transformation.
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Esotericism is often used within a yet more
3/21/2019 Esotericism
GLOSSARY — is often
Shamballa used within a yet more

restricted context to refer to those forms of

practice that involve working with subtle
energy such as various tantric practices.
Tibetan or Tantric Buddhism, for instance, may
be considered a more esoteric spiritual
practice. Other examples would include Chi
Gong, Taoist yoga, Trans-Himalayan
Occultism, Hermeticism. See also Tantra,
Trans-Himalayan School.

Esoteric Christianity – All major religious

traditions can be divided into their exoteric and
esoteric aspects. The exoteric involves the
beliefs and practices typically oriented towards
the regulation of outer moral conduct based on
promised rewards or punishments. It is
followed by the bulk of its members and often
involves a blind acceptance of the doctrine,
the performance of rituals and an attempt to
live a good life. The esoteric aspect of a
religion is usually limited to a smaller group of
those who are seeking to profoundly embrace
the inner meaning of their faith, and follow in
the footsteps of the founder(s) and initiates of
that tradition by seeking deep levels of spiritual
development and transformation. Within the
Christian tradition, there has been less
tolerance among the hierarchy of exoteric
officials, and even their followers, towards
esoteric Christians. Subsequently, esoteric
forms of Christianity have not always been
entirely visible to the world. Yet there have
been, and continue to be, many forms of
Esoteric Christianity. Some have expressed
their mysticism within the context of the 66/211
mysticism within the context of the
— Shamballa School
exoteric orders, at least to some extent. Of
these, some have challenged the views of the
outer order, others less so. Examples of these
include St. Francis, Origen, Hildegard of
Bingen, St. Theresa, Meister Eckhart and St.
John of the Cross. There have also existed
other forms of Esoteric Christianity that have
not been as compatible with the exoteric
institutions, many of which have remained
hidden or secret for many centuries. In the last
century or so, some of these traditions have
become more visible. These include Christian
Gnosticism (a synthesis of Eastern, Greek and
Christian ideas), the Coptic tradition (as
blending of Egyptian and Christian streams),
Christian Kabalah (see below), Freemasonry
(Egyptian, Christian and others), Celtic
Christianity, and Rosicrucianism (see below).
See also Christ, Alice Bailey, Kabalah,
Esotericism, Theosophy, Trans-Himalayan
tradition, St John of the Cross.

Essence – Typically used to mean the inner,

spiritual nature of someone or something. This
may be either its soul, spirit or ultimately, the
non-dual or Absolute nature – each being
progressively more essential. Essence is
therefore a somewhat relative term, but is
generally used to indicate the inner spiritual
reality. See also Soul, Spirit, Non-dualism,

Etheric Body – The aspect of the body

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composed of the three etheric or pranic
3/21/2019 composed ofShamballa
GLOSSARY — the three
School etheric or pranic

elements or levels of energy. Sometimes called

the energy body or the prana-maya-kosha
(Sanskrit: ‘energy sheath’), or the ‘vajra’
(Sanskrit: ‘diamond’) body in the New
Translation Schools of Tibetan Buddhism, the
etheric body is the template for the dense
physical body, the later being made up of the
‘form’ elements – fire, air, water and earth. The
subtler etheric body is composed of an etheric
counterpart to every atom, cell, organ, etc. of
the physical body, as well as various additional
etheric organs such as chakras and nadis. The
essential life force flows through the etheric
body and animates the dense physical body.
Disturbances of the flow of vitality in the
etheric body can lead to disease in the dense
physical body. The emotional and mental
bodies also have corresponding etheric
aspects, just as the physical does. The three
bodies are linked through the chakras of their
etheric bodies. See also Body(s), Elements,
Etheric Vitality, Chakras, Nadi(s).

Etheric Vitality – Also called prana, chi or life-

force, etheric vitality in its broadest definition,
is universal energy making up the vibratory
‘substance’ of all the planes or worlds of the
relative universe. It is from this vitality or
energy that all forms are built. Its deepest
nature is the same as Shakti or Holy Spirit,
although at this level we are relating to the
deepest Spirit behind the multitude of the
manifestations of Nature or Shakti. On the
most accessible level, etheric vitality is the
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subtle energy that flows through our etheric
3/21/2019 subtle energy
GLOSSARY that School
— Shamballa flows through our etheric
body (nadis and chakras), like electricity,
except that it is more refined and not
perceptible to the ordinary senses or even
most scientific instruments. This vitality
animates the physical body, supplying the
energy that builds our bodies, maintains their
metabolic processes (digestion, respiration,
elimination, etc.), supports the operation of our
senses and motor abilities, and so on. We gain
this vitality from such sources as food,
breathing and especially from the Sun, though
our most profound source is learning to draw
this vitality directly from the universal reservoir,
the ‘ethers’ or Mind. All our bodies – including
emotional and mental – are sustained by
etheric vitality. It is our ‘daily bread’. When our
physical etheric energy is low, we are tired or
lethargic, do not perform physical activities as
well, and may become ill. When our
psychological vitality is low, we are depressed,
confused, can’t concentrate, lack motivation
and suffer more emotionally. Spiritual practice
gradually increases our vitality, and there are
also specific practices aimed at ‘energy
mastery’ through awakening latent energy,
guiding and projecting energy, and working
with vitality to support healing, protection,
strength and spiritual development. See also
Etheric Body, Chakras, Nadi(s), Mind, Shakti,
Holy Spirit, Chi Gong.

Feeling – This term is used to mean the full

spectrum of contact or sensation ranging from
the physical senses (especially touch, but
including all the senses as well for each is a 69/211
including all the senses as well, for each is a
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
form of sense or contact), to emotional forms
of feeling, to ‘mental’ feeling (less familiar to
most people, but a very real form of feeling),
merging into intuition. The sense of feeling,
sensation or concreteness or contact is in
contrast to the experience of mind or
abstraction. Consciousness may be cool,
aloof, detached, even ‘abstracted’, or it may
involve contact, feeling, warm, sensation.
Feeling has both active and receptive aspects
that are desire and sense, respectively. Our
ability to feel is conditioned by our level of
consciousness. Feeling can be transformed so
that it is spiritualized, liberated from the
confines and distortions of ego-identification.
Our feeling nature, spiritualized, manifests as
such qualities as love, compassion, peace,
bliss, joy, contentment, vitality, beauty and
harmony. See also Astral nature, astral Body,
Intuition, Mind.

Feminine Principle – See Shakti, Nature, Holy


Form – The outer appearance, body or symbol

for something or someone. Everything has an
inner essence or ‘soul’, and manifests in the
worlds of separation, time and space through
a ‘form’ or body. The inner essence of
something or someone does not have shape
or size in the ordinary sense, but its form is its
reflection in more concrete dimensions
(mental, astral and physical), where it takes on
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spatial dimensions and temporal
3/21/2019 spatial dimensions
GLOSSARY and temporal
— Shamballa School

characteristics. The form dimensions are

dominated by the four ‘material’ or concrete
elements – earth, water, air and fire – whereas
the soul or formless dimensions are dominated
by the ‘ethereal’ or ‘mind’ elements. The realm
of inner essence or formless soul participates
in a radically different experience of time and
space than the form aspect. The form aspect
of a person or object is relatively more
temporary or impermanent – the soul or
essence more lasting or permanent, although
even the soul is part of Relative Reality and is
neither eternal nor unchanging – only
apparently less so. For instance, the higher self
or soul of a human being is continuous in
some sense from one life to another, and
therefore appears to be more enduring or even
eternal. The soul or essence aspect can also
exist without the outer form, whereas the form
cannot exist without the essence. But the soul,
too, is evolving and is, relative to the Absolute,
impermanent. See also Formless, Elements,
Soul, Personality, Quality, Planes of
Consciousness, Body(s), Relativity.

Formless – Those dimensions or planes of

being dominated by the abstract elements, or
‘mind’ elements as the Buddha called them.
These are such elements as akasha or space,
consciousness and beingness. In the Trans-
Himalayan tradition, the higher four sub-planes
of the cosmic physical plane (the buddhic,
atmic, monadic and logoic) are considered
formless, whereas the lower three (mental,
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emotional and physical) are considered form
3/21/2019 emotional
GLOSSARYand physical)
— Shamballa School are considered form-
based. Such a designation must be recognised
as only relative however, for even these
supposedly formless sub-planes of the cosmic
physical plane would be considered form-
based in comparison to the cosmic astral or
cosmic mental planes. In an even larger sense,
these three thus far considered cosmic planes
(the cosmic physical, astral and mental) would
be considered form-based in comparison to
the cosmic buddhic, the cosmic atmic, the
cosmic monadic and the cosmic logoic planes.
Generally speaking, the ‘formless’ is a
dimension beyond time and space as we
normally experience these – it is comprised of
states of realization and qualities. Our higher
self or soul is formless, and incarnates into the
realms of form, or time and space, and of
bodies and senses. The same would be said
for our monadic being, though according to a
higher meaning. The psychological realms of
emotion and mind are also realms of form and
body. The formless realm is the realm of
universal laws, principles, qualities, essences,
archetypes, ideas, souls and similar realities.
Both the form and formless realms are
contained within Relativity – the universes of
conditioned, dualistic experience (even though
the dualism of the formless realms is subtle
and secondary to unity or universality). Beyond
both form and formlessness, and comprising
the ultimate essence of both, is the non-dual
Absolute. The formless realms and states,
although part of Relativity, are more spiritually
expansive states, less veiled, and therefore
more reflective of the non-dual, though never
https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 fully revealing its ultimate nature. See also 72/211
3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
Non-dual, Absolute, Relativity, Elements,
Form, Soul, Body(s).

Four Noble Truths – Soon after his

enlightenment, the Buddha gave his first talk in
which he offered the teachings called the Four
Noble Truths. These summarize the essence of
the Buddha’s original teachings. These four
truths are: the truth of suffering; the cause of
suffering; the truth of nirvana or liberation from
suffering; and the cause of realizing nirvana, or
following the Noble Eightfold Path. The first
truth in Pali is called the truth of dukkha, which
is usually translated as ‘suffering’. Yet the
literal translation is closer to ‘difficult to bear’,
‘unsatisfactory’ or ‘frustrating’. This was a
basic truth that the Buddha observed – that life
as ordinarily lived was flawed, imperfect,
inevitably involving suffering, frustration,
disease and so on. It does not mean that life is
only suffering, rather that life as ordinarily
pursued inevitably includes suffering, and that
even positive experiences of fulfilling worldly
desires, when examined closely enough, are
often disappointing or tainted with
imperfection. The truth of suffering means that
life lived through the experience of being a
separate self, seeking fulfillment through
experiences in the transitory worlds of form
and mind, will inevitably involve suffering. This
is simply an observation, a truth of Nature. The
second truth – the cause of suffering – is
identified as tanha in Pali, which means ‘thirst’.
This truth points to the experience of desires,
https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 our needs and drives, our insatiable thirst or 73/211
craving for fulfillment in ways that are
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

misguided. Since we seek satisfaction of our

desires through that which is imperfect and
transitory, our experience of fulfilling desires,
even when successful, is always flawed and
also will not last. We are subsequently doomed
to suffer and remain entangled in samsara. The
Buddha did not believe that the observation of
the first two truths was a form of pessimism,
but rather simply an observation of a fact of
Nature. The third and fourth truths may be
called the ‘good news’ or ‘positive’ truths – the
truths of nirvana, just as the first two are the
‘bad news’ or the ‘negative’ truths – the truths
of samsara. The third Noble Truth is the
pointing out that we are not doomed,
therefore, to inevitable suffering. There is an
alternative – nirvana. Nirvana is the state of
transcendence of suffering. It is a state of
perfect transcendence of the illusion of
separation, and therefore of ego, desire,
suffering, disease and death. The Buddha
taught that it was possible to realize nirvana
here and now, in this human life. The fourth
Noble Truth is the Buddha’s identification of a
path to nirvana. If ordinary living is doomed to
involve suffering, how must we live and think
to come to nirvana? The Buddha’s answer to
this is called the Noble Eightfold Path – a set
of guidelines for conduct, motivation,
perspective and meditation that would lead the
sincere practitioner to nirvana. The are: Right
Action, Right Speech, Right Livelihood, Right
View, Right Intentions, Right Effort, Right
Concentration and Right Mindfulness. See also
Buddha, Nirvana, Samsara, Duhkha,
https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 74/211
Separation Awakening Buddhism
3/21/2019 Separation,
GLOSSARY —Awakening,
Shamballa School Buddhism.

Freedom – A quality of divinity related to what

is known in the Trans-Himalayan tradition as
the Fourth Quality of Deity or Divinity, after the
Power, Love and Intelligence aspects. This
Freedom is not a form of personal license, but
is rather the principle of Divinity that allows
cosmic spirit and the monadic reality of the
Great Perfection to pervade such a densely
embodied level of cosmos as that at which
Earth resides in a manner where its purity is
totally full. It is described as a fundamental
quality of Reality, and one that transcends,
includes and permeates all three aspects of
our being – monadic, soular, and personal. It is
spoken of as a divine quality that is embodied
and transmitted cosmically by the Great Life
that is manifesting through the sun Sirius,
where the Law of Freedom is said to be one of
the basic principles of existence for the vastly
realized cosmic buddhas that dwell there.
Owing to our planet being the 4th globe of the
4th chain of the 4th scheme in a solar system
of the 4th order, it is the 4th Quality of Divinity,
which emanates from the 4th cosmic plane,
the cosmic buddhic, that is understood to be
the primary quality of Being that is at the core
of the planetary Logos’ cosmic intention in
manifesting through this planet.

God – Used with a wide variety of meanings,

the definitions of God may be reduced to two
general areas – God as the impersonal,
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3/21/2019 transcendent or Absolute
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School Reality, and God as
a personal Divine Presence. In the case of the
former, the term ‘Godhead’ might be more
appropriately used. In the case of the latter,
God might be understood according to the
same definition as ‘Deity’.

Grace – In Nature, evolution proceeds

according to natural rhythms. The lives of the
nature kingdoms and unconscious human
beings evolve and grow conditioned by the
laws of karma, the working out of causes in
their effects, learning from these experiences
that leads to new causes (desires) and new
effects and further learning, and so on. There
are two forces that allow individuals to rise
above natural evolution, accelerate growth and
modify the working out of karma, eventually
leading to liberation. These are conscious
intention (taking the form of individual practice)
and grace. The latter is the expression of the
activity of a relatively more transcendent
source of empowerment and support which
enters into the life and being of an individual
(or group, planet, etc.) and stimulates evolution
and awakening. In one school of Buddhism
these two forces are called ‘self power’ and
‘other power’. ‘Self power’ is the capacity of
the individual to consciously influence his or
her own evolution (spiritual practice), and
‘other power’ is grace. Grace can take many
forms such as contact with spiritual teachings
and instruction in practice through literature,
oral teachings and personal example, and
direct transmission of spiritual energy and
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li ti di tl f t h t t d t
3/21/2019 realization
GLOSSARY directly from a teacher to a student.
— Shamballa School

Direct transmission is sometimes also referred

to by such terms as initiation and
empowerment. Grace, considered generally,
can flow from many sources. Our family and
culture in general offers various transmissions
that may support our awakening. And, of
course, some of the most important sources of
grace are spiritual lineages and teachers, and
ultimately the Universal Self or Primordial
Buddha. There are specific forms of practice
that are aimed at invoking grace, or
establishing contact with sources of grace.
Such practices emphasize qualities like
appreciation, refuge, devotion, surrender,
invocation and faith. See Free Will, Practice,
Initiation, Teachers, Guru, Guru Yoga, Lineage
Yoga, Human Idea.

Guru – A Sanskrit term literally meaning

‘weighty one’ – one whose words are given
great weight. The term guru is traditionally
reserved for a spiritual teacher recognized as
having achieved an advanced stage of
enlightenment, and whose dharma includes
initiating and guiding others on the path. Such
a teacher could be both one operating on the
outer planes as a an advanced member of
humanity, or one residing on the inner planes
of much greater realization and awakening,
who has left behind the need for gross realm
incarnation. Understandings of what
constitutes adequate realization or liberation
for one to be considered a guru seem to vary
from one tradition to another, but most uses of
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the term seem to imply someone of at least the
3/21/2019 the GLOSSARY
term seem to imply
— Shamballa School someone of at least the

third initiation. In guru yoga, as practiced

within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for
example, the practice of emphasizing the guru
as the primary means of spiritual development,
the guru serves as a living manifestation of the
Divine or a manifestation of Self-realization,
giving personification and accessibility to the
transcendent Reality. Guru-disciple
relationships can take various forms, but many
traditions believe that a strong connection
between a student and an authentic teacher is
one of the most important elements of an
effective spiritual path. Some traditions, such
as Tibetan Buddhism again, recognize the
validity of having more than one guru, while
others emphasize loyalty to one. The guru not
only serves as a role model and instructor in
teachings and practices, by also serves as an
initiator, transmitting spiritual energy and
realization directly to the disciple. As
previously said, the guru(s) need not have a
physical form. Practitioners may have teachers
in the inner worlds, which their physical self
may or may not be aware of. The majority of
individuals on the spiritual path will awaken
most efficiently and safely by having one or
more physical teachers in addition to the inner
teachers they may have. See Initiation, Guru
Yoga, Master, Teachers.

Guru Yoga – A form of practice using the guru

or spiritual teacher as the focus of the
practice. Forms of guru yoga may range from
the practice of cultivating respect and
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appreciation for the guru to performing
appreciation for the guru, to performing
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
service for the guru, to surrendering to the
guru’s will, to meditation on the guru in order
to invoke grace, to seeking to merge one’s
being in the enlightened presence of the guru.
Some traditions make guru yoga the central or
only practice. The practice of guru yoga,
especially in some of its forms, is
controversial. Being widely recognized as
being a profoundly powerful path when
engaged in a mature and authentic form, it
likewise is strongly prone to abuse and can be
powerfully damaging when misused.
Subsequently, in some traditions that strongly
emphasize guru yoga, such as Tibetan
Buddhism, it is recommended that one use
great caution in selecting a guru, and some,
like the 14th Dalai Lama, have suggested that
guru yoga is an advanced practice that is not
suitable for beginners. The two main issues
that clash in the controversy over guru yoga is
that on the one hand many people experience
and observe that the practice of guru yoga can
be a profoundly effective dimension of spiritual
practice, whereas on the other hand, we so
commonly see abuses of the guru-disciple
relationship that one can certainly wonder
whether the good outweighs the harm. Clearly
we are entering a time when heightened
awareness of these issues can lead to a more
mature and sophisticated understanding of
guru yoga. See Guru, Teachers, Divine Will,
Lineage Yoga, Yoga.

Hatha Yoga – the most popular and well-

known form of yoga known in the West. This 79/211
known form of yoga known in the West. This
3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
focuses primarily on the use of postures
(asanas) and breathing practices (pranayama)
for cleansing karma and maintaining health
and vitality. In its deeper implications, hatha
yoga is a form of kundalini yoga, aiming to
awaken the kundalini fire for the purpose of
spiritual liberation through an emphasis on
technical physical/energetic practices. See
also Tantric Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Pranayama,

Hierarchy – From the Greek; hier- meaning

‘holy’ or ‘sacred’, and arch having various
meanings including ‘ruler’ or ‘principle’ –
therefore a ‘holy order of rulers or principles’.
The term hierarchy is used in a variety of ways.
Often the term is applied to an order of ruling
or governing beings such as a church
hierarchy or the Judeo-Christian concept of a
system of spiritual rulership in the cosmos
populated with spiritual beings such as
Archangels. In various traditions around the
world it is believed that there is a meta-sangha
of enlightened beings associated with the
Earth, including some who are in human
incarnation, who form the spiritual ‘hierarchy’
of our planet. In the Sufi tradition, advanced
members of this group are called ‘Sufis’
(regardless of what spiritual tradition they may
be outwardly associated with). Other terms
that have been used for this group are
‘Enlightened Bodhisattvas and Buddhas’
(Buddhism); Mahatmas, Gurus, Avatars,
Siddhas (‘Perfected Ones’) and other terms
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; ( );
3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
‘Righteous Ones’ (Judaism); The Elder
Brothers (Rosicrucianism); and various other
terms. From a more organic point of view, we
can see the existence of hierarchy as related
to the experience of ‘elders’. In many or most
traditional cultures, the concept of human
elders was and is seen as an integral element
of human experience, for the older generations
embody the wisdom of greater experience,
and so form a guiding principle and serve to
sustain and educate younger generations. If
we extend this idea beyond incarnated
generations, as many cultures do, and expand
it into a larger spiritual context, then the
greater nonphysical spiritual powers that have
an empowering, creative, protective, guiding,
healing and enlightening presence, not only in
human culture but in the universe at large, can
be seen as simply participants in an eternal
chain of relationships, or generations of beings
extending into infinity, the cultural, human,
planetary and cosmic ‘elders’. This is a basic
meaning of hierarchy, the spiritual chain of
being. From a functional point of view, this
hierarchy of spiritual beings exercises a
beneficent influence over not only the spiritual
traditions and activity of the Earth, but also
over human culture in general, and over the
evolution of the nature kingdoms as well. In
the spiritual ecology of the Trans-Himalayan
tradition, ‘Hierarchy’ is a term used generally
for the 5th Kingdom of Nature, the Kingdom of
Souls as it exists on the subtle mental,
buddhic and atmic planes. Specifically, the
term is used for the community of awakened

and liberated Masters, Bodhisattvas, Sufis, 81/211
3/21/2019 Mahatmas and
GLOSSARY — Siddhas
Shamballa School who as a whole are
said to compose the planetary Heart chakra,
just as humanity embodies the planetary throat
chakra and the cosmic spirits and buddhas
residing in Shamballa embody the planetary
crown chakra. See also Initiation, Kingdoms,
Bodhisattvas, Buddhas, Master,, Shamballa,
Humanity, Guru, Trans-Himalayan tradition.

Higher Self – A term used in various ways in

different teachings. In the Trans-Himalayan
terminology, the term is used synonymously
with ‘soul’. See also Soul, Spirit, Atman,
Permanent Personality, Personality, Self.

Hindrances – Synonymous with: vices,

limitations, fetters, obstructions and similar
terms. The most essential hindrances or
obstructions to spiritual awakening are
generally considered to be ignorance and
egotism. In a spiritual context, the term ego is
generally used with a broader connotation than
normal to mean the false concept of a
separate self. ‘Ignorance’, at its root, can be
understood as the delusion of a separate self,
or the misunderstanding of oneself as separate
from God, being incomplete, needing
something outside of oneself, being imperfect
or other related implications of primary
separation. This is the original ‘fall’, which was
not a mistake or sin against a Deity, but
instead was the emergence of a
misunderstanding. Other hindrances evolve
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3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
such as desire, aversion, judgment, pride,
inferiority, boredom, attachment, confusion,
doubt, restlessness, ambition, greed,
materialism and so on. We may consider the
central or primary hindrances to spiritual
realization to be ignorance, ego, desire and
aversion. These are all interdependent, and all
the others are variations on these, or arise out
of them. See also Ego, Separation, Quality,
Seven Factors of Enlightenment.

