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Chapter Three -- The Mind

  1. Just as a fletcher straightens an arrow
    shaft, even so the discerning person straightens one's
    mind--so fickle and unsteady, so difficult to
    guard and control.
  2. As a fish when pulled out of water and cast
    on land throbs and quivers, even so is this mind
    agitated. Hence one should leave the realm of passions.
  3. Wonderful, indeed, it is to subdue the
    mind, so difficult to subdue, ever swift, and seizing
    whatever it desires. A tamed mind brings happiness.
  4. Let the discerning person guard the mind,
    so difficult to detect and extremely subtle, seizing
    whatever it desires. A guarded mind brings happiness.
  5. Dwelling in the cave (of the heart), without
    form, the mind wanders far and moves alone.
    Those who subdue this mind are liberated from
    the bonds of Mara.
  6. When one's mind is not steadfast, when
    one knows not the Good Teaching and one's
    faith wavers, one's wisdom will not be perfected.
  7. There is no fear for an Awakened One,
    whose mind is not sodden (by lust) nor afflicted
    (by hate), and who has gone beyond both merit
    and demerit.
  8. Realizing that this body is as fragile as a
    clay pot, and fortifying this mind like a well
    fortified city, fight out Mara with the sword of
    wisdom. Then, guarding the conquest, remain unattached.
  9. Before long, alas! this body will lie upon
    the earth, unheeded and lifeless,
    like a useless log.
  10. Whatever harm an enemy may do to an
    enemy, or a hater to a hater, an ill-directed mind
    inflicts on oneself a greater harm.
  11. Neither mother, father, nor any other
    relative can do one greater good than one's
    own well-directed mind.

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