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Chapter Three -- The Mind
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.
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.
Wonderful, indeed, it is to subdue the
mind, so difficult to subdue, ever swift, and seizing
whatever it desires. A tamed mind brings happiness.
Let the discerning person guard the mind,
so difficult to detect and extremely subtle, seizing
whatever it desires. A guarded mind brings happiness.
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.
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.
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
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.
Before long, alas! this body will lie upon
the earth, unheeded and lifeless,
like a useless log.
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.
Neither mother, father, nor any other
relative can do one greater good than one's
own well-directed mind.