Hinduism – See Sanatana-Dharma

Holy Spirit – Identical to Shakti in the Tantrism

of India, the Holy Spirit is the Christian term for
the creative, energetic aspect of divinity. In the
Trans-Himalayan tradition, it is the third aspect
of the life-force, which is itself the first aspect
of matter (each level of our being – monadic,
soul and form – is said to have a spirit or life
expression, a consciousness or sentience
expression, and a material form expression).
The three aspects of the Life-force are often
described in terms of fire. The first is the
essential life of the monadic being aspect,
which is described as ‘electric fire’. The
second is the life of the soul-consciousness
aspect, which is described as ‘solar fire’. And
the third is the life of the form or matter aspect
of our being, which is described as ‘fire by
friction’. The Holy Spirit, Shakti, or fire by
friction is the creative force of Nature and
gives rise, through the activity of a vast
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y g ( g
3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
Devas), to all the forms of Nature, physical and
subtle. See also Archangel, Spirit, Life,
Body(s), Elements, Shakti, Shiva.

Ida Nadi – Sanskrit term for one of the three

main nadis or etheric channels in the etheric
body and running along the spine from the root
center to the left nostril. The ida nadi is the
lunar channel, and is related to the solar or
pingala nadi. See Pingali Nadi, Sushumna
Nadi, Nadi(s), Etheric Body.

Impermanence – Called anitya in Sanskrit and

anicca (pronounced ‘aneecha’) in Pali, the view
of impermanence or transitoriness is the
recognition that everything that is part of the
conditional universe (which includes all seven
planes of consciousness), is subject to time (of
some form) and therefore has a beginning, and
period of existence and then comes to an end.
‘That which begins must end’ is the law of
time, the cycle of life. One of the profound
insights of the Buddha was that even the
Atman or spiritual essence is ultimately part of
the relative or conditional universe and so, too,
is ultimately impermanent. Nirvana, or the non-
dual Absolute, is the only reality that is
unconditioned, ‘permanent’ and therefore free
of suffering. See also Nirvana, Planes of
Consciousness, No-self, Duhkha.

Initiation – Initiation has several meanings in

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3/21/2019 the GLOSSARY
Trans-Himalayan teachings. The general
— Shamballa School

meaning is the process of transmission of

spiritual energy and consciousness from
teachers and lineages to students so as to
facilitate a stabilized transformation of the
latter. This can take place in many forms
including oral and written teachings about
spiritual theory and practice, the ‘arrangement’
of teaching situations and opportunities for
training and learning, and direct transmission
of spiritual energy and realization. This process
of transmission can be referred to in many
ways including teachings, empowerment,
grace and shakti-pat. Initiation serves to
awaken the aspiration and will of the
individual, empower practice and generally
stimulate transformation and awakening.
Sources of initiation or transmission may be
physical or non-physical, human or non-
human. Non-human and ‘trans-human’
sources may include archangels, liberated
subtle realm Masters and Teachers.

Another more specific but related meaning of

initiation is in making reference to certain
major transitions in an individual’s spiritual
evolution. These may be called the arya-marga
or the ‘noble or holy path’ (Buddhism),
‘stations of the soul’ (Sufism), the sapta-jnana-
bhumi or ‘seven stages of wisdom’ (Vedanta),
and similar terms. Each of these, and many
similar systems, identifies the major stages on
the path of spiritual growth, and they
fundamentally relate to processes of
unfoldment, awakening and revelation that the
soul passes through as it awakens to the
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purpose, and begins to open to the monadic
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

reality of planetary, solar and cosmic purpose.

The various stages are each related to a
fundamental transition, a major cycle of
spiritual death and rebirth. And each of these
stages is also related to one of the major
elements, bodies, chakras, rays, planes and so
on. For instance, the first major initiation
relates to the root chakra, the physical plane
and body, the seventh ray, and the earth
element (to indicate a few correlations). These
stages of initiation are cycles of purification,
transformation and shifts in the locus of
identity from personality to soul to monad, and
the process of passing through several of
these initiations generally takes place over the
course of numerous lifetimes.The Trans-
Himalayan tradition recognizes a cycle of five
initiations culminating in liberation from
personal ego and karma, and another cycle of
five (5 – 9) which may be called the path of
advanced bodhisattvahood, undertaken by the
liberated Masters and Bodhisattvas in
Hierarchy, which culminate in planetary
‘mastery’ or perfected buddhahood (the 5th
initiation is both the culmination of the first
cycle, and the first stage of the next cycle).
The turning point of each of these initiations is
a point of spiritual extremity in which the point
of tension held by the being or group
undergoing the process evokes such a
potency of transmission from an initiating
source that they are enabled to cross over into
a new state of wakefulness, a new realm of
exploration, and a deeper locus of identity.
This process may take place primarily in
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subtler dimensions and so be outside of the
3/21/2019 subtler dimensions
GLOSSARY and so be outside of the
— Shamballa School

awareness of the physical self in its earliest

stages (initiations 1 and 2). The proposed
corresponding names or related stages or
concepts from various traditions are listed

1st – The Stream-enterer (Buddhism), Birth of

the Christ (Christian/Trans-Himalayan),
Awakening, Station of the Heart (Sufi)

2nd – The Once-returner (Buddhism), The

Baptism (Christian/Trans-Himalayan), Station
of the Soul (Sufi)

3rd – The Non-returner (Buddhism),

Transfiguration (Christian/Trans-Himalayan),
Station of Divine Secrets (Sufi)

4th – The Arhat (Buddhism),

Crucifixion/Resurrection (Christian/Trans-
Himalayan), Station of Nearness to Allah (Sufi)

5th – 1st cosmic Initiation, The Revelation

(Christian/Trans-Himalayan), Mastery, Station
of Union with Allah (Sufi); those of this stage
and beyond are also called ‘Sufis’ or awliya,
liberated bodhisattvas (Buddhism), jivanmuktis
or Siddhas (Hinduism), Sants (Sikhism)

6th – 2nd cosmic Initiation, The Decision

(Trans-Himalayan), Senior Lineage Holders and

7th – 3rd cosmic Initiation, the Ascension

(Christian/Trans-Himalayan), Buddhahood

8th – 4th cosmic Initiation, the Great Transition

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– 5th cosmic Initiation, the Refusal (Trans-
— Shamballa School

Himalayan), Full Planetary Mastery

The following is an overview of the first five

stages of initiation, with some indications of
the focus that tends to be most prominent at
each level. Of course, because each person
has individual traits as well as there being
differences between various paths, aspects of
each persons experience of the each stage
vary to some extent. Yet underlying these
differences is a somewhat universal pattern
that we seek to outline briefly below:

Initiation – 1st Birth

Element – Earth

Plane – Physical

Ray – 7th

Qualities and Characteristics – practice,

discipline, Karma Yoga, self-control, physical
equanimity & purification,physical opening and
transformation.Breaking through identification
with the physical body – establishing
foundation of spiritual practice and dharmic
behavior. The foundations of Agni Yoga include
this and the 2nd initiation.

Initiation – 2nd Baptism

Element – Water

Plane – Emotional

Ray – 6th
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3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
Qualities and Characteristics – aspiration,
devotion, love, equanimity, heart, Bhakti and
tantric/transformational yogas may be
emphasized.Breaking though identification
with the emotional/desire level – depending on
approach, devotion, love and aspiration may
deepen, and tantric approaches are now more

Initiation – 3rd Transfiguration

Element – Fire

Plane – Mental

Ray – 5th

Qualities and Characteristics – mental

equanimity, profound concentration, power,
clarity, knowledge,integration, end of physical
karma, Jnana, Raja and Tantric Yogas
applicable.Breaking through identification with
the mental body – bringing deep intuitive
opening. Direct nondual contemplation and
path of self-surrender now accessible. Karma
Yoga perfected. Tantric practices still relevant
in meditative and daily practices. Deeper
stages of Agni Yoga.

Initiation – 4th Arhat

Element – Air

Plane – Intuitive

Ray – 4th 89/211
3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

Qualities and Characteristics – intuition,

equanimity, Wu-wei, profound (higher buddhic)
love and wisdom, selflessness, stabilization of
radical awakening, Rigpa(Dzogchen), Christ-
consciousness, SahajaSamadhi, end of
emotional/astral karma, Jnana Yoga, Tantra,
Agni Yoga.Breaking identification with the
intuitive, spiritual self (soul or discriminating
self) – leading to constant God-consciousness,
whether on path of nondual awareness or
Divine Presence, or both. Activity arises as wu-
wei (Taoism), or ‘choiceless action’
spontaneously arising in harmony with Spirit.

Initiation – 5th Revelation

Element – Akasha

Plane – Atman

Ray – 1st

Qualities and Characteristics – Self-realization,

absorption in Trans-(Etheric) human
Beingness, Nondual Consciousness, mastery,
completion of human karma, revelation of
planetary purpose, siddhas (perfected beings),
Body of Light(Dzogchen).Exhaustion of mental
karma, culminating the process of complete
transcendence of personality/ego
identification. If this level is fully integrated with
the physical body, it results in the ‘Body of
Light’ or ‘Great Transfer’, the transformation of
the material elements into their inner essences.
Therefore, those attaining the 5th or higher
stages of initiation whose dharma is to remain 90/211
in physical incarnation must not fully integrate
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

this initiation or level of realization into their

physical body (hence the notion of advanced
bodhisattvahood as a sacrifice).

One central aspect of the Trans-Himalayan

teachings on initiation is that increasingly, it is
no longer an individual process, but a group
process. It is there suggested that this has
actually always been the underlying reality of
the initiatory process, but that until recently,
this was not known by humanity. In his work
with Alice Bailey, Djwhal Khul taught that in
Atlantean days, it was in groups of seven that
the human souls were initiated, though they
were almost never aware of this, having not
experienced contact with each other on the
physical plane. In present times, the evolution
of humanity as a whole has resulted in the
number of human beings moving into and
through the initiatory process to have
dramatically increased, presenting far greater
likelihood and frequency of their soul-group
relationships not just existing on subtle levels,
but penetrating all the way through to the
physical plane. Especially as the third and
above initiations become the focus, these
soul-group relationships often exist across the
lineages and backgrounds, increasingly paving
the way for the externalization of the Planetary
Lineage in its various ashrams of awakened
and identified human beings all over the globe.
See also Grace, Arhat, Body(s), Self-
Realization, Wu-wei, Planes of Consciousness,
Elements, Master, Hierarchy, Shamballa,
Planetary Lineage.
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3/21/2019   GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

Integral Path – An approach to spiritual

development working with the fullness of
human nature and spiritual potential, rather
than focusing on working with a more limited
spectrum of potentials or facets. Examples of
integral paths include Taoism, Tibetan
Buddhism, Hindu Raja Yoga and
Tantric/Kundalini Yogas, and Sri Aurobindo’s
Purna Yoga. The increasingly common use of
the term ‘integral’ when referring to a spiritual
path or yoga probably derives from
Aurobindo’s usage, which has also been
adapted by Ken Wilber to describe his and
similar approaches. Agni Yoga is another
example of an integral approach. See Agni
Yoga, Raja Yoga, Purna Yoga, Tantric Yoga,

Intuition – The experience of direct

understanding or realization without the use of
the intellect, emotions or the senses (whether
physical or psychic senses). Intuition is a mode
of relationship and insight that transcends the
dualism of mind and sense, giving the capacity
to commune with a thing or being and know
them from deep identification and attunement.
Intuition is sometimes used synonymously with
psychic abilities such as clairvoyance or
telepathy, but psychic sensitivities are still
based on the dualistic sensory modes of the
subtler bodies (even though being less
dualistic than physical senses), and therefore
they do not represent the true spiritual
understanding that is the deeper meaning of 92/211
understanding that is the deeper meaning of
3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
‘intuition’. Although intuition may accompany
or inform the intellect, symbols, words,
sensory and psychic experience, and emotion,
it is essentially formless in nature and is not
dependent on any of these for its
functioning.Intuition is at the heart of spiritual
development, and its gradual unfoldment
brings a growing experience of love, wisdom,
clarity, equanimity, peace and ultimately
nondual illumination. The term ‘intuition’ is
synonymous with prajna, gnosis, supermind
(Aurobindo), buddhi (Hindu), noetic experience
(Daskalos) and the ananda-maya-kosa
(Vedanta). See also Planes of Consciousness,
Body(s), Buddhi, Kosas, Psychic Abilities.

Intuitive Body – Although not having a three-

dimensional shape like the physical, astral and
mental bodies, and also being beyond time
and space as experienced in the
psychophysical levels, the intuitive body does
have a kind of ‘formless form’ and as such is
still considered a ‘body’ or ‘sheath’. The
intuitive body contains the pure archetypes,
ideas and principles that form the foundational
matrix for our more concrete personality and
physical life.

Ishvara – Sanskrit for ‘Lord’ or ‘Supreme

Ruler’, often used synonymously with ‘God’.
This is perhaps the most common usage in the
Hindu traditions, and it corresponds to the
term Logos (whether that be a planetary, solar,
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constellational galactic or universal Logos) in
3/21/2019 constellational, galactic
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School or universal Logos) in

the Trans-Himalayan teachings. In the latter,

the term refers to the incarnating Deity of a
particular field, whether that be planetary,
solar, constellational, galactic or universal. It is
the single kosmic entity whose body of
manifestation holds space for the evolution
and awakening of all beings within it.
According to the kosmic holographic ecology
of the Trans-Himalayan cosmology, such
beings are considered both singular entities in
themselves, and to embody principles and
kosmic chakras within the subtle energetic
bodies of larger kosmic beings, or Logoi. See
also God, Deity, Logos, Absolute, Chakra.

Jnana Yoga – The yoga of awakening through

wisdom, discrimination, inquiry and insight.
This is the path of transcendence through the
intellect (use of mind and inquiry or
philosophical reflection to transcend the mind
and ego). It is a more demanding path for most
people, and is therefore less popular in India
and elsewhere. Most forms of Buddhism place
significant emphasis on this path, and it is also
the practice of the Advaita (Nondual) Vedanta
of Hinduism. In the West we have examples
such as Plotinus and Meister Eckhart. Modern
examples include Krishnamurti and Ramana
Maharshi. See also Yoga, Advaita Vedanta,
Buddhism, Ramana Maharshi, Shankara,

Kaballah – Various other spellings including

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Q C f
3/21/2019 Qabalah and
— Shamballa School A system of esoteric

thought and practices, having developed

streams within both the Hebrew and Christian
traditions, and having descended primarily
from the Egyptian. Central to all of these
expressions is a spiritual practice based on the
Tree of Life (‘Symbol of Life’ in Christian and
Egyptian Kabalah). See also Symbol of Life,
Yantra, Chakras, Esoteric Christianity.

Karma – Sanskrit word meaning ‘action’. Most

often used to refer to the law of ‘moral
causation’, or the law of cause and effect,
especially applying to psychological and
spiritual causes or motivations (thoughts,
intentions, desires, judgments, aspirations)
and the effects these have in one’s life. Often
the word karma is used particularly to refer to
the effect, the working out or end result, of
various causes. In this common usage, to say
that some event or condition represents
‘karma’ is to use the term to refer to the fact
that these conditions were the specific fruits of
past action that the individual (or group) is
responsible for, due to the principle of karma.
But karma is also used more generally to mean
both the ‘action’ and the ‘effect’ it leads to,
and the law that links them. So karma refers to
the underlying principle or law, and the
mechanism, of how specific ‘causes’ must
lead to their specific ‘effects’. Karmas as
‘actions’ have been classified into several
categories. In some sources we find actions
classified as either ‘white’ (leading to good or
wholesome effects – sometimes called sattvic),
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‘bl k’ (l di t il i f l h l
3/21/2019 ‘black’ (leading
GLOSSARY to evil,
— Shamballa School painful or unwholesome

effects – sometimes called tamasic), ‘white-

black’ (middling karma or rajasic), and
liberated karma (karma or actions performed
with no ego so that there is no binding or
limiting effect on the ‘performer’ – neither
black nor white). These categories refer to the
quality of the motivation, which is the key
aspect of any action conditioning the spiritual
effect – how harmonious or discordant, how
painful or blissful, how heavy or uplifting – will
be the outcome. Since many effects of actions
(which can be thoughts and emotions in
addition to physical actions) do not work out
relatively immediately, but instead are
somewhat ‘time delayed’, karmic impressions,
tendencies and actions that have not yet come
to fruition will be accumulated as ‘debts’.
Those karmas that are not yet liberated or
fulfilled by the end of an incarnation will
become quiescent and form part of the
storehouse of the individual’s deep
subconscious. These are called in Sanskrit
sancita-karma, and are ‘stored’ in what is often
called the ‘causal body’ (Hindu) or alaya-
vijnana (Buddhism), which means ‘seed
repository’. In each life some of these karmic
seeds become active and contribute to the
make-up of the current personality. These are
called prarabda-karma, meaning ‘destiny’ or
‘fate’ karmas that, since they have already
become active, will contribute to the fate of the
person in that life in some way. There is also
agami-karma or ‘present karma’, those karmas
being created in the present incarnation. The
science of spirituality is based directly on
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the principle that illuminates what has caused
our current condition, and how individual
practice and grace can lead to enlightenment.
Through spiritual practice we can directly
influence the type of karma we create in the
present, mitigate to some extent some of the
karma that is working out in this life from the
past (our ‘fate’ karma), and purify and
transform the storehouse karmas that are not
yet active. All karmas take shape as
elementals. Karmas can be either purified,
transformed or ‘Self-liberated’ in the light of
nondual illumination. These reflect the three
main approaches to spiritual development –
traditional, tantric or transformational, and
nondual contemplation. See also Karma Yoga,
Elementals, Body(s), Hindrances.

Karma Yoga – Karma in Sanskrit means

‘action’, and ‘yoga’ means union, so we can
translate karma yoga as ‘the path to union or
liberation through spiritualizing action or
activity’. This is one of the most common
yogas because it pertains to the cultivation of
spiritual qualities during, or expressed through,
activity. Since most of humanity spends the
majority of their time engaged in daily activity
(as opposed to meditation), karma yoga is of
central significance for most people. Virtually
all religious and spiritual teachings offer some
form of karma yoga, or service. The essence of
karma yoga is the cultivation of qualities like
awareness, equanimity and love during daily
activity. See also Karma, Agni Yoga, Initiation,
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Kensho – See Awakening

Kingdoms – According to the Trans-

Himalayan teachings, a planet is made up of
seven manifest kingdoms – the three Nature
kingdoms, the human kingdom and three post-
human kingdoms. Each kingdom manifests the
developing consciousness of one of the seven
principles or aspects of the planetary entity, or
Logos. Each progressively ‘higher’ kingdom
represents a further step on the path of
evolution – mineral to vegetable to animal and
so on. The nature kingdoms express
instinctual evolution guided primarily by the
Holy Spirit or Nature – the mineral, vegetable
and animal. The human kingdom is guided
both by Nature or natural laws and the Soul
dimension of being. The post-human
kingdoms represent the conscious ‘sangha’ or
spiritual community of a planet. Each of the
seven kingdoms relate to the seven chakras in
human constitution – human nature being the
microcosm, and the planetary being the
macrocosm. These kingdoms, as they exist on
Earth, can be viewed as follows (counting from
the most evolutionarily advanced

1st Kingdom – Shambhala (Buddhas – 8th and

9th initiations, Earth Logos)

2nd Kingdom – Liberated Bodhisattvas (begins

at 5th initiation)
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3rd Kingdom – Hierarchy of Masters (begins at
3rd initiation or ‘transfiguration’)

4th Kingdom – Humanity

5th Kingdom – Animal Kingdom

6th Kingdom – Vegetable Kingdom

7th Kingdom – Mineral Kingdom

See also Initiation, Shamballa, Buddha,

Bodhisattva, Holy Spirit, Nature, Logos, Trans-
Himalayan School, Planetary Logos.

Koot Humi, Master – One of the most

advanced masters on the Second Ray of
Love-Wisdom, Koot Humi is understood to be
of Sikh, Kashmiri origin, and to have been,
until recently, the head of the Second Ray
Ashram. He is described as a 6th degree
initiate and the Master of both Alice Bailey and
Djwhal Khul. According to Theosophical
writers, he is described as having incarnated in
pre-modern times as both Nagarjuna, and
Pythagoras. It was he, in company with the
Master Morya, who were the principle initiators
of the Theosophical movement at the close of
the 19th Century. See also Djwhal Khul, Alice
Bailey, Hierarchy, Rays, Morya, Theosophy,
Trans-Himalayan tradition, Trans-Himalayan
School, Initiation, Master, Guru.

Kosas – Sanskrit for ‘sheath’ or ‘covering’.

Early Vedantic (Hindu) teachings began
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through which the innermost spiritual Being or

Self incarnates and which also veil or distort its
nature or expression in the corresponding
realms. Differing spiritual teachings sometimes
identify these bodies in differing ways, yet it is
not too difficult to recognize the basic
similarities between these systems. This
system of kosas from the Hindu tradition is
one of the most well known. The Sanskrit
name for each body includes the term maya,
pointing out that each of these bodies is not
the true Self, but identification with it can form
the illusion of a limited self at that level – a
body self, an energy self, etc. The classical
kosas are as follows:

Anna-maya-kosa ‘illusory body of food’ (dense

physical body)

Prana-maya-kosa ‘illusory body of energy or

life-force’ (etheric body)

Mano-maya-kosa ‘illusory body of mind’

(emotional/lower mental)

Vijnana-maya-kosa ‘illusory body of

intelligence’ (higher mental body)

Ananda-maya-kosa ‘illusory body of bliss’

(intuitive body; higher buddhi)

Atman The Self (nondual Self beyond all

bodies and veils)

These levels are also recognized by many

other schools such as in Buddhism, some
schools of Hinduism (Sri Yukteswar, for
example), the Shabd Yoga tradition of the
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esotericism. In the Trans-Himalayan tradition,

where the differentiation is made between
radical awakening to the Absolute Self and
evolutionary awakening to deeper levels of
one’s own being and kosmos, a slightly
different system is used. Here, Atman (the
Absolute Self as it resides in man – generally
considered the same as Rigpa in Dzogchen)
would not be seen as the highest level of one’s
relative being, but the unconditioned reality at
the base of every level. Thus also, in the Trans-
Himalayan teachings, there are understood to
be deeper levels of identity beyond the
Ananda-maya-kosa, or buddhic body, namely,
the three levels of the monad. See also
Body(s), Planes of Consciousness, Maya,
Atman, Self.

Kriya Yoga – Kriya means ‘action’. The term

Kriya Yoga is commonly used either
synonymously with Karma Yoga (both the
terms ‘kriya’ and ‘karma’ relating to ‘action’),
or to refer to various kinds of practices or
‘rites’ used to purify and transform one’s
nature. The second book of Patanjali’s Yoga
Sutras is called Kriya Yoga as it considers
various practices that may be used by those
not yet able to enter samadhi. Kriya Yoga is
also the name given by Babaji (and first
transmitted to the West by Paramahamsa
Yogananda) for a path that is essentially a form
of tantric/kundalini yoga that uses practices
involving sound and chakras to purify the
chakras and prepare the student for samadhi,
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hi h i th d i il th h th
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GLOSSARY pursued
— Shamballa School primarily through the

practice of nada yoga. See Babaji, Yogananda,

Karma Yoga, Samadhi, Nada Yoga, Kundalini,
Raja Yoga, Yoga.

