How to memorize a large set of lists with foreign language keywords?


Hi Everyone,

I’m new to memory techniques and wonder how to approach larger memorization goals. My goal is to memorize a “core” set of buddhist lists from the Pali canon. In terms of size it’d be about a 6 to 10 page document.

My questions are: (1) what would be a good overall strategy of memorization techniques, (2) would a mindmap of list of lists be a better format, (3) how should I use traditional visual symbols, and (4) how do I approach the Pali keywords?

An example of a (single) list that I want to memorize would be: “Five aggregates of grasping: body (rūpa), feelings (vedanā), perceptions (saññā), mental formation (sankhāras), consciousness (viññāṇa).” The words in parenthesis are in Pali—which I don’t speak. Should I learn the Pali key-words first then the lists or can I do it all at once?

I’ve seen these collections of lists organized in two ways. The first, is an ordered list of lists. (E.g. various lists of 1 item, various lists of 2 items, and so on up to 10. Then the numbers jump around). There is an example document that has most ot the lists I’d want to memorize.

The second way this is organized is in more of a mind map format. For example,

  • The eightfold path includes, items 1, 2, ..., 8 including "right view".
  • Right view --> seeing the three characteristics of impermanence: (Anicca), unsatisfactoriness (Dukkha), not-self (Anatta).
Is one format better than the other for memorizing?

Lastly, I know that various traditions had symbols and imagery to help them remember. E.g. the eightfold path is often represented as a wheel with 8 spokes. I’m not sure where to find out the traditional symbols. Should I use those?

Thanks everyone!