When Lu Hsi-sheng first visited Ch'an master Yang-shan, he asked the Master, "If the three gates of the monastery are all open, through which one should I enter?"
"Through the Gate of Faith," answered the Master.
"What good are the other two?" Hsi-sheng asked.
"You may also enter through them," declared the Master.
"What are they?" inquired Hsi-sheng.
"If we enter through only one, why do we need three?" Hsi-sheng asked pointedly.
Yang-shen explained, "Those who use the Gate of Faith enter through the Buddha, those who use the Gate of Wisdom enter through the Dharma, and those who use the Gate of Compassion enter through the Sangha. In other words, one may enter the Buddha's Path by means of any one of the Gates of the Three Precious Ones."
Inside the preaching hall, Lu Hsi-sheng continued his questioning, "What will happen if one enters the Buddha realm without leaving the realm of the demons?"
Master Yang-shan waved his whisk upside down three times. After seeing this, Lu Hsi-sheng prostrated and then asked, "Master, do you still keep the precepts?"
"No!." he snapped.
"Do you still sit in meditation?"
Again the Master declared, "No!" Lu Hsi-sheng was lost in thought. The master asked, "Do you understand?"
"No!" he exclaimed.
Yang-shan then explained what he meant in a verse:
(Source: Hsing Yun's Ch'an Talk, Book 3)