Should Zen stop believing its own publicity? Zen's USP is as 'a special transmission outside the sutras', and in this view our lineage charts the preservation 'mind to mind' of this indefinable 'one'. But what if we saw transmission instead as the linking of the discontinuities of our life-worlds, of our non-separation from all that is? We could then see the lineage as a process of permanent creative rupture allowing our tradition to develop, change and self-correct.
What if we saw the lineage as more like the letters in a stick of Blackpool rock?
By so doing we might see our teachers, and they might see themselves as less separate and less special, as being simply aspects of the relation of their sanghas to the wider world. By so doing we might better avoid repeating the mistakes of the recent past, of the suffering, the disorientation and disillusionment that result when Zen takes itself and its teachers too seriously…
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