Different Buddhist schools have different ideas of what constitutes the best practices while on the path. Many Theravadins believe awakening is caused by direct insight into its causes, so they focus on meditative practices that cultivate insight. I know some zen schools focus on similarly creating insight through koan study. Other branches of Buddhism focus on achieving awake by abiding in the bramhaviharas, so they focus on those kinds of meditation. In any case, there are clearly diverse methods among Buddhists with regards to how best to Practice.
I don't know anything about Vajrayana Buddhism or it's practices, but I want to learn about it because the non-denominational Buddhist group I've recently started attending has a bunch of Vajrayana Buddhists. What practices are particularly important to or unique to Vajrayana Buddhists, and how are they conducive to awakening? If you practice them, do you find that they are valuable on the path? Why is it sometimes said that Vajrayana provides a faster method of awakening?
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