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 BASIC BUDDHISM

Types of Buddhism

There are two main traditions in Buddhism: Theravada and Mahayana.
Each tradition has its own sacred texts, but the Buddha’s basic teachings are the same.   

Mobirise

Theravada Buddhism

The Buddha’s original teachings. Most Southeast Asians follow Theravada Buddhism, as well as people in U.S., Europe, and Australia.  Theravada Buddhism has up to 50 sacred texts.

Mahayana Buddhism

The goal is to become a Bodhisattva and help others to achieve enlightenment. The Mahayana tradition includes Japanese Zen, Chinese, Tibetan, Korean and Vietnamese Buddhism. Mahayana Buddhism has over 2,000 sacred texts.


Guan Yin is the most popular and well-known Bodhisattva in the world. Guan Yin appears in whatever form or shape is needed to help beings. The two forms most represented are Guan Yin as a beautiful woman holding a lotus flower and Guan Yin as a man with a thousand eyes and a thousand hands. The thousand eyes allow him to see the sufferings of beings, and the thousand hands allow him to reach out to help them. Whatever form, Guan Yin uses compassion, joy and giving to help all beings.

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