Not all spiritual lineages are “alive” with the energy and awareness of enlightenment. It may be that at one time there was an enlightened teacher at the root of a lineage, but over time, the lineage may have become diluted or dried out. A spiritual lineage that is alive is one that continues to transmit the power, purity, and possibility of awakening in the present time.
Occasionally, a teacher is very powerful and their teachings have been purely preserved such that you can connect with them and access their enlightenment. This is rare, and the more time that passes since the teachings were originally given, the greater the chance that the access points to real awakening will have disappeared. If there are no longer beings within the lineage who are awake and can share the lineage transmission, then what is often left are teaching stories and traditions, but probably not an empowerment that can be harnessed for liberation.
There can be a lot of beauty in spiritual traditions, and the teachings may continue to be cherished as a wonderful model for morality and a structure for community. There is no judgment about these types of lineages at all. However, if one’s primary longing is for liberation, finding a lineage with a live current of enlightenment is of utmost importance.
As a being of enlightened awareness, you are a lineage holder. The root teacher for your lineage may be alive or not, there may be a long line of lineage holders going back generations, or you may be the first of your lineage. If the transmission of awakening is alive within you, then you are an active participant in an enlightened lineage. This is a sacred and beautiful gift.
Being part of an enlightened lineage means that you embody the teachings. Beyond remembering and telling the stories, and more than passing along teachings, there is the opportunity to be the transmission of enlightenment with every action and every breath–to become the living embodiment of the lineage itself.
Embodying the lineage is not a prescribed process or outcome. The lineage will flow through you as you are. It is especially beautiful when there are multiple enlightened lineage holders in a single generation, because it allows the lineage to flow through each one uniquely, creating a rainbow of Light that may inspire and ignite a passion for awakening in many different people.
The great contemporary spiritual teacher, Sri Mooji, once spoke of his own sacred lineage passed down from Sri Ramana Maharshi to Mooji’s direct teacher, Sri Poonjaji. He was asked to speak of his teachers’ greatest teaching. He said, “I am their living message right now. I am my Master’s highest teaching.” Fully embodying the lineage is the greatest honor and true essence of being a lineage holder.
Excerpted from Transcending the Advanced Path: Awakening Beyond Belief © 2017 Mu.
Mu is the author of three books about the direct path of awakening. Transcending the Advanced Path, a detailed exploration of the shift from realization to full enlightenment, is available on Amazon.com and internationally at Amazon UK, CA, FR and DE. Walking the Advanced Path, a clear guide for how to navigate the pathway to enlightenment with responsibility, awareness, and grace, is available at Amazon.com and Amazon UK, CA, FR and DE. Advanced Path is a collection of lyrical verses about the journey to liberation, available at Amazon.com, and Amazon CA, UK, FR and DE.