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David Burns Dr Davies Shin and Theravada Buddhism Buddhism is not a term one can use to speak about the people of one religion There are several different forms of Buddhism and these forms are very different from one another The two forms of Buddhism being discussed are Theravada and Shin Buddhism When one thinks of two forms of Buddhism one may think that there are subtle differences like in the different kinds of Christianity The fact of the matter is that Shin Buddhism has more in common with Christianity than it does with Theravada A big part of Shin Buddhism is faith while the main point in Theravada is personal enlightenment The ways that the two attain Nirvana are almost totally different Before discussing the ways to attain Nirvana perhaps I should say what Nirvana is It is the goal of all branches of Buddhism In the understanding of early Buddhism Nirvana or what Buddhists call Nibbana is the transcendent and singularly ineffable freedom that stands as the final goal of all the Buddhas teachingshttpwwwaccesstoinsightorgptfnibbana html Buddhists would say that one cannot describe Nirvana one must actually experience it Nirvana is not a place like Heaven it is rather a consciousness and lack of wanting and craving Buddhists feel that one who attains Nirvana is not one anymore at all One becomes blissfully part of a consciousness that is not affected by time and space An enlightened person becomes a part of this blissful Nirvana is the departure from the lives of unhappiness we must live and entry into an entirely different mode of existence where there is nothing but bliss Theravada Buddhists consider themselves and are considered by most the original kind of Buddhists They attempt to adhere to the Four Noble Truths set out by Buddha and the Eight Fold Path or the middle way The Four Noble Truths were created by Buddha to help the people of
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