Early Buddhism remaining Early Buddhism with change

Some other guy asked me to ask this here

It seems to me that the Yoga Cara approach to Buddhism falls into three categories, that of observation about the nature of our awareness, philosophical models of what’s going on, and and invention of a system of meditation. It also seems to be that the Buddhism of Early Buddhism can incorporate new understandings of observation while remaining Early Buddhism. For instance, the Notions of conduct, meditation and wisdom as well as the 37 factors conducive to liberation certainly could flourish within the context of the illusory world, the paratantra and the consummate. One would just have to understand that the analytical Frameworks invented by the response to yogacara observations and subsequent inventions of new forms of meditation simply were roads that didn’t need to be taken.

So is anybody been talking in these terms at all or is the idea of not throwing the baby out with the bathwater as far as things that turned up in the Mahayana era by Nature heresy?

And you will probably be more likely to get an answer if you give a real subject/title. Just click on the pencil to edit it.


Sorry, but this is really hard to answer in the form that it’s in so far.

But if this is relevant, study of early Buddhism is simply study of early Buddhism. It doesn’t, in and of itself, imply any particular attitude towards later forms of Buddhism. There are plenty of practitioners from Mahayana and Tantrayana background who read early suttas and find nourishment in them.

Many of those who study early Buddhism, such as myself, focus primarily on the early texts and try to make this the basis of our practice. But humans are not rational creatures! We find connection and inspiration in many places. This might be as simple as whatever community happens to live locally. Or it might be an inspiring teacher. Or just a nebulous sense of belonging.

I believe that an understanding of early Buddhism can always help to inspire and focus our practice, regardless of whether we follow it solely, or with other forms of Buddhism, or indeed, with no form of Buddhism at all.