Lama (bo|t=བླ་མ་|w=bla-ma) is a title for a
Tibetan teacher of Dharma. The name is similar to the Sanskrit term " guru" (see Tibetan Buddhismand Bön). The title can be used as an honorific title conferred on a monk, nun or (in the Nyingma, Kagyuand Sakyaschools) advanced tantricpractitioner to designate a level of spiritual attainment and authority to teach, or may be part of a title such as Dalai Lamaor Panchen Lamaapplied to a lineage of reincarnate lamas ( Tulkus).
Perhaps due to misunderstandings by early western scholars attempting to understand Tibetan Buddhism, the term "Lama" has historically been erroneously applied to Tibetan monks generally. Similarly Tibetan Buddhism was referred to as "Lamaism" by early western scholars and travelers who did not understand that what they were witnessing was a form of Buddhism; they may also have been unaware of the distinction between Tibetan Buddhism and
Bön. The term "Lamaism" is now considered derogatory. [cite news|title=Constructing Tibetan Culture: Contemporary Perspectives|author=Korom, Frank J.|publisher=World Heritage Press|date=1997]
*See for a list of Tibetan Buddhist teachers.
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