Finding a Practice Community
Every Buddhist group is part of a “lineage”, an unbroken line of teachers from the time of the Buddha who lived over 2,500 years ago (around 400 BCE). Each generation a teacher may approve one or more of his students to carry on the teachings to the next generation. This is how integrity of Buddhist practice is maintained. The Buddha approved some of his students to teach, who in turn approved one or more of their students, and so on down to the present day.
As the teachings have spread across the world, they have taken on the distinctive flavour and culture of the area they inhabited. Different lineages suit people of different temperaments, and we invite you to explore various traditions so that you can find one that best suits you.
The process of finding a Buddhist tradition that suits you can take from months to years, but please do not take this exploration as the norm. We do not advise you to continually change your practice group and/or attempt to create your own mixture of teachings. Continually changing your practice group can be confusing and can create a feeling of instability. If nothing else, it will prevent you from going deeper into any one particular practice.