June 24, 2006 at 7:19 pm #14985
Lineage def.- A.The descendants of one individual; “his entire lineage has been warriors” B.the kinship relation between an individual and the individual’s progenitors C.inherited properties shared with others of your bloodline D. properties attributable to your ancestry; “he comes from good origins”,a special lineage.
Let me first say this is a subject that I reluctantly choose to comment on because I truly dont want to offend anyone. I personally don’t go there with people anymore, no need to defend the gate keeper. We all are here in this physical world for a short time and there is so much more important things to focus on, like practice!
I met Mantak Chia back as a teenager through a Healing Tao Instructor, many years ago and was Ooohed and awed with the Master Yi Eng stories, lineage etc. shortly after, it didn’t matter cause I was in the here & the now and unable to function due to extremely rare health issues & never had any interest but to get healthy and live a productive life. I knew in my heart from the moment I started practicing these formulas that they are authentic and the students around him vibrated very highly.
Fast Forward many years later so much has changed in life, but I still feel the same about all these Tao practices they all have something to offer and are from very talented and gifted teachers. I self healed from these practices through persistence, consistence & insistence to absorb it into my being. Tried many other ways never even came close to same results.
I have had also two other Masters fom China after several years(16+) issue me a document of lineage and authority of two systems. I do know what it is liked to jump through the hoops with Asian teachers in regards to proving my worthieness in their systems, lineage and virtue is very big to them. I have paid only $70.00 one time to learn from one master everything else was a test of follow through. The other one was a nominal fee monthly that helped pay for his rough living in the redwoods.
I teach in 2 hospitals, 3 parks, privately daily. So in closing here is my perception of what all the buzz of lineage is all about. Sorry so long…
To us in the western world, lineage is a nebulous concept. In the teaching of spiritual or esoteric traditions however, lineage is of utmost importance.
Let’s use “lineage” by using a illustration taught to me as the “telephone” game in reference to this. In this game, everyone sits in a circle and one person whispers a phrase to the next. Each in turn passes on the phrase until it gets back to the originator. The result rarely resembles the original phrase. This is an example of “lineage of phrase”. If the game is interrupted after the first 2 or 3 people, the phrase is probably very similar to the original but by the 20th person, it has been altered dramatically.
Now let’s change the rules of the telephone game to try to keep the original phrase intact. Instead of passing The Phrase to one person, the Originator passes it to many people. After years of repeating and explaining The Phrase he selects those who have best understood and remembered The Phrase and makes those people Teachers. The Teachers do the same thing, so that at each generation there is a returning to The Phrase.
Along the way there may be some alteration due to changes in collective consciousness or culture, but for the most part The Phrase remains the same. The Meaning of The Phrase remains the same since each teacher will test the students for understanding of The Meaning as well as memorization of the words of The Phrase before considering them as Teachers. This formula for returning to the original phrase at each generation would allow many generations with little or no corruption of The Phrase. There are many ways in which The Phrase can be altered, even corrupted. For instance:
Students other than those named as Master,Teacher or Sifu pass on their understanding of The Phrase. At first it wouldn’t vary much from the original phrase but there would be some change as the students would not necessarily have shown the same understanding and memory of The Phrase as a Teacher. If each of these unauthorized teachers went through the same process of choosing their own teachers, similar but varied versions of The Phrase would evolve. If these successive teachers did not ensure quality standards, The Phrase would quickly mutate until it was unrecognizable.
Someone outside the circle of students overhears The Phrase. This individual would not be party to the discussions about The Phrase and would never have the chance to learn The Meaning and be tested in their understanding of The Phrase. The Phrase passed on by this individual would only be a phrase devoid of embodied understanding.
Student disagrees with the Teacher as to the Meaning or the words of The Phrase. That student might choose to change The Phrase and therefore create a new phrase. The new phrase may have inherent value but it isn’t and shouldn’t be called The Phrase.
Lineage is all about keeping the knowledge pure and true to “The Phrase,formula” the original teachings. In any spiritual or esoteric practice, it is essential that the teaching at each generation be held true to the original teachings. This does not restrict the practitioner or the student. It only restricts the teacher and only in the way the knowledge is passed on. Each recipient of the knowledge must make it his or her own but each time one becomes a Teacher there must be a return to The Phrase. If this does not happen, then after only a very few generations the knowledge becomes corrupted and lost. This is also the rationale for the secrecy in most traditions to protect the knowledge from being misunderstood or misused, rather than maintaining some sort of elitism.
