The difference between Theravada and Zen may be like night and day. I favour Zen over Chinese Mahayana because I don't quite prefer the Pure Land beliefs. Hence, I want to compare these two.
I already know that in Theravada, one seeks Nirvana and it is sufficient to become a Arahant which is already difficult enough to attain. However, in Mahayana, one aspires to go in the path of the Bodhisattva.
However, philosophically and doctrinally, what are the major differences between Theravada and Zen? Please elaborate.
For e.g. Zen has Buddha Nature and Emptiness which do not feature in Theravada. Compassion also features more strongly in Zen than Theravada. Zen also has Absolute Truth vs. Relative Truth? On the other hand, Theravada strongly emphasizes the Four Noble Truths, Three Marks of Existence, dependent origination and the Noble Eightfold Path. I'm not sure how important these Theravada doctrines are to the Zen tradition.
How do these differences in philosophy shape the differences in mindset and world views between the two?
For example, are Zen Buddhists more compassionate towards the suffering of others, while Theravadins are more detached from, and thus more apathetic towards the suffering of others?
Another example: Are Zen Buddhists more in touch with their emotions in terms of compassion and appreciation of the Buddha Nature and Emptiness in nature and in the world around them, compared to Theravadins who may want to be detached from their emotions?
The philosophical and doctrinal differences may also influence differences in terms of practice. Any examples of this?