THE DHARMA DISCOURSES O...

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THE DHARMA DISCOURSES OF CARDINAL MASTER CHŎNGSAN(CHŎNGSAN CHONGSA PŎBŎ)

Part Two: Dharma Discourses

Chapter Six: Exposition of Scriptures

47

47. A student asked about the suddenness or gradualness of awakening and cultivation. The Master replied, “‘Gradual cultivation/sudden awakening’ is intended for those of average spiritual capacity, wherein practitioners accumulate a full range of practices by relying on the instructions of their spiritual mentor, and as their wisdom gradually develops, they suddenly become awakened to the principle of the self-nature. This is the most typical soteriological path. As for ‘sudden awakening/gradual cultivation’: these practitioners have already ‘seen the nature’ through the power of wisdom, but because the habituations carried forward from multiple past lives are still extant, they have gradually to rectify these old habits through the power of dharma. This is a soteriological path for those who have already had much training in wisdom in their past lives, but whose ability in practice is still limited. ‘Sudden awakening/sudden cultivation’: through the power of the practitioners’ wisdom, their power of cultivation is accomplished at the exact same moment that they ‘see the nature.’ Hence, their cultivation of wisdom and conduct are both accomplished all at once. These practitioners are those buddhas and bodhisattvas whose Threefold Study has been completed over multiple past lives without any insufficiency so that, after being benighted for a short while in the human condition, their radiance shines forth all at once.”