When Mind Travels

Preliminary Investigation of the Translation of Mental Concepts from Tibetan Buddhism into English Psychological and Colloquial Language*

Klaus Löhrer

May 2010



Within the past few decades there has been an increasing dialogue between Western psychologists and Buddhist practitioners - many of whom derive their practice from Tibetan Buddhism. By the force of their mutual interest in the human mind, this dialogue has in turn lead to the establishment of organizations such as The Mind & Life Institute,[1] numerous conferences on various aspects of mind and theory of science,[2] and a considerable number of publications stemming from the joint concern of the human mind.[3]

Mainly in the live settings of the various conferences concerning the mind, some problems of translating concepts from English into Tibetan have become evident. In these settings it is a frequent occurrence that translators have to stop the English-speaking lecturer in order to allow time to explain an English concept to Tibetan audiences such as The Dalai Lama. One often quoted problem of translation is the Dalai Lama’s initial surprise the first time he heard of the Western concept of self-hatred, as he found such a concept to be incoherent and hard to comprehend.[4]

With this paper I will therefore try to investigate some of the problems of translating concepts of mind and emotions from Tibetan into English and explore some of the conceptual differences. Hopefully this should contribute a little to the clarification of what one side of the dialogue may expect the other to understand on the face of it, and what needs further explanation.

For this purpose, I have identified literature of mind and emotions in English and Tibetan respectively, which should be unaffected by one another, and thereby I hope to clarify the overall conceptual framework of the two parties. Furthermore, in order to investigate the possible pitfalls of understanding when learning about Tibetan Buddhist concepts of mind exclusively from English sources, I have found texts that are either translations or explanations in English of Tibetan Buddhist concepts of mind and emotions.

Whereas Tibetan Buddhism has a wide variety of concepts of more or less ideal mental states which may not be easily compared to Western concepts of mind, I have identified The 51 Mental Factors to be the most comprehensive group-presentation of occurrences in the ‘ordinary’ mind which may find conceptual parallels in Western psychology and philosophy of mind. This group-presentation stems from the landmark compositions Abhidharmakosha[5] and Abhidharmasamuccaya, written by the 4th century Indian panditas Asanga and Vasubhandu. According to Dreyfus (2003), this group-presentation is taught in a modified form during the preliminary studies of monastic education, under the subject of Types of Mind (blo rigs),[6] when learning to deal with the basic demarcations of Buddhist concepts. At later stages of monastic education, students come across this presentation again when dealing with a more advanced understanding of Buddhist concepts - this time taken directly from the Tibetan translations of Asanga’s and Vasubhandu’s texts. As virtually all concepts and their definitions are learned by heart and debated intensely in the Tibetan monastic education system, it seems safe to assume that these concepts would eventually come to make up a lion’s share of the overall conceptual framework, from which an individual educated in such a system derives most of his understanding of the occurrences in the ‘ordinary’ mind.[7]

For this research, related to the present-day dialogue, I have chosen to deal with the section on The 51 Mental Factors from two Tibetan texts published fairly recently. rGya-mtsho (1998) is in the genre of Types of Mind (blo rigs) and Mipham Rinpoche (1997) deals with the Buddhist conceptual world in the tradition of the Abhidharma stemming from Asanga’s and Vasubhandu’s works. Both of these texts are used as root texts in two major institutions for teaching Buddhism to Westerners.[8]

For the rendering of these concepts in English, I have chosen the section dealing with The 51 Mental Factors in six texts. Guenther (1975), Rabten (1978) & Hopkins (1983) may be said to be from the pioneering days of translating Tibetan Buddhist concepts into English. Mipham Rinpoche (1997) has a direct English translation of the Tibetan text in the same publication, and Paltseg (2003) & Dreyfus (2006) are modern presentations from this millennium with more or less obvious traces of leaning on the choices of earlier translations.[9] This choice of texts should secure a reasonable variety in genre and presentation style so as to hopefully eliminate too many conceptual blind spots.

In order to enhance the readability of this paper, and maybe facilitate further study in this field, I have collected all the terms and definitions found in the Tibetan sources, along with their English translations, in Appendix A. Throughout this paper I will refer to this data with an ‘A’ and a number referring to the entry in this appendix. For example ‘A2’ will refer to tshor ba, the Tibetan definitions of tshor ba and the English translations of tshor ba as found in the sources mentioned above.

In order to investigate the ‘pure’ English concepts of the terminology used to translate the mental factors from Tibetan, I have relied mainly on Kazdin (2000) and academic writing in general to get information on expert-connotations of the terminology. Colloquial connotations will mainly be derived from advanced learners’ dictionaries such as OALD7 (2005) and CALD3 (2008).

Since in-depth analysis of each of the Tibetan Buddhist concepts has been carried out splendidly by scholars before me,[10] I will concentrate on a comparative study in order to find out how some concepts relate to adjacent concepts, identify the connotative terrain covered and compare it to the translations found in the English rendering of them. As the space of this paper is limited, I will only engage in further explanation and analysis when English translations seem troublesome, but I will, however, suggest English translations for all the concepts found in The 51 Mental Factors. These translations have been compiled in Appendix B.

Fundamental Cognition

The first category of The 51 Mental Factors is usually rendered as The 5 Omnipresent Factors (A1). The concepts found herein are said to accompany all other mental states and Rabten (1978) further explains them to be “essential to any state of consciousness … without which it could not function”.[11] Even though it would be tempting to liken them only to the unconscious mental states or subliminal perception of Western psychology, such a comparison would be unwarranted since there is no evidence from the sources that these factors function only in the unconscious or subliminal realm of awareness - they may as well function in the conscious part of mind. It does, however, seem reasonable to claim that these factors should be translated with English terms that may also function in such basic mental states as unconsciousness and subliminal perception.

Two of the factors in this category are usually rendered as ‘contact’ (reg pa, A6) and ‘feeling’ (tshor ba, A2). The former is simply a statement that there has to be an alignment from the object of perception, through the sense organ to consciousness in order for anything to happen, which is why it could be specified as ‘sense contact’. This factor would probably be too obvious to mention, if it was not for the fact that it is identified as the basis for the second factor, tshor ba, to come about. This term is translated with ‘feeling’ in most of the sources, but given the many connotations of ‘feeling’ stated in dictionaries[12] we might end up with a rather imprecise understanding of tshor ba. The Tibetan term is actually limited to simply being an evaluation in a sense-perception of whether it is pleasant, unpleasant or neutral, which is further defined as something one wants more or less of, or is indifferent about.[13] Western psychology is also on to the notion that such an evaluation is a rather basic function in the mind[14] and experiments seem to suggest that this evaluation takes place at a very early state of perception - probably also in subliminal perceptions and unconscious states of mind.[15] In this context it is often called ‘bi-polar evaluation’ and in a setting of a dialogue between Tibetan Buddhism and Western psychology, a term such as ‘bi-polar emotional evaluation’ as translation for tshor ba would probably help both parties lock on to similar concepts straight away.

The next factors - sems pa (A4), yid la byed pa (A5) and 'du shes (A3) - are mostly translated as ‘intention’, ‘attention’ and ‘discernment’ respectively. The first one of these, sems pa, is defined as being “the mental manifestation of the situation [when] mind moves towards its object[of attention]”. The neighboring concept, yid la byed pa, is defined in one source as “holding the mind to the focus [object]” and in the other as “again and again apprehending the object of attention as a specific goal” which seems to imply that there is some kind of repeated movement involved in this concept also. From these definitions, however, the main demarcations of these two terms seem to be that sems pa denotes the mental action of moving towards the object of attention, whereas yid la byed pa holds this object in the mind or apprehends it repeatedly.

The English term ‘intention’, which is often used as translation for sems pa, has a long history in Western mental philosophy and is generally used to denote the notion that consciousness is always directed towards, or about, something.[16] Siewert (2006) has conducted thorough research on the notion of ‘intentionality’ in the history of Western mental philosophy and from his findings it seems that there has been a relatively unanimous understanding this term as denoting a ‘directedness of mind’ through history up until the turn of the 20th century. Before this turning point it seems to have been understood mostly in the Cartesian sense where all states of mind are conscious and ‘intentionality’ practically equals thought. For obvious reasons the connotations of ‘intentionality’ appear to have become increasingly blurred as concepts of unconscious states of mind gained ground in the field of psychology at the turn of the 20th century and modern renderings of this concept seem to have become increasingly complex, if dealt with at all, due to this complicated relation to unconscious mental states. Furthermore, as the ideal of empiric evidence from natural sciences gained ground in the field of mental sciences as well, the concept of ‘intentionality’ seems to have been sidestepped somewhat by the modern Western science of mind, as nobody seems to have been able to come up with a reasonable way of dealing with it empirically.

One important exception from these observations is the research on ‘intentionality’ in common language usage by a.o. Knobe (2003) and Feltz (2005). This line of research is conducted by presenting people with case stories of actions that have a known side effect and then asking whether people ascribe intentionality to this side effect or not. It turns out that people’s tendency to ascribe intentionality to the side effect varies greatly depending on whether it is helpful, harmful, desirable or undesirable. Adding to these observations we may add the modern dictionary definitions stating that it is something “you plan to do”.[17]

All in all it seems that the term ‘intentionality’ in modern usage has come to denote mostly conscious mental states and actions with a certain degree of purpose and volition. Furthermore, modern academic research articles such as Bargh (1999) seem to use the term ‘intentionality’ as a direct opposite to unconscious mental action and subliminal perceptive responses.

