Sudden and gradual enlightenment
The debate about sudden versus gradual enlightenment emerged during the period of Daoxin's lifetime, a debate that—as we will see—continued for generations and was the central doctrinal difference leading to the emergence of new schools.
Daoxin was a proponent of gradual enlightenment, as we see in his Five Gates of Daoxin:
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.