In Zen-Buddhism, Dharma transmission is a custom in which a person is established as a “successor in an unbroken lineage of teachers and disciples, a spiritual ‘bloodline’ (kechimyaku) theoretically traced back to the Buddha himself.”
The Buddha Twirls A Flower
In the Flower Sermon, Shakyamuni Buddha passes something to his disciple, Mahakashyapa.
According to the story, Shakyamuni is on the teaching seat surrounded by his disciples.
But instead of giving the usual kind of lecture, he holds up a flower and gives it a twirl.
Everyone except Mahakashyapa stares with confusion at the Buddha.
But, Mahakashyapa smiles.
Whereupon the Buddha says, “I possess the true Dharma eye, the marvellous mind of Nirvana, the true form of the formless, the subtle Dharma Gate that does not rely on words or letters but is a special transmission outside of the scriptures. This I entrust to Mahakashyapa.”
Commentary: There’s nothing to transmit and no-one to transmit it to.
To say a word about it and you break the 4th precept. To not say anything and you break the Bodhisattva vow.
What could be said that would make that moment more beautiful?
Mahakashyapa is still smiling.
The Buddha is still smiling.
The flower is still twirling.
It was such a beautiful day.
How do I know?
I was there.
So were you.