Lineage Zen or patriarchal Zen is a special transmission of the “Living Word”, or “Logos“, outside doctrinal teachings and concepts from mind to mind, which has been reexamined and polished from zen master to zen master for over 2,500 years and will continue for untold generations.
The Living Word.
Deep and unfathomable as the sea.
Buddha refers to one who has become awakened through his own effort and insight, without a teacher to point out the Law (Dharma “right way of living”). Buddhas are fully awakened and have completely purified the mind of the three poisons of desire, aversion and ignorance. A Buddha is no longer bound by Life and Death, and has ended the suffering which unawakened people experience in life.
Face to face, a thousand miles away.
The underlying great wisdom in zen does not need to be searched according to the teaching, it is always there. If the seekers simply abandoned their continuing effort to maintain the illusion of the existence of an “I”, the wisdom would immediately be settled. Students have to be willing to give up their self-centered thinking and ultimately the self. The road is always at the same time the goal in zen practice, as the fulfillment is always present.
Who continues the patriarchal zen lineage?
You! When chickens are cold, they go up into the trees; when ducks are cold, they go down into the water.
The awareness of non-duality, the illusion, that things differ and that the Self had its own existence which was confined from the rest, gets dissolved with the living word.
Bodhisattvas are considered as beings who pursue the highest levels of knowledge and wisdom and strive on the way of enlightenment to realize it themselves in order to use it for the salvation of all living beings. The core idea is not only to get enlightenment themselves and for themselves alone, but instead to help all other beings, also from the endless cycle of life & death.
Insight or awakening is to be followed by further training by the zen practitioner to deepen this insight, and learn to express it in daily life.