Image by Jose Luis Sanchez Pereyra

Buddhism

Is Buddhism a religion?

Buddhism is classified as a religion.  It shares a foundation of morality and generosity with other religions.  How it differs is that it does not have a God at its head.

Do I have to believe rebirth to be a Buddhist?

It is not necessary in order to practice the teachings of the Buddha. However, it is a strong motivator for moral behaviour.

What is the difference between Theravada and Tibetan Buddhism?

The Theravada Forest or Wilderness Tradition of Buddhism is found in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Laos and Cambodia.  When Buddhism spread to Tibet, it symbolically incorporated aspects of their old Bon religion. They also developed new practices.  These are alternate skillful means to achieve the same goal.....to follow the Eightfold Path to Awakening. Our different personalities are attracted to different traditions.  Choose the tradition that fits for you.

Is it true that in the Theravada tradition, only monks/nuns can reach enlightenment in one lifetime?

No one can realize enlightenment in one lifetime, including the Buddha.  Laypeople can and have become enlightened. Monks and nuns usually have the advantage of dedicating more time to their practice with fewer distractions.The answer will be posted here. Short, easy to read, few sentences maximum, with a link to the pertinent article  or lesson if applicable. 

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