In his teachings, Ben stressed that Zen was his path because it allowed him to be himself. All the other routes that allegedly lead to cosmic consciousness seemed to put him in conflict with his own nature. He advised all seekers to examine carefully what each system asked of the potential initiate, keeping in mind three rules:
1. What you are required to believe is what the system cannot prove.
2. Anything that you are asked to keep secret is of more value to the teacher than to the student.
3. Any practice that is forbidden offers something that the system cannot successfully replace with an alternative.
One listener asked, "Don't you believe that giving up the pleasures of the senses will produce a different consciousness?"
"My personal experience," Ben replied,"was that it produced the consciousness of fanaticism."
– From Zen without Zen Masters