Mind is erratic, restless,
difficult to observe, difficult to control.
The sage sets it straight,
as the fletcher sets straight an arrow.
Like a fish taken from water and thrown on the ground,
the mind twists and struggles
in Mara’s domain of death.
Mind is capricious,
flitting where it pleases, difficult to tame.
It is good to tame the mind.
The tamed mind becomes content.
Mind is ephemeral,
appearing where it pleases, difficult to observe.
It is good to observe the mind.
The observed mind becomes still.
Mind is intangible.
Alone, wandering far, it haunts the cave of the heart.
One who masters the mind
breaks the bonds of Mara.
One whose mind is unruly,
who does not know Dhamma,
who waivers in faith,
will not be fulfilled.
He has no fear whose mind is still,
who is free of desire,
who sees through the illusion of good and evil.
He is Awake.
Seeing the body is fragile as a vase,
fortify the citadel of the mind.
Engage Mara with Awareness.
Guard what you gather without being attached.
Alas, soon enough,
this body will lie on the ground.
Cast off, lifeless, devoid of consciousness,
useless as a piece of rotten wood.
Whatever an enemy may do to an enemy,
or one man of hate do to another,
far greater harm is done to oneself
by the ignorance of one’s own mind.
Whatever a father or mother
or any other relative can give to a child,
far greater good is bestowed on oneself
by the clarity of one’s own mind.