Several Zenbuddhist terms and concepts lack direct translations into English that cover the breadth of the original term. Below are given a number of important Zen buddhist terms, short definitions, and the languages in which they appear. In this list, an attempt has been made to organize terms by their original form and give translations and synonyms in other languages along with the definition.
doan In Zen, a term for person sounding the bell that marks the beginning and end of Zazen
dokusan A private interview between a Zen student and the master. It is an important element in the Zen training, as it provides an opportunity for the student to discuss problems in his or her practice and to demonstrate understanding
gassho A position used for greeting, with the palms together and fingers pointing upwards in prayer position; used in various Buddhist traditions, but also used in numerous cultures throughout Asia. It expresses greeting, request, thankfulness, reverence and prayer. Also considered a mudra or inkei of Japanese Shingon. See also: Namaste
Rinzai Zen sect emphasizing sudden enlightenment and koan study; named for master Linji
Japanese: 臨済宗 or 臨濟宗
Vi: Lâm Tế tông
Rohatsu A day traditionally honored as the day of the Buddha's enlightenment. While deep in meditation under a bodhi tree, he attained enlightenment upon seeing the morning star just at dawn; celebrated on the 8th day either of December or of the 12th month of the lunar calendar
roshi, lit. "Master", An honorific given to Zen teachers that mastered koan.
tangaryō A period of waiting for admission into a Zenmonastery at the gate, lasting anywhere from one day to several weeks—depending on the quality of one's sitting. Refers to the room traveling monks stay in when visiting, or await admittance into the sōdō.
tanto In Zen, one of the main leaders of a sesshin. In a Zen temple, the Tanto is the officer in charge of practice standards, i.e. teaching monks and lay practitioners how to sit, walk, bow, and chant in formal situations