Dave The Seeker wrote:As someone new to Buddhism, I have thought that we should accept that each is drawn to their own path.
As in which 'school/lineage' they choose. Or even which religion they choose. As I have read, at least they are being taught the proper way to live and treat each other.
I have seen so many posts in which members say things like "this teacher said.........and you are mistaken".
It is true that everyone finds their own path.
It is not true, however, that all paths lead to what would be considered by the buddhist teachings
to be the perfect cessation of suffering.
The history of Buddhism is full of debate,
and of demonstrating why some interpretations can be shown to be mis
For the most part, Theravada, Mahyayana and Vajrayana all bring the practitioner to the same essential
although there are many details and points of differentiation.
If three people go to the beach, and one walks on the shore and lets the water splash over their feet,
another goes out to waist level and swims around,
and the last one goes scuba diving,
you can't say that one person's experience of the ocean is more or less valid than what someone else experiences
because it's all the same ocean.
If a fourth person stands on the dry sand picking up seashells, they are also having a day at the beach
but it is not the experience of the ocean water. It may be something that the tide has washed up on the shore.
Likewise, a lot of people talk about things like karma, rebirth, merit, emptiness and so on, like picking up shells.
Their experience is valid, but it may not actually be what the teachings say.
Confusion is just as valid of an experience as is wisdom!
Maybe it's just something they read about meditation in a fashion magazine or something.
They are at the beach, and they can see the ocean but they haven't really gotten into the water yet.
So, it may not really be so much a matter of people being judgmental
or an issue of being judgmental vs. being accepting
as it is people trying to clarify misunderstandings and yelling
"hey....the surf is over here!"