Therevada, the Way of the Elders
The Theravada Buddhist tradition looks to the original teachings of the Buddha as its main guide and authority. The collection of Dhamma discourses, sayings, stories, and monastic discipline known as the Tipitaka includes the oldest historically reliable teachings of the Buddha. These teachings and all-encompassing way of life gradually lead to a liberation of the heart called enlightenment, or Nibbana. This awakening of consciousness was described by the Buddha as the highest and most satisfying form of happiness possible. The path of the Buddha is built on the foundation stones of leading a pure and beneficial life, developing deep inner peace through meditation and freeing the mind with penetrating wisdom. (For basic information about Buddhism click here.) The Theravada Tradition is well established in the Asian countries of Thailand, Sri Lanka and Mayanmar, and from Theravada the style of Dhamma practice known as vipassana has emerged.