This paper examines the development of Yang Qiyuan’s (1547-99) thought with a special focus on his efforts in reshaping the learning of his master, Luo Rufang (1515-88), in order to assess the distance between the teachings of the two. Yang participated twice in events to reshape the teachings of his master. The first time was at the funeral for Luo Rufang, when Yang and the other disciples assembled together to consolidate Luo’s legacy. On their own they gave him the posthumous title of “Bright Virtue,” taken from the Great Learning, and regarded this as a representative element of Luo Rufang’s teachings. Years after the funeral, while reading through the master’s remaining works, Yang came to realize the significance of filial piety, and thereupon began a project to compile the Classic of Filial Piety, in which he emphasized the themes of filial piety, fraternity and kindness in Luo’s teachings. While Luo’s theories on filial piety were based upon the Great Learning, Yang instead pointed to the Classic of Filial Piety as more suited for Luo’s teachings. Thus, changing the textual basis for Luo’s theories on filial piety was Yang’s second reshaping of his master’s legacy. This essay argues that the case of Yang Qiyuan illustrates Wang Yangmingism (1472-1529) at the end of the sixteenth century developed to emphasize on rendering doctrine into textual form. Yang’s reshaping of his master’s legacy was part of this process, and led him to part ways with his master’s original teachings.