What are the practices that someone needs to do to be considered a Theravada buddhist?

... specific practices

There is no belief system in Buddhism or practices or rituals to perform to fulfill that belief system. Genuine Buddhism is Experiential Thinking.

Buddhism is not based on beliefs but on the observation of experience (ehipassiko). Modern scientists and psychologists seem to be only rediscovering what the Buddha discovered centuries ago (paccattaŋ veditabbo viññuhi). This is why Buddhism has been a science rather than a religion from its inception. It was not a physical sciencesuch as the modern physical sciences that focus attention only on the external world that is considered to be really existing in the form of visible and tangible objective matter and energy.

Buddhism, on the other hand, is a mental introspective (opanayiko) science, or psychology. This is why Buddhism shares similarities with Freudian introspective psychology. Modern quantum physics is only beginning to recognize the fact that objective matter and energy are really subjective concepts. See "Buddha the Radical Shrink"

Buddhism according to the Buddhist humanistic way of thinking is the human effort to solve the problem of existence through an inner transformation or evolution of the human consciousness, which is called Awakening.

The practice of Buddhism, or becoming a Buddhist, is therefore a technique of growth and evolution of the human consciousness. This evolution is not an unconscious process as biological evolution of the species. Nor is it the evolution of the human spirit through the help of a supernatural power. Evolution of the consciousness is a conscious process, which has to be consciously achieved by an individual through ones own human effort. It cannot be performed by one individual on another, like an operation being performed by a surgeon. It has to be executed by each individual through individual effort.

The method used is the growth technique called the Supernormal Eight-fold Way, which raises a normal person to a supernormal level of being. It begins with association with those humans who are proficient, evolved, and awakened, as a result of acquiring the harmonious perspective. This leads to the harmonious orientation or turning ones life towards the goal of tranquility, which is the original state of calmness or stillness of mind that has been lost due to being bombarded by stimuli from the external environment.

When the goal orientation has been achieved, the behaviour in the form of speech, action and life style changes to calmness. In order to maintain this calmness of life, one has to continue the harmonious practice, which consists of withdrawal of attention from the sensory data in the form of perceptual images and memory images, and focusing of attention on the subjective experience. This is being constantly aware of the body, sensations, emotions, and the cognitive process. This stops the reaction of the organism to environmental stimulation, resulting in calmness and tranquility of mind. Return to Tranquility

When one begins the practice that leads to the true goal of life, one is on the way to become a Buddhist. One does not become a Buddhist by birth, or by the practice of rituals, or by wearing certain garb or adornment, or even by going through an initiation ceremony. One becomes a Buddhist only by going through a personal transformation, which solves the problem of existence. eBook "Meditation Level III - Awakening from the dream of existence"

It is often thought today that Buddhism is a religion containing numerous myths, traditions and mystical practices. On close examination of the original teachings of the Buddha, however, we begin to recognize the error in this prevalent view. Therefore, it is vitally important to avoid confusing modern Buddhism, as it is practiced in different cultures today, with what was taught and practiced by Gotama the Buddha and his disciples more than twenty-five centuries ago. What is practiced today in the three main cultural forms of Buddhism, whether Theravada, Mahayana, or Vajrayana, are mainly rituals and ceremonies with symbols of worship, accompanied by emotionally held traditional dogmas. This type of Buddhism is not different from any other religion with different dogmas, rituals and symbols of worship, which serve mankind only as a placebo, in temporarily reducing the anxieties and worries of life, concerning the here and hereafter. A marked distinction succinctly presented would be that the early Buddhists sought refuge in the wisdom of the Buddha, while modern Buddhists seem to seek refuge in his supposed supernatural powers, just as theistic religions have always done. See eBook "Buddha the radical shrink"

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