Lineage – a meeting of minds.

 We are unique individuals, rather than one whole: the universe is full of unique individuals. People talk of Oneness, but that has never happened! We can be at one with our unique being (the unity of the two truths), and by doing so, we can be in harmony with others. And so, there may be unity in diversity!

 Having said this, we do need the right company on our journey. It’s not a matter of joining a club: it is hearing a certain view that sounds familiar to us, and that feels right.

 Finding such a connection is a rare occurrence, and very important. It is feeling part of a lineage that our inner being merges with, and this creates a sense of trust, confidence and a firm foundation

 There are many lineages, but it is rare to find a lineage that is unbroken from its source. From a Buddhist point of view, an unbroken lineage is a series of teachings that have been handed down by word of mouth (breath) and continuously practised. Getting such support is unbelievably valuable.

 If we are left to our own devices, we can easily go astray. This may seem a contradictory thing to say, but if we truly want to be free and independent, we first need the discipline of a lineage. This is like studying anything! We then realise that we are on a well-trodden and trustworthy path.

 The problem, in this New Age, is that people want to reinvent spirituality because they don’t understand it: they have no lineage, and so much is speculative. Although a few ideas are borrowed from ancient teachings, they stay in the realms of fantasy with no real substance. The hallmark of such activity is passive aggression, with everything relating to “my way”.

 Lineage is not a matter of joining a group and getting along with other students: they are there to cause you a lot of problems!!! This seems to work as a catalyst to bring one’s negativity to the fore, and this can feel very raw. It’s a tough bootcamp, because there is an assumption that you will all get along because you are all in the same lineage, but that is not always the case.

 It is the teachings, and the living commentary of a teacher, that are the outer lineage. If there is an outer lineage, there must be an inner lineage. This is to do with devotion. Devotion is a deep appreciation for the teachings and lineage: this comes under Guru Yoga, and is a direct link to the lineage holders (knowledge holders) who have gone before.

 I cannot begin to express how magical this is. There is a sort of longing, a supplicating, to certain deities who exhibit qualities such as Compassion, which, in turn blesses us with Compassion and Clarity.

 It is here that we can feel confident and happy to be on our own…in oneness!


Guru Yoga is a huge subject. It is the path of Vajrayana (the Diamond path), and it’s for those with a certain unbreakable attitude towards the emotions and the teachings. This entails commitment, and a lot of preliminary practices…a lot…known as the Ngondro.


Lineage inspires.



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  1. Hiya Tony!

    You wrote: “People talk of Oneness, but that has never happened!”

    Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that “oneness” is not a condition you yourself have ever experienced. I offer that suggestion because there are many who have indeed experienced the state of unity consciousness, and have testified to that realization through the ages, even passing the experience on in the form of certain esoteric lineages, such as Kashmir Shaivism and various branches of Yoga, as well as individual reports from non-aligned mystics throughout the ages.

    Granted, it is a state of consciousness, as is formless consciousness, and egoic consciousnenss, and there is more to realize beyond these states, even to the recognition that nothing happens — not oneness, not two-ness, not anything one can say with human words.

    Perhaps this essay can help clarify:


  2. tony says:

    Thanks, Bob – that’s interesting. There are many points of view!
    All the best

    • Indeed there are (many angles of vision)!

      I am enjoying your fine blog, btw, and glad to see that you are able to communicate your vision and tradition so deftly — I am sure many are benefitting!


      • tony says:

        Good morning Bob,

        In all my years in Buddhism I have never heard the term Oneness used. As stated in the article there is a unity of the two truths, so that could be called oneness or non duality, but it is only oneness for the individual.
        To be at one.

        However this is not a group oneness or is it?

        I was once a disciple of an Indian guru, he chanted “Oneness, Oneness, Oneness.” So did we as disciples. One day my wife and I visited a Buddhist centre, just to see what it was like (It’s good to broaden the mind). The every next day on telling a fellow disciple what we did, the guru through us out and the disciples shunned us. We were shocked to say the least.

        Where did the oneness go? Ah! was a groupness!

        Many in the New Age proclaim Oneness with but do not live up to it. One would at least have thought that oneness came with kindness and warmth. I have met many New Agers who say we should all be at one. This is an impossible ideal that keeps people grasping for something that can never happen. It’s a diversion, making people feel inadequate, and so keep them in spiritual poverty.

