Baizhang

‘The words of the teachings all have three successive phases – the beginning, middle, and final good. At first one should just be taught to produce a good mind; in the middle the good mind is dissolved; only the final good is really good. Thus, ‘A bodhisattva is not a bodhisattva; this is called a bodhisattva,’ and ‘The Dharma is not Dharma, nor is it not Dharma.’ It’s all like this. If you expound just one phrase, you cause sentient beings to go to hell; if all three phrases are expounded at once, sentient beings will go to hell by themselves. This is not the business of a teaching master. To explain that the present mirroring awareness is your own buddha is good in the beginning. Not to keep dwelling in the present mirror awareness is good in the middle. Not making an understanding of not dwelling is final good.’ (quoted in The Book of Serenity)

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