Should this question be asked, on the main site:

How do I know which type of Buddhism is for me?

Is it answerable, potentially useful? If that's the question title, what would be appropriate question text?

It was an up-voted suggested question topic on Area 51.

Also what tag should we use for that question? When I edited meta-tags recently, I added a new tag on meta, (I thought of calling it 'schools' or 'branches', decided 'traditions' was respectful etc.).

On the main site, though, I later discovered that the tag is used for "holidays, rituals, marriage" etc. Is there a tag on the main site for questions about comparing these schools (if so, which tag is it; if not, should there be one and what tag-name should it have), or are there just separate tags for separate schools, e.g. and ?

2 Answers 2


Very important topic!

I would not ask this question in such broad form though. I'm afraid this will be like comparative-religion questions, answers coming from limited perspectives of mostly being familiar with "my" school and assuming it to be better ("truer") than others.

If we assume that what type of Buddhism is better for you depends on you, then we could ask this as: "what factors in a person are responsible for affinity to a particular school of Buddhism" -- although this could get speculative...

Another way to ask this would be to focus on one school at a time, and ask: "Why would I choose X (or not choose X)" -- but this will too devolve into comparison.

So perhaps the affinity factors is the safest route, even if not very facts-based.

  • 1
    The fact that it's possible to answer badly doesn't prove it's a bad question: is it a question that's possible to answer well? Re.being "better" I presume a) there are differences b) they're good for different reasons or in different ways. I could probably explain the difference between C++ and JavaScript if I had to...
    – ChrisW Mod
    Oct 12, 2014 at 13:21
  • But you know that C vs Pascal type discussions are banned on all forums since 90s? :) The fact that question can be answered well, does not mean it will be answered well. A good question has an incline, so its answers naturally turn out good. A bad question is inclined toward flamewars, and takes extra effort and wisdom to answer well. Like that question about faith in B vs. C which I had to save.
    – Andriy Volkov Mod
    Oct 12, 2014 at 13:44
  • if bad answers are a worry, you could protect the question, and delete answers which don't confirm to whatever community standards are defined here on meta. You're saying we shouldn't ask that question. Can you suggest a specific phraseology that would work? Or can answers to such a topic only exist in a prejudicial form, on a partisan site? I had an English, non-Buddhist school teacher who explained the difference to me in his class, decades ago. I wouldn't mind getting a second, more informed opinion now.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Oct 12, 2014 at 14:05
  • Also the fact that an expert has to to 'save' it with a good answer still doesn't make it a bad question, imo. Perhaps you're saying no-one on this site is expert enough to give a fair, reasonable, useful, or agreeable answer.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Oct 12, 2014 at 14:13
  • 2
    I'm not saying this question should not be asked. I'm saying, let's ask this: "There are people who prefer some schools to others. Could there be a correlation between person's character and the school he or she prefers, and if yes what are the factors?"
    – Andriy Volkov Mod
    Oct 12, 2014 at 16:42
  • 1
    "Character" might be a good word to use, and a seemingly-interesting factor to ask about. OTOH it makes it ad-hominem while still being superficially objective: "Borland Pascal is for novices who would shoot themselves in the foot if they tried to use Microsoft C, whereas Microsoft C is for lemmings who jumped on the corporate band-wagon never appreciating the productivity benefits of using an IDE." Following the "Good Subjective, Bad Subjective" guidelines e.g. polling for personal experiences would provide some protection against that, then again
    – ChrisW Mod
    Oct 12, 2014 at 17:04
  • this comment suggests that, in that case, it would be a Community Wiki topic.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Oct 12, 2014 at 17:05
  • Ah good point. That's what I referred to as "speculative" in my answer above when I first proposed this idea.
    – Andriy Volkov Mod
    Oct 12, 2014 at 17:11
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Oct 12, 2014 at 17:40
  • This question was asked recently: How to find the right Dhamma teacher
    – ChrisW Mod
    Sep 27, 2017 at 13:26

I think these questions can be answered analytically as "how to choose" rather than "what to choose". Therefore i don't think one should restrict these questions because the type of answers these restrictions on the questions are aimed to prevent are already against the answering guidelines.

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