Lineage was introduced to me in 1976 by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche when HH Karmapa was coming to Boulder for the first time. We learned the names of Buddhist teachers in the Kagyu lineage going back in time. Each one had presented a fresh view of the traditional Dharma and had taught the next generation. I was just beginning to shape the dance program at Naropa University and wondered about the art lineages, about my lineage as a mid twentieth century American modern dancer. I wanted students to reflect on their lineages, on what shaped their journey so they were here, at Naropa, in a dance class. I cut open a brown grocery bag, laid it flat on the dining room table and started to draw my first lineage tree. I still have it. The book is a variation on this theme of lineage.
This photo shows students working on the Lineage Tree assignment in March, 2015, in a class taught by Jessica Cerullo, Naropa MFA in contemporary performance alumni.