Tibetan Buddhism offers a quicker way to enlightenment, allowing the devotee more and varied practices and rituals, and many schools of thought. Chinese Buddhism, on the other hand, is much stricter and more complex, requiring a change in lifestyle. In Tibetan Buddhism, the follower need not change his/her lifestyle, but rather his/her perspective.
Buddhism has three main levels of philosophy:
- Hinayana (individual enlightenment)
- Mahayana (enlightenment for the benefit of all)
- Vajrayana (expedited path to enlightenment)
Tibetan Buddhism contains elements of all three, but is primarily focused on vajrayana practices.
Rather than attempt to eliminate ego-centered evils such as ignorance and desire, as in some Buddhist practices, vajrayana emphasizes transforming them into wisdom. Tibetan Buddhism also employs the vajrayana practice of advanced yoga techniques and a form of meditation in which one sees him/herself as the Buddha – in other words, as having already achieved enlightenment.