For these reasons, choosing the term ‘intentionality’ to translate sems pa, seems troublesome today as we would have to comply with the somewhat counterintuitive notion that ‘intentionality’, and thereby purpose, volition and planning, in the Tibetan Buddhist perspective would be involved with a subsequent and undesired mental factor such as e.g. ‘ignorance’ to come about, due to ‘intentionality’s placement in the category of Omnipresent Factors. Furthermore, as many concepts in this category (a.o. yid la byed pa) may be said to be about or directed towards something, choosing ‘intentionality’ to translate sems pa may blur its distinct features in relation to other concepts.

In the context of a dialogue between Western psychology and Tibetan Buddhism, translating sems pa with its basic meaning, ‘mental directedness’, would probably help both parties lock onto similar concepts. Consequently, translating yid la byed pa with e.g. ‘mental engagement’ would probably also help convey the close relation and conceptual demarcations of the two concepts.

The last term in the category of omnipresent mental factors, 'du shes (A3), seems to cause a great deal of disagreement among translators. It is unanimously defined in the Tibetan texts as “apprehending characteristics” or “grasping conceptual signs”, depending on the inclination of the translator, and thus remains rather openly defined. Given, however, that modern Western definitions of ‘concepts’ cover largely the same conceptual terrain as the definition of 'du shes,[18] a conflated translation such as ‘conceptual perception’ may cover most of the connotations of this term.

Advanced Level Cognition and Understanding

By this headline I wish to group the concepts that are concerned with non-fundamental determination of external phenomena and further understanding of them. Consequently this section will mostly deal with the category from the traditional Tibetan presentation called The 5 Object-ascertaining Factors (A7). Even though these factors are sometimes grouped together with The 5 Omnipresent Factors, and referred to as The 10 General Mind Bases, there is no indication in the sources that the concepts in this category are in anyway omnipresent or fundamental.

The first two factors in this category are called 'dun pa (A8) and mos pa (A9) in Tibetan, but their English translations seem capable of causing a great deal of confusion. The former term is mostly translated with ‘aspiration’, but the translator of Mipham Rinpoche (1997), who has not already used the term ‘intention’ as translation for sems pa, uses it as translation for this term. Adding to the confusion is the fact that Guenther (1975) uses ‘interest’ as translation for the 'dun pa, whereas the translator of Mipham Rinpoche (1997) uses it as translation for mos pa, which in turn has also been translated with ‘appreciation’ and ‘belief’.

Thus left in a state of utter confusion of what these concepts are actually about, we take a look at how they are defined in the Tibetan sources. 'dun pa (A8) is defined in one source as “causing [one] to make association with a desired object” and in the other as “to strive for the object thought of”. mos pa (A9) is defined as “apprehending the ascertained object just like that [and] make it inseparable [from attention]” and “apprehending just the object of attained certainty”. From these definitions one major distinction between them seems to be that 'dun pa is concerned with “a desired” or “thought of” object, whereas mos pa is concerned with “an ascertained object”. Another main distinction is the degree of drive towards this object where the definition of 'dun pa speaks of “causing to make association with” or “to strive for”, whereas the definition of mos pa speaks of “making it inseparable” and “apprehending just the object”.

In trying to include such nuances of the concepts when translating into English using single-word terminology, we may soon find ourselves in a dilemma similar to trying to translate the many words for snow in Eskimo-languages into English. The English translations outlined above simply do not contain the proper distinctions of the concepts found in the Tibetan texts and much of the confusion could be seen as stemming from translators trying to squeeze these factors into single-word terminology. In the light of the conceptual differences outlined with 'dun pa and mos pa it seems reasonable to suggest that in order to render these concepts properly in English we may have to use multiple-word terminology.

Consequently I suggest that 'dun pa could be translated with ‘basic interest’ in order to convey the relative uncertainty of the object of attention and the relatively relaxed drive towards it. mos pa could then be translated with a term such as ‘exclusive interest’ in order to convey the similarity with 'dun pa but still carry the connotation of the mind having a firm grip on the object and not straying from it.

Such a translation would probably also ease the understanding of the above mentioned concepts’ relation to ‘one-pointed concentration’ (ting nge 'dzin, A11), ‘mindfullness / recollection’ (dran pa, A10) and ‘discriminative intelligence’ (shes rab, A12).

Two other concepts seem to lean heavily on ‘discriminative intelligence’ (shes rab) and, even though they are traditionally placed in the residual group of The 4 Interchangeable Factors (A53), the definitions of rtog pa (A56) and dpyod pa (A57) both state that they are “depending on mental directedness and discriminative intelligence”. Further down their definitions it is revealed that they are actually of one piece, namely analysis or investigation, with the main distinction being that one gives a more detailed understanding of the object of attention than the other. Therefore the translations ‘general examination’ for rtog pa and ‘precise analysis’ for dpyod pa, as found in Rabten (1978), seem to be the most precise.

Emotions and Other Mental Factors Influencing Cognition and Understanding

All the concepts treated until now are placed in categories that are said to be neutral or unbiased.[19] Tibetan Buddhism’s concern with moral valence may nevertheless be seen from the fact that most of the subsequent mental factors are grouped according to their perceived ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ qualities. The Tibetan word for ‘positive’ used in this context, dge ba, may also be translated as ‘virtuous’[20] when dealing with moral or religious aspects, but here I will rely on the Tibetan definition stating that “by probably engaging in them, the result [will be that] states that are becoming to the mind will come about” (A13). The Tibetan word for ‘negative’, nyon mongs, similarly has the connotation that it is afflictive to the mind.[21] The negative factors are traditionally subdivided further into two categories; one containing the root-afflictions (A25) and one containing the secondary afflictions (A32). The definition of the relation between these two categories is exactly as the English translation reveals, namely that the root-afflictions “are the root for the arousal of the secondary affliction” and that the secondary afflictions are “secondary (or proximate) to the root-afflictions”. In this paper I will, however, disregard the traditional Tibetan order of presentation and, while respecting the positive-negative valence of each concept, I will treat them as per their correlation with each other.

Furthermore, in light of the fact that Western colloquial and psychological definitions of ‘emotions’ remain rather openly defined as “a strong feeling”,[22] “brief, rapid responses involving physiological, experiential, and behavioral activity”[23] and “briefer and have more specific causes than moods”,[24] many of the factors placed in this positive-negative category would probably be interpreted as some kind of emotion by someone brought up in the West.

Six of the factors in this positive-negative category are explicitly stated to be in the same aversive category and are not surprisingly negatively valenced, but distinctions between some of them remain only weakly conveyed by their most frequent English translations. Starting with three relatively distinct concepts, we have ‘envy’ / ‘jealousy’ (phrag dog, A37), ‘spiteful speech’ ('tshig pa, A35) and ‘lasting resentment’ (khon du 'dzin pa, A34).

The strongest form of ‘ordinary’ aversive emotions in the Tibetan categorization seems to be rnam par 'tshe ba (A36) which is defined by “killing and beating others” and “causing one to harm without compassion”. Disregarding the many-splendored translations of the term found in this survey, ‘aggression’ seems to be the strongest form of aversion generally used in psychological language[25] and as it conveys the connotations in the Tibetan definitions, the relation to neighboring concepts and colloquial definitions,[26] I suggest sticking to this term in this context. Seemingly slightly weaker than ‘aggression’ we find khro ba (A33), which is defined as being “an increased aversion (or anger) [which] makes one directly prepared to strike” and “having no ability to bear harm”. In order to render the intermediate state of aversion carried by this concept, I suggest a multiple-word term such as ‘strong anger’.

By its placement in the category of root-afflictions and the frequent reference to it in the definitions of the other aversive mental states in this group, khong khro (A28) may be seen as the mother-concept for all the various types of aversion mentioned above. The Tibetan definitions talk about having “a thoroughly tormented mind” directed towards various phenomena, and translators have unanimously rendered it as ‘anger’. Even though such a translation seems to fit well with psychological and dictionary definitions of ‘anger’,[27] it seems a rather strong term to be used as translation for a mother-concept with five other concepts linked to it. By using ‘anger’ to translate khong khro, translators will be forced to use even stronger wordings to translate the subsequent and sometimes explicitly stronger variations of the emotions, and this condition may easily be suspected to have caused some of the many-splendored but rather confusing translations for some of these concepts.

Furthermore, by this translation we would also have to comply with the conclusion that ‘anger’, in Tibetan Buddhist perspective, is necessarily involved with being ‘envious’ or ‘jealous’ which seems somewhat at odds with English dictionary-definitions and my scarce findings concerning these two emotions in general psychological literature.[28]

In order to avoid these problems I suggest translating khong khro with ‘aversion’ in order to convey its placement in the hierarchy of aversive emotions, even though it may be a somewhat imprecise translation according to its definitions.

In the category of emotions we also find translations transgressing the positive-negative valence of the Tibetan terms. rgod pa (A51) is placed in the negative category but is routinely translated with ‘excitement’. As Tibetan definitions of this term speak of “making mind unable to work and becoming restless”, and English dictionaries define ‘excitement’ as feeling “happy or enthusiastic”,[29] there seems to be an obvious mismatch of the two concepts and I suggest translating rgod pa with ‘obsession’ or ‘agitation’ in- stead. 'dod chags (A27), which is one of the central concepts in Buddhism in general, could similarly be translated with ‘craving’ instead of ‘attachment’ in order to avoid misunderstanding its valence and at the same time cover most of the connotations of the Tibetan term.

