There's been a diversity of views here (as usual!). Some have said that Mahayana is irrelevant or superfluous at best. Some have posted various Mahayana materials as having been useful or inspirational.
So I am wondering if people tend to feel that posts from Mahayana practitioners are unwelcome intrusions (as was recently expressed) or simply irrelevant at best. I knows the admins intentions are to have an inclusive forum particularly in this subforum but I am asking how others feel.
I don't want to detract people from their practice by posting confusing information or even what is perceived as adhamma.
So if sharing my perspective as a Mahayana practitioner does that, I'd rather cease and desist.
There's plenty of useful and useless stuff in both Theravada and Mahayana... and for different types of people too. I think it's better to examine specific views and teachings.
And although Mahayana and Theravada have formal, academic distinctions, in practice, they're honestly not very distinguishable.
With that said, I think there are lots of "Mahayana" practices (but in practice, Theravadins do many of these same things too) which have benefits. One thing that clearly stands out as useless, however, is tantra and traditional medicine. Superstitions are not useful.
A few other things I would also say are not useful for Theravadins: Guru veneration (in Tibetan Buddhism), proselytizing among certain Mahayana Buddhists, and of course, obviously, the "Hinayana" polemic when it is directed towards Theravadins (and there's no denying that sometimes, it is).
Dan74 wrote:As for the term "hinyana", firstly in East Asia it means "smaller vehicle" and i not used to refer to Theravada (at least I've never heard it refer to Theravada) but rather to a practice that is limited to concern for oneself and used as a teaching tool. A good example in Zen is the following story:
Sorry, but could you explain what that was about? I don't get it. Was that monk being called selfish because he wouldn't have sex, or is is just supposed to be a funny story?
Zen stories like what he cited are meant to be difficult to understand, because they're supposed to develop discernment, intuition, wisdom, etc.., to be able to understand something beyond superficial logical and empirical analysis, to grasp an intuitive feeling of what's being expressed. Whereas being told, "This story means X," the only thing you're exercising are the faculties of logic and memory. Often, the meaning is also whimsical or comical and multi-layered, not straightforward.
But anyway, about the story: no, it's not about the sex, but about the monk's whole attitude.