The Dhamma Lists


The Four Noble Truths

  1. Dukkha exists – unsatisfactoriness, suffering, discontent, stress (to be Investigated);
  2. The cause or origin of dukkha is craving (tanha-lit. thirst) or clinging (to be Abandoned);
  3. Dukkha ceases with the relinquishment of that craving (to be Realized);
  4. The path leading to the cessation of dukkha is the Noble Eightfold Path (to be Developed)

The Eightfold Path (ariya-magga)

Wisdom/Discernment (pañña)

  1. Wise or Right View/Understanding (samma-ditthi) – Knowledge of the Four Noble Truths
  2. Wise or Right Intention/Resolve (sammá-sankappa) – Renunciation, Loving-kindness, Harmlessness

Virtue (sila)

  1. Wise or Right Speech (sammá-vácá) – abstaining from lying, malicious or divisive speech, abusive or harsh speech, and idle chatter
  2. Wise or Right Action (sammá-kammanta) – abstaining from killing, stealing and sexual misconduct
  3. Wise or Right Livelihood (sammáájíva) – abstaining from dishonest and harmful means of livelihood

Concentration/Meditation (samadhi)

  1. Wise or Right Effort (samma-vayama) – the effort of avoiding and overcoming unskillful qualities, and of developing and maintaining skillful qualities
  2. Wise or Right Mindfulness (samma-sati) – The Four Forms of Mindfulness
  3. Wise or Right Concentration (samma-samadhi)


Three Characteristics of Existence (Conditioned Phenomena)

  1. Impermanence (anicca)
  2. Unsatisfactoriness (dukkha)
  3. Not Self (anatta) – empty of inherent existence; not “me”, “myself”, nor “what I am”

Three Pillars of Dhamma (dharma) or Grounds for Making Merit

  1. Generosity (dana)
  2. Moral restraint (sila)
  3. Meditation (bhavana) – consists of Concentration (samadhi) and Mindfulness (sati)

Three Poisons/Defilements (Kilesas – lit. torments of the mind)

  1. Greed/Clinging (lobha) – mindfulness transforms this into Faith
  2. Hatred /Aversion (dosa) – mindfulness transforms this into discriminating Wisdom
  3. Delusion/Ignorance (moha) – mindfulness transforms this into Equanimity

Three Refuges (Triple Gem, Three Jewels)

  1. Buddha
  2. Dhamma
  3. Sangha

Three Types of Dukkha

  1. Dukkha as pain (dukkhadukkhata) – body or mental pain
  2. Dukkha that is inherent in formation (sankhara-dukkhata) – maintenance of body and things, oppressive nature of continuous upkeep
  3. Dukkha of change (viparinama-dukkhata) – pleasant and happy conditions in life are not permanent


Four Bases of Power or Success (Iddhipada)

  1. Desire (chanda)
  2. Persistence/Energy/Effort (viriya)
  3. Intention, Mind, Thoughtfulness (citta)
  4. Investigation/Discrimination (vimamsa or panna)

Four Brahma-viharas (Highest Attitudes/Emotions)

  1. Lovingkindness, good-will (metta): Near enemy – attachment; far enemy – hatred
  2. Compassion (karuna): Near enemy – pity; far enemy – cruelty
  3. Sympathetic joy, Appreciation (mudita), joy at the good fortune of others: Near enemy – comparison, hypocrisy, insincerity, joy for others but tinged with identification (my team, my child); far enemy – envy
  4. Equanimity (upekkha): Near enemy – indifference; far enemy – anxiety, greed

Four Foundations of Mindfulness  (Satipatthana Sutta)

  1. Mindfulness of the body (kaya)
  2. Mindfulness of feeling (vedana)-pleasant, unpleasant, neutral; initial reactions to sensory input
  3. Mindfulness of mind/consciousness (citta), (greed, aversion, delusion & their opposites)
  4. Mindfulness of mind objects-mental events (dharmas); Five categories of dhammas: Five hindrances, Five aggregates, 6 sense bases, Seven factors of enlightenment, Four Noble Truths

Four Jhanas (rupa jhanas) or Meditative Absorptions

  1. First Jhana, characterized by intense pleasure, has five jhanic factors: applied thought (vittaka), sustained thought (vicara), joy (piti), happiness (sukha), one-pointednesss (ekkagata)
  2. Second Jhana, characterized by joy. Has 3 factors: joy (piti), happiness (sukha), onepointedness (ekkagata)
  3. Third Jhana, characterized by contentment, has 2 factors: contentment and one-pointedness (ekkagata)
  4. Fourth Jhana, characterized by equanimity and stillness, has 1 factor: one-pointedness (ekkagata)

Four Right Efforts (sammappadhana)

  1. Not to let an unwholesome-unskillful thought arise, which has not yet arisen-Guarding
  2. Not to let an unwholesome-unskillful thought continue, which has already arisen-Abandon
  3. To make a wholesome-skillful thought arise, which has not yet arisen-Develop
  4. To make a wholesome-skillful thought continue, which has already arisen-Sustain

Four  defilements (asavas)

  1. attachment to sensuality
  2. attachment to existence/to becoming
  3. ignorance of the dhamma (of the way things are)
  4. attachment to opinions/views (most Suttas do not include this one-Abhidhamma does)


Five Aggregates (khandhas or skandas or heaps)

  1. Form/physical phenomena, body (rupa )
  2. Feeling (vedana ) pleasant, unpleasant, neutral. Feelings arise when there is contact between the 6 internal organs and the 6 external objects: (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind & corresponding: sight, sound, odor, taste touch, mental object)
  3. Perception (sañña) – recognition
  4. Mental Formations (sankhara) – includes mental states, emotions, volition (fabrications)
  5. Consciousness (viññana) – grasps the characteristics of the 6 external objects

Five Faculties (indriya) and Five Strengths or Powers.

