The concept of “lineage” in Buddhism refers to the chain of transmission in which teachings are passed from teacher to student over the course of generations. Dozens of lineages have evolved within the Buddhist world and all share common roots, yet each has unique distinguishing features both in its expression of philosophical models and in the methods that are emphasized. This diversity of approaches is regarded as a great asset, considering the diversity of beings and their widely varying needs, capacities, and proclivities. Though the concept of lineage can appear foreign in the modern world, lineages serve a number of purposes. Most importantly, spiritual lineages preserve the accumulated wisdom and experience of countless individuals so that each new generation does not have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to the process of awakening. Lineages also help preserve the integrity of the teachings, ensuring that those who guide others along the spiritual path are themselves sufficiently grounded in wisdom and compassion. The Tergar lineage of Mingyur Rinpoche is primarily situated within the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, but also draws from the Nyingma lineage.
The following pages describe the spiritual lineages of the Tergar Community and provide information about Mingyur Rinpoche’s main teachers.