[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
It's true, there are different schools of Buddhism with different emphasis. At the end of the day, Buddhism is Buddhism. Zen is a type of Buddhism, a way of doing Buddhism. Tradition says there are 84,000 different "doors" or entryways to practice. What does that mean? Practically, it means that since we're all confused in our own unique way, there's a path that is appropriate for anyone, regardless of their situation.
One of the best ways to get a feel for what the different traditions are like is to show up at a variety of different centers or temples in your area, if you can. It also helps to read around at a site like DharmaWheel, or to just ask a lot of questions.
I hope that helps a little.
https://www.academia.edu/25482900/WHAT_ ... _OF_STRESS
Again, thanks for your reply!
The main focus in the Theravadin schools (the dominant tradition from Sri Lanka->Bangladesh through South East Asia with Vietnam being more Mahayana but a mixture of Theravadin and Mahayana) is personal liberation from samsara typified by the Arhat/Arahant ideal.
The main focus in the Mahayana schools in the cultivation of the Bodhisattva ideal where one seeks the full enlightenment of Buddhahood in order to save all beings from samsara. The Mahayana traditionally stretches from the Black Sea -> Mongolia south to the Southern School countries and over to Japan and Korea but really from Mongolia south (the Kalmyks on the shores of the Aral Sea in Russia are the remnant of the Mongolian Empire that did not later convert to Islam) and including Korea and Japan.
BTW - when I say Mongolia in this context I am including Mongolia people's to the west of Mongolia but not too far south - so the Buddhist people's in Siberia mostly to the West of Mongolia not quite to the Urals.
So this is one way of beginning a conceptual framework of the Buddhist schools.
"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
- Kim O'Hara
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