Which Tradition to fellow? 應修何法?
Someone asked; which tradition is the best and quickest way to achieve enlightenment?
There are Theravada, Hinayana, Mahayana, Vajrayana, Pureland, and Zen and more…. among the modern Buddhist teachings, it is understandable that, many people are unsure of which tradition is best for them.
Think this way, if we are going to New York, some people may go by airplane, some may take train, some may take a bus, and some may want to drive there, it all depends on individuals preferences, but with planning and taking actions, everyone can arrive New York.
The same is true with Buddhism, individuals can take a path best suited them, this often has to do with individual’s Karma connections. There’s only one Truth, and all paths lead to the same Truth, also everyone can and have the capability to achieve enlightenment.
Provided you fellow a pure Dharma teachings, the differences is depend on one’s capacity and diligence.
Reasons for those with little accomplishments; If one has high capacity, but put in little effort in study and practice the Dharma, such person will take many eons to achieve enlightenment.
If one’s capacity is at a low level, low IQ, even though he / she tried very hard, still unable to comprehend the true meaning of Dharma, such person will take many eons to achieve enlightenment.
You can visit different schools of Buddhism, find one that you feel most connected with, do some home work by observing the people around and the teacher first. A large Buddhist center usually have ordained monks or nuns preside as teacher (s), smaller organizations might have a lay-person leading the group, most important is whether they teach pure Dharma.
If you visited a place where teaching are hard for you to understand, don’t be discouraged, always ask for help, there are always people at various level of knowledge who are willing to help.
Don’t become cling to the person who teach you something, because as your understanding of Dharma grows, you will have new teachers appears on your path. Remember! always respect your teachers, and absolutely pay great respect to you Guru /Teacher, and make offerings.
Pure Dharma teachings, can help you with the correct methods to develop your insight and higher wisdom, with wisdom you will be able to solve problems in daily life, Dharma is the key to freedom.
Also, in Buddhist temples or centers, there are no donation baskets passing around, but they all accept Dana (offering), usually a large or small box or a cabinet setting at a corner somewhere, feel free to ask.
Customarily, we make Dana (offering-however small or large amount etc. $1.00 to $1000000…) to the temple and the renounciates (monk and nuns). Because temples need funds to operate and spread Dharma, and monks and nuns devoted their life to study and teaching of Dharma, with lay people’s support, thus Buddha dharma continued for past 2500 years, and down to us.