sarahypp wrote:Dharma is Dharma... there is no difference in any lineage you pursue. If you have a Buddhist temple near you, be grateful and pay homage to the Buddha in the temple.
The basics of Dharma can never be any different, it is all the same in all lineage. It is only the higher practices that when the difference of the Buddhist schools is apparent. So go ahead and study the basics and practice it.
If you love Theravada lineage, then do listen to Ajahn Brahm's youtube teachings. I'm from the Vajrayana school, and still I love listening to Him, so much wisdom and very practical teachings that has helped me lead a happier life after I start applying it to my life. Just google Ajahn's name and you will see so many teachings there... I love His teachings.
The point is, never make an excuse for yourself. Although you've mentioned that you wanted to be ordained as a monk... never let anything hold you back because being a monk you can help many and even your family. The Buddha did not leave his family because he thought it was a selfish act, but because seeking Enlightenment is above all that is important in life. Family and friends, we can only help them so little if we remain the way we are... but with great Dharma practice, we can help them tremendously, even at the point of death, which is the most important moment for us all.
I wish you great accomplishments in this life, may you gain great attainments.
have you ever tried following vajrayana or pure land? there is a VAST difference in chanting "amitabha" constantly and developing faith in him with the wish to be reborn in his pure land after death compared to practicing mindfulness and meditation in this life to see through delusion of self according to the theravada pali canon. and there is a huge difference between practicing death bardo practice all the time and doing yidam practice and what not in vajrayana compared to the current life and non deity related practices in theravada.
some may believe that they all lead to the same place but the pure land school does not claim to lead to seeing through reality here and now. their goal is admittedly a pure land AFTER death. the vajrayana does not claim to reach for nibbana here and now, their goal is to see not self AFTER death in the death bardo. there are schools of thought within vajrayana that are similar to theravada, dzogchen for one, but i'm just giving specific examples about how all lineages and practices do not at all lead to the same thing.
the idea that they all lead the same direction eventually is an opinion. many believe that the teachings that coincide with the pali canon are the only true teachings and that if one strays off to some other non related practices that one will at best end up in heaven after death and be still at risk to fall into lower realms after passing away from there.
i practiced tibetan buddhism for two years based on books, zen for six directly under tutelage at a temple and now i learn directly from the pali canon and as far as i can tell, they are not all cohesive and compatible. there are some exceptions, zen is very similar to the vipassana approach in theravada, they divide usually on the point of buddha nature. for example in some zen sects it is believed someone can realize nibbana out of the blue in a flash by seeing their own true buddha nature. in theravada it is believed that it is a gradual process. however some zen sects are extremely close to theravada practice. some maybe even 80-90% similar if you if you don't get too hung up on literal doctrine. there are even people who present the idea that almost all zen ideas can be found in the theravada, even the heart sutra!
as far as vajrayana there are some teachers and perhaps some lineages that are similar to theravada but i've never read about or known of any that are any more than maybe 50% similar but i could be wrong, perhaps there is one out there, just not that i have seen.
could they all be right? sure, why not. so i'm not trying to slam any traditions or anything, just stating my view on things. perhaps all traditions are the true way and it's all the same thing.