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Can you take one of your exmaples and tell us how the contact with that religion changed Buddhist practices? ?

Most traditions of Buddhism claim that their practices go all the way back to the Buddha himself. When, in fact, many practices have evolved over the centuries to become what they are today. Most have come about because of syncretic mixing with indigenous cultural practices.
Tibetan Buddhism is heir to the shamanic traditions of Tibet, the Tantric movement in medieval India, and late Indian Buddhist scholasticism.
Zen and Chan Buddhism came about after mixing with Daoist and Confucian thought.
Theravada Buddhism, which claims orthodoxy, is actually heavily influenced by a 5th century monk named Buddhaghosa. And the modern Vipassana movement actually derives from a lay-Buddhist meditation movement that began in the last few centuries.
Still, all Buddhist traditions follow a common framework of teachings that can be traced to the historical Buddha (or, at the very least, the early Buddhist schools). That framework is the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, often subdivided into the three practices of Sila (ethics), Samadhi (meditative training), and Panna (insight or wisdom).


  1. There are no teachings and no-one to be taught by them. The meaning of Buddha is Awakened. The historical Buddha left some clues as to the meaning and processes of delusion and the meaning and processes of awakening. However an individual or a culture engages with these clues results in a particular form of Buddhism. It is not a religion but rather a particular form of enquiry.
    The essence of all of the teachings and subsequent cultural forms is that we are all Buddhas, essentially free from birth and death. Profound and yet simple; we are the divinity which we seek!

  2. The Buddha didn’t simply leave a few clues lying around and hoped that others would figure out what he did. During the forty years he lived he preached 84000 different sutras. The scriptures were written down and of course there are commentaries and commentaries on commentaries but his words are there ready for anyone with a willing heart to begin the path to read.
    One of the most important sutras he espoused was the Kalama sutra which you can read for yourself on my lama’s website http://www.lamajigme.com
    Because of the kalama sutra Buddhism was able to blend in relatively flawlessly with other cultures. But the original path is still there. I invite you to go here, and study further.
    om mani padme hum

  3. The proof is in the pudding.
    Whether we are in the right Buddhist path or not will be found out when we start practicing.
    Discussions ,only, can not settle if the path we are following is the real Buddhism or the syncretic mixture.
    That is why Buddha advised Buddhism to be tested like gold before embracing it.
    In summary, when it comes to Buddhism, it is not just talk the talk, we need to walk the walk as well.


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