The Essential Scripture...

Dictionary

The Essential Scriptures of the Buddha and Patriarchs

Secrets on Cultivating the Mind

Section 13

As for ‘gradual cultivation,’ although he has awakened to the fact that his original nature is no different from that of the buddhas, the beginningless proclivities of habit (vāsanā) are extremely difficult to remove suddenly. Therefore he must continue to cultivate while relying on this awakening so that this efficacy of gradual suffusion is perfected; he constantly nurtures the embryo of sanctity, and after a long, long time he becomes a sage. Hence, it is called gradual cultivation. It is like the maturation of an infant: from the day of its birth, [an infant] is endowed with all its faculties, just like any other [human being], but its physical capacities are not yet fully developed; it is only after the passage of many months and years that it will finally mature into an adult.