Author Topic: Vietnamese Monks: Blending Mahayana & Theravada Traditions  (Read 1291 times)

Offline Dharma Flower

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Vietnamese Monks: Blending Mahayana & Theravada Traditions
« on: June 19, 2017, 03:35:15 am »
Mahayana Thien (Zen) monks in Southern Vietnam follow the same monastic traditions as Theravada monks, such as wearing saffron robes and begging for food:

Founded in Vietnam in the 1940’s by the Ven. Minh Đăng Quang, the Mendicant tradition is a blend of Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist traditions. Like their Theravada counterparts, Mendicant monks and nuns wear saffron robes and eat from an alms bowl. Doctrinally, they incorporate Mahayana characteristics, such as an emphasis on emptiness and bodhisattvahood. Their chanting is mixed, although more heavily drawn from a Vietnamese Mahayana tradition. From my experience in both Mahayana and Theravada Vietnamese communities, the Mendicants seem much closer to the Mahayanists—with a special affinity for ideals of Theravada discipline and simplicity. (I should emphasize ideals!)

Tịnh Xá Trung Tâm is a Buddhist temple in Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam. It was founded in 1965 and is the spiritual birthplace of the khất sĩ tradition of Vietnamese Buddhism that attempts to recreate the original tradition of the Buddhist sangha by walking barefoot and begging for alms.

There also seems to be many Zen teachers, at least in the West, who also identify as Theravada, due to the similarities between Zen and Theravada.


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