Wednesday, 12 June 2019


334. Lineage is important in Zen. A Zen master teaches within a line of enlightened masters that is said to go back to the historical Buddha. In the Mumonkan there is a koan that tells how Shakyamuni Buddha started the Zen lineage when he held up a flower before the assembled monks and no one responded except for Kashyapa who gave a delighted smile. There upon the Buddha announced that he was entrusting his Dharma to Kashyapa. This heart-mind to heart-mind transmission of the Buddha's Dharma has passed from master to disciple down through the ages until the present day. Needless to say, this is a myth, but a myth that is the bearer of an important truth that each Zen practitioner must realise for him or herself.

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