i repeat what johnny said
mahayana and theravada is differentiated mainly with the motivation to practice, mahayana motivation is the wish to benefit all beings and bring them to full enlightenment while theravadins are oriented with individual liberation.
and mahayana practitioners because of bodhicitta can achieve full enlightenment while arahats of theravada can only achieve individual liberation ( nibbana)
therava is mainly practiced in monasteries, mainly forest monasteries, of course there are lay practitioners also. the main thing in lay life is keeping vow's and meditating. developing shamatha and vipashyana.
in mahayana there is so much material to work with. the mind training or lojong teachings are great teachings to work with in daily life as a lay practitioner. mahayana suits perfectly for people deeply connected with western world and all this mess, its a great opportunity to practice bodhicitta in aspiration and action and is the seed of enlightenment.
if you wanna know more about mahayana you can ask me or someone to elaborate more and tell more about mahayana..
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....
In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….