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Theravada vs Diamond Way

I like the relative simplicity of Theravada, it seems to have less rituals etc. than other paths and there seems less emphasis on the importance other deities.

Until recently I was quite happy following this path and then somebody threw a spanner in my works and tried to sell me down the modern Buddhism path with the theory, that I might be missing out and would be better off going for a modern westernised version of Buddhism where most of the hard work of interpreting past teaching has already been done for me.

Is there anything right about this theory? The modern westernised versions of Buddhism all look a little cultish to me (NKT, Diamond Way).

Comments

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I don’t think there’s any harm in shopping around the different Buddhist traditions to see what works for you.

    We’re lucky in the West to have the exposure to all these traditions.

    My first encounter with this path was NKT and the Gelug tradition. However I found their focus on deities and gurus off putting after a while and moved over to the Thai Forest tradition. Finding that much more suitable for me.....

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    It's all about... whatever floats one's raft & keeps it afloat
    Dharma practice is Dharma practice....It makes no difference what group I'm in....
    Different stroke for different folks

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    The Insight Meditation Society/Center is Theravada based, translated for the western mind. This is the group founded by Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein, Gil Fronsdale and Tara Brach are also teachers in the tradition.

  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran

    There are some modern schools close to me and they do appear very cult like e.g Kadampa, I’d go as far as to say their literature is misleading and self-serving. They’re building big followings from people not previously exposed to Buddhism and these people are not learning the traditions but instead some almost perverse alternative, it’s quite concerning and I would advise people to stay well clear. Something to be aware of.

  • FairyFellerFairyFeller Veteran
    edited May 12

    @Bunks said:
    My first encounter with this path was NKT and the Gelug tradition. However I found their focus on deities and gurus off putting after a while and moved over to the Thai Forest tradition. Finding that much more suitable for me.....

    My nearest centre is NKT (about a twenty minute drive and they’re just opening up a new branch in my hometown above a shop or something similar) and I remember making enquiries when I first started down this path about 8 years ago. They were very very very very welcoming and I had to virtually run out to stop them selling me more than one book, my Jedi Senses told me not to get involved. When I read the book (Steps To Happiness or something similar) it made me really uncomfortable. I know we’re supposed to be all welcoming and I’m sorry to judge.

    I live about a two hour drive from a Thai Forest Tradition Monastary and it’s the exact opposite there. I’m just left to get on with it but the ‘locals’ just seem to know if I want to talk, it’s just a long way to go. I think I’m just going to stick with the Thai Forest Tradition and make the journey on special occasions.

    lobster
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @FairyFeller said:

    @Bunks said:
    My first encounter with this path was NKT and the Gelug tradition. However I found their focus on deities and gurus off putting after a while and moved over to the Thai Forest tradition. Finding that much more suitable for me.....

    My nearest centre is NKT (about a twenty minute drive and they’re just opening up a new branch in my hometown above a shop or something similar) and I remember making enquiries when I first started down this path about 8 years ago. They were very very very very welcoming and I had to virtually run out to stop them selling me more than one book, my Jedi Senses told me not to get involved. When I read the book (Steps To Happiness or something similar) it made me really uncomfortable. I know we’re supposed to be all welcoming and I’m sorry to judge.

    Yeah, similar experience. I am a cautious person by nature and after being involved with NKT for a while I saw a few things that I didn't like too much. Nothing too bad but enough to make me walk away.

    Having said that, I have a friend (someone I respect a lot!) who has been heavily involved with the NKT for over ten years and she seems very happy and content with that path.....

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Trust your gut/Jedi sense.

    Instead of lusting after thangka, get a poster (the symbology is the same). In the Thai Forest tradition, you can ask any monk for advice. There may be a monk who started with the groups you mention and can provide insight ...

    We even have a Bikkhu you can consult ...
    http://newbuddhist.com/profile/BhikkhuJayasara

    Bunks
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @FairyFeller said:
    a modern westernised version of Buddhism where most of the hard work of interpreting past teaching has already been done for me.

    It’s interesting, my local Buddhist temple, who are Tibetan of the Gelug persuasion, also have ‘modernised’ books often by the Dagpo Rinpoche, the head of their tradition, which they teach from. It all seems to be written in the last 100 years or so in English. There’s still the occasional reference to ancient texts such as Atisha’s Lamp for the Path of Enlightenment, which was the source of the Lamrim tradition, but those texts are not widely read anymore.

    For me personally, I’m not much given to digging through truly old books, I’m looking for something that’s mostly pleasant and simple to read, and even within the realms of modern Buddhism those are relatively rare. But there do seem to be efforts to modernise.

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