Record of the Masters of the Laṅkāvatāra, Vol. 1
Chan Master Daoxin
“Expel the mind of three poisons, the clinging and grasping mind, and the perceiving and observing mind. Bear the Buddha in mind every moment. If you do, the mind will become lucid and tranquil, without any object to attend to. The Mahāprajñāpāramitā Sūtra says, ‘The one without thought denotes the mind that bears the Buddha.’ What is the one without thought? The mind that bears the Buddha denotes the one without thought.... Why so? Because the vijnana is without form, and the Buddha is without form or appearance.”
Chan Master Daoxin (道信禪師; 580–651), the fourth patriarch of Chan School.
Excerpts from Signless Buddha Mindfulness
Venerable Xiao Pingshi
These words from Chan Master Daoxin are meant to eliminate or reduce practitioners’ attachment to the physical form and to names, sounds, and deluded thoughts. Ordinary people cannot realize the Buddha-nature mainly because they are obstructed by the “three poisons”: greed, aversion, and ignorance. They therefore crave visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, and tactile stimuli, or in a more worldly sense, money, sex, fame, food, and sleep. They often fail to defer to their superiors or respect their subordinates and fly into a rage when things don’t go their way. When they lack adequate wealth, power, or physical strength to compete with their opponents, they resort to backstabbing and secret retaliation. If they have an edge over others, they openly take advantage of others’ weaknesses. All such physical, verbal, and mental acts of greed and aversion stem from ignorance. Consequently, people are not able to see the reality of the dharma realm but regard the material world as real and develop attachment to it. Unable to see the wondrous emptiness of existence of the self-nature, they cling to the illusory five aggregates as their real “self” and engage in actions that produce all kinds of karma. The better sort of people seek rebirth in the heavenly realms by doing virtuous deeds; the average sort pursue the rewards of fame and fortune in this life through wholesome acts; and the lowest sort are hypocrites who prey on others using brute force or cunning schemes. Thus, their minds are constantly trying to grasp something, and their every thought is tainted with greed, aversion, and ignorance.
Signless Buddha Mindfulness, (Chinese version) p.41