Kundalini – Also known as Kundalini Shakti,

Serpent Fire and Sacred Fire. The Kundalini is
monadic energy focused in the root chakra at
the base of the spine, and relatively latent in
most individuals. It is awakened through
spiritual practice, and the occurrences
incumbent on the awakening process. The
Kundalini may be thought of as the individual
manifestation of Shakti, or universal spiritual
energy, within the microcosm of human
constitution. It is the energetic or ‘Holy
Spiritual’ expression of spiritual realization and
monadic being. In other words, when spiritual
realization and dynamic power is experienced
more from the angle of the body and energy,
we may speak of its manifestation as
Kundalini, and experience its awakening and
its movement in, and effects on, our subtle
body, our chakras and nadis, and general
physical and psychological nature. Kundalini is
not simply an energy like electricity – it has
wisdom, love and even conscious presence
within it. How much we experience the entire
vast spectrum of spiritual potential the
Kundalini Shakti can reveal to us is dependent,
in part, on how we relate to Her. See also
Shakti, Holy Spirit, Kundalini Yoga, Monad,
Chakras, Nadi(s), Sushumna Nadi, Etheric

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Kundalini Yoga – A path based on awakening

the Kundalini Shakti, the wisdom-power or
energy latent in each of us. Although there are
many forms of kundalini yoga, typically this
path employs practices (in combination with
the grace of the lineage) used to effect
preliminary purification, then awakening of the
kundalini and its gradual ascent through the
major chakras leading to liberation and
illumination. Kundalini yoga, like raja yoga, is
commonly a more comprehensive path
employing a wide range of practices. See also
Kundalini, Raja Yoga, Tantric Yoga, Shakti,
Yoga, Integral Path.

Laws – Refers to universal principles

governing the cosmos, including the physical
laws explored by science like the laws of
gravity, as well as more universal laws such as
the law of cause and effect. ‘Laws’, like
‘Ideas’, ‘Principles’ and ‘Archetypes’, exist in
the formless realm of universals, which can be
observed by noticing that a Law such as
Cause and Effect has no location or duration,
yet inhabits or permeates all Relativity. See
also Principles, Formless, Relativity.

Laya Yoga – ‘Laya’ means in Sanskrit

‘dissolution’. A form of yoga related to
kundalini yoga and tantric yoga that seeks to
achieve spiritual liberation through a
progressive dissolution and absorption of each
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Earth is dissolved (along with one’s karmic
entanglements with it) into water; water into
fire; fire into air; air into akasha (space); akasha
into consciousness and consciousness into
Spirit. This practice emphasizes the ascending
path of consciousness, although through laya
yoga one can become adept at the reverse
process of manifesting spirituality in the more
concrete dimensions as well. This is
approached in various ways in laya yoga, but
usually involves working with the chakras (the
seat of the elements in the body), sometimes
with visualization, and often working with
sound as in nada yoga. Laya yoga is
sometimes equated with nada yoga, though
there are really various approaches to laya
yoga. See also Nada Yoga, Kundalini Yoga,
Chakras, Elements, Yoga.

Life – A term used in the Trans-Himalayan

teachings both for the 1st aspect of the trinity
that composes our nature (spirit or monad,
consciousness or soul, and form or
personality), thus equivalent to the terms
‘monad’ and ‘spirit’, and also for the divine
Presence or ‘4th Quality’ that underlies all
three. The Life aspect has three levels of
expression, described as kundalini fire, solar
fire, and electric fire. Kundalini fire, or fire by
friction, is the life-force of matter, solar fire is
the life-force of consciousness, which could
be understood as the inherant brightness and
radiance of awareness, and electric fire is the
life of spirit or our monadic aspect. An
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teaching is that while within the cosmic
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physical plane, the life aspect is described as

electric fire, from the perspective of the cosmic
planes, human beings as spirit, or electric fire,
actually embody the kundalini fire of the
planetary and solar Logoi in whose bodies we
find ourselves. Another important aspect of the
teaching about life or spirit is that while the
antahkarana or continuity of consciousness
between the various depths of our being
(personality, soul, monad, and the cosmic
beings in whose bodies we exist as well as the
other civilisations that exist therein) requires
construction, stage by stage, over time, the
sutratma, or ‘life-thread’ whereby the life
aspect is anchored in the heart, is ever present
and available to all beings. This means that
while the evolution and deepening of
consciousness occurs over time and through
applied spiritual practice, identification with
and as monadic life or spirit is available to all
beings right now via the monadic depth of the
heart chakra. Engaging the process of
identification with the will, purpose and being
of the monad, and of the cosmic beings in
whom we find our place, through the heart
chakra, is a prime focus of Agni Yoga and
Shamballa School. See also Self, Monad,
Spirit, Soul, Personality, Planetary Logos, Solar
Logos, 4th Quality, Planes, Antahkarana,

Logos – A Greek and Latin term with various

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— Shamballa concept of

understanding, as in ‘logic’ or ‘–ology’ (the

study of). When capitalized and used in a
spiritual context, it means divine or
enlightened consciousness and ‘the Word’ or
the creative power or expression of that
universal wisdom. Logos is often used to
designate a being who has universal wisdom
or enlightenment. Each person’s higher or
spiritual self is a logos, and the soul of a planet
may be called a Planetary Logos. In the Trans-
Himalayan teachings, the term Logos is usually
used to refer to the incarnating spirit-soul of a
planet, a solar system, a constellation, a
galaxy or a universe. From an Absolute
perspective, the most universal enlightened
Presence or being may be considered the
Primordial, Universal or Christ Logos. See also
Nada, Shabda Brahman, Christ Logos,
Planetary Logos, Adi-Buddha, Agni, Deity,
Ishvara, God, Brahman, Primordial Buddha.

Lyon, B. P. – (1957-) A New Zealander, born in

1957, whose collaboration with the master
Djwhal Khul on such teachings between the
years 2000 and 2010 as the Mercury
Transmissions, Group Initiation, Working with
the Will and Occult Cosmology has served as
a first expression and entry point into the third
phase of the Trans-Himalayan tradition. In his
work with Alice Bailey, Djwhal Khul suggested
that the third phase of his teaching would
emerge around the year 2025, but that an
initial body of teachings would be given at the
beginning of the 21st Century that would have
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Shamballa monadic depth of self and
awakening as its focus. It was this teaching
that has been the focus of Djwhal Khul and
Bruce Lyon’s collaboration. As an expression
of it, in 2001, Lyon and two others established
a residential esoteric school, Shamballa
School, in New Zealand in accordance with
Djwhal Khul’s instructions for the new schools
in his and Alice Bailey’s book, Letters on
Occult Meditation. This phase of Shamballa
School ran from between 2000-2007, after
which the focus of the school abstracted from
the physical plane to take the form of an
international community of men and women
working with the Shamballa teachings, as well
as penetrating into and holding a field for the
third phase teaching that is to come. See also
Shamballa, Trans-Himalayan tradition, Trans-
Himalayan School, Djwhal Khul, Alice Bailey,
Monad, Self, Spirit.

Mandala – Sanskrit for ‘circle’. A visual

symbol, either simple or complex, representing
a spiritual reality and used for spiritual practice
as an object of meditation. Mandalas are
commonly thought of as being the ‘body’ or
manifested subtle form of a Deity, and are
used, typically in conjunction with mantras (as
the ‘name’ of the Deity), to establish a
relationship, and ultimately to merge with, the
Deity. Used, for instance, in various forms of
Hindu and Buddhist (Tibetan) Tantra, and in
various other traditions. See also Deity, Yantra,

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Mantra – Sanskrit term for a sacred or

primordial sound in the form of a word or
grouping of words, used to attune to higher
levels of consciousness. It is also most
commonly used as a method to invoke,
commune with, and ultimately to identify with,
the Deity for whom the mantra is the ‘name’.
Mantras can be in any language, but are most
powerful when found in ‘sacred’ languages.
The most famous Sanskrit mantra is Om. See
Mantra Yoga, Nada, Nada Yoga.

Mantra Yoga – Often a specific technique may

be isolated and focused on as a path in itself.
This is especially common for the use of
mantra in India, which is also a key aspect of
the practice of many paths such as bhakti, raja
and tantra yogas. See Mantra, Nada, Bhakti
Yoga, Nada Yoga, Yoga.

Masculine Principle – See Shiva.

Master – Term used in many spiritual

traditions, East and West, to describe
someone adept or deeply realized in spiritual
development. The term is not generally used to
mean someone who is a master over others,
such as their students, but rather that they
have mastered, to some extent, spiritual
practice. Mastery may also include, for some,
the concept of having mastered oneself – that
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ignorance and attained spiritual freedom and

wisdom. The level of development indicated by
the use of the term master varies from one
tradition or individual to another. Generally it is
used to indicate someone of at least the third
initiation. In some Western traditions it is used
only for those of the fifth initiation and beyond.
See also Guru, Teachers, Initiation, Arhat.

Mataji – According to various sources

(Yogananda, Govindan, Theosophy, etc.),
Mataji is the spiritual ‘sister’ of Babaji
(apparently, in fact, his paternal cousin). Both
Yogananda and (possibly) Madame Blavatsky
and several Theosophists describe Mataji as
living in a cave on the banks of the Ganges in
Benares towards the end of the nineteenth
century. According to Govindan, she now
spends most of her time at Babaji’s ashram,
called Gauri Shankar Peetam, near Badrinath
in the Himalayas. Her full name is Mataji
Nagalakshmi Deviyar, and she is said to have,
like Babaji, attained soruba samadhi, or
physical immortality. She is worshipped by
those who know her as an incarnation of the
Divine Mother. See also Babaji, Yogananda,
Siddha Tradition, Trans-Himalayan School,
Blavatsky, Theosophy.

Maya – A Sanskrit term used in Hindu Vedanta

usually translated as ‘illusion’. Its most radical
interpretation is found in such philosophies as
Shankara’s Advaita (Nondual) Vedanta, which
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— Shamballa relative universe, including

‘Ishvara’ or ‘the Creator’, as arising out of

ignorance or misunderstanding – hence the
notion of ‘illusion’. There are many ways to
approach understanding this perspective – a
perspective which is perhaps one of the most
difficult to understand in nondual philosophy,
and therefore very commonly misunderstood.
One way to approach the concept of maya is
to begin by considering the universe, in all its
levels, as arising from Mind. That is not to say
‘intellect’, but rather consciousness in all its
grades ranging from physical matter as
‘condensed mind’, to the most profound
spiritual realizations in superconscious mind or
Universal Mind. From this view we can see that
all levels of Reality are states of Mind. In the
Advaita Vedanta philosophy, only Brahman or
the Absolute is considered ‘Truth’, and all of
relative existence is considered to be made up
of partial, relative perspectives on the ‘Truth’.
As partial points of view, they are only partially
true, and therefore tainted with ignorance or
misunderstanding. Therefore, although all
states and planes of consciousness are ‘made’
of the substance of God or Brahman, they are
born out of and represent misunderstandings
of what they themselves in truth really are.
They are partial understandings of themselves,
which is actually Brahman. A classical
metaphor used to illustrate the notion of maya
is that of mistaking a stick for a snake. Upon
first seeing the ‘snake’, we take this to be the
truth. But upon seeing that it is really a stick,
the reality of it being a snake is recognized as
an illusion, a dream, a false idea. The concept
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partial points of view that are incomplete and
therefore not completely true, is therefore a
kind of dream or illusion, an appearance
without absolute reality. Through awakening to
Brahman, which is the true nature of all beings
and things, we realize that the relative universe
was Brahman appearing as less than
Brahman, which is not Truth. Maya, therefore,
does not really mean that the relative universe
does not really exist at all, but rather that it is
not what it appears to be. Maya is the
characteristic of the Truth (Brahman) to appear
as a limiting falsehood while remaining always
the Truth. Ignorance is believing that this maya
is the Truth, while ‘awakening’ is realizing that
this maya is actually Brahman. See also Ajata-
vada, Awakening, Brahman, Nondualism,
Absolute, Relativity, Shankara, Advaita

Meditation – Used in a spiritual context, the

term meditation usually refers to spiritual
practices engaged in while remaining
physically still, although the meditative attitude
can certainly be carried into activity. The
practice of meditation is based on a degree of
developing concentration. Other essential
factors involved in meditation include
awareness and equanimity. Further spiritual
qualities that can be cultivated in meditation,
as well as the object or focus of one’s
concentration, and the understanding of what
one is ‘doing’ by meditating, vary from one
approach to another. All forms of spiritual
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conscious effort to cultivate an undistracted
state for the purpose of spiritual development.
In advanced stages of meditation, even the
notion of attaining something or making any
effort is fully transcended. Yet these elements
are essential to earlier stages of practice and
motivation. Because of the greatly increased
concentration, awareness and other qualities
an experienced meditator is able to generate
while meditating (as compared to their ordinary
state of consciousness during activity),
meditation is widely recognized as having the
power to greatly accelerate spiritual
transformation and awakening, and therefore
to be an essential backbone to any efficient
program of spiritual growth. See also Samadhi,
Attunement, Intuition, Yoga, Practice.

Mental Body – This body is more subtle, or

made of a finer spectrum of vibrations, than
the physical and astral/emotional bodies. It is
the subtlest of the three form bodies used by a
human being during physical incarnation. The
mental body has seven major sub-divisions,
reflecting the seven principles or elements,
and can be generally divided into the higher
(etheric) aspect and the lower (concrete or
form) aspect. The lower aspect of the mental
body is more strongly linked to the senses,
and the thought processes there are related to
processing sensory information (we may call
this the ‘sense mind’), naming or concretely
categorizing experience, and also thinking with
reliance on forms such as words and images.
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focus of concrete skills and abilities, and a
source of instinctual power. The higher aspect
of the mental body is more abstract, and is the
source of our ability to reason, reflect and have
some degree of conscious choice or ‘free will’.
The higher mind is most distinctive of the
human kingdom, being undeveloped in the
nature kingdoms, growing during human
incarnations, and being increasingly
transcended in the spiritual kingdoms. The
higher mind in humanity is our logical,
reasoning, investigative and reflective
intelligence. It gives us the power to transcend
simple identification with our instinctual,
emotional and habitual reactions and thoughts,
and to consider new perspectives, reason to
new conclusions, and choose new
directions.The lower mind is the higher aspect
of what in Vedanta is called the mano-maya-
kosha, or the ‘mind sheath’. It is also often
called manas, or ‘lower manas’. The higher
mind in Vedanta is called the vijnana-maya-
kosha, or the ‘wisdom or knowledge body’. It
is sometimes also called the ‘lower buddhi’ in
Sanskrit. See also Body(s), Planes of
Consciousness, Mental Plane, Kingdoms.

Mental Plane – The third major realm of

consciousness and expression (counting from
the physical) – a realm subtler than both the
astral/emotional and the physical. Just as we
are active in the physical plane or world in our
physical bodies, we can be active in the
mental world or plane in our mental bodies.
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vibrant expression of all that exists in the
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

physical and astral universes, plus much more

that exists in neither. The mental plane is not
only a plane very sensitive to thought, but is
also an environment with space and time,
bodies and events, similar to the physical
world but regulated by different laws which are
more free and flexible than the physical and
astral planes. The mental, like the astral, is
made up of many sub-planes – seven major
ones and many finer divisions – which create
differing worlds relating to different states of
consciousness. Those who are more
conscious have greater freedom to move
throughout a broader range of mental worlds,
while those who are of more limited
development tend to remain focused in mental
sub-worlds that resonate with their state of
consciousness. In general, the mental world is
more peaceful, luminous, sensitive and vibrant
than either the physical or astral worlds. The
average person functioning consciously in their
mental body (such as after the transition of
physical death) enjoys greater understanding,
joy, concentration, memory, telepathy and so
on. Beings consciously functioning in their
astral or mental bodies have much greater
access to intuition and psychic abilities. Those
using their mental bodies have access to the
subtler dimensions of other planets in our solar
system, whereas those limited to use of the
astral body do not. See also Astral Plane,
Body(s), Planes of Consciousness, Mental

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Metta – Pali version of the Sanskrit word
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

maitri, which means ‘friendliness’. Metta is a

word commonly used in the Buddhist
teachings to refer to the quality of loving
kindness towards oneself and others. Buddhist
metta practice, or ‘loving kindness practice’,
refers to a specific set of traditional practices
used to cultivate metta or loving kindness.
Metta or maitri is one of the four brahma-
viharas or divine virtues, which also include
equanimity, compassion and sympathetic joy.
The name Maitreya derives from the same
root, as the Bodhisattva Maitreya is considered
to be the bodhisattva of loving kindness. See
also Brahma-viharas.

Middle Way – The path of the Buddha is also

referred to as the Middle Way or Path because
it is based so fundamentally on the approach
of avoiding extremes such as self-indulgence
and asceticism. Taking up the Middle Way can
be applied to many polarities including mind
and body, self and no-self, universal and
particular, idealism and realism, effort and
relaxation, love and wisdom. In Agni Yoga, we
see the Middle Way as also revealed as the
Fire of the Heart. In the human form, the heart
represents the middle way between the ‘lower’
centers, which, when unenlightened, are
centers of self-indulgence, and the ‘higher’
centers, which can be simply centers of
idealism and asceticism. The heart is the point
of integration of mind and body, Logos and
Eros, wisdom and love. See also Buddhism,
Christ Consciousness.
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3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

Mind – The word mind is used in a great

variety of ways in spiritual teachings. One use
of ‘mind’ is to refer to the ‘sense-mind’, the
level of mind that looks out through the senses
and recognizes and names different kinds of
experience. A second use of ‘mind’ is as the
intellect – the reasoning, reflecting and
intentional aspect of human nature. A third use
of ‘mind’ is to refer to the whole psychological
nature including not only intellect and sense-
mind, but also the emotional, motivational and
memory components. This use includes the
conscious and subconscious levels as well. A
fourth use of ‘Mind’, often capitalized, refers to
a more spiritual usage that includes the levels
of soul and even spirit (not spirit as the
Absolute but rather as the essence of
individual identity). Here the term Mind is used
in a more universal sense to mean levels of
realization, wisdom and insight beyond the
intellect as well as the other levels named so
far. These include intuition and other levels of
consciousness that, defined in this way, are
expressions of transpersonal or essential
levels of Mind. Finally, some traditions, both
Eastern and Western, use the term Mind (or
what is often translated as ‘Mind’) to refer to
the entire spectrum of planes of
consciousness, including what is traditionally
called ‘matter’ or ‘physical’. In this usage all
types of experience and objects of experience
on any level except the Absolute are
considered forms of Mind. Mind in this sense
is the substance of all levels; ‘matter’ being
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f f tl lidifi d Mi d F thi
3/21/2019 forms of apparently
GLOSSARY solidified Mind. From this
— Shamballa School

point of view, sense-mind and intellect are

forms of Mind, but are very limited and ‘dense’
manifestations of true Mind. In addition, this
understanding of Mind does not distinguish
Mind from emotion, feeling, love and other
aspects of human nature usually considered
opposite or in contrast to mind. This is so only
when we limit our definition of mind to the
intellect, but is not so when we define Mind
more universally. In the later case, love,
intuition, feeling, emotion, intellect and pure
consciousness are all aspects of Mind. Finally,
in some versions of this philosophy the final
essence of Mind is the nondual or Absolute
reality, so that even the final transcendent
Reality is included within the term Mind as its
innermost nature or final ground. Because of
the very wide range of meanings associated
with this word, it is important to be careful
about the specific meaning implied when
encountering its usage. See also Mental Body,
Mental Plane, Intuition, Soul, Planes of
Consciousness, Ideas.

Mindfulness Practice – see Awareness


Monad – The term used in the Trans-

Himalayan teachings, for the most essential
level of self within the cosmic physical plane. It
is equivalent to the word ‘spirit’ or ‘life’ in the
trinity of spirit, soul and personality, or life,
consciousness and form. The monad can be 117/211
considered a cosmic unit of awakened
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

universal Life-force whose natural realm of

abiding would be on galactic planes, but that
chose to ‘descend’ into the cosmic physical
realm to serve the purpose of the planetary
Logos of the Earth at the commencement of
the creative cycle and within whose very subtle
body it finds it’s place.

The monadic depth of our nature is said to

embody a profound class of duality in its
being, one that does not relate to the dualities
extant within the relative, manifest universe,
but that relates to the Absolute and Relative
realities, and which does not begin to disclose
itself within the experience of the practitioner
until an advanced stage of development, after
the third initiation. The nature of this duality
relates to the monad’s nondual abiding ever in
identification with and as Absolute Reality,
whilst simultaneously unfolding as an
individualized unit through the relative cosmos.
This duality differentiates the two forms of
awakening that have been discussed by Bruce
Lyon and Djwhal Khul in Occult Cosmology.
The first is radical awakening, which is
awakening to the Absolute Reality, known
variously in the traditions as the Dharmakaya,
Brahman, Parashiva, Godhead, etc. The
second is evolutionary awakening, in which the
monad penetrates into and is penetrated by
progressively deeper and wider realms of
cosmic reality in its journey. At the 6th
initiation, it is taught that the opportunity arises
for the monad to take one of the seven cosmic
paths. Agni Yoga is a spiritual practice oriented
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3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
into the monad, so as to engage these process
of awakening.

The three qualities of the monad, or life or

spirit aspect of our nature, are Being, Purpose,
and Will. Being relates to the monad’s nature
as beyond identity, self-reflective
consciousness, and activity, abiding always in
unconditioned Presence. Purpose relates to
the monad as cosmic life-force, innately
impregnated with the omega point of purpose
that the planetary, solar and galactic levels of
cosmos are gradually revealing. And Will
relates to the active quality of the monadic life-
force in breaking through all limitations to the
revealtion to the always already divine cosmos.

In the occult cosmology of 3rd phase Trans-

Himalayan spirituality, while the personality is
symbolized by the planet Earth, and the soul
by the sun, the monad is symbolised by the
black hole. Just as a supermassive black hole
is able to hold the field for an entire galaxy of
one hundred billion suns to be birthed, grow,
shine radiantly and eventually die, simply
through the dynamic power of its infinite
density at the singularity (according to
Einsteinian physics), the monadic or spirit
aspect of our being is supremely dynamic.
From its always already abiding Absolute
Divinity, it is able to effortlessly evoke the
awakening, evolution and unfoldment of all
beings within its field. And just as a black hole
draws all toward itself with titanic power, so
also does the presence of monadic purpose
within any particular field, like the omega point
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gradual warping of space and time so as to
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

conform to that purpose.

While the establishment of a continuity of

consciousness between the personality, soul
and monadic depths of our being is something
that characterises a profound level of spiritual
development, such as that of a buddha, since
the monadic life is anchored in the heart
chakra of all beings via the sutratma,
identification with and as the monadic life,
which is essentially not different to the cosmic
life or spirit, is available to all beings via the
direct path of the heart. See also Awakening,
Absolute, Relativity, Cosmic Paths, Initiation,
Logos, Absolute, Relative, Spirit, Self,
Antahkarana, Sutratma.

