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Schools - Dhamma Wheel

Schools

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
Josi P. B.
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Schools

Postby Josi P. B. » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:12 am

Well guys, I finally have choosen the theravada tradition as my path, but I have a lot of questions about it; meanly about the schools. While in Mahayana tradition we face a lot of resources to make our researches and easily find information, thats totally different with the Theravada. And my difficult is about the schools that exist within it. I only know a little about the "Forest Tradition", but besides this one neither other... so I'd love to ask u all which Theravada schools exist today (at least the main ones). Thank you! :anjali:

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retrofuturist
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Re: Schools

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:36 am

Greetings Josiane,

Theravada (Way Of The Elders) is the formal school / tradition / lineage.

Within that though, you may hear of different informal delineations such as "Thai Forest tradition" for example which describe a certain approach, or recognise the legacy of influential teachers.

In relation to ordination lineages you may also hear about these, in the Thai context:

Maha Nikaya: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maha_Nikaya
Dhammayuttika Nikaya : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhammayuttika_Nikaya

It's all much of a muchness though, except for the controversial Dhammakaya Sect: :alien: : viewtopic.php?f=14&t=339 - who personally I'd steer clear of. :spy:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Schools

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:55 am

As I think retro is alluding to, there is not much of a difference between different variations of Theravada. They all see the Pali Canon as authoritative and the text to go to and then also the Commentaries for further elaboration.

The differences are primarily around ordination lineages. See:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theravada ... av.C4.81da

For lay people, it is all pretty much the same; 4 Noble Truths, 8-fold Path, Pali Canon, vipassana meditation with periods of sitting and walking meditation in group activities.

For many Theravadins today I imagine the differences are mostly around how much authority is given to the Commentaries. There are some who reject the Commentaries and prefer to focus on the 5 Nikayas. Others place the Commentaries on a level equal to the Canon and then others still take a more middle position of placing the Pali Canon in highest regard and the Commentaries for additional reference but where the 2 come in conflict, to take the position found in the Pali Canon.
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Samma
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Re: Schools

Postby Samma » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:50 am

I might add that actually Theravada has the advantage of having much of its texts translated into English, while it seems many Mahayana texts have not been translated. Go to suttacentral.net and just start reading, or easier start with an anthology such as Bhikkhu Bodhi's In the Buddhas Words. Also a good place to start is his free intro to buddhism and 8fold path book:
http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma10/bbodhi10.html

There are several compilations of information and talks...so much you could not expect to read/listen to anywhere near all of it all:
http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebidx.htm
http://dhammatalks.net/
http://birken.ca/audio_monastics

Also, I think forrest tradition is more of a general term to refer to monastics that reside in wilderness, take vinaya seriously, and so on. The thai forrest being the best known of course. The thai forrest tradition has gained popularity primarly due to ajahn chah's students spreading west and starting centers. Some history:
http://forestsangha.org/history/
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... stoms.html
Last edited by Samma on Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Kim OHara
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Re: Schools

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:01 am

Good resources, Samma :smile:
There are lots more in the Introductory Resources thread -

:coffee:
Kim

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Schools

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:45 am

A school should be a place where you go to learn, but for many it is more like a school of fish which you join for protection from predators. Whichever way the school turns, you have to follow to avoid getting isolated. :redherring:
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Dan74
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Re: Schools

Postby Dan74 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:45 am

_/|\_

Josi P. B.
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Re: Schools

Postby Josi P. B. » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:43 pm

Thank u everyone for the replies :anjali: , but now I'd like to know which lineage in Theravada defends that even lay practitioners can be arahants and doesnt focus so much in a "ordination way" as the only one to awakening and nirvana. I´m afraid that there is none :console:

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Schools

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:57 pm

All of them accept that lay people can make it all the way to full-enlightenment, as far as I know. See this article I wrote:



It is one of the misconceptions of Buddhism especially a misconception of Theravada; that only ordained can become arahants.
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santa100
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Re: Schools

Postby santa100 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:24 pm


Josi P. B.
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Re: Schools

Postby Josi P. B. » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:58 pm

Thank u all! _/\_

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Schools

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:49 am

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

SarathW
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Re: Schools

Postby SarathW » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:58 am

Well said Bhante!
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Josi P. B.
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Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:01 am

Re: Schools

Postby Josi P. B. » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:42 am



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