Wikipedia lists schools in this section ...

Schools of Buddhism (Theravāda subschools)

... but, those pages which describe each school focus on doctrine or philosophical aspects (and don't always emphasise the differences with other subschools).

I am interested in aspects that have more to do with practice and disciplines, e.g.:

  • What are the main differences in how monastic life is led in each of these subschools?

  • What does meditation practice focus on and how does that change from one school to the other?

For instance: I know that in the teaching of Mahasi Sayadaw there is an emphasis on verbalising whatever is taking place in the present moment; whereas Ajahn Chah focuses on "opening the heart". I expect other subschools to neglect walking meditation of discourage verbalisation, others not to allow nuns, etc.

Edit -- an answer mentioned that Wikipedia also has another page ...

Theravada (Monastic orders within Theravāda)

... which discusses nikayas rather than subschools and so which is more pertinent to my question. Unfortunately, those pages too don't discuss, detail, nor compare, the discipline and meditation practice.

1 Answer 1


The question quoted Theravāda subschools on Wikipedia.

There's another list on Wikipedia -- i.e. Monastic orders within Theravāda -- that identifies specific characteristics of various "monastic nikayas", which is part of what the question is asking about.

  • 2
    Unfortunately, both that section of Wikipedia and the pages linked by it do not go into any detail about practice and discipline. Commented May 6, 2019 at 15:27

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