Lineage is an important concept in Buddhism in general, and in Tibetan Buddhism in particular. It describes a succession of spiritual adepts linked by a teacher-student relationship in an unbroken line, so that teachings and practices are passed down through generations of practitioners. A lineage provides a living validation of the teachings and practices of a given tradition and confirms its authenticity.
In Tibetan Buddhism a number of lineages can be traced back to Guru Rinpoche, the historical Buddhist master who established Buddhism in Tibet. Guru Rinpoche, who himself attained complete buddhahood, concealed many teachings for future generations. Those concealed teachings, called treasures or termas, have been and will be discovered over the centuries by destined meditation masters known as treasure revealers or tertons. Once discovered, treasure teachings are practiced and preserved as they are passed down from teacher to student—often through a line of incarnations of the treasure revealer.
Termas are considered especially relevant and powerful in the conferring of blessing in this present age.