Dhammapada 3 – The mind

3 – the mind


Quivering, wavering,
hard to guard,
to hold in check:
the mind.
The sage makes it straight —
like a fletcher,
the shaft of an arrow.

Like a fish
pulled from its home in the water
& thrown on land:
this mind flips & flaps about
to escape Mara’s sway.

Hard to hold down,
alighting wherever it likes:
the mind.
Its taming is good.
The mind well-tamed
brings ease.

So hard to see,
so very, very subtle,
alighting wherever it likes:
the mind.
The wise should guard it.
The mind protected
brings ease.

Wandering far,
going alone,
lying in a cave:
the mind.
Those who restrain it:
from Mara’s bonds
they’ll be freed.


For a person of unsteady mind,
not knowing true Dhamma,
set adrift:
discernment doesn’t grow full.


For a person of unsoddened mind,
unassaulted awareness,
abandoning merit & evil,
there is no danger
no fear.


Knowing this body
is like a clay jar,
securing this mind
like a fort,
attack Mara
with the spear of discernment,
then guard what’s won
without settling there,
without laying claim.


All too soon, this body
will lie on the ground
cast off,
bereft of consciousness,
like a useless scrap
of wood.


Whatever an enemy might do
to an enemy,
or a foe to a foe,
the ill-directed mind
can do to you
even worse.

Whatever a mother, father
or other kinsman
might do for you,
the well-directed mind
can do for you

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