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What are all the different types of Buddhism?

edited February 2011 in Buddhism for Beginners
I am so confused! I want to know all the types of Buddhism because I have no idea which one is for me. I get so confused :P. Thank you for reading! (^^)

Comments

  • Theravada (School of the Elders), including such subschools as the Thai Forest Tradition

    Mahayana (Great Vehicle), including such subschools as Zen

    Vajrayana (Diamond Vehicle), also known as Tibetan or Tantric Buddhism

    That's just a start. You may want to Google, or go to http://www.buddhanet.net and do some research. :D
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    edited February 2011
    First of all, how long have you been practising?
    Secondly, there is no urgency, requirement, expectation or need to adhere to nay "Type" of Buddhism. Take your time.

    there are two main Schools, or traditions of Buddhism.
    One is Theravada.
    The other is Mahayana.
    Mahayana covers Tibetan Buddhism, Zen, ND Pure land, to name the three best known ones.
    That is it, simply put.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    Yes.
    It's proselytising unnecessarily, and off-topic.
    The OP was not enquiring about what teachings to read, they were asking about different types of Buddhism.
  • OK, but you understand that the different schools all have their roots in a particual teaching. That is the difference between them.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    Yes, of course.
    But here is not the place to discuss them.
  • But if he/she wishes to know about the various schools, they should know which sutra these schools base their practice on. If they are not based on a sutra, then they are not practicing Buddhism. This may make no sense to the OP ATM, but when they read the sutras they will see for themselves.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    We are in disagreement here.
    All schools base their practises on Sutta/sutras. Simply because they may not be the Lotus Sutra, does not mean they are 'false' schools or traditions.
    The OP should examine all schools and see which teachings resonate best.

    Without undue influence.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    the word is 'expediEnt'.
    And quit now, or I'll just keep deleting.
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    The Lotus itself states that it is foremost among all the Sutras of past and future. And Shakyamuni 'honestly discarded expediant means to preach it'.
    Right, and this only applies to people who accept the Lotus Sutra for what it purports to be. Others don't, end of story.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    Apologies, I deleted the post you quoted Jason, as you were replying.
    Sorry, Bud.
  • the word is 'expediEnt'.
    And quit now, or I'll just keep deleting.
    The Lotus predicts:

    "These men with evil in their hearts,
    constantly thinking of worldly affairs,
    will borrow the name of forest-dwelling monks
    and take delight in proclaiming our faults."

    - Ch 13

    You have made it clear to wish to censure the Lotus Sutra. The Lotus itself predicts:

    "It [The Lotus Sutra] will face much hostility in the world and be difficult to
    believe."

    - Ch 14

    ".. not allowing his mind to be roused or swayed;
    when others, convinced they have gained the Law,
    harbor thoughts of overbearing arrogance
    and he is treated with contempt and vexed by them.."

    - Ch 17

    "After the Buddha has passed into extinction,
    in an age of fear and evil
    we will preach far and wide.
    There will be many ignorant people
    who will curse and speak ill of us
    and will attack us with swords and staves,
    but we will endure all these things.
    In that evil age there will be monks
    with perverse wisdom and hearts that are fawning and crooked
    who will suppose they have attained what they have not attained,
    being proud and boastful in heart."

    - Ch 13

  • I have only been studying seriously for about a year and a half now, but am currently seeking out a Sangha associated with The Order of Interbeing (Tiếp Hiện) founded by Vietnamese master Thich Nhat Hanh. You can check out their website at PlumVillage.org
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    edited February 2011
    The Lotus predicts:

    "These men with evil in their hearts,
    constantly thinking of worldly affairs,
    will borrow the name of forest-dwelling monks
    and take delight in proclaiming our faults."

    - Ch 13

    You have made it clear to wish to censure the Lotus Sutra. The Lotus itself predicts: ........

    Well, you would keep pushing it.
  • Wow @Chogetsu... Are you looking for Discussion Board Martyrdom in the name of Nicherin Buddhism?
  • @Chogetsu I don't believe anyone is trying to censor the Lotus Sutra, but rather they are trying to manage discussions and keep them on topic.

    I hope you realize that while your beliefs are respected here, many will disagree with them and have their own opinions. Asserting that one branch of Buddhism or a particular sutra to be superior to others is very offensive to some people. People may offended be in the same way when Christians come to the board to proclaim that Christianity is the only path to salvation and that all others are wrong.
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited February 2011
    Yeah. We were doing great all being respectful of each other's traditions and opinions and now it's like no matter what opinion anyone has, it's wrong and inferior. Very un-Buddhist behavior, and the mods have been very nice about it up until now. I think it's been pushed beyond the limits of civility, and bad bad things are going to happen soon (not for any of us good people).

    For the OP, here's some further information from http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Different-Types-of-Buddhism&id=712243:

    Most scholars divide the different types of Buddhism into three sections. The first of these is Southern Buddhism, or Theraveda Buddhism. The word Theraveda is a word in the Pali language (thought to be spoken by the Buddha) that means "the Doctrine of the Elders". The biggest aim in the Theraveda practice is to use meditation to train the mind, and to encourage freedom of the mind from suffering. This freedom from suffering will allow you to reach the greatest spiritual goal - Nirvana. Theraveda Buddhism is the only surviving school from the earliest years of Buddhism, and it is mostly practiced today in Sri Lanka, Laos and Cambodia.

    The second type of Buddhism that is mentioned is Eastern Buddhism, also known as Mahayana Buddhism. This sect not only teaches the Pali Canon (which is the religious text of Theraveda Buddhism) but also includes additional texts and beliefs. In order to reach Nirvana, Mahayana Buddhists believe that a person must practice universal compassion, which is the altruistic quest of the Bodhisattva to attain the "Awakened Mind" of Buddhahood. Mahayana Buddhism also has a level of mysticism involved. This type of Buddhism is practiced in China, Korea and Japan, as well as parts of other Asian countries.

    The third of the different types of Buddhism is Northern or Tibetan Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism is also considered to be a type of Mahayana Buddhism, but it also embraces other teachings, texts and practices that are not seen in the Eastern type of Mahayana Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism is also sometimes called Tantric Buddhism or Vajrayana. This type of Buddhism uses both the Mahayana and Theraveda scriptures, as well as a number of Buddhist Tantras - all of which are aimed at attaining Buddhahood in just one lifetime instead of requiring many reincarnations.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    Yeah. We were doing great all being respectful of each other's traditions and opinions and now it's like no matter what opinion anyone has, it's wrong and inferior. Very un-Buddhist behavior, and the mods have been very nice about it up until now. I think it's been pushed beyond the limits of civility, and bad bad things are going to happen soon (not for any of us good people).
    Yep, true dat.

    Gone.

  • @Murasaki337 To return to the original topic, I would highly recommend learning as much as you can about the various sects of Buddhism. There are many excellent books on the subject that can help you find which path is right for you. Most schools share some similarities, such as meditation, so practicing a simple meditation on the breath is a great place to start.

    Perhaps if you provided more information about your current Buddhist knowledge we could give more advice or recommendations. Topics such as what have you studied, what do you know, are there any particular schools that appeal to you, etc, would be helpful to know.
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