Good day to you, good people!
I’ve been mostly resting and taking care of myself since the fall retreat ended last Sunday, and I haven’t spent all that much time in front of my computer. I’m ready and eager to jump back in now, though, and support practice once again as best I can through these daily blogs. Thanks for being out there, friends, and for following what I do. Thank you for your practice and all you’re doing to end suffering and bring consciousness into this world.
I thought I’d get warmed up with a reading from the Dhammapada (one of the oldest, simplest, and most profound of the Buddhist scriptures), as translated by Eknath Easwaran. I read this one this morning after meditation. This is chapter 3, entitled ‘Mind’, and it’s one of my favorite things. ‘Mara’ the tempter is a Buddhist symbol of conditioned mind….
“As an archer aims an arrow, the wise aim their restless thoughts, hard to aim, hard to restrain.
As a fish hooked and left on the sand thrashes about in agony, a mind being trained in meditation trembles all over, desperate to escape the hand of Mara.
Hard it is to train the mind, which goes where it likes and does what it wants. But a trained mind brings health and happiness. The wise can direct their thoughts, subtle and elusive, wherever they choose: a trained mind brings health and happiness.
Those who can direct their thoughts, which are unsubstantial and wander so aimlessly, are freed from the bonds of Mara.
They are not wise whose thoughts are not steady and minds are not serene, who do not know the dharma, the law of life. They are wise whose thoughts are steady and minds serene, unaffected by good and bad. They are awake and free from fear.
Remember, this body is like a fragile clay pot. Make your mind a fortress and conquer Mara with the weapon of wisdom. Guard your conquest always. Remember that this body will soon lie in the earth without life, without value, useless as a burned log.
More than those who hate you, more than all your enemies, an undisciplined mind does greater harm. More than your mother, more than your father, more than all your family, a well-disciplined mind does greater good.”
That pretty much says it like it is, doesn’t it? Oh my gosh, I love this old stuff. That’s our practice! That’s the way to freedom! Let’s all follow the Way, friends, as best we can today.