Well Known Buddhists
- Dalai Lama ~ Tulku, embodiment of Compassion
- Thich Nhat Hanh ~ Runs Plum Village in France, nominated for a Nobel peace prize
- Zen Master Seung Sahn http://www.kwanumzen.org
Who are the Hinayana?
- Hinayana is a term meaning "smaller" or "lower" vehicle.
- In order to be classified as following Hinayana, a practitioner must be practicing in order to achieve the nirvana of the hearer (shravaka) or solitary realiser (pratyekabuddha). The motivation of bodhicitta, the wish to attain Buddhahood for the sake of all beings, is absent in these schools, although it may be mentioned in relation to those who actually attained buddhahood. When the aim is buddhahood, a practitioner is following Mahayana.
- There are two main divisions of the Hinayana, the Sautrantika (sutra-ists) and the Vaibhashika (detailists), as compared to the two main divisions of the Mahayana: Yogachara and Madhyamika. The philosophies of the Hinayana schools are collected in the Abhidharmakosha (Compendium of Higher Knowledge) by master Vashubandhu, the brother of Asanga.
- The term 'Hinayana' is often thought to refer to the Theravada school, which developed historically from the Sthaviravada, and the main texts of which are preserved in the Pali language. This is frequently a source of contention, as the term, especially among Western practitioners, has negative connotations. In the Tibetan tradition, among others, the Hinayana is considered a vital and important stage of practice, and one to be thoroughly learnt before embarking on the Bodhisattva path. Indeed, the fourteenth Bodhisattva vows is to refrain from disparaging the Hinayana. To do so is to have committed a root downfall.
- Neither the term Hinayana, or Shravakayana as it is sometimes called, are terms that are considered "politically correct" to use, but unfortunately a proper history of the developments of the Buddha's teachings is not possible without their use.
- The Beat poets of the 40's and 50's popularised Zen in particular but the roots of Buddhism in the West can be traced back to the Theosophical movement in Great Britain, to earlier esoteric orders and the medieval mystery plays of Europe.
Integrated and adaptive systems introduced into the core values suggest the need for a new dharma revelation of the future. Traditionally this new Buddha is known as the Maitreya. Meanwhile many utilize the traditional and simple pragmatism of Buddhism to enhance their life experience. Buddhism is good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end.