On the positive side we find three concepts which are merely the opposite of a negative and aversive concept. rnam par mi tshe ba (A23) and ma chags pa (A20) could be translated with ‘non-aggression’ and ‘non-craving’ respectively, according to their opposite counterparts mentioned above. zhe sdang med pa (A21), being defined a.o. with “the absence of a tormented mind towards afflictive phenomena (and beings)” is translatable with ‘non-aversion’ following the same line of thinking. Probably the most debatable issue found in these translations is the fact that Dreyfus (2006) has sneaked ‘compassion’ and ‘loving-kindness’ in brackets into his translations of ‘non-aversion’ (zhe sdang med pa) and ‘non-aggression’ (rnam par mi 'tshe ba), indicating the Tibetan Buddhist notion that the complete absence of one extreme equals the full presence of the opposite extreme. There seems to be at least some recognition of this notion in Western social psychology where one of the identified ‘laws’ of attraction between individuals is that the other “at the least, is unlikely to cause … harm”[30], but other than that such a notion seems to be weak in the Western conceptual world in general.

In the group of negative factors we also find concepts such as ‘absentmindedness / forgetfulness’ (brjed ngas, A48), ‘afflicted view’ (lta ba, A31), ‘distractedness’ (rnam par g.yeng ba, A52), ‘mental lethargy’ (rmugs pa, A50), ‘laziness’ (le lo, A46), ‘lack of faith’ (ma dad pa, A45), ‘ignorance’ (ma rig pa, A26) and ‘afflictive doubt’ (the tshom, A30). These concepts are more or less explicitly said to obstruct a proper cognition and understanding of phenomena as per the more basic categories. In the positive group we find concepts such as ‘enthusiasm’ (brtson 'grus, A24), ‘faith’ (dad pa, A14), ‘equanimity’ (btang snyoms, A17) and ‘non-delusion’ (gti mug med pa, A22), which are said to support proper cognition and understanding of phenomena. With no closely neighboring concepts and rather self-explanatory English translations, I will leave out further discussion of these terms.

Self-concept & Self-regulation

Tibetan Buddhism is famed for its concern with self-concepts and this concern is also reflected in The 51 Mental Factors, as it lists no less than 14 factors regarding self-concepts and self-regulation. One major complication of translating these concepts into English may be that the ideals of self-concept vary greatly between Western and Asian cultures,[31] and this condition may have caused some of the English translations to come into conflict with the positive-negative valence of the Tibetan Buddhist concepts.

One such valence conflict is the Tibetan concept of nga rgyal (A29) which is often seen translated with ‘pride’. The Tibetan sources define this term as “being filled with a high-minded attitude based on the idea of a permanent self” before listing the 7 subcategories of it.[32] As an interesting note, Heim (2009a) refers to a small Theravadin strand of Buddhism from which The Dalai Lama might have acquainted himself with a concept similar to self-hatred as one of these 7 subcategories. This interpretation of the subcategory seems though to have watered down to something incomparable to self-hatred in the texts of Asanga and Vasubhandu that reached Tibet from the 8th century. When adding this connotation, even though it may not be indigenous to the Tibetan concept, and The Dalai Lama’s subsequent remarks on self-hatred in e.g. HHDL (2001), it seems that this concept is just as preoccupied with an overdone evaluation of an individual self as it is with whether such an evaluation results in an inferior or superior self-concept, even though its placement in the category of root-afflictions bears evidence to the exclusively negative valence of the concept.

The English term ‘pride’ seems however to have mostly positive connotations in Western psychological literature and colloquial language. It was explicitly rendered as “a good emotion”[33] by David Hume in the 18th century and modern psychology seems to follow this lead when referring to it as an emotion which balances out a possibly pathological emotion such as depression.[34] Dictionaries also refer to it in positive terms such as “a feeling of pleasure or satisfaction that you get when you … have done something well”[35] and thus translating nga rgyal with ‘pride’ seems to transgress the positive-negative distinction that the Tibetan term nga rgyal carries. Consequently I suggest that nga rgyal be translated with a term such as ‘self-importance’ in order to carry the right connotations from the Tibetan Buddhist concept.

Closely related to nga rgyal, but placed in the category of secondary afflictions, we find the term rgyags pa (A44), which could be accurately rendered with a term such as ‘self-infatuation’. In the same ball game we also find three negative concepts related to the publicly displayed self-image, namely ‘dissimulation’ (g.yo ba, A38), ‘concealment’ ('chab pa, A42) and ‘deceit’ (sgyu A39). Ironically the English language seems to have no problems in rendering these three concepts in single-word terminology as the translations presented here seem to cover the distinctions of the Tibetan concepts rather precisely.

Seemingly mostly related to self-regulation are three closely related terms denoting the realization of what is right and wrong. bag yod pa (A15) and bag med pa (A47) is a positive-negative pair, in which the positive term is defined as “to exercise utmost prudence regarding what to adopt and what to discard” in one source and “cultivating the positive and protecting the mind from the negative phenomena” in another. The last term in this category, shes bzhin min pa (A49), is also a negative variant, which is defined as “not, or only sporadically engaging in alertness of the actions of body, speech and mind” in one source and as “inappropriate analytical investigation into what to adopt and what to discard” in another. The close relation of these terms should be obvious by now and will be further complicated by the fact that we have four more concepts coming up, mainly concerned with the engagement in right action and avoidance of misdeeds. The pair, bag yod pa and bag med pa, are often seen translated with ‘conscientiousness’ and some variation of ‘non-conscientiousness’ whereas the translations of shes bzhin med pa vary greatly and may cause some confusion as to its relation to the other two terms. In order to relate the mainly mental activity of these three concepts, their closeness and distinction from each other, and the distinction from the up-coming concepts concerning behavior, I suggest they be translated with multiple-word terminology containing the term ‘morality’ and a qualifier, e.g. ‘general morality’ for bag yod pa, ‘lack of general morality’ for bag med pa and ‘lack of moral alertness’ for shes bzhin med pa.

The four terms denoting self-regulation of behavior are ngo tsha shes pa (A18), ngo tsha med pa (A40), khrel yod pa (A19) and khrel med pa (A41) - i.e. in reality two concepts with a negative counterpart each. The definition of the positive concept of the first pair is “refraining from misdeeds for personal (or religious) reasons” and the definition of the positive concept of the last pair is “refraining from misdeeds on account of others (or the world)”. It should be obvious that, apart from conveying the positive-negative valence within each pair, an English translation should also convey the personal-social distinction and the explicit behavioral element of these concepts as well as possible, and the translations of these concepts vary greatly in the sources of this survey. The resemblance between ngo tsha, which may be literally translated with ‘hot face’, and the emotion that causes blushing, called ‘shame’ by Darwin in the 19th century,[36] seems however to have cast a spell on the translation of both of the conceptual pairs in this category. This spell may have been reinforced by the somewhat speculative notion from English psychological writings, that there is a personal-social distinction between ‘shame’ and other emotions such as embarrassment, etc.

In a context of dialogue between Western psychology and Tibetan Buddhism, however, I find the translation of any of these concepts with ‘shame’ problematic. Disregarding the morphological evolution of the Western concept of ‘shame’ since Darwin’s publication, it seems that in modern psychological literature it has come to carry exclusively negative connotations. In Kazdin (2000) the concept is treated in a separate entry where we find statements about it such as “shame-proneness has been repeatedly associated with an impaired capacity for other-oriented empathy and propensity for self-oriented personal distress responses” and “[there seems to be an] inverse relationship between shame and empathy”.[37] Shame is furthermore linked to different sorts of psychological pathologies such as “depression, anxiety, eating-disorder symptoms, subclinical sociopathy and low self-esteem”.[38] In dealing with the theories of the positive social function of ‘shame’ and its suggested inhibitory and regulative function in social settings, this article finishes off by concluding that there is “little direct evidence of this inhibitory function of shame” and “there is good reason to question the moral self-regulatory function of shame in many contexts”.[39] The rendering of ‘shame’ in other psychological writings, such as Michael Lewis (2008) and Herman (2007), and dictionaries such as OALD7 (2005) & CALD3 (2008) follow a similar lead. Consequently, in Western psychology there seems to be very little room left to interpret ‘shame’ as being something which is becoming or pleasing to the mind, such as the definition of the overall category in which ngo tsha shes pa and khrel ba is placed suggests.

Western psychology acknowledges a private-public distinction of the emotions concerned with self-consciousness in general,[40] but in dealing with this distinction, ‘shame’ is mostly compared to the emotion of ‘guilt’ and is generally rendered as the more public of the two, even though this distinction seems to be waning.[41] It has also occasionally been compared with ‘embarrassment’ and found to be the more private of the two, but such suggested distinctions seem to remain on a more speculative and philosophical level with little or no empirical evidence.[42] With the distinction between ngo thsa shes pa and khrel ba being so explicit in the Tibetan definitions, the private-public distinction of ‘shame’ vs. other emotions seems too weak to be able to convey the specific connotations of the Tibetan concepts.

Being unable to find English single-word terminology that may carry all of the specific connotations mentioned above, I suggest they all be rendered with a term respecting the valence of the Tibetan terms - e.g. ‘behavioural decency’ - together with qualifiers such as ‘personal’ and ‘social’. ngo tsha shes pa would then become ‘personal behavioural decency’, khrel yod pa would become ‘social behavioural decency’ and ngo tsha med pa and khrel med pa would become ‘lack of personal behavioural decency’ and ‘lack of social behavioural decency’ respectively.

Also seemingly concerned with self-regulation are ‘pliancy’ (shin tu sbyang ba A16) and ‘regret’ ('gyod pa A55) which seem to need no further clarification.

The Residual Group

This category is simply established due to the two terms I have not been able to classify in the other categories. It consists of ‘stinginess’ or ‘miserliness’ (ser sna, A43) and ‘sleep’ (gnyid, A54) and, as translation of this term also seems unproblematic, I will leave out further discussion.


