It wouldn’t be surprising if many people in the modern world encounter this lineage through secular contexts such as Stress Reduction Meditation, meditation apps and Recovery programs. Being the oldest school with a resurgence in southeast Asia in modern times has made this tradition more accessible through a somatic focus. Traditionally, the Theravada lineage was focused on achieving  ‘Nirvana’ for one personal sake but that path isn’t as clear cut in modern times.   


While the Theravada path had its foundation on personal liberation, the Mahayana schools expand the motivation to seek liberation from samsara for the being of all beings. This critical point of departure is incorporated into many of the teachings and practices of  modern lineages such as Zen, Thich Nhat Hanh’s and Chan. 


The Vajrayana path builds on many of the teachings/practices of the Mahayana path but also includes more ‘advance’ practices that accelerates the possibility of  achieving enlightenment in one lifetime. Although there are Vajryana lineages  in other countries besides Tibet, the bulk of Tibetan Buddhism falls into this category.