Excerpts From The Essence of the Path to Buddhist Enlightenment
Venerable Xiao Pingshi
"For a practitioner to achieve 'awakening to the Path,' (見道) nothing is faster than Chan. For a teacher to bring about awakened students, nothing is more effective than Chan.” (p. 177)
“In Chan, awakening to the True Mind cannot be attained by observing the conscious mind. As a person who has not awakened to the True Mind does not know where the True Mind is, how can he observe it? Therefore, awakening to the True Mind can be attained not by observing the conscious mind but by searching for the True Mind.
Before one sets out searching for the True Mind, he should first understand that “thoughtless pristine awareness” is an unreal phenomenon. He should look for a mind that exists in concurrence with this pristine awareness but is itself without any awareness of sense objects. In other words, he should contemplate Chan by searching for the True Mind rather than reflecting on the thoughtless state of the conscious mind, whereby he looks for the True Mind that, since beginningless time, has never exhibited awareness of the three realms. The best way to search for the True Mind is by contemplating huatou (話頭) and gong’an (公案).” (p. 36)