The vocabulary of meditation can be a barrier for people who feel that they're entering a strange world, experts say. Here are some common words.
Buddha: meaning one who is awake, in Sanskrit. The Buddha was a person, not a god, who lived more than 2,000 years ago; from a privileged family, he became a seeker of truth and eventually became enlightened.
Dharma: often used to mean the teachings of Buddhism and meditation.
Mantra: a word -- "om" being perhaps the most famous -- repeated as a way to keep the mind focused on one spot during meditation.
Metta: loving kindness. In metta meditation, a person seeks to evoke such feelings for oneself or others independent of self-interest. Phrases such as, "May I be safe, may I be peaceful and happy," can be repeated in the meditation.