There are clear examples of this phenomenon all around us. Some Daoist, Buddhist & Martial Traditions in most schools now bear little resemblance to the pure teachings of the Originals. Most esoteric teachings have numerous “copy-cat” versions, often using the same names as the Original.
The Daoist practices has been hugely affected by this “telephone game” in the last decade or more to the point where many people calling themselves Daoist Masters, Priest’s, Divine Chaneller of the Dao have had no more than a few hours training. Many of them have never given or received oral traditions.
A authentic lineage follows a path, and true- Healing Tao has been an a evolving tradition in the United States with Michael Winn having this mission to perserve, promote, relanguage and educate many people.
It follows still a authentic path of Daoist traditions, Westernized for Western needs to make them practical. With any tradition it grows and will utilize Senior teachers insights and personality.
So how do we evaluate an authentic lineage? Try the practice; investigate it’s history, observe its student’s results. I would view the efforts of Mantak Chia Michael Winn & many others as a standard to follow on how to keep a lineage true to the needs of the Western student.
I have meet and studied with many Daoist from Asia over the past two decades all of them concede the same way when you utter “mantak Chia”, first Asian to betray its tradition by releasing hard to get Asian widom for utterly nothing to the “round Eye”; & his neidan traditions are authentic and powerful.
I have seen his books and videos in their personal houses also, which makes you also wonder too.
In closing I believe Lineage can either be overrated or underrated, I go by the results of what the practice is. I do believe groups that charge $1,500 , $2,500 for a weekend or $160,000 for a Daoist mastery program is commericialism.
Everyone should be paid to deliver the mission, to support the mission.
My intial reaction to someone asking $160,000 is you gotta be kidding…give it to healing Tao they have been around and have a definite mark in the Taoist practices & many, Many excellent students and teachers to prove their results, and not at a price where you would have to re-finaince your house at.
In the Spirit of Lineages…SnowLionJune 24, 2006 at 9:29 pm #14986
I really enjoyed this post… It cleared up a lot of questions I’ve always had about ‘lineage’. But I still have a few unanswered questions… that’s probably coz they dont have definitive answers, but they may be usefull to explore:
This idea of purity of lineage implies that there is an original ‘true’ practice and then it gets handed down the line. Where did the original Phrase come from?
Lets say some smart dude had an inspiring experience, and then managed to facilitate such an exprience in someone else… and that’s how The Phrase got started.
Isn’t it possible for these inspiring experiences to happen to people without a lineage?
This complicates matters a little… what if a plumber comes to fix my toilet, and tells me that in fact he has had an enlightening experience and could teach me to have it too?
I enjoy comparing these different Phrases from culture to culture… and they all have a very similar pattern… In fact it seems that these spiritual truths are independent of any lineage… it’s something that exists in the human collective unconcious and every now and then a plumber manages to tap this wisdom!
Is it not counter-productive to rely on someone else having The Phrase? Doesn’t this stop us finding our individual phrase that is based on this non-local wisdom? Is it not a cultural thing to rely on some master as having so ‘true’ knowledge?
I’m in no way suggesting that one shouldn’t seek out a teacher, or some system. But relying on lineage as a sign of authenticity seems somehow contrived. More and more, as I’ve been progressing in my practices I’ve been finding that you can dissect any aspect of reality and you will find The Phrase right there… I get the same feeling when I study the I ching as I do when I study an orange or a James Joyce novel or even the binary numerical system…
right I’m off to leaf through the phone book in search of an enlightened plumber :0)June 24, 2006 at 10:44 pm #14988
Isn’t it possible for these inspiring experiences to happen to people without a lineage?
absoultely…It is a new era and more an more great change takes place now, I encourage uniqueness within you and all great things are developed by someone which would be the originator.
I meet people all the time who already harness the ability, that just need guideance to make it useful-suggestions.
I believe it is a true artform and that it should be given the freedoom for you to expierence it, shape it.June 28, 2006 at 6:03 am #14990
some dogma follows
the only initiation is selfinitiation
tao as the teacher
and the body of nature
one’s lineage is one’s connection to nature
lineage teacher teaching is just teaching his self
a form of externalization of internal practice
and self not much of ancestral manure
no connection to the allbody of nature shows a stuck lineage
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