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Schools of Zen Buddhism

Est.: 8th Apr 1995. Last revised: 15 May 1998.
This document is a part of the Buddhist Studies WWW Virtual Library and of the Zen Buddhism WWW Virtual Library

This document provides an overview of schools and lineages belonging to the Zen Buddhism tradition.
Corrections and comments will be appreciated. Please send email to Dr T.Matthew Ciolek tmciolek@ciolek.com

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A Work in Progress - tmc

Schools of Zen Buddhism and their temporal and doctrinal relationships

[Zen Schools] 8Kb GIF file.


  • Chinese Fuke Line
    [Originating with Chen-chou P'u-k'o (J. Chinshu Fuke)]
  • Chinese Rinzai Line
    [Notes to be supplied]
  • Chinese Soto Line
    [Originating with Tung-shan Liang-chieh (J. Tozan Ryokai) and Ts'ao-shan Pen-chi (J. Sozan Honjaku)]
  • Early Rinzai Line
    [Originating with Lin-chi I-hsüan (J. Rinzai Gigen)]
  • Hinayana Zen Line
    [Originating in India around 3 c. AD, represented in China by Buddhabhadra and Hui-kuan]
  • Hogen Line
    [Originating with Fa-yen Wen-i (J. Hogen Bun'eki)]
  • Igyo Line
    [Originating with Wei-shan Ling-yü (J. Isan Reiyu) and Hsiang-yen Chih-hsien (J. Kyogen Chikan)]
  • Indian Line
    [28 Indian Patriarchs from Shakyamuni Buddha to Bodhidharma]
  • Japanese Fuke Line
    [Originating with Kakushin, ending (by the Emperor's decree) in 1871]
  • Japanese Rinzai Line
    [Originating with Eisai and Daio, and leading to Hakuin Ekaku and his successors]
  • Japanese Soto Line
    [Originating with Dogen Kigen]
  • Korean Line
    [Originating with Chinul.
    NOTE: The current graphical representation of the history of the Korean Line of Zen is oversimplified. More detailed and more accurate drawing will be provided at a later date.]
  • Nangaku Ejo Line
    [Originating with Nan-yüeh Huai-jang (J. Nangaku Ejo)]
  • Northern Line
    [Originating with Shen-hsiu (J. Jinshu)]
  • Obaku Line
    [Originating with Yin-yüan Lung-chi (J. Ingen Ryuki)]
  • Ox-head Line
    [Originating with Niu-tou Fa-yung (J. Hoyu)]
  • Patriarchal Line
    [6 Chinese Patriarchs from Bodhidharma to Hui-neng (J. Eno)]
  • Rinzai-Oryo Line
    [Originating with Huang-lung Hui-nan (J. Oryo E'nan)]
  • Rinzai-Yogi Line
    [Originating with Yang-ch'i Fang-hui (J. Yogi Hoe)]
  • Sanbo Kyodan Line
    [Originating with D. S. Harada and H. Yasutani]
  • Seigen Gyoshi Line
    [Originating with Ch'ing-yüan Hsing-ssu (J.Seigen Gyoshi)]
  • Szechwan Line
    [Originating with Chih-hsien (J. Chisen)]
  • Unmon Line
    [Originating with Yün-men Wen-yen (J. Unmon Bun'en)]
  • Vietnamese Thao-Duong Line
    [Originating with Thao-Du'o'ng (C. Ts'ao-tang)]
  • Vietnamese Lam-Te Line
    [Originating with Nguyen-Thieu]
  • Vietnamese Lieu-Quan Line
    [Originating with Lieu-Quan]
  • Vietnamese Truc-Lam Line
    [Originating with Tran-Nhan-Ton]
  • Vietnamese Ty-Ni-Da-Lu'u-Chi Line
    [Originating with Ty-Ni-Da-Lu'u-Chi (S. Vinitaruchi)]
  • Vietnamese Vo-Ngon-Thong Line
    [Originating with Vo-Ngon-Thong (C. Wu-yen Tung)]

    See also
  • Ferguson, Andrew. 2000. Zen's Chinese Heritage: The Masters & Their Teachings
    (544 pp., the book includes a poster-size lineage chart of the 25 generations of ancestors.)

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