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Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

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Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?
By Indrajala (Jeffrey Kotyk)



I have come to think that in the English speaking world Tibetan Buddhism (hereafter TB) is somewhat more popular than other types of Mahāyāna Buddhism. While I do not have statistics available and none are probably available at the moment, I believe the following points demonstrate a greater widespread interest in TB:

Now it begs the question why would this be?

I think these points generally explain why TB is more popular than any other type of Mahāyāna Buddhism in the west. After having some experience with Tibetan, Japanese and Chinese traditions of Buddhism I have come to honestly think TB is far more approachable and accommodating than Chinese Buddhism, at least as I have seen it in Taiwan.

I imagine unless there are large changes to Chinese traditions they'll never really make in-roads into the western world. Some people might take an interest in Chan practice, but forming living stable traditions in new lands means having strong communities and a culture everyone can relate to. For various reasons it seems many westerners can invest themselves emotionally, materially and spiritually into Tibetan traditions, but that is not at all the case with Chinese traditions. I think my points above start to explain perhaps why.

In passing I should note that some years ago Chan Master Sheng Yen and His Holiness the Dalai Lama did have a dialogue. I wrote about this before here.

Source

by Indrajala (Jeffrey Kotyk)
huayanzang.blogspot.com.au