specific teaching ［別教］ ( bekkyō): One of the four teachings of doctrine formulated by T’ien-t’ai (538–597) of China. A higher level of provisional Mahayana taught specifically and exclusively for bodhisattvas, which expounds the fifty-two stages of practice to be carried out over a period of countless kalpas. The specific teaching is so called because it is specific and distinct both from the preceding two of the four teachings of doctrine (i.e., the Tripitaka teaching and the connecting teaching) and from the subsequent perfect teaching, or the fourth and last of the four teachings of doctrine. The specific teaching elucidates the three truths of non-substantiality, temporary existence, and the Middle Way. In the specific teaching, however, the above three truths are viewed as separate from one another, and the Middle Way is regarded as transcendent. For this reason, the specific teaching is also called the teaching of the Middle Way that is independent of the other two truths, while the Tripitaka teaching is called the exclusive teaching on non-substantiality, or emptiness. See also eight teachings; four teachings of doctrine.