Morya, Master – One of the masters

responsible, in company with the master Koot
Humi, for the inspiration behind the founding
of the Theosophical Society. Morya is
understood to be a 6th degree initiate of Indian
Rajput origin and the head of the 1st Ray
Ashram. He was the guru of both Helena
Blavatsky and Helena Roerich, the latter of
which put out the Agni Yoga teachings as
transmissions from him. It is understood that
Morya incarnated previously as the Emperors
Ashoka and Akbar. Presently, he, in company
with the masters Djwhal Khul and Rakozci hold
the transmission points for the 1st, 2nd, and
7th Rays in the Ashram of Synthesis. See also
Master, Initiation, Hierarchy, Trans-Himalayan
School, Ashram of Synthesis, Theosophy, Koot
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Humi Djwhal Khul Rakozci Planetary
Humi, Djwhal Khul, Rakozci, Planetary
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School


Mother, The – French woman born Mira

Alfassa Richard. Moved to India and became
the spiritual companion of Sri Aurobindo, who
saw in her the incarnation of the Divine Mother.
After Aurobindo’s move in his later years into
increased seclusion, the Mother took over the
ashram at Pondicherry in Southern India,
assuming responsibility for the teaching of
their disciples. Aurobindo and the Mother
believed their work together involved helping
to birth the supermind, the anchoring
collective access to a new level of
consciousness on the Earth. When this event
did not take place within his lifetime (died
1950), he believed the Mother’s dharma was to
remain in incarnation until the supermind (or
buddhic consciousness) was anchored in the
physical world, bringing about a new epoch of
planetary evolution. The Mother believed that
this event finally did take place in 1956. She
continued their work until her passing in 1973.
See also Aurobindo, Sri, Planes of

Nada – Sanskrit word meaning ‘sound’. In a

spiritual context usually used to refer to subtle,
non-physical sounds typically heard in one’s
mind, especially in the region of the head, but
can also be heard in any chakra, throughout
the body, beyond the body, etc. These sounds
are the audible manifestations of various levels
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f i ithi d b
3/21/2019 of consciousness
GLOSSARY — Shamballawithin
School us, and can be
correlated to various qualities, chakras, realms,
etc. These sounds typically take various forms
depending on the stage of development, some
of the most common being the sound of the
conch, buzzing or humming of bees, rushing
waters, tingling bells and the roar of thunder.
When meditated on, these sounds will
gradually become louder and more refined,
leading one’s consciousness through various
stages of unfoldment, until the inner sound or
nada merges into the ‘music of the spheres’ or
Shabda Brahman (the ‘Sound of God’),
expressing the realization and presence of the
universal Logos (the ‘Word’), the Transcendent
Personality or Primordial Buddha. Beyond this
lies the Void or Nirguna Brahman. We might
think of the nada, then, when fully realized, as
the ‘sound of nondual realization’, or the
‘sound of the Christ Logos’. Another way we
can come to understand the nada is as the
audible vibration or emanation of sat-cit-
ananda, or ‘transcendent Beingness,
Consciousness and Bliss’. The nada is also
sometimes referred to as ‘the Word’, shabda,
pranava, sphota, Naam, anahata nada (‘the
unstruck sound’), the ‘music of the spheres’,
the ‘sound current’, the ‘flaming sound’, the
‘sounding flame’, the Celestial Sound, Bani,
Logos and Kalma. The fullness of awakened or
Christ consciousness is manifest as the nada,
and contains and emanates such qualities a
universal love, bliss, power, creativity, joy,
purpose, wisdom, illumination, clarity,
harmony, equanimity, devotion and beauty – all
arising from the ground of nondual Presence.
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3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
universal Presence. See also Logos, Mantra,
Nada Yoga, Shabda Brahman, Sat-cit-ananda.

Nada Yoga – This is related to mantra yoga in

that both are forms of practice based on
sound (also called Shabd yoga – shabd or
shabda meaning ‘sound’). With mantra yoga,
the aspirant generates the sound (at least in
the earlier stages), usually internally (mental
repetition), whereas with nada yoga the
sounds meditated on are spontaneously
arising internal sounds. They lead to hearing
what have been called the ‘music of the
spheres’ or the ‘voice of the silence’, and are
considered in many traditions to lead to
identification with the Universal Self or
Personal God, of which this ‘Word’ of
transcendent sound is the ‘name’. Although
this practice is often considered a form of
bhakti yoga or devotional practice (though it is
practiced in many forms of raja,
kundalini/tantric and other yogas), leading to
identification with Deity (Theistic paths), it is
also practiced in some nondual-based paths
as well. See also Nada, Yoga, Mantra, Mantra
Yoga, Shabda Brahman, Deity Yoga, Bhakti
Yoga, Kundalini Yoga.

Nadi(s) – A Sanskrit term meaning channel or

conduit, the nadis (as we are using the term
here) are the subtle pathways in the etheric
body along which the life-force or prana flows.
There are countless thousands of nadi that
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distribute the prana to the various parts of the
distribute the prana to the various parts of the
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

body, operating the senses, giving conscious

control of the body, and supply the etheric
energy or vitality that sustains the body and its
functions. There are three major nadis that run
along the spine from the root chakra and
terminating in the head, called the ida, pingala
and sushumna in Sanskrit. In the Trans-
Himalayan cosmology, the energetic currents
that compose and connect the subtle bodies
of planetary, solar, constellational, galactic and
universal beings, are understood as cosmic
nadis, and it is along these currents of energy
that the monad abstracts itself as it takes one
of the Cosmic Paths at the 6th initiation. See
Sushumna Nadi, Ida Nadi, Pingala Nadi,
Etheric Body, Etheric Vitality, Kundalini,
Initiation, Cosmic Paths, Monad.

Nature – In the Trans-Himalayan tradition, the

term ‘Nature’ is typically used in three ways.
When coupled with another term like ‘spiritual
nature’ or ‘Buddha Nature’, it means the
essential reality or essence of something or
someone. When used alone, the term ‘Nature’
is usually used to mean either the nature
kingdoms (mineral, vegetable and animal), or
to be synonymous with Shakti or the Holy
Spirit, the Universal Feminine. In the last
definition, Nature or Shakti is understood as
manifest on all planes of Relativity, and in all
kingdoms. See also Shakti, Feminine Principle,
Kingdoms, Holy Spirit.

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N t Ki d S Ki d
3/21/2019 Nature Kingdoms –
GLOSSARY See Kingdoms
— Shamballa School

Nirvana – Sanskrit term used in Hinduism and

especially Buddhism, meaning ‘to blow out’ or
‘extinguish’. As indicated in the Third Noble
Truth of Buddhism, nirvana is the goal of all
Buddhist practice, although the path of
Mahayana Buddhism is based on the
motivation of bringing others to nirvana as
well. Since the Buddha’s definition of nirvana
was rather sparing (in order to avoid creating
misleading ideas or fostering speculation
about something that cannot be understood
by the intellect), there have arisen numerous
interpretations of nirvana. For the Buddha, the
most important characteristic of nirvana was
that it meant the end of suffering. Nirvana is
described as a state beyond birth and death,
beyond karma, desire, hatred and delusion.
Further, nirvana is described as being beyond
the experience of a separate self, and the
experience of personal choice or will. In part
because of the Buddha’s reluctance to give
much in the way of a description of what
nirvana is, many, especially in the West, have
taken nirvana to be a state of annihilation of
the individual. This does not appear to be the
case, even in early Buddhist writings. Rather,
the Buddha simply refused to use any words
familiar to us to describe nirvana because
these are all tainted with meanings based in
samsara or Relativity. It is like trying to
describe colors to someone using a language
only having the terms black and white. No
matter what you say, it will always only
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suggest shades of black and white Also since
3/21/2019 suggest shades
— Shamballa black and white. Also, since
nirvana is not a realm or plane of existence,
but is a state of being beyond all Relativity,
nirvana can be realized while living in this
world. The Buddha, therefore, identified two
forms of nirvana – ‘nirvana without remainder’,
which means realizing the state of nirvana and
leaving behind contact with the relative
universe (also called parinirvana – final
nirvana), and ‘nirvana with remainder (of
conditional existence)’, which means realizing
nirvana while remaining aware of the relative
universe of samsara. This later state would be
the state called sahaja samadhi in Vedanta.
Other words that are synonymous with nirvana
include (and therefore see also) the Nondual,
(Nirguna) Brahman, the Tao, the Absolute,
Buddha Nature, Self. And also see Four Noble
Truths, Samadhi, Sahaja Samadhi.

Nondual – A termed derived from the name for

a school of Hindu philosophy founded by
Shankara called Advaita Vedanta. A-dvaita
means ‘non-dual’. Nondualism is one of many
terms used in different traditions to refer to
that primordial reality that transcends and
includes all distinctions and characteristics. It
is sometimes called ‘nondual’ rather than ‘the
One’, because the concept of realization of
‘oneness’ or ‘unity’ presupposes a ‘twoness’
or ‘diversity’, but the nondual reality is not
something as opposed to something else.
Other polarities it can be useful to consider
that are transcended in the nondual are:
manifest/unmanifest; universal/particular;
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eternal/temporal; infinite/finite;
3/21/2019 eternal/temporal;
GLOSSARY — Shamballainfinite/finite;

abstract/concrete; good/evil;
enlightenment/ignorance; spirit/matter;
male/female; inner/outer; and
nondualism/dualism. With regard to the latter,
the nondual ‘view’ does not recognize a
difference between itself and any other. It is
only from the viewpoint of dualism or Relativity
that we can speak of the nondual reality as if it
is something in contrast to something else.
The term nondualism generally refers to those
viewpoints that identify ‘nondual realization’ as
the goal of spiritual development. These
include most forms of Buddhism, Advaita
Vedanta and other forms of Hinduism, Taoism,
the Trans-Himalayan and Chinese Schools,
and Agni Yoga. Other terms for the nondual
include (and therefore see also): Absolute,
Brahman, Tao, Buddha Nature, Nirvana, Self.
Also, see: Shankara, Advaita Vedanta,
Relativity, and Trans-Himalayan tradition.

Nondualism – See Nondual

Nondual Realization – A state of spiritual

illumination in which the nondual nature of
oneself and everything is directly perceived.
The state of nondual realization is not
considered to be incompatible with relative
existence (such as human incarnation). It is a
state in which the elements and conditions of
Relativity – thoughts, sensations, bodies,
events – are perceived at a relative level, and
yet are simultaneously realized to be none
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th th th d l Ab l t B ddh
3/21/2019 other than —
GLOSSARY the nondual
Shamballa School Absolute or Buddha-

nature. In the traditions this realization is called

terms like sahaja samadhi, jivanmukti, Theosis,
rigpa, nirvana, and Self-realization. See also
Nondual, Samadhi, Rigpa, Self-realization,
Awakening, Sahaja Samadhi.

No-self – Translation of the Sanskrit term

‘anatman’ or ‘no-atman’, referring to the
Buddhist doctrine of the non-existence of an
eternal, unchanging individual self. The
Buddha recognized that not only the ordinary
ego, but even the ‘atman’ or essential spiritual
self, was a conditioned element of existence,
and subject to birth, existence and decay or
passing away just like all other phenomena in
the relative universe, even in its formless,
essential levels. Only the nondual or Absolute
reality, the universal Self, was unconditioned.
The term ‘anatman’ or no-self is a ‘negative’
expression of a nondual truth that is not really
capable of being fully understood through
relative philosophical formulations such as
these. Subsequently, the great Buddhist
philosopher Nagarjuna rejected the formulation
of ‘no-self’ as being a dualistic doctrine or
formulation in favor of the concept of
‘emptiness’ or sunyata. Although much more
subtle a perspective, the term ‘emptiness’ still
suffers from the inevitable limitation of
projecting an image onto the transcendent
Absolute that also, therefore, can be
misleading. Yet the doctrines of no-self and
emptiness helped to counterbalance the subtle
forms of self-clinging that persisted in some
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schools of Hinduism No self is one of the
3/21/2019 schools of —
GLOSSARY Hinduism.
Shamballa SchoolNo-self is one of the

‘Three Characteristics’ that develops with

deep contemplation (vipassana in Buddhism)
into the nature of relative existence and
phenomena – these three being: that all
phenomena are impermanent (anitya), that
therefore all phenomena are characterized by
lack of an eternally separate self-nature (no-
self or anatman), and that therefore all
phenomena are an unsatisfactory source of
happiness or fulfillment (duhkha). See also
Atman, Emptiness, Nondual, Impermanence,

One Boundless Immutable Principle – a term

used in the Trans-Himalayan teachings for the
Absolute. See also One Life, Absolute,
Relativity, Monad, Awakening, Self-realization,
Nondual Realization.

One Fundamental School of Shamballa –

see Planetary Lineage.

One Life – a term used in the Trans-Himalayan

teachings that has both Absolute and Relative
meanings. According to its Absolute definition,
the One Life refers to the Absolute Self,
Awareness, Being, Essence or Presence that
transcends, includes, and arises as the
ultimate base and nature of the entire manifest
universe. This is in keeping with similar uses of
the term by such sages as Ramana Maharishi
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3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
also known as the One Boundless Immutable
Principle that is the essence of both the
unmanifest and manifest realities or Emptiness
and Form. According to the relative definition,
the term relates to the incarnating spirit, or
breath, of any scale of manifestation. In
relation to a human being, that would therefore
mean the spirit, or monadic self. In relation to a
planet, it would mean the planetary Logos; for
the solar system, it would mean the solar
Logos; for the galaxy, the galactic Logos and
for the universe, the universal Logos. See also
Monad, Absolute, Relativity, Awakening, Self-
realization, Logos, Presence, Awareness,
Ramana Maharishi, Trans-Himalayan tradition,
Nondual Realization.

Pali – Indian dialect derived from Sanskrit in

which the original Buddhist texts were written.
See Sanskrit.

Patanjali – Ancient Hindu master famous as

author of the Yoga Sutras. Possibly lived
around 200 BC (though some theorists place
him much earlier), the Yoga Sutras are a series
of over 180 aphorisms summarizing the path
of raja yoga. This path is often called ashtanga
yoga, which means the ‘eight-limbed path’.
The Yoga Sutras as a description of raja yoga
is considered one of the most influential texts
of classical yoga. The eight limbs of raja yoga
are: yama, niyama (these two involve
behavioral and attitude prescriptions such as
truthfulness and devotion) asana (postures) 130/211
truthfulness and devotion), asana (postures),
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
pranayama (breathing practices), pratyahara
(control of the senses), dharana
(concentration), dhyana (meditation) and
samadhi (transcendence). It is believed that
Patanjali simply organized and committed to
writing the oral teachings of this profound
lineage of ancient yogic teachings. The
philosophy that is inherent in the Yoga Sutras
is the dualistic philosophy of Samhkya. Many
later lineages or teachings reject the
philosophical dualism in the Yoga Sutras in
favor of tantric and nondual perspectives,
while making use of many of its practical
teachings. See also Sanatana-Dharma, Tantra,
Nondual, Samadhi, Dhyana, Raja Yoga, Yoga.

Permanent Atom – Term used in the Trans-

Himalayan teachings, as well as some other
Western esoteric schools, to refer to the ‘atom’
or essence of the higher self that is projected
into the personality, being situated as the
nucleus of each body (physical, astral and
mental), which records the life experience of
the personality – its thoughts, emotions,
desires and sensory experiences on each
plane. After incarnation, the permanent atom is
gradually withdrawn into subtler levels as the
inner self assimilates the experiences of the
now passing incarnation, distilling wisdom.
The permanent atom gradually comes to ‘rest’
in the soul, or causal body (or the alaya-
vijnana, ‘seed repository’, in Buddhism), as
this is the level from which the ‘seeds’ or
‘causes’ of future experiences will re-manifest,
generated by these karmic impressions or 131/211
generated by these karmic impressions or
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samskaras. See also Anu, Permanent
Personality, Soul, Higher Self, Kosas,
Samskaras, Planes of Consciousness.

Personality – The form aspect of an individual,

their ‘appearance’ or ‘persona’, the personality
is made up of three aspects – physical,
emotional and mental. These three aspects of
the individual human being are made of those
levels of consciousness dominated by the
‘form’ elements (earth, water, air), whereas the
soul or inner being is formless. The personality
is a more temporary level of identity than the
soul or spirit, which maintains continuity of
awareness and being throughout the cycle of
incarnations and other realms of experience.
Sometimes called the ‘temporary’ personality,
the bodies (physical, astral/emotional and
mental) of which it is made up are built anew in
each life and gradually dissolved at the end of
each incarnation, with the fruits of experience
being assimilated into the spiritual self or soul.
The human ego is formed by the emanating
Self-consciousness of the inner being
reflecting in the personality and causing the
arising of body-identification. That aspect of
human nature that takes itself to be the bodies
(physical and psychological) – identifying with
the body, its actions, roles, possessions, and
with the emotional and mental content – the
sum total of these false identifications are
called the ego or personality. If the inner being
has achieved Self-Realization, and manifested
that realization in the personality, then the
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p y
3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
the inner being ceases to mistake itself for
them – the form of identity that takes itself to
be the bodies or personality ceases to arise.
See also Permanent Personality, Soul, Atman,
Body(s), Planes of Consciousness, Ego,

Physical Body – This body is the most familiar

to humanity. It makes up the most concrete
aspect of the human personality. Yet, having
seven subdivisions as do the more subtle
bodies, there is an etheric or pranic aspect to
the physical body, made of the three most
subtle elements, which is less familiar both to
humanity in general, and to modern science
especially, although it is universally recognized
in the world’s spiritual traditions. See also
Physical Plane, Planes of Consciousness,
Etheric Body, Etheric Vitality, Body(s).

Physical Plane – The physical plane is made

up largely of the universe as we know it in our
ordinary consciousness – atoms and
compounds, organic kingdoms and planets,
solar systems and galaxies. It is made up of
seven main subdivisions that mirror the seven
great planes of consciousness and existence.
The four ‘form’ subdivisions of the physical
plane – that of the solid, liquid, gaseous and
plasma states of matter – are relatively known
to our five senses and are the primary part of
the physical universe that is known to modern
science. The next three more subtle
subdivisions of the physical plane are called 133/211
subdivisions of the physical plane are called
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
‘etheric’ or pranic. These modern science is
only beginning to explore, and they are not
generally detectible by our ordinary
perception. Although the physical plane is
vast, and often beautiful, to our physical self, it
is, in fact, not only the smallest and most
restricted plane of consciousness, but is also
that level of consciousness and being which,
generally speaking, most veils and distorts our
perception of beauty, love, happiness and our
true nature. Yet, incarnation in a human form
on the physical plane offers a profound and
unique opportunity for spiritual evolution.
According to the wider cosmology of planes in
the Trans-Himalayan teachings, the physical
plane is understood as the most gross state of
vibrational matter in a spectrum of seven
planes, which themselves compose the seven
sub-planes of the cosmic physical plane. See
also Planes of Consciousness, Physical Body,
Body(s), Etheric Body, Etheric Vitality.

Pingala Nadi – One of the three main nadis or

subtle energy channels in the etheric body, this
nadi runs along the right side of the spine and
into the head, terminating at the right nostril. It
is the solar nadi and is complimented by the
ida or lunar nadi. See the Etheric Body,
Nadi(s), Ida Nadi and Sushumna Nadi.

Plan, The – ‘The Plan’ is a term often used to

refer to the collective envisioning of strategies
for world enlightenment developed by
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Hierarchy or the communities of awakened
3/21/2019 Hierarchy,
GLOSSARY or the communities
— Shamballa School of awakened
beings (bodhisattvas, buddhas, etc.)
composing the planetary Heart chakra. The
fundamental inspiration of The Plan is
bodhicitta. The Plan is a formulation by
Hierarchy of however much of the
transcendent Purpose, as it is held in reservoir
in Shamballa, can be worked out in the
present cycle. It is thus based on a degree of
understanding the natural cycles of world
evolution, and the science of stimulating or
accelerating that evolution through work with
the nature kingdoms, humanity and spiritual
initiation and practice. The Plan ranges in
scope from smaller details such as those
concerning the lives of individual aspirants, to
larger visions of inspiring and nurturing cultural
movements, to the creation of planetary
systems involving the seeding of the various
kingdoms, the cross-fertilization of the spiritual
hierarchies of different planets, solar evolution
and so on. See also Bodhicitta, Kingdoms,
Hierarchy, Trans-Himalayan School.

Planes of Consciousness – According to the

Trans-Himalayan teachings, there are seven
major levels of consciousness or modes of
being and perception, which generate seven
realms or worlds. These realms can be
characterized by their respective rates of
vibration or their subtlety of consciousness.
The densest or least subtle of these realms is
the realm we are familiar with as the physical
universe. The next two realms may be
characterized as the psychological
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dimensions as they are formed of the same
3/21/2019 dimensions, as they
GLOSSARY — Shamballa are formed of the same

substance as what we know as emotions and

thoughts. The four planes of consciousness
and being beyond these are relatively more
formless, that is, they are realms that exist
beyond time and space as we know them here
in the physical world. Even the psychological
worlds experience a more subtle form of time
and space than the physical universe, but in
the four formless planes, time and space are
transformed into a new level of essence as
pure Ideas. Each plane is created by a mode
of experience that is dominated by one of the
universal elements or principles, and each
plane is understood to be the embodied
expression of a great Deva Lord. If one’s
consciousness is attuned most to a particular
principle or element, then one is centered in a
particular plane or dimension of being and
experience. For instance, consciousness
attuned primarily to the earth element is
centered in the physical world, while
consciousness that is dominated by the
principle of pure consciousness is centered in
the 2nd plane or world – a formless,
expansive, universal plane of experience. The
following is one method of correlating the
elements with their corresponding planes:

1st Element and Plane – Plane of Adi –

Essence, Emptiness, Sat – Universal Being

2nd Element and Plane – Monadic Plane –

Awareness, Chit – Universal Consciousness

3rd Element and Plane – Atmic Plane –

Essential Matter, Ananda – Holy Spirit or Root
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4th Element and Plane – Buddhic Plane – Air,

Intuition – Spiritual Soul – ‘Supermind’

5th Element and Plane – Mental Plane – Fire,

Mental Dimension

6th Element and Plane – Astral Plane – Water

Astral/Emotional Dimension

7th Element and Plane – Physical Plane –

Earth Physical Dimension

Each of these planes can further be

understood as the seven sub-planes of the
cosmic physical plane, subtler than which
there is a cosmic astral, cosmic mental,
cosmic buddhic, and so on, each with seven
sub-frequencies of subtle energy-substance.
Transcendent, and yet as the nondual base of
all seven elements and (cosmic) planes of the
relative universe is Brahman or Nirvana, the
nondual or primordial reality. Nirvana is beyond
all these levels and yet is the essential nature
of all levels. No level is closer to Nirvana than
another, although some levels, particularly the
subtlest three, are much more conducive to
direct realization of the nondual or Absolute.
We can subsequently group the first three
planes together as formless planes of
increasingly liberated nondual realization. In
these planes or levels one’s awareness and
being are not only infused with direct
perception of the Absolute, but also an
awareness of one’s relative Self or monad as
liberated and luminous, and being of the same
substance as the Absolute. Here one also

encounters the Presence of the planetary 137/211
3/21/2019 Logos of the
GLOSSARY Earth,School
— Shamballa whose Life one
experiences identification with and as. The
densest three planes (5 – 7) are the most
veiled. These are often called the realms of
separation or maya, not because they are
intrinsically less divine, but because these
realms are characterized by a perception that
everyone and everything is separate, limited
and imperfect. Remember, each of these
worlds are really states of consciousness or
understanding, even though the greater maya
or ‘veiledness’ of the densest realms gives rise
to the illusion or appearance of concrete
forms, beings and an objective universe. The
4th plane is a transitional realm, partaking of
the characteristics of both the higher and
lower trinities. It is therefore a kind of doorway
between the formless realms of nondual
illumination, and the more concrete realms of
form, time, space and activity. We might also
say that the subtlest three planes are planes of
purely universal states, and the densest planes
are the realms more dominated by awareness
of particulars. The middle realm is the realm of
intuitive awareness of the interrelation of the
universal and the particular, the unity in

Each of these planes of consciousness has

seven sub-planes that mirror the major planes.
The subtlest four sub-planes of the form
planes are called the etheric aspect or
dimension of each plane. The three lower
worlds, being realms of form, time and space,
are populated by many forms of life, and are
made up of countless worlds and landscapes.
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vast numbers of worlds such as subatomic
realms, jungles, oceans, continents, planets,
solar systems, galaxies, and so on, so too the
astral and mental planes comprise an even
greater variety of these realms, all just as
relatively ‘real’ as the physical universe. So, for
instance, there are astral and mental
dimensions that are equally a part of the total
reality of our planet, where there are events
and dramas transpiring that affect the totality
of the Earth. The psychological worlds (astral
and mental) are populated by countless
beings, all inhabiting regions that resonate with
their karmic conditions. Subsequently, the
various realms may be categorized according
to their level of consciousness and karma,
which we find named in various traditions by
such terms as heaven realms, hell realms,
purgatories, the realm of ‘hungry ghosts’, etc.
See also Elements, Separation, Physical Plane,
Astral Plane, Mental Plane, Monad, Planetary
Logos, Absolute, Body(s), Relativity.

