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Gradual training

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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The Buddha sometimes described the practice (patipatti) of his teaching as the gradual training (Pali: anupubbasikkhā) because the eightfold path involves a process of mind-body transformation that unfolds over a sometimes lengthy period.

Just as the ocean has a gradual shelf, a gradual slope, a gradual inclination, with a sudden drop-off only after a long stretch, in the same way this discipline of Dhamma (dhamma-vinaya) has a gradual training (anupubbasikkhā), a gradual performance (anupubbakiriyā) , a gradual progression (anupubbapatipadā), with a penetration to gnosis only after a long stretch.
Udana, 5.5

The emphasis on gradual training may be understood by the fact that just as the human habits which give rise to suffering have been built up over a long period of time those same habits similarly take a long time to undo requiring a sustained effort achievable only with a genuine commitment to training.

Source

Wikipedia:Gradual training