The point of the list of patriarchs was not that each patriarch in the list was a Zen Buddhist, but that there was an unbroken succession of enlightened teachers from the Zen teachers of China back to Buddha. This was important in Chinese culture, where filial respect for one's ancestors was so emphasized.
Having obtained the supreme freedoms
and conjunctions of the precious human existence,
endowed with faith, energy, and intelligence,
Having attended on a worthy spiritual friend
and received the pith of the holy instructions,
May we practice these properly, just as we have received them,
without obstacle or interruption.
In all our lives, may we practice and enjoy the holy dharma.