  1. Faith (saddha) – controls doubt
  2. Energy/Effort/Persistence (viriya) – controls laziness
  3. Mindfulness (sati); – controls heedlessness
  4. Concentration (samadhi) – controls distraction
  5. Wisdom (panna)/Discernment – controls ignorance

Five Hindrances (nivarana)

  1. Sensual Desire (kámacchanda)
  2. Aversion or Ill-will (vyápáda)
  3. Sleepiness – sloth (thina), torpor (middha), sluggishness
  4. Restlessness – worry about the future, regret of the past, anxiety (uddhacca-kukkucca)
  5. Doubt (skeptical doubt)(vicikicchá)

Five Precepts

  1. To refrain from killing
  2. To refrain from stealing (taking that which is not offered)
  3. To refrain from sexual misconduct
  4. To refrain from lying, harsh speech, idle speech, and slander
  5. To refrain from taking intoxicants that cloud the mind and cause heedlessness

Five Things that lead to Awakening

  1. Admirable friends
  2. Sila (morality, virtue)
  3. Hearing the dharma
  4. Exertion. Effort in abandoning unskillful qualities and cultivating skillful ones
  5. Awareness of impermanence (anicca) – Insight into impermanence


Six Sense Bases: Seeing, Hearing, Smelling, Tasting, Touching, Thinking



Seven Factors of Enlightenment (bojjhanga).


  1. Mindfulness (sati)


  1. Investigation of Phenomena (dhamma vicaya)-Wisdom Factor: seeing anicca, anatta, dukkha; how mind body operates
  2. Energy/Effort (viriya)
  3. Rapture, Joy-intense interest in object (piti)


  1. Calm/tranquility (passaddhi)
  2. Concentration (samadhi)
  3. Equanimity (upekkha)

Eight Worldly Dhammas (Conditions, Concerns).

  • Gain and Loss
  • Pleasure and Pain
  • Praise and Blame
  • Fame and Disrepute (status/disgrace)


Ten Perfections (Paramis/Paramitas).

Ten qualities leading to Buddhahood.

  1. Generosity (dana)
  2. Morality (sila)-virtue, integrity
  3. Renunciation (nekkhamma)
  4. Wisdom (pañña)
  5. Energy/Strength (viriya)- effort
  6. Patience (khanti)
  7. Truthfulness (sacca)
  8. Resolution – determination (adhitthana)
  9. Lovingkindness (metta)
  10. Equanimity (upekkha)

Ten Fetters (samyojana)

  1. Self-identity beliefs
  2. Doubt
  3. Clinging to rites and rituals
  4. Sensual craving
  5. Ill will
  6. Attachment to the form
  7. Attachment to formless phenomena
  8. Conceit (mána, literally measuring-as measuring oneself & comparing to others; a subtle sense of self)
  9. Restlessness
  10. Ignorance (with regard to the Four Noble Truths)


Twelve Links of Dependent Origination- (Paticca-Samuppada).

  • From ignorance (avijja) come karma formations/fabrications/volitional formations (sankhara)
  • From karma formations comes consciousness (viññana)
  • From consciousness comes mind and matter (nama-rupa)
  • From mind and matter come the six senses (salayatana)
  • From the six senses comes contact (phassa)
  • From contact comes feeling (vedana)
  • From feeling comes craving (tanha)
  • From craving comes clinging (upadana)
  • From clinging comes becoming/existence (bhava)
  • From becoming/existence comes birth (jati)
  • From birth, then aging & death

Twelve Links of Transcendental Dependent Arising.

  • Suffering (dukkha)
  • Faith (saddha)
  • Joy (pamojja)
  • Rapture (piti)
  • Tranquility (passaddhi)
  • Happiness (sukha)
  • Concentration (samadhi)
  • Knowledge and vision of things as they are (yathabhutañanadassana)
  • Disenchantment (nibbida)
  • Dispassion (viraga)
  • Emancipation (vimutti)
  • Knowledge of destruction of the cankers (asavakkhaye ñana)


37 Factors of Enlightenment or Wings of Awakening (bodhipakkhiya-dhammá)

The set of teachings that the Buddha himself said formed the heart of his message.

  • Four Foundations of Mindfulness (satipatthana)
  • Four Right Efforts (sammappadhana)
  • Four Bases of Power (iddhipada)
  • Five Faculties (indriya)
  • Five Strengths (bala)
  • Seven Factors of Enlightenment (bojjhanga)
  • Eight Fold Path (ariya-magga)

6 Comments on “The Dhamma Lists”

  1. August 7, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    Great !!! sadhu sadhu

    be well,


  2. April 9, 2011 at 12:52 am #

    8BLP0i Good point. I hadn’t thought about it quite that way. 🙂


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