There are four main schools or traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, each with its own unique teachings, practices, and lineage:
Nyingma: This is the oldest and most traditional school of Tibetan Buddhism, founded in the 8th century by Guru Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche. The Nyingma school emphasizes the practice of Dzogchen, a form of meditation that aims to reveal the true nature of the mind and achieve enlightenment.
Kagyu: Founded in the 11th century by the Tibetan master Marpa Lotsawa and his disciple, Milarepa, the Kagyu school places a strong emphasis on the practice of meditation and the use of tantric practices to achieve spiritual realization.
Sakya: Founded in the 11th century by Khon Konchok Gyalpo, the Sakya school emphasizes the use of logic and reason in the study and practice of Buddhism. It is known for its extensive teachings on Buddhist philosophy and its use of ritual and symbolism in spiritual practice.
Gelug: Founded in the 14th century by Je Tsongkhapa, the Gelug school places a strong emphasis on the study and practice of Buddhist philosophy and ethics. It is known for its monastic discipline, emphasis on education, and its use of the tantric practices of Highest Yoga Tantra.
Each of these schools has its own distinct lineage of teachers and teachings, and they all share a common goal of achieving enlightenment through the practice of Buddhist teachings and meditation.