As I hope to have shown in this paper there are various issues worth discussing when translating mental concepts from an ancient philosophy such as Tibetan Buddhism into modern Western psychological language. The most frequent issue in this research has been transgression of the positive-negative valence when e.g. translating a pejorative term from Tibetan Buddhist language with a positively laden term in English or vice versa. Another frequent source of imprecision has been the difference in conceptual demarcation between Tibetan terminology and English terminology, even when observing the positive-negative valence, and the degree of strength of positivity or negativity. In order to primarily convey the most precise rendering of the Tibetan concepts I have suggested multiple-word terminology, which may escape some of the most immediate pitfalls of understanding. In many cases, however, the terms suggested in this paper would probably seem rather clumsy to use in an ordinary dialogue and we may hope that discussions of proper translations will continue so that we may see more elegant translations of Tibetan Buddhist mental concepts in the future.

Meanwhile we may hope that the continued dialogue between Western science and Buddhism, apart from bringing happiness to all sentient beings, might also breed scholars and translators who are equally proficient in the conceptual worlds of Tibetan Buddhism and Western psychology alike.


Appendix A: Research Data

Traditional presentations of The 51 Mental Factors and their definitions as found in Mipham Rinpoche (1997) & rGya-mtsho (1998). The order of presentation is as per the former publication.
Sanskrit origin of the Tibetan terms as found in Duff (2010).
English translation of the Tibetan terms as found in Guenther (1975), Mipham Rinpoche (1997), Paltseg (2003), Rabten (1978), Hopkins (1983) and occasionally also in the work of Heim (2009a; 2009b & Forthcoming). The Translations found in Dreyfus (2006) are also included even though there are no direct references to the Tibetan terms translated in this work. Here I have mainly relied on qualified guesswork, but have been unable to locate the translation for 49) shes bzhin min pa and 52) rnam par g.yeng ba

1) kun 'gro lnga
'di lnga sems thams cad kyi 'khor du 'byung bas kun 'gro zhes bya'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 24

dang po kun 'gro lnga ni/ de lnga la chos can/ kun 'gro lnga zhes brjod pa'i rgyu mtshan yod de/ khams gsum gyis bsdus pa'i gtso sems kun gyi 'khor du 'gro ba'i phyir ro// (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 31

2) tshor ba (skr: vedanā)
tshor ba ni nyams su myong ba'i mtshan nyid can no/ tshor ba'i phung po de la dbye na/ bde sdug btang snyoms gsum mam/ bde ba yid bde/ sdug bsngal yid mi bde gnyis su phyes na tshor ba btang snyoms dang de lnga'o/ rten gyi dbang du byas na mig rna sna lce lus yid kyi 'dus te reg pa las byung ba'i tshor ba drug dang / de la bde sdug btang snyoms gsum gyi dbye bas yid nye bar rgyu ba'i tshor ba bco brgyad du 'gyur ro/ gzhan yang sgo lnga'i shes pa dang mtshungs ldan lus tshor/ yid shes dang mtshungs ldan sems tshor/ lus la sred pa dang mtshungs ldan gyi tshor ba zang zing bcas pa/ sred pa dang mi ldan pa zang zing med pa'i tshor ba/ 'dod yon lnga la sred pa dang mtshungs ldan zhen pa rten pa'i tshor ba/ zhen pa med pa mngon 'byung rten pa'i tshor ba sogs kyi rnam grangs yod do/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 21-22

nyams su myong ba'i bdag nyid can mtshan nyid/ tshor ba yin par mtshon/ mtshan gzhi bde ba'i tshor ba bzhin/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 30

Translations: Feeling-tone (Guenther 1975); Feeling (Dreyfus 2006), (Paltseg 2003), (Rabten 1978) & (Hopkins 1983); Sensation (Mipham Rinpoche 1997)

3) 'du shes (skr: samjnā)
'du shes ni mtshan mar 'dzin pa ste/ de la rten gyi sgo nas dbye na/ mig gi 'dus te reg pa las byung ba'i 'du shes sogs yid kyi bar gyi drug go/ yang don la mtshan mar 'dzin pa sngo ser sogs snang ba 'dzin pa/ tha snyad la mtshan mar 'dzin pa skyes pa bud med sogs su rtog pa ste/ nang gi dbye ba ni shes bya'i grangs snyed do/ yang mtshan ma dang bcas pa'i 'du shes ni tha snyad la mi mkhas pa ste gzugs mthong yang brda la ma byung bas brda mi shes pa dang / mtshan med kyi dbyings dang / srid rtse la snyoms par zhugs pa'i 'du shes rnams ma gtogs pa de las gzhan pa'i 'du shes thams cad do/ mtshan ma med pa'i 'du shes ni ma gtogs pa de dag go/ chung ngu'i 'du shes gang gis 'dod khams shes pa/ de bzhin du rgya chen po'i 'du shes ni gzugs khams shes pa/ tshad med pa'i 'du shes ni nam mkha' mtha' yas dang rnam shes mtha' shes pa/ ci yang med pa'i 'du shes ni ci ang med pa'i skye mched shes pa ste drug tu dbye ba sogs so/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 22-23

mtshan mar 'dzin pa mtshan nyid/ 'du shes yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 31

Translations: Conceptualization (Guenther 1975); Discernment (Dreyfus 2006) & (Rabten 1978); Recognition (Paltseg 2003); Perception (Mipham Rinpoche 1997); Discrimination (Hopkins 1983)

4) sems pa (skr: cetanā)
sems pa ni sems yul la g.yo zhing 'jug pa ste/ rten gyi sgo nas mig gi 'dus te sems pa sogs drug go/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 23

sems yul la g.yo ba'i gnas skabs kyi yid kyi rnam 'gyur mtshan nyid/ sems pa yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 31

Translations: Directionality of Mind (Guenther 1975); Intention (Dreyfus 2006), (Paltseg 2003), (Heim 2009b), (Rabten 1978) & (Hopkins 1983); Attraction (Mipham Rinpoche 1997).

5) yid la byed pa (skr: manasikāra)
yid byed ni dmigs pa la sems 'dzin pa/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 23

sems yul gyi dmigs pa la yang dang yang du gtod pa'i bye brag tu 'dzin pa mtshan nyid/ yid byed yin par mtshon no// (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 31

Translations: Egocentric demanding (Guenther 1975); Attention (Dreyfus 2006), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) & (Rabten 1978); Mental Engagement (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983)

6) reg pa (skr: sparsha)
reg pa ni gsum 'dus nas dbang po'i 'gyur ba yongs su gcod pa tshor ba'i rten byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 23

dbang po'i 'gyur ba yongs su gcod par byed pa mtshan nyid/ reg pa yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 31

Translation: Rapport (Guenther 1975); Contact (Dreyfus 2006), (Paltseg 2003), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997), (Rabten 1978) & (Hopkins 1983).

7) yul nges lnga
kun 'gro lnga ni/ … gong gi bcu po 'di la sems kyi sa mang bcu zhes bshad do/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 24

de dag la chos can/ yul nges lnga zhes brjod pa'i rgyu mtshan yod de/ bsam nges 'dris pa brtag pa'i dngos po de dag las sems gzhan du mi 'dzin par yul de nyid nges pa'i phyir ro// (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 32

8) 'dun pa (skr: cchanda)
de la 'dun pa ni 'dod pa'i dngos po la de dang ldan par byed pa brtson 'grus rtsom pa'i rten byed pa/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p.24

bsam bya'i dngos po don du gnyer ba mtshan nyid/ 'dun pa yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 31

Translation: Interest (Guenther 1975); Aspiration (Dreyfus 2006), (Paltseg 2003), (Rabten 1978) & (Hopkins 1983); Intention (Mipham Rinpoche 1997)

9) mos pa (skr: adhimoksha)
mos pa ni nges pa'i dngos po la de bzhin du 'dzin pa mi 'phrog pa'i byed las can no/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 24

nges pa thob pa'i don la de kho nar 'dzin pa mtshan nyid/ mos pa yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 32

Translation: Intensified interest which stays with its object (Guenther 1975); Appreciation (Dreyfus 2006) & (Rabten 1978); Belief (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983); Interest (Mipham Rinpoche 1997)

10) dran pa (skr: smrtih)
dran pa ni 'dris pa'i don mi brjed pa mi g.yeng ba'i las can no/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 24

'dris pa'i dngos po mi brjed pa mtshan nyid/ dran pa yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 32

Translation: Inspection (to learn more) (Guenther 1975); Mindfulness (Dreyfus 2006), (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983); Recollection (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) & (Rabten 1978)

11) ting nge 'dzin (skr: samādhi)
ting nge 'dzin ni brtag pa'i dngos po la sems rtse gcig pa shes pa'i rten byed pa'i las can no/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 24

brtag bya'i dngos po la sems rtse gcig pa mtshan nyid/ ting nge 'dzin yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 32

Translation: Intense concentration (Guenther 1975); Concentration (Dreyfus 2006), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) & (Rabten 1978); Stabilization (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983).

