3. Thoughts

Elusive and unreliable as it is, the wise man straightens out his restless, agitated mind, like a fletcher crafting an arrow. 33

Trying to break out of the Tempter's control, one's mind writhes to and fro, like a fish pulled from its watery home onto dry ground. 34

It is good to restrain one's mind, uncontrollable, fast moving, and following its own desires as it is. A disciplined mind leads to happiness. 35

A wise man should guard his mind for it is very hard to keep track of, extremely subtle, and follows its own desires. A guarded mind brings happiness. 36

The mind goes wandering off far and wide alone. Incorporeal, it dwells in the cavern of the heart. Those who keep it under control escape from Mara's bonds. 37

If he is unsettled in mind, does not know the true Teaching, and has lost his peace of mind, a man's wisdom does not come to fulfilment. 38

With his mind free from the inflow of thoughts and from restlessness, by abandoning both good and evil, an alert man knows no fear. 39

Seeing your body as no better than an earthen pot, make war on Mara with the sword of wisdom, and setting up your mind as a fortress, defend what you have won, remaining free from attachment. 40

Before long this body will be lying on the ground, discarded and unconscious, like a useless bit of wood. 41

One's own misdirected thought can do one more harm than an enemy or an ill-wisher. 42

Even your mother, father or any other relative cannot do you as much good as your own properly directed thought. 43