Taxonomy of Vipassanā Terms

Here is a guide to the most basic terms of the Buddha’s teaching of vipassanā, organized as the Four Noble Truths (cattāri ariyasaccāni). It seems to me that this should be provided along with every writing on the topic.

  1. Life is Suffering; idam dukkham
  2. The Cause of Suffering; Dependent Origination; paṭiccasamuppāda
    • The Four Mental Aggregates (Short Form; Practical)
      1. Sense data (viññana)
      2. Evaluation of sense data (sañña)
      3. Generate bodily sensation (vedanā)
      4. Automatic reaction (saṅkhāra)
    • Twelve “causal” steps in the loop of paṭiccasamuppāda (Long Form; Theoretical)
      1. Ignorance (avijjā)
      2. Karma/action/reaction (sankhārā)
      3. Consciousness (viññana)
      4. Body/mind (nama/rupa)
      5. Sense organs (salāyatanam)
      6. Contact w sense organ (phassa)
      7. Sensation (vedanā)
      8. Craving (tanhā)
      9. Clinging (upādāna)
      10. Becoming (bhava)
      11. Birth (jāti)
      12. Sickness, old age, death, other miseries (jarā-marana)
  3. How suffering ceases; nirodha-sacca
    • Reprogramming the automatic craving of sensations triggers a systemic shift throughout the twelve links of paṭiccasamuppāda.
  4. The way to the cessation of suffering; Eight-Fold Noble Path; ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo
    • Morality (sila)
      1. Right speech
      2. Right Action
      3. Right Livelihood
    • Concentration (samadhi)
      1. Right effort
      2. Right awareness
      3. Right Concentration
    • Wisdom (pañña: heard, rational, experiential)
      1. Right thoughts
      2. Right understanding
        • All phenomena are impermanent (anicca)
        • All phenomena have no self (anatta)
        • All phenomena are suffering (dukkha)

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