Chinese Texts, Texts

The Five Gates of Daoxin

Dayi Daoxin was the fourth ancestor in China: the student of Jianzhi Sengcan and the teacher of Daman Hongren, he was the founder of the Sizu temple in China’s Hubei district which is still an active monastery today. Daoxin did a lot to popularize the practice of Chan, and his was the first monastic community within the lineage to achieve self-sufficiency and so to incorporate work into the daily monastic practice. His teaching of the Five Gates was to demonstrate to his students the essential nature of the mind and its manifestation.

The Five Gates

Let it be known: Buddha is the mind.  Outside of the mind there is no Buddha.  In short, this includes the following five things:

First: The ground of the mind is essentially one with the Buddha.

Second: The movement of the mind brings forth the treasure of the Dharma.  The mind moves yet is ever quiet; it becomes turbid and yet remains such as it is.

Third: The mind is awake and never ceasing; the awakened mind is always present; the Dharma of awakened mind is without specific form.

Fourth: The body is always empty and quiet; both within and without, it is one and the same; the body is  located in the Dharma world, yet is unfettered.

Fifth: Maintaining unity without going astray — dwelling at once in movement and rest, one can see the Buddha nature clearly and enter the gate of samadhi.

Dayi Daoxin (580-651)