Planetary Being – The entity that incarnates

through a planetary form and passes through
various stages of evolution as do those that
pass through pre-human, human and post-
human stages of development. Our planetary
being is approaching the second cosmic
initiation at this time. The planetary being’s
constitution is made up of the seven kingdoms
of a planet – natural, human and spiritual. See
Kingdoms, Initiations, Planetary Logos, Deity,
Ishvara, Initiation.
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Planetary Lineage – The underlying and

unifying lineage of a planet, also described as
the One Fundamental School of Shamballa by
Djwhal Khul. Behind all the outer spiritual
lineages that come and go on the physical and
even subtler levels of a planet there is a single,
core lineage that expresses their synthesis.
Some planetary bodhisattvas have as their
work embodying on the physical level this
underlying unity of planetary spirituality. On our
planet this core lineage is manifest physically
throughout the world at this time, yet is not
currently working openly nor is it therefore
widely recognized by humanity or even by
most of the world’s spiritual aspirants and
leaders. In the subtler dimensions of the planet
the planetary lineage is widely recognized and
boundaries between individual lineages such
as Christianity, Hinduism or Taoism are less
strong or non-existent. This is particularly so in
the deeper, more realized dimensions of the
planet, where the planetary lineage works as a
single teaching ‘ashram’ or school with many
aspects and sub-divisions.

The planetary lineage has several main

subdivisions. These include the Trans-
Himalayan School with its center in the Trans-
Himalayan range (and the closely associated
Siddha Tradition of Southern India), the
Chinese School centered in the Kunlun
Mountains, the African Tradition and the Native
American Traditions (including South, Central
and North American). These are various main
branches of a single planetary lineage. The
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Trans-Himalayan School is the largest and
Trans Himalayan School is the largest and
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

most influential of these branches, with its

influence extending from Tibet and India to the
Middle East and North Africa, Europe,
Australia and the Americas. There is now a
new branch of the planetary lineage emerging
which is centered in North America, and which
is primarily ‘sponsored’ by the Trans-
Himalayan School, although it is destined to
express a global synthesis, integrating streams
from all the major planetary lineages. Gradually
this underlying and unified planetary lineage,
which embodies the full richness of planetary
spirituality, will become more openly manifest
in human culture. See, Chinese School, Trans-
Himalayan School, Planetary Logos, Buddha,

Planetary Logos – Term used in the Trans-

Himalayan tradition, with equivalent terms in
other traditions, referring to the cosmic spirit
manifesting through the Earth as its body of
incarnation, with its kingdoms (on etheric
levels) embodying the chakras of its cosmic
etheric body. In the cosmology of the Trans-
Himalayan teachings, every being, kingdom,
planet, sun, solar system, constellation, galaxy
and universe is understood as the body of
manifestation of some incarnating entity.
Relatively speaking, the level of evolution of
these entities should be understood as vastly
in advance of that of a human being, no matter
how awakened, though on their own profound
level, they are still considered beings who are
treading a path of becoming, and cosmic
initiation. The consciousness of these beings, 141/211
initiation. The consciousness of these beings,
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and specifically the planetary Logos of the
Earth, is understood to abide on the formless
levels of the cosmic mental plane, though it
has its representative who embodies one of its
mental, emotional and physical permanent
atoms on the form levels of the cosmic mental,
cosmic astral and cosmic physical planes,
respectively. The representative of the
planetary Logos of the Earth on the cosmic
physical plane is known in the Trans-
Himalayan tradition as Sanat Kumara. This
being is understood as at least a 9th degree
initiate who resides, in company with a council
of similarly advanced buddhas, on the most
formless levels of the cosmic physical plane
within the energetic force centre known as
Shamballa – the planeray crown chakra. See
also Planetary Lineage, Kingdoms, Deity,
Ishvara, Logos, Sanat Kumara, Shamballa,
Planetary Being, Initiation.

Practice – Spiritual practice (sadhana in

Sanskrit) is the foundation of spiritual
evolution. Practice is based on the exercise of
discrimination and conscious will with the aim
of accelerating our spiritual awakening. The
goal of nondual-based spiritual paths involves
the recognition that the concept and
experience of ‘practice’, effort, will,
discrimination and so forth, are transcended in
the stage of nondual realization or full
enlightenment. Yet virtually all mature forms of
nondual spirituality (as well as other types of
paths) also recognize that almost everyone will
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p p
3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
practice as a precondition to nondual
awakening. Of course, grace also plays a role
in every path – in some case more explicitly
and in others more implicitly – but it is always
there, and in some paths plays a central role,
even to the extent that the path seems largely
born on by another ‘power’. In this case the
source of transformative and awakening
power, the practice, comes from beyond the
individual. But in most paths, even those that
include a significant aspect of invoking grace,
individual effort in the form of practice is still
an important element of the path. As the
practice matures, the practitioner must move
on to more subtle ways of practicing,
assimilating more and more of a nondual
perspective, finally culminating in what is
called in Dzogchen ‘entering the Great
Nonaction’ – in other words, transcending the
experience of ‘doing’ practice. This is called
rigpa in Dzogchen, and sahaja samadhi in
Vedanta. This, though, is considered an
advanced stage of practice, a stage accessible
to only a very small number in any generation
of practitioners. See also Grace, Free Will,
Sahaja Samadhi, Rigpa, Nondual Realization.

Prakriti – See Nature.

Prana – See Etheric Vitality.

Pranayama – Sanskrit: prana, ‘breath’; yama,

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3/21/2019 ‘control’.
GLOSSARYThe practice
— Shamballa School of regulated breathing.

Pranayama is an advanced and subtle science

based on an understanding of the relationship
between the breath, prana or life-force and the
mind. Various forms of pranayama are used in
different schools of yoga (such as tantra, raja
and kriya), as well as in many other traditions,
Eastern and Western. Pranayama can be used
for a wide variety of purposes, but is most
generally used to aid in the purification of the
subtle or etheric body, and the personality, and
to awaken kundalini. Pranayama is often
coupled with work with mantra and/or
visualization. Pranayama should be
distinguished from the Buddhist practice of
breath awareness (Pali: anapanasati), in which
one practices paying attention to the breath
without seeking to control its pattern in any
way. Pranayama can be a very dynamic
practice and can therefore be dangerous if
used unwisely. Anything beyond beginning
level pranayama practices should be pursued
with the guidance of a competent teacher. See
also Etheric Vitality, Kundalini, Awareness

Presence – Presence can be used to refer to

two basic levels of spiritual identity. The first
may be termed ‘discriminative presence’ or
‘qualitative presence’, as it refers to a stage of
spiritual presence based on the qualities of
discriminating awareness and choice or
intention. This is the foundational level of all
spiritual practice, and is characterized by the
ability to consciously cultivate such qualities
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t t t d ti
3/21/2019 as awareness, contentment,
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School devotion,
equanimity, discipline, generosity, compassion
and so on. An individual can be said to be
strongly established in this level of presence
when these qualities have been strongly
integrated into one’s daily life. This is the
primary work of the vast majority of
practitioners. The next and deeper level of
spiritual presence might be termed ‘nondual
presence’, as this is a state characterized by a
deep realization of one’s nondual nature.
Nondual presence has the characteristic of
what Krishnamurti called ‘choiceless
awareness’, a mode of perception and being
beyond judgment and choice. This may be
described by such terms as ‘surrendered to
God’s Will’, or merging with the Tao, or the
state of sahaja samadhi or rigpa. The level of
nondual presence is a state of liberated
awareness or nirvana in which one has
transcended ego-identification and lives in a
condition of perfect freedom and nondual
understanding. In the Trans-Himalayan
teachings, Presence is sometimes described
as the Fourth Quality of Divinity alongside
monadic will and power, the love-wisdom of
consciousness, and the innate intelligence of
matter. In this context, Presence is the
Absolute Reality that transcends, includes and
resides as the fundamental basis of the entire
relative reality. See also Arhat, Rigpa, Sahaja
Samadhi, Nirvana.

Primordial Buddha – See Adi-Buddha.

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Principle – A universal Idea or essential

element in human nature and in the
macrocosm. One application of the term
‘principle’ is in naming the major aspects of
human nature so that aspects such as our
physical body, emotional nature, mind,
intuition and atman or spiritual Self may all be
considered ‘principles’ or fundamental aspects
of human nature. Similarly we may consider
the seven elements as principles, since they
are the inner ‘principles’ or essences that form
the basis for each facet of human nature. For
example, the physical body is centered in the
earth element, the emotional in the water
element, etc. At the deepest level, principles
are formless Ideas in the Universal Mind, the
transpersonal or Logoic intelligence, and form
the foundation of all that exist in the manifest
realms. At this level, Principles, Ideas,
Archetypes and other aspects of the Universal
Mind are not mere intellectual concepts, but
rather represent formless spiritual emanating
essences that make up the very structure or
order of the realms of soul and spirit, and are
the patterning matrices of the form or manifest
dimensions. Just as a magnetic field can give
pattern to iron filings, so universal Ideas and
Principles are the organizing, patterning fields
of manifest life. Yet these principles or spiritual
essences are usually distorted by egocentric,
clouded consciousness so that they are not
fully or purely revealed in the realms of
separation and form, except to those with
enlightened understanding. See also Ideas,
Soul, Planes of Consciousness, Element,
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GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

Psychic Abilities – Just as the physical body

has senses and active capacities, so the more
subtle bodies (the astral and mental) have
corresponding senses and capacities that
allow one to perceive and function in the
corresponding dimensions. Most people only
use these capacities in a limited way and
within the sphere of their own psyche. For
instance, when we see inner images with our
imagination, we are exercising ‘clairvoyance’
within our own mind field. If we, in our physical
bodies, learn to access these capacities and
perceive and/or be active in the larger astral
(emotional) and mental worlds (beyond the
field of our ‘personal’ emotional/mental
bodies), we call these ‘psychic abilities’. In the
Hindu tradition they are often called ‘siddhis’
which means ‘accomplishments’ or
paranormal powers that can be cultivated
intentionally, and which can also arise naturally
as a bi-product of spiritual development.
Psychic senses are the inner correspondence
to our physical senses giving us subtle forms
of hearing, seeing, tasting, sensing and
smelling. With such abilities we can become
aware of past lives, the thoughts and emotions
of others, the karmas of ourselves and others,
and so on. Active psychic abilities include
projecting our subtle bodies in other
dimensions (‘astral travel’ and so on) and
healing abilities. Psychic abilities are powers
latent in the human personality. They are
senses and active capacities that are centered
in our dualistic nature, and are therefore easily 147/211
in our dualistic nature, and are therefore easily
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subject to delusion and misuse. As subtle
senses, they are based on the same dualistic
mode of perception as are our physical
senses, and so are subject to the same
illusion. Only intuition, with which psychic
abilities must not be confused, is a form of
knowing that is free from personality
distortions and projections, as it is based on
perception of the inner spiritual nature. Primary
spirituality seeks to develop intuition rather
than psychic abilities, although the latter can
be useful in service to those of adequate
spiritual maturity. In most traditions, conscious
development of psychic faculties is reserved
for later stages of development, after an
adequate foundation in personality purification
and wisdom has been attained. Even then
these powers are often misused, causing
some traditions to discourage them entirely.
Many relatively advanced practitioners have
little or no psychic abilities, while others who
are relative beginners may have some measure
of powers such as telepathy or clairvoyance.
See also Senses, Intuition, Body(s), Planes of
Consciousness, Separation.

Purna Yoga – Purna means ‘integral’ in

Sanskrit. This path, developed by Sri
Aurobindo, also called Integral Yoga, is a
comprehensive modern yoga that has much in
common with tantra. Like tantra, there is an
honoring of Shakti or the Universal Feminine
principle, and an orientation towards the fullest
manifestation of spirituality in the individual
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many forms of tantra in that the emphasis is
not on technical, psychophysical techniques
(such as asanas and pranayama), which are
common to many Hindu and Buddhist forms of
tantra, but rather on applying the spirit of
tantra from the soul or consciousness angle.
Also Integral Yoga places a greater emphasis
on karma yoga than is the case with many
forms of tantra, and on the individual’s
participation in what Aurobindo termed
‘planetary yoga’, the path of individual
participation in collective evolution. See also
Aurobindo, Integral Path, Agni Yoga, Tantric
Yoga, The Mother, Yoga.

Rainbow Body – see Dzogchen

Raja Yoga – Raja in Sanskrit means ‘royal’;

therefore raja yoga is the ‘royal path’. It is also
called astanga yoga, which means ‘eight
limbed’, signifying the eight steps and major
practices of this path. As such, it is considered
a rather comprehensive or integral path, which
typically draws practices from many or all of
the preceding yogas. Raja Yoga is also often
called ‘Classical Yoga’ and is perhaps the
most common practice of Hindu renunciate
yogis, though it is also popular amongst
householders. For a list of the eight limbs of
raja yoga, see Patanjali. See also Yoga,
Integral Path, Agni Yoga.

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3/21/2019 Rakozci,
GLOSSARYMaster – the present Mahachohan
— Shamballa School

and master of the 7th Ray Ashram who also,

with the masters Djwhal Khul and Morya, holds
a transmission point for the Ashram of
Synthesis. Rakozci is a 7th Ray master of the
6th degree who incarnated previously as such
beings as the Comte de Saint Germain, and
then as Francis and Roger Bacon. He worked
with Lucille Cedercrans in a similar way to the
collaboration between Djwhal Khul and Alice
Bailey to produce the New Presentation of the
Wisdom teachings. See also Initiation, Master,
Hierarchy, Trans-Himalayan School, Guru,
Djwhal Khul, Morya.

Ramakrishna – (1836-1886), universally

recognized as one of the greatest saints of
modern India, Ramakrishna began having
spiritual experiences at the early age of six. His
spiritual transformation began in earnest in his
late teens when he became a priest at a Kali
temple in Dakshineswar near Calcutta. During
this time period his spirituality progressed
rapidly through his profound devotion to Kali
(Goddess of Transformation), whom he
experienced as an inner luminosity and guiding
presence. He did not have the benefit of a
physical teacher during this time, but
experienced a demanding process of
transformation and awakening guided only by
his intuition and Kali. At the age of 25 he met
the tantric adept Yogeshwari (also known as
the Bhairavi). She was the first to recognize
Ramakrishna as an avatar or divine incarnation
(the incarnation of a being already one with the
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Di i b d h i h
3/21/2019 Divine, beyond
GLOSSARY or having
— Shamballa School no more human
karma), and she initiated him into tantric
practices. Between 1861 and 1863,
Ramakrishna mastered the path of tantra
(Ramakrishna pursued an ‘inner’ tantra which
did not include sexual rituals). Then in 1865 (at
the age of 29), he met a jnani, an adept of the
nondual path of Advaita Vedanta. Kali told
Ramakrishna that she had sent this adept, Tota
Puri, to initiate him into nirvikalpa samadhi, or
radical nondual transcendence. In order to do
this, Ramakrishna would have to go beyond
even his beloved Kali to realize the Absolute.
Tota Puri told Ramakrishna that it had taken
him 40 years to master this practice. Even
though Ramakrishna encountered some initial
resistance, he accomplished the feat of
entering this sublime realization in one day,
remaining in the bliss of Absolute God-
consciousness for 3 days. During his time with
Ramakrishna, Tota Puri was also awakened to
the path of love and devotion. Some months
later, after Tota Puri departed, Ramakrishna
immersed himself in absolute transcendence.
Although the scriptures say that the limit to
sustaining nirvikalpa samadhi for anyone but
an avatar is 21 days (or the spirit will
disconnect from the body), Ramakrishna
remained in this exalted state continuously for
the next six months. This period came to an
end with a vision of the Goddess Kali, who told
Ramakrishna that he was now to re-enter the
world and remain in the state of bhavamukha,
a state of waking God-consciousness
(synonymous with sahaja samadhi), because
he had a mission of service to fulfill in this
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disciples, including the world famous Swami
Vivekananda, Ramakrishna also threw himself
into the paths of Christianity and Islam, each in
turn while putting Hinduism aside, following
them to their conclusions. From this he was
able to declare from his own experience that
all paths lead to the same goal. See also
Samadhi, Sahaja Samadhi, Advaita Vedanta,

Ramana Maharshi – Believed by many to be

the greatest Advaita sage of 20th century
India. Born in 1879, at the age of sixteen he
experienced a strange feeling of impending
death, which he decided to investigate, rather
than try to avoid or to get medical attention for.
After about half an hour of deep intuitive
contemplation of the question ‘who am I’, ‘who
is it that dies?’, he entered a state of Self-
realization or sahaja samadhi, which persisted
throughout his life, dying at the age of 71.
Ramana Maharshi spent the rest of his life on
the side of the sacred mountain Arunachala in
Southern India, and received many thousands
of seekers, including many Westerners. Gandhi
is known to have regularly recommended to
people to visit him. Although he spent many
years in silence, and taught a very pure form of
Advaita Vedanta, always emphasizing the
immediate reality of one’s true Self, Maharshi
also demonstrated at rare moments a
profound understanding of other paths,
including tantra, the chosen path of one of his
main students – Ganapati Muni. He also read
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interest in world affairs. In addition to offering a
powerful transmission of nondual realization
through his presence and silent initiation, he
primarily emphasized the method of atma-
vichara or ‘Self-inquiry’, the method of
contemplating the question ‘Who am I?’ in the
spiritual heart. See also Advaita Vedanta, Self-
Realization, Sahaja Samadhi.

Rays – The relative universe is composed, at

an essential level, of seven root principles –
the seven primordial ‘fires’ or ‘rays’. They are
commonly called dharmas, elements, rays,
principles, archetypes, Ideas, essences and
fires. They are most commonly referred to as
elements, of which many systems primarily
identify four or five, although some identify all
seven. Examples of the latter include some
Hindu systems such as Sri Yukteswar’s or the
traditional chakra system, Buddha’s teachings
on the paramattha dharmas or ‘ultimate
realities’, Stylianos Atteshlis’ (Daskalos) view
which is similar to Buddha’s and the Hindu’s,
Theosophy (Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine is
largely about the science of the seven
essences and its application – there she most
commonly calls them principles or elements,
although she regularly refers to them in various
other ways, including as ‘the seven rays’. Her
discussion is perhaps the broadest as far as
the wider implications of this science are
concerned. Later Theosophists tended to
follow Leadbeater in more narrowly focusing
on only the important ‘quality’ view of the
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articulated by Blavatsky). Alice Bailey (who
also followed the Leadbeater view – while both
adding much in that area as well as generating
certain minor misunderstandings) has offered
the most sophisticated view of the seven rays
as qualities or virtues in the context of
Theosophy/Neo-Theosophy. Overall, the most
complete development of the understanding of
the seven rays is found (not including the very
esoteric Trans-Himalayan tradition) in the
Hindu tradition, which has applied this
science, in some form or another, to many
fields such as medicine (Ayurveda),
astrology/psychology (Jyotish), healing, ritual,
sacred architecture and, of course, spiritual
understanding and practice (from Raja Yoga to
Kundalini/Tantric Yoga).

Of course, there is still very much that can be

added to our understanding of this science. It
is our view that the intuitive science of the
seven elements or rays offers a profound
contribution to the emerging, global spirituality.
When these seven principles or essences are
viewed from the human angle, and as having
to do with the soul aspect, they can be viewed
as manifesting as spiritual qualities. In this
context they are often called ‘rays’. Yet it must
be understood that this ‘qualitative’
perspective is only an aspect of the expression
of these archetypes, and a more complete
understanding of the seven rays or elements
must be based on a more encompassing
understanding of their meaning or reality. We
also need to remember that each of the
principles also manifests in less refined forms
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or what might be called ‘distortions’ of their
essential nature. These are traditionally termed
‘vices’ or ‘character flaws’. The following is a
list of qualities offering a brief indication of
some of the ways that these principles are
reflected as spiritual attributes or virtues.The
notion of the seven rays or principles as being
seven fires is suggested in the ancient Vedic
teachings where Agni, the primordial Fire, is
referred to as having ‘seven tongues of flame’.
These seven Fires are embodied in the seven
Rishis or universal sages, and are reflected in
each of us as the essence of our seven major
chakras. In terms of the kosmic ecology of
light transmission and reception that they
embody, the relative source for the Seven Rays
into our solar system, according to the Trans-
Himalayan teachings, is understood to be the
Seven Rishis or constellational Logoi of the
Great Bear. From there, via Sirius and the
Pleiades, they stream into our solar
neighbourhood, and are received and
transmitted by the seven planetary Logoi of
our solar system, who embody the seven
chakras of the Logos of the solar system.

When focusing on the emanating quality of

these fires, we may call them rays (this image
emphasizing the experience of these principles
as lights and colors), and when emphasizing
their more universal implications, and how they
combine in countless ways to form all
phenomena, concrete and abstract, we may
call them elements. When viewed from the
vantage point of these fires being reflected in
our sevenfold nature, psychophysical and
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spiritual we may call them principles Yet
spiritual, we may call them principles. Yet
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

when understood in their most universal

significance we may call them archetypes,
Ideas or essences. These are simply different
views of the same underlying reality.

The First Ray of Will and Power. The First

Ray is the force of both the life-drive and the
death-drive – eros and thanatos, of creation. It
is the erotic evolutionary drive producing
expansion into sequentially unfolding depths
of identity, structures, and realm penetration,
as well as the thanotic drive to shatter
exclusive identification with each owing to the
limitation they entail. It is dynamic energy and
direction, identification with which brings the
individual or group into alignment with the
subjective sense of will and power, or the
objective embodiment of all accomplishing
capacity, respectively. Typologically, it is the
ray of the leader. One aspect of its archetype
was embodied in the lineage of initiate-
pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, and another in the
Vajrayana by Vajrapani, who is the
embodiment of the power of all the buddhas;
of the Hindu trimurti it is Shiva, the destroyer;
of the Sephiroth it is Keter, and in the Ancient
Celtic tradition of Britain, it is King Arthur.
According to the poetic, it is the roar of a lion,
the rush of an elephant’s tusk, the fire of a
dragon’s breath. It’s archetypical symbols are
lightning and the sword.

