Posted in Grad School

Finding Nirvana, in Pali

Pali is the language spoken by the Buddha.  I’ve been doing some research into the language, and tonight a concept became clear to me.

The Pali word for Nirvana (Nibbana) is “extinction” or “quenching,”  as in the extinction of a fire.  It is alternatively interpreted as “blowing out.”

The Pali word for grasping (upadana), which is one of the causes of suffering in the world, is “fuel.”

So, when the fire runs out of fuel, it is extinguished.  When we stop grasping, there is Nirvana.


Ven. Dr. Myodo Jabo (Sandy Gougis) is a Zen Master and Priest in the Five Mountain Zen Order. She began studying Theravâdin Buddhism in 1998, adding Zen in 2003, and Vajrayana Buddhism in 2008. She currently practices in both the Zen and Tibetan traditions. Her Zen teacher is Most Ven. Wonji Dharma of the Five Mountain Zen Order, and her Tibetan guru is Lama Tsultrim Allione of Tara Mandala. In her free time, Myodo enjoys painting, jewelry making, and other creative endeavors.

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