Chapter

At the Marrow: Practice and Belief

James-William Coleman

in The New Buddhism

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780195152418
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849314 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152418.003.0004
At the Marrow: Practice and Belief

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This chapter discusses the differences among the three major branches of Western Buddhism and then turns to the common ground they share. These include Zen, Vajrayana, and Vipassana Buddhism. Zen was the first style of Asian Buddhism to take root in North America and, not surprisingly, it is has the largest influence there. Vajrayana groups practice many complex and intricate rituals, but in contrast to the formality of most Zen practice their approach seems far more casual. The Vipassana movement's roots are in the Theravada Buddhism of Southern Asia, which is by far the world's most conservative branch of Buddhism—in both its steadfast adherence to the Buddha's original teachings and its strong emphasis on the importance of celibate monasticism. Yet Vipassana is more westernized and less traditional than either Zen or Vajrayana.

Keywords: Western Buddhism; Buddhists; Zen; Vajrayana; Vipassana; Theravada Buddhism

Chapter.  19251 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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