The Importance of Spiritual Lineage 

Why is lineage important? Because we become who we are because of relationships. The importance of relationships is magnified when we aim to move into higher, unknown levels of consciousness which are revealed to us by our guides and their lineages.

The root guru, our primary connection to the immensity of spirit is of particularly crucial importance. Our spiritual life takes on the flavor of this primary teacher. 

Just as we are not choosing our mother, so we are not choosing our root guru. We may or may not discover this most profound of all relationships in a given life time, and if we do, the root guru does not have to be in a body. 

Beings of the highest accomplishment are not bound to a body. They are able to interact with us where we are. The question is: how open are we to their presence?

What exactly is lineage?

The most well-known depictions of lineage refers to it as an unbroken chain of transmission that can be traced from a teacher or master all the way back to the historical Buddha or to another ‘enlightened being’. Just as in the East, in the Western Latin Rite tradition our enlightened Master Jesus passed down his sacred teachings to his students through apostolic succession. 

Lineage is concerned with authenticity and preserving the spiritual potency of the lineage's teachings. It is a means of ensuring the continuity of the true ‘dharma’, or true authentic teachings as transmitted or shared directly from the sacred master himself. 

It is important to know that an individual doesn’t have to limit themselves to just one lineage. Indeed, there are instances of spiritual teachers holding dozens of lineages and/or having over a 100 different teachers. The lineage holders of the Sangha of the Sacred Heart are fully enthroned with the lineages of both Western Christianity and Eastern Buddhism as a perfect example. 

​Given the fact that the Sangha's lineage holders have received a large number of teachings via multiple transmission modes (and from multiple spiritual lineages), which were then passed onto each of the sangha's spiritual practitioners at appropriate times and speeds, it might seem quite difficult to provide a one-word answer to the question ‘What lineage do you belong to’? 

The best answer to this question is to say that we belong to the lineage of the true dharma. We belong to the lineage of Love.

The unconditional loving kindness, which is the foundation of the Dharma or any spiritual practice, does not belong to anyone, since whoever practices sincerely and with zeal attains realization. Furthermore and as a final thought, if all authentic spiritual lineages (Buddhist, Christian or otherwise) ultimately stem from the same source – the realm of unconditioned truth – then it seems logical to assert that there is actually only one lineage to which we all belong, as one entire spiritual family.