It may come off as truculent or trolling, but I'm genuinely interested!

In what way is Buddhism different in the West and in traditionally Buddhist nations?


2 Answers 2


Can you make the question more specific? It seems to me there's quite a variety of "Buddhism" in any country -- e.g. perhaps some difference between ordained and lay...

Then an even greater variety between for example Vietnam and China.

And differences -- and similarities -- between East and West.

What do you want to know?

I guess the most obvious difference between countries is a difference in the languages; but even that's not so because a lot of Buddhism-in-the-West is immigrants who retain their original languages.

I found this question unanswerable. I assume it was prompted by something specific or personal, but you disguised that by phrasing it as a general question, so much so that I couldn't tell what you were asking.

  • i've lodged an edit to that question. not all difficult questions are a bad fit for stackexchnage! i think that's important
    – user20628
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 19:42
  • yeah it's too open ended. i guess i was asking about a lack of seriousness, leadership, etc. in the west, but i don't know how to phrase it in one go
    – user20628
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 19:48
  • "i don't know how to phrase it in one go" Yes that keeps me from asking a lot of questions about Mahayana: I don't know what to ask, how to begin! So a figure I need to study a bit, learn something, so that I have something specific to ask about. Then I try that and what I read seems surprisingly understandable, so I still don't have questions.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 20:28
  • OK Chris, i may do that
    – user20628
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 20:41

You wrote, "not all difficult questions are a bad fit for stackexchnage!".

The Help says,

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

Maybe a lot of users don't know that Help text -- and the Help does say the same for every Stack Exchange site, not only Buddhism.SE, even though each site has its own customs about what's on-topic -- nevertheless I think it's quite good advice about what makes for an answerable question.

A lot of question here are theoretical -- even they tend to be specific and about, "an actual problem that you face" -- for example, "I'm reading this [quoted bit of scripture] and I don't understand what this bit means?", or something like that.

Or "practical" questions like, "I have such-and-such problem with my life or practice?", or, "How do you do X?", etc.

  • i was talking about a question that is not very broad
    – user20628
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 20:42

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