I love to forget about all that academic discussions concerning Zen and Buddhism, masters, lineages and traditions. When I was younger, I tried with a certain effort to ignore them, but recently they just seem to fade away by themselves, like the mist in the morning sun … the mercy of ageing?
If you just start with your Zen-practise: don’t let you, by any means, intimidate by what you might happen to read in books or on web-pages! Zen is simple, it is emerging from our every day life, and it supports us in living our life! Don’t let you trap by evil sects and abusive want-to-be masters, eventually discouraging your motivation and poisoning your practise! It’s all up to you!
Said that, there is no need to re-invent the wheel during our short life-span, with having those great ancestors in Zen: individuals with inspiring ideas and unique ways of living their life. And it is indeed worth studying them! As far as I am concerned, I meet my Zen-ancestors by copying their calligraphies … a very intimate way of communication with those who passed away before us.
Their message is encouraging and simple: we actually do have a chance to live our life, day by day. Not bad, or?