12) shes rab (skr: prajnā)
shes rab ni brtag pa'i chos rab tu rnam par 'byed pa ste thsom nyi zlog pa'i las can no/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 24

rang dang spyi'i mtshan nyid rnam par 'byed pa mtshan nyid/ shes rab yin par mtshon no// (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 32

Translation: Appreciative discrimination (Guenther 1975); Intelligence (Dreyfus 2006) & (Rabten 1978); Knowledge (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983); Discrimination (Mipham Rinpoche 1997)

13) dge ba'i sems byung bcu gcig
de ltar bcu gcig po chos can/ dge ba zhes 'dogs pa'i rgyu mtshan yod de/ de dag la tshul bzhin du spyad pas rnam smin yid du 'ong ba 'byin par byed pa'i phyir ro// (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 34

14) dad pa (skr: shraddhā)
dad pa ni yang dag pa'i gnas la dang 'dod yid ches pa ste 'dun pa'i rten byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p.24

dang zhing mos pa mtshan nyid/ dad pa yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 32

Translation: Confidence-trust (Guenther 1975); Confidence/faith (Dreyfus 2006); Faith (Paltseg 2003), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997), (Rabten 1978) & (Hopkins 1983)

15) bag yod pa (skr: apramādha)
bag yod pa ni blang dor gyi gnas la gzob pa lhur len pa srid zhi'i legs pa sgrub pa'i las can no/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p.24

zag bcas kyi chos rnams las sems bsrung zhing dge ba'i chos sgom pa mtshan nyid/ bag yod yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 33

Translation: Concern (Guenther 1975); Conscientiousness (Dreyfus 2006), (Paltseg 2003), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) & (Hopkins 1983)

16) shin tu sbyang ba (skr: prashrabdhi)
shin tu sbyang ba ni lus sems dge ba la bkol btub pa'i las su rung ba ste gnas ngan len 'joms pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 24

lus sems las su rung bas sems dmigs pa la bkol du btub pa mtshan nyid/ shin sbyangs yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 33

Translation: Alertness (Guenther 1975); Pliability (Dreyfus 2006); Pliancy (Paltseg 2003) & (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) & (Hopkins 1983); Suppleness (Rabten 1978)

17) btang snyoms (skr: upeksha)
btang snyoms ni chags sdang gti mug med par sems rnal du gnas pa ste/ nyon mongs pa'i skabs mi 'byed pa'i las can no/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 24

mnyam par gzhag pa'i tshe bying rgod sogs kyis mi nyams par rtsol med mnyam nyid du 'jug pa mtshan nyid/ btang snyoms yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 33

Translation: Equanimity (Guenther 1975), (Dreyfus 2006), (Paltseg 2003), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997), (Rabten 1978) & (Hopkins 1983)

18) ngo tsha shes pa (skr: hrih)
ngo tsha shes pa ni bdag gam chos rgyu mtshan du byas te kha na ma tho ba la 'dzem pa nyes spyod sdom pa'i rten byed pa'i las can no/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 24

rang la bltos nas kha na ma tho ba 'dzems pa mtshan nyid/ ngo tsha yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 33

Translation: Self-respect (Guenther 1975) & (Rabten 1978); Self-regarding shame (Dreyfus 2006); Shame (Paltseg 2003), (Hopkins 1983) & (Heim Forthcoming); Conscience (Mipham Rinpoche 1997)

19) khrel yod pa (skr: apatrapā)
khrel yod pa ni gzhan nam 'jig rten rgyu mtshan du byas te kha na ma tho ba la 'dzem pa'i las can no/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 25

gzhan la bltos nas kha na ma tho ba 'dzems pa mtshan nyid/ khrel yod par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 33

Translation: Decorum (Guenther 1975); Other-regarding shame (Dreyfus 2006); Embarrassment (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983); Shame (Mipham Rinpoche 1997); Consideration for others (Rabten 1978); Apprehension (Heim Forthcoming)

20) ma chags pa (skr: alobhah)
ma chags pa ni srid pa dang srid pa'i yo byad la ma chags pa ste nyes spyod la mi 'jug par byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 25

nyer len gyi phung po lnga dang srid pa'i longs spyod la mngon par mi zhen pa mtshan nyid/ ma chags pa yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 33

Translation: Non-attachment (Guenther 1975), (Paltseg 2003), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) & (Hopkins 1983);
Detachment (Dreyfus 2006) & (Rabten 1978)

21) zhe sdang med pa (skr: advesha)
zhe sdang med pa ni sems can dang sdug bsngal gyi chos la kun nas mnar sems med pa ste nyes spyod la mi 'jug par byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 25

sdang ba'i yul la mnar sems med pa mtshan nyid/ zhe sdang med pa yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 33

Translation: Non-hatred (Guenther 1975), (Paltseg 2003), (Rabten 1978) & (Hopkins 1983); Nonhatred (loving-kindness) (Dreyfus 2006); Non-aggression (Mipham Rinpoche 1997)

22) gti mug med pa (skr: amoha)
gti mug med pa ni so sor brtags pa'i sgo nas don la ma rmongs pa ste nyes pa la mi 'jug par byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 25

blang dor la ma rmongs pa mtshan nyid/ gti mug med pa yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 33

Translation: Non-deludedness (Guenther 1975); Wisdom (Dreyfus 2006); Non-ignorance (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983); Non-delusion (Mipham Rinpoche 1997); Non-bewilderment (Rabten 1978)

23) rnam par mi 'tshe ba (skr: ahimsā)
rnam par mi 'tshe ba ni zhe sdang med pa'i char gtogs pa snying rje ba'i sems te/ gzhan la tho mi brtsam pa'i las can no/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 25

sems snying rje'i rnam pas gzhan la tho mi 'tshams pa mtshan nyid/ rnam par mi 'tshe ba yin par mtshon no// (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 33

Translation: Non-violence (Guenther 1975), (Rabten 1978) & (Mipham Rinpoche 1997); Nonharmfulness (compassion) (Dreyfus 2006); Non-harmfulness (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983)

24) brtson 'grus (skr: viryam)
brtson 'grus ni dge ba'i gnas la sems mngon par spro bas 'jug pa ste/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 25

dge ba la spro ba mi lhod pa mtshan nyid/ brtson 'grus yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 33

Translation: Diligence (Guenther 1975) & (Mipham Rinpoche 1997); Joyful effort (Dreyfus 2006); Effort (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983); Enthusiasm (Rabten 1978)

25) rtsa ba'i nyon mongs pa drug
rtsa ba'i nyon mongs zhes brjod pa'i rgyu mtshan yod de/ nye ba'i nyon mongs 'byung ba'i rtsa ba yin pa'i phyir ro// (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 35

26) ma rig pa (skr: avidyā)
dang po rtsa nyon drug gi ma rig pa nilas 'bras dang bden pa dkon mchog rnams kyi tshul mi shes pa ste/ kun nyon rnams 'byung bar byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 25

bden bzhi'i don dang de kho na nyid kyi don la rmongs pa mtshan nyid/ ma rig pa yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 34

Translation: Lack of intrinsic awareness (Guenther 1975); Ignorance (Dreyfus 2006), (Paltseg 2003), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997), (Rabten 1978) & (Hopkins 1983)

27) 'dod chags (skr: ragah)
'dod chags ni khams gsum pa'i zag bcas kyi phung po la chags pa ste srid pa'i sdug bsngal skyed par byed pa'o (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 25

khams gsum gyi gnas lus longs spyod la zhen pa mtshan nyid/ 'dod chags yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 34

Translation: Cupidity-attachment (Guenther 1975); Attachment (Dreyfus 2006), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) & (Rabten 1978); Desire (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983)

28) khong khro (skr: pratighah)
khong khro ni sems can dang sdug bsngal dang sdug bsngal gyi gzhi la kun nas mnar sems pa ste/ bde bar reg pa la mi gnas shing nyes spyod kyi rten byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 25

gnod byed sems can dang gnod pa sdug bsngal dang gnod pa'i rkyen dug mtshon sogs la dmigs te kun nas mnar sems pa mtshan nyid/ khong khro yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 34

Translation: Anger (Guenther 1975), (Dreyfus 2006), (Paltseg 2003), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997), (Rabten 1978) & (Hopkins 1983)

29) nga rgyal (skr: māna)
nga rgyal ni 'jig lta la brten nas sems mtho ba'i rnam par khengs pa ste/ gzhan la ma gus pa dang sdug bsngal 'byung ba'i rten byed pa de la dbye na bdun yod do/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p.26

'jig tshogs su lta ba la brten nas khengs pa'i rnam pa can gyi sems gzengs mtho ba mtshan nyid/ nga rgyal yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 34

Translation: Arrogance (Guenther 1975) & (Mipham Rinpoche 1997); Pride (Dreyfus 2006), (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983); Self-importance (Rabten 1978); Conceit (Heim 2009a)

30) the tshom (skr: vicikitsā)
the tshom ni bden pa'i don la yid gnyis za ba ste/ dge ba'i phyogs la mi 'jug pa'i las can no/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 26

bden pa dang las 'bras la yid gnyis za ba mtshan nyid/ the tshom yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 35

Translation: Indecision (Guenther 1975); Negative doubt (Dreyfus 2006); Doubt (Paltseg 2003), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) & (Hopkins 1983); Disturbing indecision (Rabten 1978)

