Exploring the Great Masters

Bodhidharma by Genpo, 1994

Every successor in the lineage of Zen is a Buddha/Patriarch.  That is the beauty of the Zen lineage, I would say.  There are beauties to every lineage, but the Zen lineage really truly acknowledges that every ancestor, or patriarch as we call it, is a Buddha, and every Buddha is a patriarch or an ancestor.  In other words, there are no patriarchs apart from Buddha, and each has the power to decide how to embody and transmit the Dharma.  Each Buddha/Ancestor is the living embodiment, manifestation and head of the lineage, acting with wisdom and compassion.

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