The Second Ray of Love-Wisdom. The

second ray is the force behind the spiraling
expansion of consciousness that tends toward
increasing capacity for integrative inclusion
(love) and differentiation (wisdom) It is the 156/211
(love) and differentiation (wisdom). It is the
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
force of magnetic attraction, affinity and
cohesion. Its base is the heart, which scientific
researchers in the field of neurocardiology are
increasingly recognizing as the seat of the
psychophysiological coherence that
characterizes optimal spiritual, mental,
emotional and physical well-being. The
Second Ray is this force of cohesion, which
holds a field for simultaneous relation and
oneness on all scales of manifestation.
Typologically, it is the ray of the teacher, the
healer and the sage. In the traditions it is the
ray the Christ and the Buddha, who could be
said to have embodied it’s Love and Wisdom
aspects, respectively. In the Vajrayana, it is
Avalokiteshvara, who is the embodiment of the
compassion of all the buddhas. Of the Hindu
trimurti it is Vishnu, the preserver and
sustainer, and of the Kaballistic Sephiroth it is
Chokmah. Its archetypical symbols are the
chalice of service, the heart, and thunder – the
holy word of all ages.

The Third Ray of Creative and Abstract

Intelligence. The Third Ray is the force of the
innately intelligent, creative capacity of the
universe. It is the force behind the creation,
manipulation and eventual disintegration of
forms. Typologically, it is the ray of the
philosopher and theorist. It is the ray of
Manjushri in the Vajrayana – the embodiment
of the wisdom of all the Buddhas. Of the Hindu
trimurti it is Brahma, the creator, and of the
Sephiroth it is Binah – divine intelligence. It is
the ray of divine mathematics, abstract
intellect, and of activity also. It is thus the ray
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f th K i i i It’ b l if th
3/21/2019 of the Karma
GLOSSARY yogi or
— Shamballa yogini. It’s symbol if the

spider at the center of its web.

The Fourth Ray of Harmony through

Conflict. The Fourth Ray is the ray of harmony,
symmetry, and of the unification of opposites
into synergistic relation through all kingdoms
and perspectives. Typologically, it is the ray of
the artist, the Masonic architect, the
geometrician, and of the self-organizing
harmony of kosmos that may be experienced
subjectively as beauty. It radiates from the
exquisite detail of a Zen garden, or the perfect
aesthetic of samurai swordsmanship. It is
speculated to have been the primary ray of
Leonardo Di Vinci, and is the ray of non-dual
intuition, of divine patterns and archetypes of
kosmic form. It is found in the structure of
natural world – the living canvas of kosmos
through which beauty swarms.

The Fifth Ray of Concrete Mind. The Fifth

Ray is the force of differentiation, fixation, and
crystallization through all kingdoms and
perspectives. It is the ray of self-reflective
mind, and of categorization and division based
on similarity or difference in a data set.
Typologically, it is the ray of the scientist, the
researcher, and of the esoteric psychologist. It
is the ray of practicality, of rigorously exercised
intellect, of slicing accuracy, and of the clean
categorization of information. It is the ray of
the mental siddhis of telepathy and
psychometry, of modern computer technology,
and of the sciences generally.

The Sixth Ray of Devotion and Idealism. The

Sixth Ray is the energy of devotion and 158/211
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idealism. It is the factor of sentience, or the
capacity for valenced response to contact so
as to produce the approach and withdrawal
reflex as it expresses through all kingdoms,
vectors and quadrants. It is idealism as
deontological vision. Typologically, it is the Ray
of the Bhakti yogi or yogini; of the devotee; of
total loyalty and fiery zeal; of utter devotion to
the very highest ideals and standards for one’s
self, one’s group, one’s nation and / or for the
whole of humanity. It is the ray of the crusader
for a cause, and can be militant and potentially
fanatical at more ego or ethnocentric stages of
consciousness development, though at world-
and kosmo-centric stages, this quality can
make a person or group an incredible example
of and promoter of positive change.

The Seventh Ray of Embodiment, Magic,

Rhythm and Organisation. The Seventh Ray
is the force of self-organization in embodied
systems that preserves unity in differentiation
(such as in an ant hill or beehive). It is the
factor behind ceremony and ritual, in plant,
animal and human kingdoms, as embodied
activities often in group-form, tied into natural
time cycles. Typologically, it is the ray of the
shaman, of the ritualist, the tantrika, of sacred
sexuality, and of indigenous Earth-spirituality. It
is found in the structural and functional
rhythms of the kosmos and in the celestial
ceremony of self-organized movement that
characterizes the universe. It is the Ray of the
physical world, of ecological awareness and
systems thinking, of kundalini-energy, shakti,
and the divinity of the body. Its symbol is the
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Earth as Eden
3/21/2019 Earth as Eden.
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

See also Elements, Principle, Archetype,

Essence, Planes of Consciousness, Initiation,

Relative Wisdom – This term is used in

contrast to ‘Absolute Wisdom’. Whereas the
latter refers to direct realization of the nondual
nature of Reality, or what might be called Self-
Realization or God-consciousness, relative
wisdom refers to various levels of spiritual
insight and understanding that are less directly
concerned with the Absolute, and yet to
varying degrees have a transformative or
potentially enriching value on the spiritual path.
Examples of relative wisdom are:
understanding the law of karma; insight into
the meaning and value of various virtues such
love, peace or discipline; insight into ego and
the various related hindrances or challenges to
spiritual growth; understanding various
practices for spiritual growth; insight into
human constitution such as knowledge of our
bodies, our soul, chakras, etc.; knowledge of
the elements; and so on. One of the most
profound levels of relative wisdom, where
relative wisdom is transforming into absolute
wisdom, is deep intuitive insight into the
impermanent and ‘selfless’ nature of all relative
phenomena. This area of insight is called the
‘Three Marks or Characteristics’ of phenomena
in Buddhism – impermanence, no-self and
duhkha (ultimate unsatisfactoriness). Another
area of profound relative wisdom is insight into
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wisdom and love.The depth of relative wisdom
can vary, ranging from preliminary intellectual
knowledge to profound intuitive
understanding. Deep absolute wisdom
illuminates the field of Relativity, making the
development of relative wisdom easier. But
profound absolute wisdom does not give
profound and perfect relative wisdom. These
two levels or types of wisdom are not identical,
and deep development in one area does not
necessarily translate into the other. There are
those with a great deal of one and much less
of the other, as well as those with a relative
balance of each. See Absolute Wisdom,
Intuition, Self-Realization, Relativity,
Impermanence, Duhkha.

Relativity – Often paired with the term

‘Absolute’, ‘Relativity’ (capitalized) refers to the
perception of a dualistic universe
characterized by separation, ignorance and
the polarities of life and death, happiness and
suffering. The perception of Relativity includes
not only the physical and psychological (astral
and mental) realms, but also the realms of soul
and spirit (we are not using the word ‘spirit’
here to mean the Absolute). This is because
even though in the realms of soul and spirit
realization of the Absolute is becoming more
and more dominant, this realization is still
conditioned by a relative viewpoint, albeit a
very universal and subtle one. As long as there
is an individual having a ‘realization’ about the
nondual Absolute, an element of Relativity
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God-consciousness (nirvikalpa samadhi in the
Hindu tradition, nirodha in Buddhism) is there a
complete transcendence of Relativity and
relative points of view. The word Relativity is
used to name the samsaric or mayic universe
because within Relativity, all points of view, all
states of consciousness and motivations, arise
from some degree of individual identity,
however expansive or limited that may be, so
that any version of such a state may be
considered ‘relative’, that is, not fully and
completely absolute or universal. The Absolute
‘point of view’ is considered ‘Real’ or ‘True’
because it is complete – not relative or partial.
The journey of spiritual awakening may be
seen as an evolution from more relative to
more absolute or universal being and
perspective. See also Samsara, Maya, Relative
Wisdom, Absolute, Absolute Wisdom,
Samadhi, Sahaja Samadhi, Soul, Spirit.

Rig Veda – The oldest of the four Vedas, the

most ancient scriptures of Hinduism and of
humanity in general. The Rig Veda was
considered to be the ‘bible of humanity’ and
one of the most important text of ‘Trans-
Himalayan’ spirituality by the modern rishis
that were the teachers of H. P. Blavatsky. See
Trans-Himalayan School, Vedas, Agni.

Rigpa – A term used in Dzogchen to refer to

the state of ‘non-dual presence’, also
sometimes referred to as ‘the view’ or the
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master Namkai Norbu has often translated the
term rigpa as ‘the state of presence’ – in this
case meaning the state of non-dual presence
or realization. Norbu describes rigpa as having
three primary characteristics – Essence,
Clarity, and Energy. ‘Essence’ refers to the
non-dual or ‘empty’ nature of rigpa, which is
our original nature. ‘Clarity’ refers to the
luminous and pure awareness characteristic of
rigpa. And ‘Energy’ refers to the characteristic
of rigpa, or our true-nature, to ‘manifest
uninteruptedly’, to spontaneously and
compassionately project or express as the
entire universal process. In the state of rigpa,
one recognizes in each moment the non-dual
nature of both consciousness and energy with
and as the Absolute. Rigpa corresponds
generally to Atman in Hinduism, and the state
of sustained or integrated rigpa would be the
same as sahaja samadhi in Vedanta. See also
Dzogchen, Arhat, Sahaja Samadhi, Presence,
Nondual Realization.

Sahaja Samadhi – A state of realization in

which the nondual reality (the Absolute) is
revealed in each moment as the true nature of
everything that is perceived. Sahaja, which
means ‘spontaneous’ or ‘effortless’, refers to
this state as being natural and effortlessly
sustained while being involved in ordinary life.
This is in contrast to other forms of samadhi,
which require meditative absorption to
maintain, and often require loss of awareness
of the physical and psychological dimensions
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be sustained in certain situations such in
retreat or in sitting meditation. Sahaja samadhi
is liberated spiritual awareness integrated with,
or sustained in the midst of, ordinary life. It is
sahaja or ‘spontaneous’ because it is not
sustained by an act of will or intention, but has
become the natural state of the individual.
Although spontaneous and effortless, it is
virtually always realized through some form of
spiritual practice (although in cases where a
profound foundation of practice exists in
previous lives, very rarely an individual may
enter sahaja samadhi with little or no prior
practice in this life). The nature of activity that
arises in sahaja samadhi has been called wu-
wei in Taoism, which means ‘spontaneous,
enlightened action’. The actions of an
individual established in sahaja samadhi do
not arise out of any sense of seeking personal
fulfillment, nor do they express an intention to
intervene or influence a situation or future
condition. Such actions arise in harmony with
the nature of each moment, without pre-
meditation or contrivance, though they may be
described from a more dualistic perspective as
having a beneficial or enlightening effect on
the world around them. See also Samadhi,
Rigpa, Wu-wei, Initiation, Self-realization,
Awakening, Arhat.

Samadhi – A Sanskrit word meaning a state of

spiritual union or transcendent consciousness.
The term samadhi is used by various Indian
traditions, the most notable distinction being
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samadhi follow the Hindu meaning. In the
Hindu tradition, samadhi has been classified
into two or three main categories. In the Yoga
Sutras, Patanjali divided samadhi into two
basic states – what he termed samprajnata
samadhi and asamprajnata samadhi. Prajna in
Sanskrit means ‘intuitive wisdom’ and sam
means ‘with’, so ‘samprajnata samadhi’ can
be translated as meaning a ‘superconscious
state accompanied by intuitive insight’. This is
a formless state of soul or intuitive realization
that arises in deep meditation in which
awareness of the personality (one’s physical
body, emotions and intellect) are suspended,
and one is absorbed in a state of lucid intuitive
understanding, bliss, unity and peace. In this
state, all worries, judgments and desires have
temporarily fallen away, and profound
contentment and clarity prevail. We can also
describe this state of samadhi as the union, in
deep meditation, of the personality with the
soul or higher self. In this state the ordinary
ego is transcended, and one is suffused with a
greater nondual experience, although a subtle
but greatly expanded sense of individual
spiritual identity remains, forming a thin veil
between oneself and full transcendence –
whether experienced as a transcendent Deity
or as the Absolute. One experiences deep
communion with and illumination from the
transcendent Reality, but is not fully merged
with it. In this level of samadhi, the breath may
be suspended for the duration of the

There are various sub-stages of this level of

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stages up to very advanced stages. These
levels comprise what the Buddha termed the
‘four formless absorption states’. Upon
returning from this level of samadhi, one is
ordinarily not able to maintain soul
consciousness as profoundly during ordinary
activity. But access to samadhi at this level not
only gives increasing illumination of one’s daily
life, but also gives access to a wide range of
states, abilities and knowledge. A still higher
level of realization is reached in asamprajnata
samadhi (as Patanjali called it). The ‘a’ at the
beginning of asamprajnata means ‘not’ – so
this is a level of transcendent realization that
goes even beyond soul or intuitive wisdom into
radical absorption in the Absolute, Nirvana or
Nirguna Brahman – the nondual Reality. It is
impossible to describe the nature of
experience or existence at this level. It fully
transcends all notions and categories we may
formulate about it. Access to this level brings
even more profound illumination.

In Advaita Vedanta, the first level of samadhi

(described above) is often called savikalpa
samadhi (meaning ‘with higher thought’ –
intuition), and the second type is called
nirvikalpa, which again means beyond all
thought, even soul intuition. In this tradition
there is also identified a still higher stage of
samadhi. This is sometimes called sahaja
samadhi, meaning natural or spontaneous
samadhi, indicating that this is a state of
nondual realization that is so fully established
that one is able to return to the soul and
personality levels and even function as a
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human being without the loss of radical
human being, without the loss of radical,
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

nondual realization. In this state one is aware

of the appearance of different bodies, objects,
time and space, etc., but at the same time is
firmly established in the fundamental
recognition that these apparently separate
beings and things are actually God or
Brahman in expression. This form of samadhi
is considered more advanced that nirvikalpa
samadhi because ordinarily nirvikalpa is
attained before sahaja and requires an act of
will to access (usually in meditation), and
during the initial stage wherein one has gained
accessed to nirvikalpa samadhi, one is not
able to retain nondual realization as their
normal state during activity in the physical
world (such as in sahaja samadhi). But sages
who have attained sahaja samadhi sometimes
also enter nirvikalpa periodically as well. Then
it does not represent a lesser stage, because
they have access to both nirvikalpa and sahaja
samadhi. Ramana Maharshi sometimes
referred to the state of meditative nirvikalpa
samadhi as ‘internal nirvikalpa’, because it was
realized only in deep meditation, and
frequently required the special condition of
meditation to realize, accessed through an act
of will. He correspondingly called sahaja
samadhi ‘external nirvikalpa’ because it was a
state of nondual realization (or nirvana)
sustained while engaged in the ‘external’
world. This last stage is considered to be
realized permanently by the Arhat or fourth
degree initiate. Incidentally, it is possible to
attain the state of sahaja samadhi without
passing through the stages of savikalpa and
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states), as with, for instance, the practice of
Buddhist mindfulness practices (such as
vipassana or zazen), or Ramana Maharshi’s
‘Who am I?’ practiced in the heart center.
Likewise in the Dzogchen tradition, ‘internal’
samadhi states are not necessary for achieving
sahaja samadhi, which in Dzogchen is called
‘integration of rigpa with action’.

A further state of samadhi is described in the

tantric Siddha tradition of Southern India. This
state, termed soruba samadhi in Tamil (or sa-
rupa in Sanskrit, which means ‘with form’), is
achieved by so deeply integrating nondual
realization with the physical body that the
body is ‘transubstantiated’ or becomes
‘divinized’, becoming immortal. This is the
state attained by such masters as Babaji,
Mataji and other great sages such as the
Chinese ‘Immortals’.

Finally, the form of realization called in

Dzogchen the ‘Great Transfer’ or the ‘Body of
Light’, represents a level of samadhi that
culminates the manifestation of nondual
realization within the physical form, resulting in
its transformation into spiritual light and
disappearance from the physical world. In this
stage the realization of the adept transforms
the physical elements that constitute the body
into their ‘light essences’ or ‘rays’ (hence, it is
sometimes called the ‘rainbow body’). We
might call this last stage siddha samadhi, the
Sanskrit term siddha meaning ‘perfected’. This
state was attained, for instance, by the 19th
century Southern Indian adept Ramalingar,
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in 1874. This state is also known to have
— Shamballa School

been achieved in the 20th century by Tibetan

Buddhist, Taoist and other masters. We will
arrange the several levels of samadhi
described above into the following sequence
of stages, each of these levels (except,
perhaps, nirvikalpa) having several sub-stages:

Savikalpa samadhi – initial nondual realization,

still conditioned by subtle separation

Nirvikalpa samadhi – radical nondual

transcendence, yet limited to meditation

Sahaja samadhi – nondual realization

sustained throughout waking, dreaming and
deep sleep

Soruba samadhi – further integration leading to

‘transubstantiation’ – immortality

Siddha samadhi – final dissolution of the

body/personality into nondual presence

The realization of the third stage does not

require passing through the second, and the
realization of the final stage does not require
passing through the fourth. Further, there are
those who choose to remain in sahaja or
soruba samadhi in order to serve the world,
even though they could pass into siddha

In the Buddhist tradition, the definition of

samadhi is used more loosely to include any
significant state of concentration. The Buddha
described eight levels of samadhi or
‘absorption’, only the higher four of which
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teachings. The power of samadhi to give
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

wisdom and liberation is somewhat

controversial in the Buddhist tradition, which
tends to have a preference for awareness
practices that are not based on internal
samadhi states. The Buddha even went so far
as to say that the highest levels of realization
could not be achieved through samadhi
practices, only through vipassana. Although
highlighting certain important truths, this view
seems to represent a limited understanding of
the potential of some approaches to samadhi.
Also, various teachings exist which integrate
both internal samadhi practices with
awareness practices, including the Buddha’s
original teachings. Although many people have
had peak experiences of various forms of
samadhi or superconscious states, regular
access to samadhi, especially the more
advanced forms, is rather rare. See also
Sahaja Samadhi, Soul, Nondual Realization,
Siddha Tradition, Rigpa, Initiation, Planes of
Consciousness, Vipassana, Advaita Vedanta,
Satori, Self-Realization.

Samsara – Sanskrit: literally ‘journeying’ or

‘flow’. Term used in the Buddhist and Hindu
teachings for the entire relative universe. This
includes the physical, psychological and
spiritual universes or worlds – in short, every
state or realm within the realative reality.
Samsara refers to experience of the realm of
continuous birth and death, of endless
movement and impermanent phenomena. In
nondual philosophy, samsara is recognized as 170/211
a manifestation of the Absolute, so that we can
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

say that samsara is nirvana. See also Absolute,

Nirvana, Brahman, Relativity.

Sanat Kumara – Sanskrit – First mentioned in

Hindu texts as one of the mind-born sons of
Brahma, in the Trans-Himalayan teachings,
Sanat Kumara is described as one of 104
kumaras, or highly realized buddhas, who
came to the Earth from the sangha of
awakened beings on Venus, at the occurance
of its formation some 4-5 billion years ago. It is
understood that this being, also known in as
Melchizidek or the Ancient of Days, remains on
Earth in Shamballa, as the embodiment and
representative of the planetary Logos of the
Earth on the cosmic physical plane, and as
one of seven kumaras who each ensoul one of
the major evolutionary kingdoms on Earth.
Sanat Kumara is understood to ensoul and
reside as the cohesive consciousness and
energy for the entirety of humanity. Also see
Planetary Logos, Hierarchy, Shamballa,
Planetary Lineage.

Sanatana-Dharma – Sanskrit – Sanatana

means ‘eternal’ or ‘ageless’, and Dharma here
means ‘teachings’ or ‘wisdom’ – the ‘Eternal
Teachings’ or ‘Ageless Wisdom’. This is the
traditional name given to Hinduism by its own
peoples. This tradition is based to some extent
on the spiritual tradition of the Brahmins or
‘priestly cast’, and so is sometimes referred to
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to be known to the rest of the world as
‘Hinduism’, and the country as ‘India’, when
ancient Greeks and Persians, encountering the
peoples of India in the Indus River region,
came to call them ‘Indus’ or ‘Hindus’, and their
region ‘India’. The peoples of India originally
called their land Bharat, and their religion and
way of life Sanatana-Dharma. Now both India
and Bharat are official names. The Sanatana-
Dharma does not recognize any official
beginning to its tradition, which traces itself
back at least to the ancient rishis or sages of
the Vedic period around 6000-8000 years ago,
and their spiritual lore teaches of even earlier
epochs. Hence the ‘ageless wisdom’.

The Trans-Himalayan tradition teaches that the

Sanatana-Dharma, as centralized in India and
the Himalayas, reaches back to the
foundations of the ‘modern’ cycle of spiritual
development. This view suggests that the
ancient rishis of the early Vedic period in this
region gave birth to the foundation of a lineage
which was essentially the birth place of a
spirituality and culture that has become the
primary influence not only for India and the
surrounding regions, but also for the Middle
East, Europe, North Africa, Russia and now the
Americas. The esoteric heart of this lineage is
sometimes called the ‘Trans-Himalayan
School’ because that is where is has its ‘home
base’, and where it also originated. In its
centralized form as ‘Hinduism’ or Indian
spirituality, its philosophies, sciences and
practices are vast and encompass the essence
of virtually all the basic expressions of human
spirituality on Earth at this time. It has also 172/211
spirituality on Earth at this time. It has also
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directly given birth to Jainism, Buddhism,
Sikhism, Kashmir shaivism, and other
indigenous traditions, as well as deeply
influenced the spirituality and cultures of other
traditions such as Taoism, Tibetan Buddhism,
the Greeks, Middle Eastern religions and even
the Native American traditions. See also
Himalayan School, Sanskrit, Vedas, Agni, Rig
Veda, Shambhala.

Sanskrit – An ancient spiritual language of

India, used very commonly in the spiritual
scriptures and writings. The language of
Sanskrit is perhaps the most technically
precise and subtle human language, and has
been developed with a profound spiritual and
intuitive sense of sound. Subsequently, there
are many words in the Sanskrit language for
spiritual ideas and states that are not always
easy to translate into other languages that are
more geared to mundane consciousness.
Sanskrit is also called Devangari, which means
‘language of the Gods’ as it is believed that
this language was given to humanity by Devas
or higher spiritual intelligences.

Sat-cit-ananda – A Sanskrit term that is a

compound of three words: sat – existence or
beingness; cit – consciousness; ananda –
bliss. In Vedantic philosophy, this term is used
to identify the essential characteristics of
transcendent experience or Absolute
realization, giving rise to the notion that our
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true nature is ‘Absolute Existence
3/21/2019 trueGLOSSARY
School Existence-

Consciousness-Bliss’. The description of the

state of ‘nondual presence’ or rigpa in
Dzogchen reflects a similar trinity. See also
Advaita Vedanta, Absolute, Rigpa.

Satori – See Awakening.

Sattva (Sattvic) – One of the three gunas

(‘qualities’) in Sanskrit, sattva is commonly
defined as meaning: of spiritual beingness,
harmony, lightness, purity and
wholesomeness. It is held in contrast to the
other two gunas or qualities: rajas (dynamic,
passionate, aggressive, unstable, conflicted)
and tamas (dark, heavy, fearful, confused, dull,
degenerate, sleepy). Consciousness
conditioned by any of the gunas is still
karmically bound or conditioned. But rajas
helps to overcome tamas, and sattva is based
on more spiritual or virtuous motivations and
therefore is a foundation or bridge to full
enlightenment. Generally speaking, spiritual
practice can be described as the cultivation of
sattvic traits of increasingly subtle degrees
until finally transcending the gunas or ego-
conditioned qualities altogether. Elementals
may be classified in these simple categories to
help clarify the basic qualities of different
levels of motivation, etc. See Elemental.

