American Buddhism Diagram

I have created the above diagram for a friend who is recently considering visiting Buddhist groups in the USA. I hope this chart helps add some order to his understanding of the myriad of Buddhist Schools in America. My goal was to keep the diagram fairly simple, name the big groups, and show classification according to the 3-Yāna system which is both easy on the eye and the mind while capturing some usefulness. As always, feedback is deeply appreciated.


  1. Adam

    Maybe add Kwan Um and New Kadampa Tradition?

  2. Thanks Adam – I looked these up. In order to keep it simple, I did not break things down too far.

    Kwan Um is a type of Korean Zen –> I have Seon listed. Notice I also don’t have the subsects of Japanese Zen: Rinzai, Soto etc. Likewise, Kadampa is from the Gelugpa tradition though declaring itself separate — I didn’t list the varieties of Nyingma, Kagyu or others either.
    Does that seem reasonable?

  3. Adam

    It probably does seem reasonable, but I really have not much of a clue when it comes to Tibetian/Vajrayana schools and their distinctions!

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