Thread: Which Buddhist tradition do you prefer?

  1. #1

    Which Buddhist tradition do you prefer?

    Dear friends,

    Which Buddhist tradition (and school?) do you prefer - and why?



  2. #2
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    None. They all have unique ways of looking at Buddhism so all have something to offer, but none have what I would describe as 'the' way for me. I got into Zen practice before I became a Buddhist and then went to the Triratna Centre near me, which was an amalgam of different schools and traditions. Consequently I never got into a tradition and was free to go my own way, doing what I do best which is to dig down into something until I get to the essence of what it contains. I found what I consider to be a core of Buddhism which will do me just fine for the rest of my life.

  3. #3
    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    I was in Soto Zen earlier, but when I discovered the teachings of the historical Buddha I changed to Theravada school. I was very enthusiastic with it, with its teachers like Ajahn Sumedjo, Ajahn Chah, Bikkhu Buddhadasa, Ajahn Brahm, etc... In Zen I learned Zazen and I practice it even when I was into Theravada School. Being in Theravada school I added mindfulness of breathing into my meditation sessions but I started to felt nostalgic about my earlier Zen training and I have returned to it.

    Actually I am doing Zen again and doing mostly Zazen in my formal sessions, studying zen texts and attending teishos. I feel happy and fulfilled with it now.


  4. #4
    Forums Member justusryans's Avatar
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    I am a student of the Theravada school, as Esho says: Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Sumedjo, Ajahn Brahm, etc... I read a lot of books about Zen also. I read a lot of Thich Nhat Hahn in particular, as well as listen to his talks. He is peace personified.
    However I do identify as Theravada, simply because it makes me think of the Pali Canon. Buddha’s actual words as written down after being remembered for several hundred years by memory. That’s quite a accomplishment.

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    Forums Member Cyril's Avatar
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    When I became interested in Buddhism (28 years ago), I read 5 or 6 books written by historians. I wanted a neutral point of view first.
    Then I chose the tradition that seemed to me the closest to the Buddhism of the origins, and the farthest from a religious vision of this doctrine: Theravada Buddhism in the Thai forest tradition.
    From now on, the compilation of Ajahn Chah's speeches is my "bible".
    I also appreciate Ajahn Brahm's books and videos.

  6. #6
    Forums Member KathyLauren's Avatar
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    The closest I get to identifying with any one tradition is that I consider myself a Mahayana Buddhist. I really can't identify with any specific sect within that grouping. The Bodhisattva ideal as a personal goal resonates with me.

    When it comes to interpreting some matter of doctrine, I compare several different traditions, including the Theravada, to see what they have to say on it. What several traditions have in common is likely to be the true Dharma. What they disagree on is likely not to be. I don't consider any tradition to be wrong.

    Om mani padme hum
    Kathy

  7. #7
    Forums Member JadeRabbit's Avatar
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    Hmm...that's a tricky question. I'm not sure I have a preference, but like some others, enjoy the Therevada Thai Forest Tradition of Ajahn Chah and Zen.

    I've not found one that I've wholeheartedly embraced and am critical of both; there's gender inequality in the Thai Forest tradition, and found Soto Zen rigid and strict. At the other end of the Zen scale, Thich Nhat Hanh's approach can be a little soft and flowery.

    Having said that, I feel blessed that there are a lot of options available, and agree with many on this forum that you can't go wrong if you study the original teachings of the Buddha.

    Traditions are just flavours of ice cream; I love chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla!

  8. #8
    Forums Member justusryans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JadeRabbit View Post
    Hmm...that's a tricky question. I'm not sure I have a preference, but like some others, enjoy the Therevada Thai Forest Tradition of Ajahn Chah and Zen.

    I've not found one that I've wholeheartedly embraced and am critical of both; there's gender inequality in the Thai Forest tradition, and found Soto Zen rigid and strict. At the other end of the Zen scale, Thich Nhat Hanh's approach can be a little soft and flowery.

    Having said that, I feel blessed that there are a lot of options available, and agree with many on this forum that you can't go wrong if you study the original teachings of the Buddha.

    Traditions are just flavours of ice cream; I love chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla!

    Agreed!

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