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the best book on zen history i read so far

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"Lineage charts are myth-making devices designed to prove the authenticity of the teaching and to validate the teacher. Therefore, the importance of these charts lays mostly with those at the end of the chart. After all, long-dead masters have no use for lineage charts, but contemporary, living teachers and students may place great importance on these charts. To say that one's teachings are part of a long history that can be traced back to the Buddha himself gives great power and legitimacy to a contemporary teacher."


We've said as much on here before now.

No disrespect to any lineage holder, a good teacher is a good teacher but go far enough back and every lineage dissolves into myth.

That doesn't however delegitimise lineage but it can demystify it and that's no bad thing IMO.

Howsoever long a teacher's lineage may be, if he or she is a useless teacher then her or his students won't learn much of value, lineage or no lineage.

Edited by GrandmasterP
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