I tend toward the view that lineage is important. While I consider myself a non-sectarian, and by this I mean that I will not disparage any of the authentic schools of Buddhadharma (Theravada, Zen, Mahayana/Vajrayana, Pure Land, Tendai, Shingon and others), or even other traditions for that matter (as long as they do not cause harm to others or breed things like hatred, etc), I have found that in my own practice and ongoing relationship with the Dharma, I have been extremely blessed by the lineage I consider my spiritual home – the Jonang.
This is where I have received teachings, been shown the kindness of my teachers, been offered instruction in meditation, received empowerment into sadhana and have established a subtle link with the lineage masters of the past. Not exclusively, as I have also received some teachings from the Gelugpas and an empowerment there as well, and I have also read Dharma books and articles, and listened to online Dharma talks coming from the Kagyu, Nyingma and Sakya lineages as well. I am grateful for all of these, yet when it comes to my day-in-and-day-out connection, what I feel in my heart when I quiet myself to do my daily practice, it is the blessings of the Jonangpas that come through loud and clear.
For me, it makes sense to learn about various transmissions of the Dharma, to honor and respect them, to consider how they benefit beings and act as a vehicle for the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni, to appreciate the beauty and wisdom, while at the same time to embrace the techniques and practices that have been handed down mouth to ear within the lineage I have entered as a lay practitioner. To this end, I share the following ‘Prayer for the Flourishing of the Jonangpa’ (English translation) that I have received from the Jonang lineage.
Prayer for the Flourishing of the Jonangpa
The Great Driver of the Supreme Vehicle of Madhyamika, the teaching of definitive meaning.
The Dharma King, Jonangpa.
Of his tradition of Lineage Holders,
The most important are the countless number of great scholars and Mahasiddhas,
Among these, Drolvi Gongpo [Jestsun Taranatha], in particular, is the Master of Tantra,
May his teaching flourish forever.