        On a retreat we asked about this, and the lama said, “We are not all one. Christ and Buddha are not the same, they do not loose their individuality.”

        Again, there are many points of view, we have to go with what feels right for us.

        • tony says:

          Considering this a little more, as you bring up an important point, and maybe clarify for others.

          The state of Dharmakaya is Emptiness. If it is empty, it is empty for whoever experiences it. There is no thing there, that is just one side of being. The other is awareness/knowing/perception/clarity, this is where we may manifest or express.

          So one could say there is a oneness (or zero-ness) which automatically has awareness/knowing/perception/clarity. This then can manifest either to benefit others in a unique compassionate way, or manifest into an “I”centred entity.

          The meeting of minds and how this manifests, I’m still looking into.

          All the best,

  3. crestedduck says:

    It seems to me that consciousness wants to know/learn/experience absolutely everything in infinity. Yet once it does and has had the experience. It’s to be noted, catagorized, accepted, and then LET GO.
    This last paragraph of Bob’s essay was a internal recognition that resonated positively, but it’s now not to be held onto and fixated upon……That’s my perspective at this current moment, and that’s to be let go of also.

    Last Paragraph of essay:In such a dance, the purpose of the evolution of consciousness would appear to be fulfilled, and yet this realization is more like a good beginning, and what now waits to be explored and discovered in the multiversal halls of Infinity is beyond any human words or concepts that could here be applied. Such is the divine adventure that beckons us all, as we let go of all superimposed and limiting fixation.

  4. Hiya Tony and Rob!

    Tony, I would refer you to the Buddhist teachings, particularly as elaborated in the Chan/Zen Buddhist tradition, of One Mind (which is comparable to the concept/experience of “Oneness”). The great Patriarch Huang Po put it this way: “All Buddhas and all sentient beings are no different from the One Mind. In this One Mind there is neither arising nor ceasing, no name or form, no long or short, no large or small, and neither existence nor non-existence. It transcends all limitations of name, word and relativity, and it is as boundless as the great void.”

    Indeed, Buddha’s famous Surangama Sutra expounded this same truth: “Your mind and your body, and all the mountains, rivers, and spaces of the earth are merely phenomena that exist within the One Bright True Mind.”

    In other words, one can find indications of unity consciousness in all the various traditions, including Buddhism, but remember, this realization/recognition is not the final truth, but still merely a provisional view. As Seng T’san (Sosan), the 3rd Zen Patriarch, noted in his famous Hsin Hsin Ming: ” Although all dualities come from the One, do not be attached even to this One.”


  5. Perhaps we can bridge the differing views and clarify the matter more effectively by considering that, through intellectual analysis, we can can come to recognize that there is no such thing as an independently existing entity. In other words, all phenomena are dependently originating, or as Carl Sagan once noted, “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the whole universe.” The great sage Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj put it this way, in his own succinct fashion: “The reason for anything is everything.” Indeed, one of the 4 Seals of Buddhism is the principle of Dependent Origination, or “Pratītyasamutpāda”.
    Just so, if nothing is ultimately separate from anything else in the great chain of causation, then indeed some might apply the term “oneness” to the nature of existence. Terms are cheap, of course, and subject to conditional interpretations (which is one of the main reasons for so much bickering between various sects and beleif systems).
    Consciousness itself is ultimately indivisible, though that recognition will remain essentially in the realm of notions until it is truly “Seen”. Consequently, direct experience of the matter is recommended to get the full impact of such concepts as “oneness”, and there are innumerable testimonies by realizers that attest to the unmistakable experience of the interdependence of all life and phenomena, aka “oneness”, throughout history.
    One fascinating report of a contemporary nature was penned by Bernadette Roberts. It’s called “The Experience of No-Self: A Contemplative Journey”. It makes wonderful reading, and chroniciles her journey from her early mystical realizations of Oneness, to the experience of no-self beyond that.
    As for myself, I’ll share one particular experience from 1970 that gives some small indication of what the sense of “oneness” is like, although it is truly beyond words:


  6. tony says:

    Personal experiences are always interesting.


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