The main reason I left the Zen Monastery and switched to Theravada was because (in my mind) the Mahayana practices seemed very similar to me to the Jude-Christian religions, e.g. worshiping Aviloketeshvara, Guan Yin (Virgin Mary & saints), mala beads (rosary), praying, reading Nagarjuna, etc. I was slated to attend the City of Ten Thousand Buddha’s in California, but before I did, this is when I decided to switch. I instinctively felt that I wanted to learn the original teachings of the Buddha. While the “exact” teachings may not be precise, directly studying the Sutta has proven to me the continuity of subject matter of the texts throughout the ages. Unfortunately, the closest Theravada Temple/Monastery is several hundred miles from me.
This web site has been a panacea for me along with Access to Insight and Dhammatalks.org. Your assistance has been invaluable. Truly, your efforts to reveal the true Buddha Dhamma is commendable. Studying the meaning of key words and phrases in the original Pali, and the etymology of certain Sinhala words, I have been able to glean a meaning of the Buddha Dhamma that follows a contiguous thread of thought and meaning.
When I began teaching Dhamma and meditation classes (the basics), I felt compelled to do so. Now, after almost a year teaching, I find that in order to prepare for the classes has also helped me a great deal to expand my knowledge of the deeper meaning of the Buddha Dhamma. Some of the papers I have written have been read by persons around the world. There is hardly a country where someone has not read my papers. I do not know what effect my papers of my teaching has on others, but like me, when I first heard the Buddha Dhamma, I was energized in a way that I still have not been able to explain. I only hope that my efforts to teach the Buddha Dhamma have the same effect on others.
Thanks for the reply.
(P.S. I will make sure not to personalize my posts. Apologies for that.)