Gradual training

The Buddha sometimes described the practice (patipatti) of his teaching as the gradual training (Pali: anupubbasikkhā) because the Noble 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.

See alsoEdit



  • Bullitt, John T. (2005). Dhamma. Retrieved 2007-11-08 from "Access to Insight" at
  • Ñāṇamoli, Bhikkhu (trans.) & Bodhi, Bhikkhu (ed.) (2001). The Middle-Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikāya. Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-072-X.
  • Nyanatiloka (1980). Buddhist Dictionary: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines. Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society. ISBN 955-24-0019-8. Retrieved 2007-11-10 from "BuddhaSasana" at
  • Thanissaro Bhikkhu (trans.) (1998). Kutthi Sutta: The Leper (Ud. 5.3). Retrieved 2007-11-12 from "Access to Insight" at
  • Walshe, Maurice (1995). The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Dīgha Nikāya. Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-103-3.

External linksEdit

"The Factors of the Gradual Training As Found in Various Suttas" table by Leigh Brasington