31) lta ba (skr: drshti)
lta ba nyon mongs can thams cad lta ba ste/ lta ba ngan pa thams cad kyi rten byed pa'o/ de ltar rtsa nyon drug go/ lta ba de la dbye na lnga ste/ 'jig tshogs la lta ba ni nye bar len pa'i phung po lnga la bdag dang bdag gi bar lta ba ste/ lta ba gzhan gyi rten byed pa'o/ mthar 'dzin pa'i lta ba ni/ bdag gam phung po lnga la rtag pa dang chad par 'dzin pa ste/ dbu ma'i lam gyis nges par 'byung ba la bar du gcod pa'i las can no/ log par lta ba ni/ las rgyu 'bras sogs yod pa'i don la med par lta ba ste/ dge rtsa gcod par byed pa'i las can no/ lta ba mchog 'dzin ni gong gi lta ba ngan pa gsum dang lta ba'i gnas nyer len gyi phung po lnga la mchog dang dam par lta ba ste lta ngan la mngon par zhen par byed pa'o/ tshul khrims dang bar+tula zhugs mchog 'dzin ni/ dag grol ma yin pa'i tshul khrims dang bar+tula zhugs dang de'i gnas phung lnga la dag grol nges 'byin du lta ba ste/ ngal ba 'bras bu med pa'i las can no/ mchog 'dzin gnyis po 'dis dngos po'i tshul la phyin ci log tu zhugs pa'i lta ngan dang/ thar pa'i thabs min pa'i lam ngan la zhen pa kun kyang mtshon par byed do/ lta ba lnga po de thams cad shes rab nyon mongs can yin la/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 26-27

shes rab nyon mongs can mtshan nyid/ lta ba yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 35

Translation: Opinionatedness (Guenther 1975); Mistaken view (Dreyfus 2006); Wrong view (Paltseg 2003); Belief (Mipham Rinpoche 1997); Disturbing view (Rabten 1978); Afflicted view (Hopkins 1983)

32) nye nyon nyi shu
de dag la chos can/ nye nyon zhes 'dogs pa'i rgyu mtshan yod de/ rtsa ba'i nyon mongs pa la nye ba'i phyir ro// (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 38

33) khro ba (skr: krodhah)
khro ba ni khong khro 'phel te brdeg pa sogs gnod pa dngos du shoms par byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 27

gnod pa la mi bzod pa mtshan nyid/ khro ba yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 35

Translation: Indignation (Guenther 1975); Belligerence (Dreyfus 2006), (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983); Fury (Mipham Rinpoche 1997); Wrath (Rabten 1978)

34) 'khon du 'dzin pa (skr: upanāhah)
'khon du 'dzin pa ni khong khro ba'i char gtogs pa gnod pa'i bsam pa rgyun mi btong zhing mi bzod par byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 27

gnod pa zhe la bzhag pa mtshan nyid/ 'khon 'dzin yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 36

Translation: Resentment (Guenther 1975), (Paltseg 2003), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) & (Hopkins 1983); Vengefulness (Dreyfus 2006); Vengeance (Rabten 1978)

35) 'tshig pa (skr: pradāsah)
'tshig pa ni khro ba dang khon 'dzin gyi rgyu las mi bzod par tshig rtsub smra bar byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 27

khro 'khon sngon du song bas tshig rtsub mo smra bar 'dod pa mtshan nyid/ 'tshig pa yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 36

Translarion: Spite (Guenther 1975), (Dreyfus 2006), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997), (Paltseg 2003), (Rabten 1978) & (Hopkins 1983)

36) rnam par 'tshe ba (skr: vihimsā)
rnam par 'tshe ba ni khong khro'i char gtogs pa/ snying brtse ba med par tho brtsam pa'i las can no/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 27

gzhan gsod pa dang rdeg pa sogs rang nyid dam gzhan la byed du rtsal ba mtshan nyid/ rnam 'tshe yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 36

Translation: Malice (Guenther 1975); Cruelty (Dreyfus 2006) & (Rabten 1978); Harmfullness (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983); Hostility (Mipham Rinpoche 1997)

37) phrag dog (skr: irshya)
phrag dog ni khong khro'i char gtogs pa/ rang rnyed bkur sogs la chags nas gzhan gyi phun tshogs la mi bzod par sems khong nas 'khrugs pa/ yid mi bde zhing sems rnal du mi gnas la nyes pa'i rten byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 27

gzhan gyi phun tshogs la mi bzod pa mtshan nyid/ phrag dog yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 36

Translation: Jealousy (Guenther 1975), (Dreyfus 2006), (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983); Envy (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) & (Rabten 1978)

38) g.yo (skr: shāthyam)
g.yo ni rnyed bkur sogs la chags pas rang gi nyes pa sbas te nyes rgyun skyong ba'i sems gya gyu ba chags sdang gti mug gi char gtogs pa ste yang dag pa'i gdams ngag rnyed pa'i bar du gcod pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 27

rang gi nyes pa mthong thos su gyur pa gzhan la bsgyur ba mtshan nyid/ g.yo yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 36

Translation: Dishonesty (Guenther 1975) & (Rabten 1978); Dissimulation (Paltseg 2003), (Hopkins 1983) & (Dreyfus 2006); Hypocrisy (Mipham Rinpoche 1997)

39) sgyu (skr: māyā)
sgyu ni rnyed bkur sogs kyi phyir rang la med pa'i yon tan yod par 'chos nas bden pa min pas gzhan slu byed rmongs chags kyi char gtogs pa nyon mongs dang nye nyon gyi grogs byed cing log 'tsho sgrub pa'i rten byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p.27

gzhan bslu ba'i sems kyis rang gi lus ngag tshul ltar 'chos pa mtshan nyid/ sgyu yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 36

Translation: Deceit (Guenther 1975), (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983); Pretence (Dreyfus 2006) & (Mipham Rinpoche 1997); Pretension (Rabten 1978)

40) ngo tsha med pa (skr: ahrih)
ngo tsha med pa ni bdag rgyu mtshan du byas te sdig pa la mi 'dzem pa dug gsum gyi char gtogs pa nyon mongs dang nye nyon gyi grogs byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p.28

rang la ltos nas nyes spyod mi 'dzems pa mtshan nyid/ ngo tsha med par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 36

Translation: Shamelessness (Guenther 1975) & (Rabten 1978); Self-regarding shamelessness (Dreyfus 2006); Non-shame (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983); Lack of conscience (Mipham Rinpoche 1997)

41) khrel med pa (skr: anapatrapā)
khrel med pa ni gzhan rgyu mtshan du byas te mi dge ba'i phyogs la 'dzem pa med par 'jug pa dug gsum gyi char gtogs pa/ nyon mongs kun gyi grogs byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 28

gzhan la ltos nas nyes spyod mi 'dzems pa mtshan nyid/ khrel med yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 37

Translation: Lack of sense of propriety (Guenther 1975); Other-regarding shamelessness (Dreyfus 2006); Non-embaressment (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983); Shamelessness (Mipham Rinpoche 1997); Inconsideration for others (Rabten 1978)

42) 'chab pa (skr: mrakshah)
'chab pa ni gti mug dang chags pa'i char gtogs pa legs par bskur ba la mi 'jug cing rang gi nyes pa sgrib par 'dod pa ste/ 'gyod pa dang reg par mi gnas pa'i rten byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 28

rang gi kha na ma tho ba gsang zhing sbed pa mtshan nyid/ 'chab pa yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 36

Translation: Slyness-concealment (Guenther 1975); Concealment (Dreyfus 2006), (Paltseg 2003), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997), (Rabten 1978) & (Hopkins 1983)

43) ser sna (skr: mātsaryam)
ser sna ni 'dod chags kyi rgyu las yo byad sogs bdog pa'i dngos po la dam du 'dzin pa ste yo byad mi bsnyung bar byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p, 28

rang gi yo byad gtong mi nus pa mtshan nyid/ ser sna yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 36

Translation: Avarice (Guenther 1975) & (Rabten 1978); Stinginess (Dreyfus 2006) & (Mipham Rinpoche 1997); Miserliness (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983)

44) rgyag pa (skr: madah)
rgyags pa ni nad med pa dang lang tsho sogs rang rgyud la yod pa'i zag bcas kyi phun tshogs gang yang rung ba la dga' zhing chags pa'i sems kyis rang mgus 'thigs pa (sgying ba'i don no) ste/ nyon mongs dang nye nyon gyi rten byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 28

lang tsho dar la babs pa sogs dpal 'byor gyis sems gang ba mtshan nyid/ rgyags pa yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 36

Translation: Mental inflation (Guenther 1975); Self-satisfaction (Dreyfus 2006) & (Rabten 1978); Haughtiness (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983); Self-infatuation (Mipham Rinpoche 1997)

45) ma dad pa (skr: ashrāddhyam)
ma dad pa ni gti mug gi char gtogs pa yang dag pa'i gnas dang dge chos la mi mos pa le lo'i rten byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 28

dge ba'i chos la yid mi ches pas 'dod pa med pa mtshan nyid/ ma dad pa yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 37

Translation: Lack of trust (Guenther 1975); Lack of confidence/faith (Dreyfus 2006); Non-faith (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983); Lack of faith (Mipham Rinpoche 1997); Faithlessness (Rabten 1978)

46) le lo (skr: kausidhyam)
le lo ni nyal snyes 'phres sogs kyi bde ba lta bu'i bya ba ngan pa la zhen nas dge ba'i phyogs la mi spro zhing 'jug pa lhod par byed pa brtson 'grus kyi mi mthun phyogs so/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 28

bya ba ngan pa la zhen nas dge chos la mi spro ba mtshan nyid/ le lo yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 37

Translation: Laziness (Guenther 1975), (Dreyfus 2006), (Paltseg 2003), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997), (Rabten 1978) & (Hopkins 1983)

47) bag med pa (skr: pramādhah)
bag med pa ni dug gsum le lo dang bcas pa'i rgyu las dge sdig blang dor la gzob pa lhur mi len pa bag yod pa'i mi mthun phyogs te/ mi dge 'phel zhing dge ba 'grib pa'i las can no/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p.28

sems mi srung zhing bag yangs su gtong ba mtshan nyid/ bag med yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 37