Self – The term ‘self’ or ‘Self’ is used in various

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meanings is ‘self’ as the personality – the level
of identity formed by the identification of
consciousness with the bodies (physical,
emotional and mental). This is the ordinary
‘ego’ or personal self. The next level of self is
the active aspect of the soul or higher self or
soul, which is actively engaged in seeking to
influence and participate in the activities of the
incarnated personality. This level of self works
through the higher aspect of the mind and
uses enlightened discrimination to guide the
personality. The third level of self is the
‘nondual-realized’ Self. This level of self retains
an essence of individuality, yet this is a level of
self who’s very foundation is the realization
that its own nature is one with God or the
Absolute. We might call this level the ‘spirit’ or
‘monad’. And the final meaning for the Self is
the Universal Self, which is identical with
Brahman or God. All these levels of Self are
the same reality when viewed from different
levels of consciousness. In Agni Yoga, we use
the term ‘self’ or ‘Self’ with all of these
meanings (usually specified somehow), but
most often with one of the first three
meanings. See Presence, Ego, Personality,
Soul, Spirit, Monad.

Self-Realization – This term is used in various

ways in different teachings. Its deepest
significance is to mean fully enlightened or
liberated consciousness. In this meaning it is
related to either the fourth or fifth initiation or
stage of enlightenment (depending on one’s
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terms —like Theosis (‘God-consciousness’),
Shamballa School

jivanmukti (‘embodied liberation’), Arhatship

and sahaja samadhi. In this instance ‘Self’
refers to the nondual or universal Self. See
also Nondual Realization, Sahaja Samadhi,

Senses – The five senses (smell, taste, sight,

hearing, touch) are the primary method
through which body-identified consciousness
makes contact with other beings or things on
each plane or realm. The personality as a
whole, not just the physical body, is rooted in
‘sensory’ experience. The subtler bodies – the
emotional or astral and mental bodies – are
also bodies in the sense of having form
(shape), and experiencing through senses.
These senses are considered ‘psychic’ relative
to the physical self. The ‘internal’ and
‘external’ experience of the astral/mental
consciousness is also based on seeing
(images), hearing (thinking in words, etc.),
touch (feeling emotions, desires, etc.) and so
on. Only the soul relates intuitively, beyond
senses and form. See also Body(s), Intuition,
Attunement, Psychic Abilities.

Separation – The experience of dualism or

multiplicity. The seven planes of
consciousness are seven levels of
understanding, all conditioned by Mind at
different levels of realization. We have Mind
condensed into the appearance of ‘matter’ on
https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 the lower planes, Mind as intellect, Mind as 176/211
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intuition, and super-subtle levels of Mind in the
highest planes of consciousness. The illusion
of separation is most pronounced in the
physical plane, and minimal on the subtlest
plane. Though even the seventh or highest
plane is still very subtly tainted with the illusion
of separation, it is primarily illumined by the
realization of the Absolute. Each plane is a
mixture of separation and unity, the
proportions differing and therefore
distinguishing each plane. Only the Absolute,
which is beyond and yet the base of all seven
levels, is free of the illusion of separation.
Suffering begins with the arising of the ‘belief’
in separation, because the belief (and therefore
the emergence of the experience) that one
exists as a separate being causes a deep and
fundamental feeling, even if largely
subconscious, that one is no longer whole.
One has projected an idea onto one’s true
nature that is not true, and that makes one less
than what one really is. We cannot exist as a
separate being unless we identify with being
‘this’ and not ‘that’. As soon as we do this, we
will experience, deep within our being, a
feeling of incompleteness and lack that results
from falsely separating ourselves from our total

Separate identity is a limitation, a

‘superimposition’ as Shankara called it, on our
true nature. Our true nature continues to exist
because it is the eternal Truth, but now a false
idea of a separate existence has ‘emerged
within’ the Absolute. The incompleteness and
lack that are inevitable characteristics of this
experience of separation are the core of our 177/211
experience of separation are the core of our
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
suffering. This leads to the desire to fill the
lack, to search for what is missing. Many false
understandings arise of what will fulfill us,
leading to the creation of many stories of
searching, frustration, temporary fulfillment
and happiness, disappointment, loss, learning
and more searching – until we realize that the
root cause of this suffering is the belief that we
are separate in the first place. See also Ego,
Suffering, Ignorance, Nondual, Awakening,
Duhkha, Planes of Consciousness,
Superimposition, Impermanence.

Seven Factors of Enlightenment – In his

teachings about the path of awareness or
mindfulness (‘vipassana’), the Buddha
identified seven qualities that he described as
the factors that make enlightenment possible.
He taught that these seven qualities need to
be deeply developed and balanced with each
other in our practice, which will purify our
nature and ripen our consciousness for the
realization of nirvana. These seven factors are:
mindfulness or awareness, equanimity,
investigation, tranquility, effort, concentration
and rapture. Mindfulness is considered the
central and balancing factor, and the other six
can be viewed as three energizing factors
(rapture, effort and investigation), and three
stabilizing factors (concentration, tranquility
and equanimity). In vipassana practice, these
seven qualities are practiced in the context of
cultivating awareness of mental and physical
phenomena as they arise, moment to moment,
https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 in one’s experience. See also Vipassana, 178/211
p p ,
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Awareness Practice, Soul, Quality.

Shabda Brahman – A Sanskrit term from the

Hindu tradition. Shabda means ‘sound’, and
Brahman in this context means ‘God’ or the
‘Absolute’. This is essentially a Hindu
equivalent for Logos or the Personal Absolute
– God manifesting as transcendent
Sound/Consciousness/Power. It is the same as
the universal nada or ‘music of the spheres’,
and is also synonymous with Saguna
Brahman, or ‘God with Attributes’. See also
Logos, Christ Logos, Brahman, Nada.

Shakti – A Sanskrit word from Hindu Tantrism

meaning ‘power’, Shakti is the feminine aspect
of the universal polarity (Shiva/Shakti,
Spirit/Nature, Male/Female, Christ Logos/Holy
Spirit). As the universal Goddess, Shakti is
worshipped in Tantrism as the creative,
dynamic aspect of the universe. She is
experienced both as a universal principle in
creation, as well as a Deity – the
personification of the Feminine. See also Holy
Spirit, Archangel, Shiva, Nature.

Shamballa – Sanskrit. Name of a mythical

kingdom in both the Hindu and Tibetan
Buddhist traditions, spelt and known variously
as Shambhala, Jhambhala and Shangri-Lha. In
the Tantric scriptures of Tibetan or Vajrayana

Buddhism, Shamballa (spelt and known 179/211
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GLOSSARY Shamballa School Shambhala, Jambhala
and Shangri-Lha) is discussed as a pure land
existing in cosmic etheric energy above the
Gobi Desert of Mongolia, where buddhas of
supreme levels of planetary and cosmic
realisation dwell in their subtle bodies. It is
where Gautama Buddha is understood to have
taught the Kalachakra Tantra, one of the
unsurpassed Tantras that deals with the
cosmic ecology within which we find our
place, and the revelation of our primordial

This reflects the teachings on Shamballa given

out by those Masters associated with the
Trans-Himalayan tradition through such
workers as Helena Blavatsky, Alice Bailey,
Helena Roerich, Lucille Cedercrans, and
recently through Bruce Lyon.

In these teachings, Shamballa could be

understood to have an outer, inner and occult

The outer significance relates to Shamballa as

the planetary crown chakra of the planetary
Logos of the Earth and as an immense vortex
of energy in which the kosmic presence, mind
and purpose of that being, whose level of
awakening, self-identification, consciousness
and realm access abides on the kosmic mental
plane, is anchored in the presence of a Sanat
Kumara, known in the Kalachakra as the
‘Rigden King’, who embodies its kosmic
etheric Life-force principle on the kosmic
physical plane. The planetary crown chakra
and the seat of planetary Power and Will.
Within the solar system the planet Uranus 180/211
Within the solar system the planet Uranus
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holds the same role; in our local stellar system,
it is embodied by the being of the Great Bear,
and in the galactic system, it is the
supermassive black hole at the galactic core.
Within this spiritual ecology, the Trans-
Himalayan teachings understand the planetary
throat chakra to be embodied by humanity,
and the planetary heart chakra by the great
community of liberated Bodhisattvas and
Masters/spirit elders who achieved liberation in
ages past, and who remain within the
planetary sphere to serve the revelation of that
Purpose on Earth.

According to its inner significance, Shamballa

is the monad or nucleus of divine spirit that is
our non-dual root. It is the seminal point of
pure Being and Life that transcends, includes
and penetrates the soul and personality
aspects, and is anchored in the Heart.

The secret, alternative or occult significance of

Shamballa is the One Absolute Life that is the
nondual Great Perfection of the ALL. In this
definition, the outer and inner meanings find
their synthesis.

At this present time of human evolution, there

is an activation of the Earth’s chakras
occurring, with the energy of Shamballa, the
planetary crown chakra, being released into
humanity, the creative planetary throat chakra,
for the first time. This is known as the
‘Shamballa force’, and these cyclic points of
release of this energy, which occur every 25
years, are known as the Shamballa Impacts. It

is only since the commencement of these 181/211
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GLOSSARY — that the current of ‘electric
Shamballa School

fire’ in Self-realization that flows from this

centre of planetary Power has begun to impact
humanity as a whole, resulting in non-dual
awakening and identification with the will or
evolutionary drive of the planetary Logos
occurring more and more outside of any
tradition or lineage. See also Trans-Himalayan
tradition, Buddhism, Planetary Logos.

Shankara – Also Sankara, or Shankaracharya,

the renowned Hindu sage and espouser of
Advaita Vedanta, believed to have lived around
700 – 800 AD. Said to have awakened at a
very young age, and to have been a brilliant
student and debater, Shankara left a
tremendous legacy of writings (including
Tantric and devotional writings and hymns) and
tradition. Widely revered as one of the greatest
sages of India. See also Advaita Vedanta.

Shikantaza – A term from Japanese Soto Zen:

literally shikan – ‘nothing but’, ta – ‘precisely’,
za – ‘sitting’. A form of zazen or awareness
practice in which no support is used for
concentration such as the breath or a
visualization. One simply sits in a state of
relaxed but very alert awareness, open to
whatever may arise in consciousness, allowing
all levels of phenomena to pass by without
preference or seeking to control or influence
anything. In the teachings of the Zen master
Dogen, shikantaza should also be
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attain anything, including striving for
enlightenment. Instead, one sits with a deep
faith that one is already intrinsically a buddha,
and that sitting represents a natural opening to
realizing this already existing fact. This is
coupled with the teaching of
‘practice/enlightenment’ – the notion that one
does not sit to achieve enlightenment, but
rather that the practice is simply a natural
expression of enlightenment, and that through
sitting one will realize this truth more fully.
Shikantaza is a very nondual form of
awareness practice that is based on breaking
down the separation of practice as an effort to
achieve something, and the state of
enlightenment itself; and also breaking down
the separation between oneself and our innate
Buddha-nature. See also Awareness Practice,
Zazen, Vipassana, Buddha Nature.

Shiva – Sanskrit. Used in the Hindu tradition

with various related meanings – one of the
most common being as part of the Hindu
trinity of Deities (all part of one Godhead just
as in the Christian trinity): Brahma the Creator,
Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer
(meaning the Deity of death, including the
death of the ego). The second meaning, which
is similar but not identical to the first, is used in
the tantric teachings where Shiva represents
the personification of the masculine principle –
pure formless consciousness (the observer as
opposed to the observed), of the Absolute.
Shiva is symbolically represented as the
ascetic yogi, seated in the lotus posture on a 183/211
mountain top, identified with universal being
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

and consciousness and profoundly, blissfully

detached from the whole cosmic drama. Shiva
in this context is in a complimentary polar
relationship to Shakti, the Absolute
personification or principle of expression,
manifestation, movement and energy. Shiva is
passive and Shakti is active. See also Shakti,
Tantra, Christ Logos.

Siddha Tradition – Refers to a tantric tradition

of India with two main subdivisions – the
Nathas of Northern India and the Maheshvaras
of the South. The Sanskrit word siddha means
‘perfected’, indicating the common tantric
concept of a spiritual practice that includes a
perfected transformation of the human body
and personality, so that all of human nature is
included in the spiritual path, and all latent
siddhis or spiritual powers are awakened as an
expression of actualizing full human spiritual
potential. The Northern tradition, which was
also absorbed by Indian and Tibetan Buddhist
Tantra, recognized eighty-four maha-siddhas
or ‘great masters’ who lived mostly during the
first millennium and up to around 1200 AD.
Among these are included the Indian Buddhist
master Nagarjuna (the great Mahayana
philosopher and bodhisattva), and the beloved
Tibetan Buddhist yogi Milarepa. Many of these
maha-siddhas are also recognized by the
Hindus, the Northern Siddha tradition
incorporating both Hindu and Buddhist tantra.
The Southern tradition historically recognizes

eighteen maha-siddhas, including Agastyar 184/211
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Boganathar. These
— Shamballa School also include adepts

from other regions including China and even

Egypt. The great masters Babaji and Mataji
were initiated through this tradition. Many of
the maha-siddhas of these lineages achieved
soruba samadhi or ‘immortality’ and are
believed to have often remained in incarnation
for many hundreds of years (Nagarjuna is an
example of this). The Siddha Tradition
continues to be active in the world today. As a
tantric lineage, the Siddha Tradition
emphasizes harnessing and perfecting the
psychophysical nature, and is thus a more
profoundly world-integrated form of spirituality.
See also Babaji, Mataji, Tantra, Trans-
Himalayan School.

Soul – Used in many spiritual teachings and

philosophies with various meanings. According
to the traditions, as much as we are each
personalities, at a more fundamental level, i.e.
at a depth of our being at which more of reality
is included in an integral embrace, we are
souls – beings of innate love, and wisdom,
journeying over aeons through the Earth
School (and elsewhere) into greater and
greater light. This is the intermediate depth of
our being between the personal self and the
monadic or Self-realized Self. It is a level,
found and experienced as we venture and
abstract our awareness ever deeper into the
subtlest reaches of the mind and beyond, on
whose involutionary arc the boundaries
between self and other are not yet fully
crystallized. Thus at the level of the subtle
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— Shamballa School between beings
begin to markedly recede, and the fabric of
kosmic space upon which the hieroglyphs of
Truth are written, is more nakedly exposed to
the soul’s already illumined mind. Souls are
thus characterized as interpenetrating spheres
of consciousness and subtle energy, each
holographically identified with the nature of
each, with the reality of our
interconnectedness, interdependence and
collective story of becoming so clear to all that
love and wisdom, which qualities the traditions
primarily associate with this depth of identity,
are seen as “pure reason”. This is the depth at
which truly selfless and compassionate love
exists as the basis of all relationship. See also
Permanent Personality, Personality, Self,
Planes of Consciousness, Presence, Quality,

Sound Current – See Nada.

Spirit – The Hebrew word for ‘spirit’, ruah,

means ‘wind’, ‘breath’ or ‘life-force’, and
synonymous with the Trans-Himalayan term,
‘monad’. The term ‘spirit’, therefore, has been
used with various meanings, including the
animating essence or life principle of anything
– a tree, a nation, a worldview, a movement or
the universe. In the Trans-Himalayan
teachings, the term ‘spirit’ is typically used to
mean the deepest individualized essence of a
being. This is distinguished from both the outer
appearance or temporary form of a being or 186/211
person (the personality), and the inner soul or
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

spiritual self. The ‘spirit’ or ‘monad’ is more

essential than the soul and personality, and
includes both a radically awakened and a
continually deepening aspect to it. The former
rests in a state of unbroken nondual or
universal recognition – a state of direct
realization of its nondual or Absolute nature,
and the nondual nature of everything. The
latter, in the most advanced stages of
unfolding and once the personality and soul
have been brought to full development,
continues to deepen its self-abstraction into
kosmic spheres and realms in identification
with the planetary, solar, and galactic beings
within whom it finds its place as it takes one of
the seven paths. See also Soul, Personality,
Planes of Consciousness, Self, Presence,
Nondual, Monad.

Spiritual Kingdoms – See Kingdoms

St. John of the Cross – (1542-91) a Spanish

mystic and poet, is considered by some to be
the greatest Western authority on mysticism
and one of Spain’s finest poets. He entered a
Carmelite monastery in 1563 and was
ordained a priest in 1567. Dissatisfied with the
laxity of the order, he began to work for the
reform of the Carmelites. With Saint Teresa of
Avila, he founded the Discalced Carmelites.
Saint John showed the sensitivity of a poet
and mystic combined with the insight of a
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writings unusually powerful. His most
important writings are The Spiritual Canticle,
written during his imprisonment in 1578; The
Ascent of Mt. Carmel and Dark Night of the
Soul, written shortly afterward; and The Living
Flame of Love, completed by 1583. These
poems deal with the purification of the soul–
through detachment and suffering–in its
mystical journey toward God and give a
detailed description of the three stages of
mystical union: purgation, illumination, and
union. His insights into the dark night of the
soul alone are a profound contribution to world
spirituality. Saint John was canonized in 1726.
See also Esoteric Christianity, Dark Night of
the Soul.

Stream-Enterer – Term used by the Buddha

to refer to someone having past the first stage
of awakening or initiation into the spiritual life.
The terms stream-entry or –enterer, or
‘entering the stream’, refers to the Buddha’s
image of someone who, having past through
this gate or portal, has entered the ‘stream to
nirvana’. Such a person is considered in
Buddhism (and in other traditions having a
similar notion) to have passed a major
milestone in their spiritual evolution, and to
have various characteristics including having
established a fairly firm foundation in the
Dharma or spiritual life, and of needing no
more than seven incarnations further in order
to achieve Arhatship or the 4th initiation. This
stage is called ‘the station of the heart’ in
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Zen, and is also equivalent to the third Zen Ox-
herding picture (a series of 10 pictures
symbolizing stages of the path). See also
Initiation, Arhat, Satori.

Subconscious – The level of the mind or field

of consciousness not generally accessible to
the conscious awareness of the individual. The
subconscious can be seen as having various
layers and dimensions. The deepest layer of
the individual subconscious is often called the
causal body (in Hinduism) or the alaya-vijnana
(the ‘storehouse consciousness’ in Buddhism),
where the karmic seeds of past experiences
and desires that have not yet been worked out,
nor are active in the current incarnation, are
stored. Another layer of the subconscious is
made up of elementals (desires, emotions and
thoughts) that are active in one’s current
incarnation but are not presently being
experienced by the physical, conscious self.
These aspects of the individual’s personality
seek expression in their life, and may work out
as the motivations or causes of their behavior,
influence events and perceptions, etc., without
the individual being particularly conscious of
their influence or presence (hence
subconscious). The personal, emotional
subconscious is particularly associated with
the solar plexus chakra, although various
dimensions of the subconscious can be
accessed through each chakra. Spiritual
practice involves not only developing spiritual
wisdom, love and other qualities, but also
cleansing and transforming the content of the 189/211
conscious and subconscious mind, which is
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

essential to full enlightenment. See also

Elementals, Chakras, Samskara.

Suffering – See Duhkha, Ignorance and


Sunyata – See Emptiness.

Sushumna Nadi – The central nadi that runs

along the center of the spine from the root
chakra to the crown chakra. It is the most
important nadi in the etheric body along which
the kundalini ascends in its journey to the
crown, and is the only nadi that proceeds to
the crown chakra. The ida and pingala nadis
run along either side of the sushumna nadi.
See Nadi(s), Ida Nadi, Pingala Nadi, Etheric
Body, Kundalini, Amrita Nadi.

Sutratma – It is via the sutratma, translated as

the ‘life-thread’, that the monadic or spirit
depth of the self is anchored in the heart
chakra. While the antahakana or the bridge in
consciousness between the various aspects of
our being and the cosmos is described as
‘broken’, requiring construction over time, the
sutratma is ever present and intact in all
beings. This means that while one’s ability to
experience and work through the more subtle
expressions of consciousness requires work
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3/21/2019 andGLOSSARY
spiritual unfoldment
— Shamballa School over a long time,
contact and identification with the life aspect
(the monad or spirit), in its cosmic will,
purpose, power and being, is ever available to
all beings. In a cosmic sense, the sutratma is
the channel of spirit that passes from the black
hole at the core of the galaxy where the Life,
Purpose and Will of the galactic Logos is
anchored, through the sun, where the Life,
Purpose and Will of the solar Logos is
anchored, via the Life, Purpose and Will that
human beings as spirit are in Shamballa, to the
centre of the Earth, where the Life and
planetary kundalini of the Earth Logos is
anchored. When a human being experiences
what is called monadic identification, it is an
unmediated and direct experience of oneself
AS the cosmic life-force and one’s
participation in the continuous and unbroken
transmission of this radically awake, Self-
aware energy, from the galactic centre via the
sun to the core of the Earth. See also Logoi,
Monad, Self, Antahkarana, Life.

Symbol of Life – The key symbol used in

Christian Kabalistic practice based on the
visualization of, and meditation on, a yantra- or
mandala-like image with ten primary centers
and numerous pathways connecting them. The
centers and paths are related, in part, to the
chakra system, and the Symbol is visualized
as superimposed over the human form and is
built into one’s etheric body, and eventually
into the etheric astral and mental bodies as
well. Although appearing as a two-dimensional
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i h i i t f th t lS b l
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GLOSSARY in picture
— Shamballa School form, the actual Symbol

or living elemental that the practitioner builds

eventually becomes multi-dimensional.
Contained within the Symbol is the entire path
of Kabalah. The practitioner not only builds the
Symbol of Life into their bodies so that it
becomes an integral part of their permanent
personality, but they also meditate on the
Symbol and perform other exercises that lead
gradually to its mastery. Called the ‘Tree of
Life’ in Jewish Kabalah, the symbol apparently
first emerged in the Egyptian mysteries, was
then was transformed also into the Jewish
form, and later into another, Christian version
called the ‘Symbol of Life’. See Kabalah,
Yantra, Mandala, Daskalos, Esoteric
Christianity, Permanent Personality, Chakras,
Etheric Body.

Synthesis – A term used in the Trans-

Himalayan teachings for the non-dual
oneness, which transcends and includes
duality, which is experienced in monadic or
Self-realization. See also Awakening, Monad,
Self, Spirit.

Tantra – Sanskrit. Term used in both the Hindu

and Buddhist traditions to refer to a
philosophy and broad set of practices usually
characterized by an approach to realizing the
nondual Absolute through: an integration of
male and female energies; a deep respect for
the feminine and often an emphasis on the
worship of the Goddess; often working with 192/211
3/21/2019 chakras, subtle
GLOSSARY energy,
— Shamballa School sexuality and kundalini;

and a tendency to seek to honor and work to

transform matter, form, nature, desire and the
body, rather than ignore, reject or remain
indifferent to these aspects. Some forms of
tantra, then, are open to working with certain
practices that would be considered taboo in
other teachings, including sexual practices,
which are not universally practiced in tantric
approaches. See also Agni Yoga, Kundalini
Yoga, Tantric Yoga.

Tantric Yoga – The tantric path is also

practiced in many forms. Kundalini yoga is a
form of tantric yoga, although tantra also
extends to, or includes, other forms as well.
Like raja and kundalini yogas, tantra is a
comprehensive path that may incorporate
ritual, devotion, technical practices, mantra,
nada yoga, visualization and many other
practices. Tantra is especially an approach to
spirituality that is characterized by an honoring
or worship of the feminine, cultivation of the
inner marriage of male and female, seeing the
body as sacred, sacred sexuality, and a spirit
of transformation and integration of desire and
our bodily nature (rather than renunciation).
See also Yoga, Tantra, Kundalini Yoga, Integral
Path, Agni Yoga.

