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Old 24-01-2011, 05:26 AM
Lamby
Posts: n/a
 
Hi Windwhistle,

Good questions. Have you read from the site religioustolerance.org? On this page, they have links to the major world religions. Click on Taoism/Daoism, Buddhism, and you may also wish to read up on Confucianism.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/var_rel.htm

From what I understand, there often wasn't a distinct line drawn for natives - meaning they didn't refer to themselves strictly as Buddhist, Taoist, or what-have-you. Locals often crossed, mixed and matched, between their local religious traditions and other teachings. In Japan, for example, one person may practice all three: Buddhism, Taoism, and Shinto. So don't feel too bad if you can't quite sort your own feelings out. It isn't easy - and may not be entirely necessary. Sometimes these aren't referred to as "religions" but more a way of life.



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Also, within Buddhism, there are as many differences between the types of Buddhists as there are differences between the types of Christians. These buddhists share the same core, but the differences can still be surprising.

If I remember correctly, there are three main divisions: (quoting another source - not my opinions here)

Theravada Buddhism
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this is the first and the southern Buddhism that the word comes from pali language which means that “the Doctrine of the Elders”. Their biggest aim is to use the meditation to train mind, and to encourage freedom of the mind from suffering. This kind or freedom suffering will allow you to reach the greatest spiritual goal the Nirvana. Theravada Buddhism is the only surviving school from the earliest years of Buddhism.

Mahayana Buddhism
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This is Buddhism in eastern Buddhism. This section only teaches the Pali Canon, this is the religious text in Theravada Buddhism but it also includes additional texts beliefs. This type of Buddhism believes that the person must practice universal compassion, and that is the altruistic quest of the Bodhisattva to attain the “Awakened Mind” of Buddha hood. This has also the level of mysticism involved.

Tibetan Buddhism
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This is the third type of Buddhism that was located in the Northern. This type of Buddhism is also considered to be a type of Mahayana Buddhism, but this was also embraces other teachings, texts, and practices that some are not seen in the eastern type. This is also sometimes called Tantric Buddhism or Vajrayana and this was uses both Mahayana and Theraveda scriptures.

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How come all the great saints, saviors, enlightened beings are always men?

At risk of upsetting some, I believe it isn't that there were no women of importance who were spiritually significant, but that possibly (depending upon which religion you're looking at) there may have been info "left out" about important women by various human authorities who did the editing and disseminating of information. I sure hope this doesn't get me flamed, but I believe women were and are just as vital spiritually as men. By the way, google about Archangel Gabriel - you may find Gabriel has been sometimes thought to be female, but more often interpreted and referred to as male.

Hope this is of some help.
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