Translation: Unconcern (Guenther 1975); Lack of conscentiousness (Dreyfus 2006); Non-conscientiousness (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983); Heedlessness (Mipham Rinpoche 1997); Unconscientiousness (Rabten 1978)

48) brjed ngas (skr: musitasmirtih)
brjed ngas ni dge ba'i dmigs pa mi gsal bar brjed pa/ dran pa'i mi mthun phyogs su gyur pa'i nyon mongs dang mtshungs ldan gyi dran pa 'chal pa sems g.yeng ba'i rten byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 29

dge ba'i dmigs pa mi gsal ba yang dang yang du brjod pa mtshan nyid/ brjed ngas yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 37

Translation: Forgetfulness (Guenther 1975), (Dreyfus 2006), (Paltseg 2003), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997), (Rabten 1978) & (Hopkins 1983)

49) shes bzhin min pa (skr: asamprajanyam)
shes bzhin min pa ni nyon mongs dang mtshungs par ldan pa g.yeng ba'i shes rab ste/ sgo gsum gyi spyod pa la shes bzhin du mi 'jug par bab bab du 'jug pa ste ltung ba 'byung ba'i rten byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 29

blang dor gyi gnas la tshul bzhin ma yin par dpyod pa'i shes rab nyon mongs pa can gyi sems mtshan nyid/ shes bzhin ma yin pa yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 37

Translation: Inattentiveness (Guenther 1975) & (Rabten 1978); ??? (Dreyfus 2006); Non-introspection (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983); Non-alertness (Mipham Rinpoche 1997)

50) rmugs pa (skr: styānam)
rmugs pa ni gti mug gi char gtogs pa lus sems lci ba'i rnam pas dmigs pa la 'jug mi nus par nang du sdud cing sems las su mi rung ba nyon mong pa'i rten byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 29

dmigs rnam la sems las su mi rung ba mtshan nyid/ rmugs pa yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 37

Translation: Gloominess (Guenther 1975); Mental Dullness (Dreyfus 2006); Lethargy (Paltseg 2003), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) & (Hopkins 1983); Dullness (Rabten 1978)

51) rgod pa (skr: auddhatyam)
rgod pa ni sdug pa'i mtshan ma'i rjes su zhugs pa'i 'dod chags kyi char gtogs pa sems yul la 'phro bas las su mi rung zhing ma zhi bar byed pa zhi gnas kyi bar du gcod pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 29

sngon gyi byas pa'i yul la slar 'phro ba mtshan nyid/ rgod pa yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 37

Translation: Ebullience (Guenther 1975); Excitement (Dreyfus 2006), (Paltseg 2003), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997), (Rabten 1978) & (Hopkins 1983)

52) rnam par g.yeng ba (skr: vikshepah)
rnam par g.yeng ba ni dug gsum gyi char gtogs pa sems yul la g.yo zhing 'phyan te dge ba'i dmigs pa la rtse gcig tu mi gnas par byed pa ste/ 'di la phyi nang dang mtshan ma'i g.yeng ba sogs kyi dbye ba yod do/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 29

dug gsum gang rung gi yul la sems rnam par 'phro ba mtshan nyid/ rnam g.yeng yin par mtshon/ de la dbye na/ ngo bo nyid kyi g.yeng ba/ de nyid phyi rol du g.yeng ba/ nang gi g.yeng ba/ mtshan ma'i g.yeng ba/ gnas ngan len gyi g.yeng ba/ yid la byed pa'i g.yeng ba dang drug yod pa'i phyir ro// (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 37

Translation: Desultoriness (Guenther 1975); ??? (Dreyfus 2006); Distraction (Paltseg 2003), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997), (Rabten 1978) & (Hopkins 1983)

53) gzhan 'gyur bzhi
de rnams kun slong dang bsam pa'i khyad par gyis dge sdig lung ma bstan ci rigs par 'gyur bas gzhan 'gyur bzhi zhes bya'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 30

de bzhi la chos can/ gzhan 'gyur bzhi zhes brjod pa'i dgos pa yod de/ dge mi dge phyogs gcig tu nges pa med cing rkyen gyis dge sdig tu bsgyur ba'i phyir te/ dper na dge ba la 'gyod pa skyes na sdig par 'gyur ba dang/ sdig pa la 'gyod pa skyes na dge bar 'gyur ba bzhin no// (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 38

54) gnyid (skr: middham)
gnyid ni gnyid kyi rgyu la brten nas dge mi dge rigs mi rigs dus dus min sogs kyi rnam 'byed med par sgo lnga'i shes pa nang du sdud par byed pa gti mug gi char gtogs pa bya ba shor ba'i rten byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 29

'jug pa'i rnam shes nang du bsdus pa mtshan nyid/ gnyid yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 38

Translation: Drowsiness (Guenther 1975); Sleep (Dreyfus 2006), (Paltseg 2003), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997), (Rabten 1978) & (Hopkins 1983)

55) 'gyod pa (skr: kaukrtyam)
'gyod pa ni sngar byas pa la yid mi dga' ba'i rnam pas yid la bcag pa sems gnas pa'i bar du gcod par byed pa'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) 29

sngar byas pa la phyis nas 'gyod pa mtshan nyid/ 'gyod pa yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 38

Translation: Worry (Guenther 1975); Regret (Dreyfus 2006), (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) & (Rabten 1978); Contrition (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983)

56) rtog pa (skr: vitarka)
rtog pa ni sems pa dang shes rab la brten nas dmigs pa'i dngos po kun tu tshol ba'i yid kyis brjod pa ste/ don 'ol spyi tsam 'dzin pa rtsing ba'i rnam pa can/ rgyang ring po'i gzugs la kham phor dang bum pa'i khyad ma phye bar de tsam 'dzin pa lta bu'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 30

'du byed kyi chos rnams la rtsing por 'jug pa mtshan nyid/ rtog pa yin par mtshon/ (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 38

Translation: Selectiveness (Guenther 1975); Investigation (Dreyfus 2006), (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983); Conception (Mipham Rinpoche 1997); General examination (Rabten 1978)

57) dpyod pa (skr: vicāra)
dpyod pa ni sems pa dang shes rab la brten nas don de'i khyad par so sor rtog pa'i yid kyis gzhig nas bzung ba zhib pa'i rnam pa can de bum pa gsar pa ma gas par 'dzin pa lta bu'o/ (Mipham Rinpoche 1997) p. 30

zhib mor 'jug pa'i sems mtshan nyid/ dpyod pa yin par mtshon no// (rGya-mtsho 1998) p. 38

Translation: Discursiveness (Guenther 1975); Analysis (Dreyfus 2006), (Paltseg 2003) & (Hopkins 1983); Discernment (Mipham Rinpoche 1997); Precise analysis (Rabten 1978)


Appendix B: Suggested Classification and Translations

Fundamental Cognition

Sense Contact (reg pa, A6), Bi-polar Emotional Evaluation (tshor ba, A2), Mental Directedness (sems pa, A4), Mental Engagement (yid la byed pa, A5), Conceptual Perception ('du shes, A3)

Advanced Level Cognition and Understanding

Basic Interest ('dun pa, A8), Exclusive Interest (mos pa, A9), One-pointed Concentration (ting nge 'dzin, A11), Mindfullness / Recollection (dran pa, A10), Discriminative Intelligence (shes rab, A12), General Examination (rtog pa, A56), Precise Analysis (dpyod pa, A57).

Emotions and Other Mental Factors Influencing Cognition and Understanding

Negative: Jealousy / Envy (phrag dog, A37), Spiteful Speech ('tshig pa, A35), Lasting Resentment (khon du 'dzin pa, A34), Aggression (rnam par 'tshe ba, A36), Strong Anger (khro ba, A33), Aversion (khong khro, A28), Agitation / Obsession (rgod pa, A51), Craving ('dod chags, A27), Absentmindedness / Forgetfulness (brjed ngas, A48), Afflicted View (lta ba, A31), Distractedness (rnam par g.yeng ba, A 52), Mental Lethargy (rmugs pa, A50), Afflictive Doubt (the tshom, A30), Laziness (le lo, A46), Lack of Faith (ma dad pa, A45), Ignorance (ma rig pa, A26)
Positive: Faith (dad pa, A14), Enthusiasm (brtson 'grus, A24), Non-delusion (gti mug med pa, A22), Non-aversion (zhe sdang med pa, A21), Non-aggression (rnam par mi 'tshe ba, A23), Non-craving (ma chags pa, A20), Equanimity (btang snyoms, A17)

Self-concept & Self-regulation

Self-concept: Self-importance (nga rgyal, A29), Self-infatuation (rgyag pa, A44), Dissimulation (g.yo, 38), Concealment ('chab pa, 42), Deceit (sgyu, A39)
Self-regulation: General Morality (bag yod, A15), Lack of General Morality (bag med pa, A47), Lack of Moral Alertness (shes bzhin min pa, A49), Personal Behavioral Decency (ngo tsha shes pa, A18), Lack of Personal Behavioral Decency (ngo tsha med pa, A40), Social Behavioral Decency (khrel yod pa, A19), Lack of Social Behavioral Decency (khrel med pa, A41), Pliancy (shin tu sbyang ba, A16), Regret ('gyod pa, A54)

The Residual Group

Negative: Stinginess / Miserliness (ser sna, A43)
Neutral: Sleep (gnyid, A54)


Appendix C: Bibliography

Anthony J. Marsella, George Devos & Francis L. K. Hsu (1985): Culture and Self: Asian and Western Perspectives. Tavistock Publications, New York, NY.

Bargh, Mark Chen & John A. (1999): “Consequences of Automatic Evaluation: Immediate Behavioral Predispositions to Approach or Avoid the Stimulus.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (25). P. 215-224.