Tao(ism) – Taoism (known as Tao Chi or ‘The

School of the Way’ in China) is a spiritual
tradition that was founded (or at least made
https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 better known) by the Chinese sage Lao Tzu 193/211
3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
around 600 BC, about the same time period as
the Buddha, although it appears that Taoism
existed before Lao Tzu. The Tao is the
nameless, transcendent Reality. Essentially
identical to the Absolute or nondual Reality,
Tao means literally ‘the Way’. Similar to related
terms in other teachings such as nirvana or
Buddha Nature in Buddhism, Brahman in
Hinduism, on so on, the Tao transcends and
yet includes all concepts about it.As with the
term Dharma, the Tao has several levels of
meaning. The first and most profound, as
indicated above, is the Tao as the
transcendent Absolute. The second level is the
Tao as immanent in the universe, an active
power expressing the evolution, natural way or
ordering principle of life. Finally, the Tao also
means the ‘way to live’, the teachings and
practices through which one harmonizes one’s
own understanding and energy with the
universal Tao. So contained in the term the Tao
is expressed the idea of the transcendent
reality, the immanent Christ Spirit and the path
of harmony and awakening. See Dharma,
Chinese School, Nondualism, Absolute,
Buddha Nature.

Teachers – Spiritual teachers are widely

recognized as playing a central role on the
path of awakening. The significance of the
teacher may vary considerably from path to
path. In Theravada Buddhism, for instance, the
teacher has an important but less fundamental
position than in many guru-centered path, and
https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 is called a ‘spiritual friend’. In other paths, the 194/211
teacher can be considered so important as to
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

be viewed as the path itself. Teachers may

vary as to their level of development as well.
The various forms of teachers may include
parents, mentors, school teachers/professors,
spiritual educators, strongly awakened
teacher/gurus, and Self-Realized teachers and
gurus. The deeper dimensions of spiritual
transmission and initiation involve the capacity
of the teacher to directly transmit spiritual
energy/realization from the teacher to the
student. This is particularly useful in tantric and
deeply nondual transmissions. The teacher
does not need to be in physical incarnation,
and the Trans-Himalayan teachings recognize
a subtle level meta-sangha of liberated
teachers, sages and siddhas who remain
within the planetary aura to serve the evolution
and awakening on Earth, and with whom
relationship and studentship may be
cultivated. That said, most students, however,
do not grow as efficiently without some form of
physical level instruction and guidance. Most
students on the path have an inner teacher
and frequently have more than one, although
one teacher in particular may come to be
considered what Tibetan Buddhists call the
‘root guru’ or primary teacher. Students do not
physically know their inner root guru although
they may have one or more physical teachers
who they also study with. See Guru, Initiation,

Theosophy – Meaning ‘love/knowledge of

God’, theosophy has been used to mean 195/211
3/21/2019 spiritual study
GLOSSARY andSchool
— Shamballa practice, and recently used
as the name for the teachings of an
organization by that name founded in 1875 by
H. P. Blavatsky, H. S. Olcott and W. Q. Judge.
These are understood as the First Phase of the
Trans-Himalayan tradition.

The spiritual founder and initial primary teacher

for the Theosophical Society was Blavatsky,
who was h a student of several Eastern
masters – particularly her own guru known as
the Master Morya, the Master Kuthumi, and
their master (and Blavatsky’s mahaguru) called
by them the ‘Mahachohan’, all of whom
Blavatsky trained with in Tibet in the late
1860s. The stated purpose of the
Theosophical Society was/is to help establish
a movement of universal brotherhood, to
encourage the comparative study of the
world’s religions, philosophies and science,
and to encourage the study of human nature
and the hidden potentials in humanity.
Blavatsky’s teachers stated that a primary
motivation they had in sending Blavatsky into
the world to start the TS was inspired by their
appreciation that the world was entering a time
of convergence of Eastern and Western
cultures, and their desire to seek to foster a
mutual appreciation of the best that each
culture had to offer. The TS was conceived of
as an experiment in such an endeavor.

A central teaching of Theosophy is the

existence of a universal community of spiritual
adepts throughout the world, a kind of
integrated ‘planetary spiritual lineage’, who
work together for world enlightenment and
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h i l ‘ td ti ’ i tl
3/21/2019 share a single
GLOSSARY ‘secret
— Shamballa Schooldoctrine’ or anciently

transmitted spiritual understanding. There are

similar beliefs in other traditions such as within
Taoism, Hinduism and Sufism. Blavatsky’s
teachers were members of this esoteric

During the first quarter of the twentieth

century, Theosophy was largely influenced by
a new generation of teachers including Charles
Leadbeater and Annie Besant, who added
much new material while also contradicting
some of Blavatsky’s teachings. These and
other differences have lead to several sub-
movements within Theosophy. Also, several
spin-off or related movements formed under
Theosophy’s influence, such as Alice Bailey,
Rudolph Steiner and Helena and Nicholas

Krishnamurti was also originally ‘sponsored’ by

the Theosophical Society, but split from
Theosophy in his twenties and developed his
own unique approach. Yet contrary to popular
belief, he remained friendly with leading
Theosophists, and never actually repudiated
the claim made by some Theosophist that he
was working under the inspiration of the
Bodhisattva Maitreya, and to the end of his life
spoke frequently about himself as an
instrument of a spiritual presence he often
called ‘the Other’, a presence whose identity
he was unable to name. Nor did he repudiate
the existence of the other planetary masters
such as Blavatsky’s teachers, only saying that
their presence ‘was no longer needed now that
the Lord is here’. For more on this see Mary
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Lutyens’ three volume biography of
3/21/2019 Lutyens three
— Shamballa School biography of


The Theosophical Society played a central role

in the transmission of Eastern teachings to the
West, making many early translations of
Eastern texts, inspiring in tens of thousands of
people interest in deeper spiritual teachings
and practice, and testifying to the existence of
largely unseen planetary bodhisattvas
throughout the world. Theosophy also directly
or indirectly influenced the lives of many others
who went on to contribute to the spiritual
renaissance now emerging in the West. Also,
the Theosophical Society helped rejuvenate
Indian spirituality, which was suffering under
the influence of British rule, Western
materialism and worldly ambition, and helped
the resurgence of Buddhism in various parts of
Asia where it had also fallen into quiescence.
The most controversial aspects of Theosophy
remain its teachings about the existence of a
universal planetary lineage of masters, and the
existence of their body of esoteric teachings,
which she and others claimed Theosophy
offered a small but significant insight into. Yet
there has developed a large body of credible
evidence and testimony supporting the truth of
these claims, collected from many sources
including much that is non-Theosophical.
Because of various excesses and limitations,
the influence of the Theosophical Society has
significantly lessened and much of its earlier
value is overlooked at this time. Yet there
remain various interesting contributions from
Theosophical teachings that will likely be more

widely appreciated in time. See also Trans- 198/211
3/21/2019 Himalayan Tradition,
GLOSSARY — Planetary Lineage, Babaji,
Shamballa School

Blavatsky, Bailey, A. A.

Three Views, The – The three views of

spiritual practice refers to the three
fundamental approaches or spirits in which
spiritual practice can be pursued. These may
be referred to as the traditional path, the path
of tantra or transformation, and the nondual
paths. Most paths emphasize the traditional
approach, while some add the tantric and/or
nondual. The traditional path is characterized
by the perspective of viewing practice as a
process of negating or detaching from
negative qualities and behaviors, and affirming
positive ones. The tantric view is based on the
understanding that negative or obstructing
characteristics can be transformed so that
they enrich our spirituality and path, rather
than simply being rejected or detached from.
The nondual approach is the based on access
to the state of nondual contemplation, from
which all arising karmic limitations are directly
experienced as intrinsically divine or of the
same nature of the Absolute, and are thereby
illuminated through the perception of their
absolute nature. In the nondual view, karma or
limiting characteristics such as ego and desire
are transfigured through realizing their true
nature, rather than through an attempt to let
them go or transform them. This does not
mean that in the nondual view the relative
nature or imperfection of something is ignored.
But awareness of the relative nature of
something does not eclipse awareness of its
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t d t t E h f th th i
3/21/2019 transcendent nature.
GLOSSARY — Shamballa Each of these three views

correspond to the First, Second and Third

Phases of the Trans-Himalayan teaching,
respectively. See also Tantra, Nondual,
Hindrances, Sahaja Samadhi, Initiation.

Tonglen – A compassion practice from Tibetan

Buddhism based on breathing into oneself the
suffering of others, and breathing out healing,
peace and well-being. See also Bodhisattva.

Trans-Himalayan School – A term used in the

Trans-Himalayan tradition for One of the global
brances of the One Planetary School of
evolution and awakening on Earth having its
central location in the Trans-Himalayan range
of mountains, yet having its adepts spread
throughout the world – principally also in India,
the Middle East, Russia, Europe, North Africa
and now North America. This school is most
anciently connected to Hinduism (or the
Sanatana-Dharma or ‘Ageless Wisdom’), but
also with its many offshoots and direct
progeny including Buddhism, Jainism,
Sikhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam (and
Sufism), the Egyptian Mysteries and others.
The latter, more geographically distant
traditions were typically inspired or founded by
inner inspiration rather than physical
transmission. The Trans-Himalayan School is
less directly connected to the Chinese and Far
Eastern schools (except primarily through the
influence of Buddhism), the Native American,
Australian, African and other shamanistic and 200/211
aboriginal traditions, or the Central and South
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

American traditions such as the Aztec, Mayan

and Incan. The Trans-Himalayan School is one
of several main branches of the planetary
spiritual lineage, another having its central
location in the Kunlun Mountains of China, and
another in the mountains of South America. It
is also especially strongly affiliated with the
Southern Indian lineage (see Siddha
Tradition).The senior masters of the Trans-
Himalayan School incarnate throughout the
above mentioned regions (India, Europe, etc.),
some being more visible to humanity such as
Moses, Jesus, Plato, Shankara,
Padmasambhava, Kabir, Ramana Maharshi,
Ananda Moyi Ma, etc., and others working
more ‘behind the scenes’ such as the now
famous Babaji and Mataji (first identified to the
world by Yogananda), and those made known
by such people as Blavatsky (including such
individuals as the Masters Kuthumi, Djwhal
Khul, Serapis Bey, Hilarion and Morya). The
Sufis hold that there are usually over 300 fully
liberated bodhisattvas who are members of
this lineage working in the world, in physical
incarnation, at any given time – many or most
of whom are unknown to humanity. This core
group of teachers are what might be termed
‘liberated bodhisattvas’ in that they have all
achieved liberation from personal karma and
are pursuing the path to buddhahood.
Blavatsky met about two dozen of them, many
of whom have also occasionally been met by
others, even as recently as the 1990s such as
Babaji in India and the Master Hilarion in the
Sudan. They form a community of liberated
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planetary servers working in conscious
planetary servers, working in conscious
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School

collaboration for world enlightenment.

Although the Trans-Himalayan School enjoys a
profound solidarity in the inner dimensions of
our planet, only a relatively small number of its
core members in the physical world recognize
and consciously participate in this solidarity of
vision and activity. Most of its members in the
physical world (especially those who are not
yet fully liberated) are currently too identified
with their outer lineage affiliations (Buddhism,
Christianity, Hinduism, etc.). Many groups and
individuals in both the East and West know of
the existence of these primary lineages or
planetary traditions. See Sanatana-Dharma,
Theosophy, Chinese School, Planetary
Lineage, Bodhisattva, Shamballa, Initiation,
Babaji, Bailey, Blavatsky, Rig Veda, Hierarchy.

Trans-Himalayan Tradition – A spiritual

tradition that emerged towards the end of the
19th Century, continuing to the present day,
and that is understood to have three phases to
its development. The Tibetan Master Djwhal
Khul in his work with Alice Bailey considered
this perspective in most detail, though
Blavatsky also hinted in The Secret Doctrine
that there would be a continuity to the
revelation of the Hierarchical teachings.

The first of the three phases of the Trans-

Himalayan tradition involved the work of
Helena Blavatsky principally (in partnership
with Col. Olcott), and the founding of the
Theosophical Society. It also included the work
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3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
Judge, Annie Besant, Charles Leadbeater,
Mabel Collins, Francia LaDue and Rudolf
Steiner. This phase of work entailed the first
modern spiritual and cultural exchange
between Eastern and Western paths of
spirituality, cosmology, philosophy and
scientific thought, and the prevalence of
Eastern philosophy in Western culture today as
well as the increasing interface between
science and spirituality certainly stems from
the pioneering work of these early

The second phase involved the work of Alice

Bailey, who worked with the Tibetan Master
Djwhal Khul. Together they collaborated on 24
books of esoteric philosophy and science,
while Alice and her husband, Foster Bailey,
established the Lucis Trust, which still today
holds under its umbrella the Arcane School,
Lucis Publishing, and World Goodwill, an
educational initiative that seeks to promote
right human relations over the globe. The
second phase also involved the work of other
disciples such as Helena and her husband
Nicolas Roerich. Helena worked with the
Master Morya to put out the Agni Yoga books,
while her husband, Nicolas, remains one of the
foremost spiritually influenced artists of the
20th Century. Lucille Cedercrans is another
worker of definite note to the second phase.
She worked with the Master Rakoczi on the
‘New Thoughtform Presentation of the
Wisdom’, in much the same manner that
Bailey worked with Djwhal Khul and Roerich
worked with Morya.
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3/21/2019 In his work—with
Shamballa School the Master Djwhal Khul

suggested that the third phase of the

teachings would emerge around the year of
2025, but that teachings preparatory to the
third phase would emerge in the early part of
the 21st Century. In this connection, Djwhal
Khul has suggested that the third phase of
teachings would have the non-dual reality of
spirit, the crown chakra of our planetary Life
that is Shamballa, and the universal story
within which humanity finds its place, as the
primary focus. These teachings have been
emerging through collaboration between
Djwhal Khul and a worker in New Zealand,
Bruce Lyon, through the Shamballa School
group, since the turn of the millennium.

In one of the books published as a result of

this recent collaboration between the Master
Djwhal Khul and Bruce Lyon, Occult
Cosmology, the Tibetan Master reviews the
Theosophical tradition until the present day in
each of its phases, and suggests that each
phase can be understood to play a particular
role in the awakening of that group of souls for
whom they are intended. The 1st phase is
described as orienting the soul that is
functioning through the mind to the spiritual
realities, and this can be clearly seen to be the
case with the work of the early Theosophists.
The 2nd phase is described as providing a
body of teaching that allows the soul-in-mind
to participate in the evolution of consciousness
and the working out of the Plan. This can be
seen in the incredibly detailed picture of the
evolving planetary and solar ecologies within
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3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
teachings, and the methods whereby we can
enter into relationship with that process. The
keynote of the 3rd phase is described as
incorporating a set of teachings that may bring
release to the soul from the mind entirely, so
that it may potently take up its position in one
of the Ashrams and “onward move in Life”.
Djwhal Khul is careful in this teaching to
instruct his students to erect no barriers of
separation between the three phases. He
notes that souls with varying dharmas will be
attracted to work with one, two or all three
phases, as is their calling. It is within the
Synthesis of the One and the Many, which is
revealed in Spirit, that the relation between the
three phases should be understood. See also,
Helena Blavatsky, Alice Bailey, Helena Roerich,
Bruce Lyon, Djwhal Khul, Morya, Rakozci,
Trans-Himalayan School, Master, Guru,
Initiation, Hierarchy, Theosophy.

Tree of Life – See Symbol of Life.

True-nature – Same as Buddha Nature,

Absolute, Brahman, etc.

Vedas – The oldest scriptures of the Hindu

tradition in four collections, the oldest being
the Rig Veda, which probably dates to at least
five or more thousand years ago, and therefore
is likely the most ancient spiritual text of
humanity. It was composed by rishis or ‘seers’,
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spiritual visionary sages in the form of hymns
3/21/2019 spiritual visionary
GLOSSARY — Shamballasages,
School in the form of hymns
or poems, in mantric verse, and considered by
the Hindus to be revealed knowledge (which is
what ‘veda’ means). Most of the later Hindu
teachings refer to the Vedas as foundational
authorities. See Rig Veda, Agni, Mantra,

Vipassana – Perhaps the most characteristic

form of meditation practice taught by the
Buddha, representing a significant deviation
from much of the spiritual practices used in
Hinduism. The Buddha used the practice of
vipassana to attain his full enlightenment after
spending years working with other forms of
practices – particularly those emphasizing
concentration leading to internal samadhi.
Vipassana means ‘clear view or seeing’,
referring to the essence of vipassana as having
to do with cultivating pure, non-judgmental
awareness – also sometimes called ‘bare
attention’. This is essentially a sustained,
concentrated form of objective, neutral
observation that does not seek escape from
life experience, but instead seeks to remain
fully present and at peace.The ‘view’ or insight
generated by vipassana practice is at its heart
twofold. Vipassana practice, while stimulating
various levels of intuitive insight, gradually
generates a fundamentally liberating insight
sometimes called ‘insight into the three
characteristics’. These three are understood to
be characteristics of all phenomena including
bodies, thoughts, objects of sensation and
even of oneself. This is the ‘view’ or insight
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that everything perceived and the perceiver
3/21/2019 thatGLOSSARY
everything perceived,
— Shamballa School and the perceiver
itself, is characterized by being impermanent,
lacking ultimate separate self-status, and
therefore being unsatisfying or unfulfilling to
seek or cling to. This growing intuitive
realization causes a natural falling off of
desires and attachments as a result of
disillusionment with desiring that which is
impermanent. The ripening of these insights
clears the way for a direct insight into what is
beyond all phenomena – physical, mental and
spiritual – which is nirvana. Vipassana, or pure
observation, leads to deep and disillusioning
insight into the limitations of belief in a
separate self and attachment to phenomena,
and a penetrating insight into the nature of
another and unlimited mode of being –
nirvana. Full realization of nirvana, which can
be attained through sustained vipassana,
brings final freedom from ego and
suffering.Vipassana can be distinguished from
most other forms of meditation in that
vipassana is based on an emphasis on an
open awareness rather than on a more
selective form of concentration as with, for
instance, practices using as a focus a mantra,
a visualization, an idea or virtue, a chakra or
the sound current (nada). Vipassana is also
often called in the West insight meditation or
mindfulness meditation. See also Awareness
Practice, Zazen, Shikan-taza, Samadhi,
Meditation, Nirvana, Impermanence, Seven
Factors of Enlightenment.

Wu-wei – Chinese; literally ‘nondoing’. A term

used in Taoism to refer to the state of 207/211
used in Taoism to refer to the state of
GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
enlightened, spontaneous activity
characteristic of liberation (or sahaja samadhi
in Vedanta). Wu-wei is ‘unmotivated’ behavior,
arising from the Tao or nondual reality, beyond
personal desire or control, fully in harmony
with Nature. This type of behavior does not
arise from an interest in accomplishing
anything, or intervening, manipulating or
seeking something. Yet wu-wei is fully
appropriate to each situation, expressing a full
and natural integration with life. The activity of
wu-wei expresses the state of liberated,
enlightened being spontaneously and
effortlessly in each moment. Wu-wei is referred
to as ‘entering the great non-action’ in
Dzogchen, or the state of ‘choiceless’ activity.
Awakening to wu-wei is spoken of in the
Bhagavad-Gita as finding ‘action in inaction,
and inaction within action’. See also Sahaja
Samadhi, Tao(ism).

Yantra – A Sanskrit word meaning ‘device’, a

yantra is a geometric representation of spiritual
realities and Deities. Commonly used in Hindu
tantric practice, yantras often represent both
the human microcosm (our constitution and
energy system), and the macrocosm. An
example from the Western traditions of such a
yantra is the Tree of Life (or Symbol of Life)
from the Kabalah. Yantras are also commonly
conceived of as being the body of a Deity, just
as the mandalas of Tibetan Buddhism are
considered manifestations of the enlightened
consciousness of various Deities (Buddhas
https://www.shamballaschool.org/glossary-2 and Bodhisattvas). There are also yantras 208/211
and Bodhisattvas). There are also yantras
3/21/2019 GLOSSARY — Shamballa School
associated with the Deities of Hinduism. The
most well known Hindu yantra is the Sri
Yantra, composed of nine interlocking
triangles, five pointing downward representing
Shakti, and four upward representing Shiva,
together forming various six-pointed stars.
These are surrounded by two circles of petals,
enclosed in circles and other geometric
shapes. This yantra is used in Hindu and
Tibetan Tantra to represent the structure of the
universe as well as human consciousness. See
Tantra, Symbol of Life, Mandala.

Yoga – A Sanskrit term from the root yuj,

meaning to “yoke” or “harness”. The two most
common meanings of the term yoga in a
spiritual context are the state of union with
God or enlightenment (however defined), or
the path to attaining this state. When we find
the term yoga as part of a name such as jnana
yoga or karma yoga, the primary meaning is
usually as designating a path to awakening.
For instance, karma yoga may be translated as
“the path to liberation or enlightenment (yoga)
through the practice of spiritually performed
action (karma)”. See specific yogas under their
headings: Agni, Ati, Bhakti, Deity, Dharma,
Guru, Hatha, Jnana, Karma, Kriya, Kundalini,
Laya, Lineage, Mantra, Nada, Purna, Raja and
Tantric Yogas.

Yogananda, Paramahansa – (1893-1952),

one of the first Indian masters to come to and
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live in the West He began yoga practice at a
3/21/2019 live GLOSSARY
in the West. HeSchool
— Shamballa began yoga practice at a
very early age, which included the practice of
devotion to the Divine Mother in the form of
Kali, his family Deity. He was initiated into
Kriya Yoga by his guru Sri Yukteswar at the
age of eighteen. He received initiation into
samadhi or transcendent consciousness by his
guru shortly after meeting him, and continued
to live at his master’s hermitage for several
years. At the age of 27 he was sent to the US
where he founded the Self-Realization
Fellowship in 1920. He traveled extensively in
the US for many years, lecturing widely and
initiating thousands into Kriya Yoga. He wrote
the enormously popular Autobiography of a
Yogi (1946), read by many millions and
instrumental in bringing large numbers of
people to the spiritual path. His autobiography
continues to be a best seller, and was certainly
one of the most widely read spiritual books of
the 20th Century. He was also author of
numerous other books. The path of Kriya Yoga
that Yogananda taught was given to the world
by Babaji to Lahiri Mahasaya, who was Sri
Yukteswar’s guru. See also Kriya Yoga,
Kundalini Yoga, Tantra, Babaji.

Yoga Sutras – See Patanjali.

Zazen – Term from the Japanese Zen tradition

for meditation, derived from the Chinese term
Ch’an, which in turn was derived from the Pali
jnana, which came from the Sanskrit root
dhyana, which means ‘meditation’. Several
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f f itti dit ti f d
3/21/2019 forms of zazen
GLOSSARY or sitting
— Shamballa School meditation are found
in Zen – counting the breath, silently following
the breath, following the breath while
meditating on a koan, and shikan-taza or ‘just
sitting’. A koan is a spiritual riddle or story that
only makes sense to the nondual illumined
intuition, but seems a paradox or nonsense to
the rational mind. Zazen is a form of
awareness practice that was derived from the
Buddha’s teachings on vipassana or insight
meditation. See also Dhyana, Vipassana,
Shikan-taza, Awareness Practice.

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