Dhp III : 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

even better.