Brach, Tara (2003): Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha. Bantam Dell, New York, NY.

CALD3 (2008): Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. Elisabeth Walter (ed.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Darwin, Charles (1872/2002): “The expression of the emotions in man and animals.” The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. Retrieved 15/4 2010, from http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?

Dreyfus, George (2006): “An Abhidharmic View of Emotional Pathologies and Their Remedies.” The Dalai Lama at Mit. Anne Harrington & Arthur Zajonc (eds.). Harvard University Press, London. P. 117-140

Dreyfus, Georges (2003): The Sound of Two Hands Clapping: The Education of a Tibetan Buddhist Monk. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

Duff, Tony (2010): The Illuminator: Tibetan-English Encyclopaedic Dictionary. Padma Karpo Translation Committee, Kathmandu.

Feltz, Adam (2005): “The Knobe Effect: A Brief Overview.” Department of Philosophy, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL. Retrieved 27/2 2010, from http://faculty.schreiner.edu/adfeltz/Papers/Knobe%20review.pdf

Goldstein, Melvyn C. (2001): The New Tibetan-English Dictionary of Modern Tibetan. University of California Press, Berkley & Los Angeles, CA.

Guenther, Herbert V (transl.) (1975): Mind in Buddhist Psychology (transl. of “Necklace of Clear Understanding: An Elucidation of the Working of Mind and Mental Events” by Ye-shes rGyal-mtshan). Dharma Publishing, Emeryville, CA.

Heim, Maria (2009a): “The Conceit of Self-loathing.” Journam of Indian Philosophy (37/1). P. 61-74.

Heim, Maria (2009b): “Buddhist Thoughts on Intention.” Moral Worlds and Religious Subjectivities. Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Retrieved 24/2 2010, from http://www.hds.harvard.edu/cswr/resources/lectures/heim.html (Public Lecture)

Heim, Maria (Forthcoming): “Shame and Apprehension: Notes on the Moral Value of Hiri and Ottappa.” Embedded Religions: Essays in Honor of W. S. Karunatillake. Carol Anderson, Susanne Mrozik & R. M. W. Rajapakse (eds.). S. Godage and Brothers, Colombo, Sri Lanka. P. 270-297.

Herman, Judith L. (2007): Shattered Shame States and their Repair. Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Sommerville, MA. Retrieved 13/2 2010, from http://www.scribd.com/doc/17538213/Shattered-ShameJudith-Lewis-Herman.

HHDL, His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama (1999): Ethics for the New Millennium. Riverhead Books, New York, NY.

HHDL, His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama (2001): Conceils du Coeur. Editions Presses de La Renaissance, Paris.

Hopkins, Jeffrey (1983): “The Selfless.” Meditation on Emptiness. Wisdom Publications, London. P. 213-274

Kazdin, Alan E. (2000): Encyclopedia of Psychology. American Psychological Association & Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Knobe, joshua (2003): “Intentional Action and Side Effects in Ordinary Language.” Analysis (63). P. 190-193.

Michael Lewis, Jeanettte M. Haviland-Jones & Lisa Feldman Barrett (2008): Handbook of Emotions. The Guilford Press, New York, NY.

Mipham Rinpoche, Jamgön (1997): “The Aggregates Skandha.” Gateway to Knowledge: The Treatise Entitled The Gate for Entering the Way of a Pandita. Erik Pema Kunsang (transl.). Rangjung Yeshe Publications, Hong Kong. P. 16-36

MLI, Mind and Life Institute (2008): “Mind and Life Institute 2008 Annual Report.” Mind and Life Institute, Boulder, CO.

MLI, Mind and Life Institute (2009): “Mind & Life Institute 2009 Annual Report.” Mind & Life Institute, Boulder, CO.

OALD7 (2005): Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary - Compass CD-Rom. A. S. Hornby & Sally Wehmeier (eds.). Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Paltseg, Lotsawa Kaba (2003): “The Five Aggregates.” A Manual of Key Buddhist Terms: Categorization of Buddhist Terminology with Commentary. Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharamsala. P. 1-15

Rabten, Ven. Geshe (1978): The Mind and its Functions. Tharpa Choeling, Mt. Pelerin, Switzerland.

rGya-mtsho, mKhan Rin-po-che Tshul-khrims (1998): “nyer mkho che ba'i sems dang sems byung gi khyed par gtan la 'bebs.” blo rtags kyi rnam gzhag rig gzhung rgya mtsho'i snying po zhes bya ba bzhugs so (Presentation of Lorik and Tarik: The essence of the Ocean of Tradition of Logic). Nitartha International publication, New York. P. 29-38

Siewert, Charles (2006): “Consiousness and Intentionality.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University, Stanford. Retrieved 24/2 2010, from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness-intentionality/

Thurman, Daniel Goleman & Robert A. F. (1991): Mindscience: An East-West Dialogue. Wisdom Publications, Sommerville, MA.


[1] For information on Mind & Life Institute, see MLI (2008), MLI (2009) and http://www.mindandlife.org/

[2] One of the earlier meetings of Buddhism and psychology has been reported in Thurman (1991). Since then numerous publications have seen the light of day.

[3] In the genre of self-help literature,which is gaining popularity these days, Brach (2003) is an example of a bestseller mixing Western psychological language and Buddhist concepts freely.

[4] Dalai Lama himself refers to this experience in a.o. HHDL (1999). Subsequently it has been quoted in a.o. Brach (2003) p. 11 & Heim (2009a) p. 61

[5] Sanskrit names and titles in this paper will be rendered as in Duff (2010)

[6] Throughout this paper I will render Tibetan words in italics as per the transliteration system proposed by Turell Wylie

[7] Most of the information concerning Tibetan monastic education in this section has been derived from Dreyfus (2003) p. 79-148 & 195-266.

[8] Mipham Rinpoche (1997) and rGya-mtsho (1998) are parts of the basic study program in Rangjung Yeshe Institute, Kathmandu, Nepal and Nitharta Institute respectively.

[9] Paltseg (2003) and Hopkins (1983) disagree on translation in only two cases whereas they stand alone in their choice of translation in 19 out of 49 cases. In his foreword Paltseg admits to having used Hopkins' text for his translation. The translations of Dreyfus (2006) and Rabten (1978) also coincide rather frequently and the former refers to the latter for further discussion in a footnote.

[10] Detailed individual analysis of some of the concepts found in a.o. The 51 Mental Factors may be found in scholarly works such as Heim (2009a), Heim (2009b) & Heim (Forthcoming)

[11] Rabten (1978) p. 64

[12] 'Feling' has no less than 9 distinct senses in OALD7 (2005) and 4 in CALD3 (2008).

[13] Guenther (1975) p. 20 & Rabten (1978) p. 67

[14] Michael Lewis (2008) p. 779 & Hume, as cited in Ibid. p. 7

[15] Bargh (1999)

[16] Kazdin (2000) Vol. 2, p. 270

[17] CALD3 (2008) & OALD7 (2005); Entries: Intention

[18] Se e.g. Kazdin (2000) Vol. 2, p. 242, for suggested definitions of 'concepts'

[19] Dreyfus (2006) p. 131 & Rabten (1978) p. 66

[20] Duff (2010) Entry: dge ba & Goldstein (2001) p. 221

[21] Duff (2010) Entry: nyon mongs

[22] OALD7 (2005) & CALD3 (2008), Entries: Emotion

[23] Kazdin (2000) Vol. 3, p. 163

[24] Ibid.

[25] Kazdin (2000) Entry: Anger, Vol. 1, p. 170 & Kazdin (2000) Entry: Violence and Aggression, Vol. 8, p. 162

[26] CALD3 (2008) & OALD7 (2005) Entries: Aggression

[27] Kazdin (2000) Vol. 1, p. 170; CALD3 (2008) & OALD7 (2005) Entries: Anger

[28] 'Jealousy' and 'envy' seems to be a slightly researched area of the emotional landscape in modern psychology. I have found only short mentioning of them concerned with Self-regulation in Michael Lewis (2008) p. 743. The dictionary definitions referred to are CALD3 (2008) & OALD7 (2005) Entries: Jealousy & envy

[29] OALD7 (2005) Entry: Excitement

[30] Kazdin (2000) Vol. 1, p. 218

[31] For more information on Western and Asian perspectives of self, see e.g. Anthony J. Marsella (1985).

[32] The 7 subcategories of nga rgyal may be seen in a.o. Guenther (1975) p. 68, Hopkins (1983) p. 257 & Paltseg (2003) p. 6

[33] Michael Lewis (2008) p. 8

[34] Ibid. p. 753

[35] This quote is from OALD7 (2005) Entry: Pride. CALD3 (2008) has an almost identical definition.

[36] Darwin (1872/2002)

[37] Kazdin (2000) Vol. 7, p. 267

[38] Ibid. Vol. 7, p. 268

[39] Ibid. Vol. 7, p. 268

[40] Ibid. Vol. 7, p. 209

[41] Ibid. Vol. 7, p. 266 & Michael Lewis (2008) p. 748

[42] Michael Lewis (2008) p. 750


*An essay submitted in partial fulfilment of Curriculum for the BA-programme in Tibetology, the 2005 Curriculum at Cross-cultural and Regional Studies Faculty of Humanities University of Copenhagen.

© Klaus Löhrer (unpublished paper)
When Mind Travels

See also: Pluralism the Hard Way: Governance Implications of the Dorje Shugden Controversy and the Democracy- and Rights Rhetoric Pertaining to It by Klaus Löhrer

Offered with kind permission from the author.