Our Buddhist lineage is a list of names of practitioners stretching back from our teacher, Eido Lachi, down through the history of Buddhism back to the Buddha himself.
These people are not gods or people with special powers or abilities, nor are they worshipped in any way at all. We revere them as people who have lived their lives with Zazen as its fundamental principle, noticed the difference between their thinking and reality, and transmitted this practice and understanding in one unbroken line all the way down the years to you, should you practise with us. The lineage is a formal document, which records formal transmissions of the Dharma in only one line of teachers and monks. However there are many people who have noticed what reality is who are not a part of our lineage and many of them will not even be Buddhists. We revere those individuals that helped to lead us here, and we revere this document, but we also know it can only ever be a partial record of the real transmission of the truth or the myriad effects that people who live in accord with reality have in the world.
Of course we who are practising now have never met the people on that list who existed before we were born, so when we think about it, it is just a piece a paper with ink on it.
To view the Lineage of Dogen Sangha click this link – Dogen Sangha Lineage.