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Selections from The Dhammapada: Way of Truth – Chapters 1 to 4, Part 2 of 2

2021-02-18
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We will continue with Chapters 3 to 4 of The Dhammapada: Way of Truth. “Quivering, wavering, hard to guard, to hold in check: the mind. The sage makes it straight— the shaft of an arrow. Like a fish removed from its home in the water and placed on land: this mind flips and flaps about to escape mara’s sway. Hard to hold down, nimble, 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, bodiless, 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, serenity set adrift: discernment doesn’t grow full.” “For a person of unsoddened mind, unassaulted awareness, abandoning merit and evil, wakeful, 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.”

Chapter 4: Blossoms “As a bee—without harming the blossom, its color, its fragrance— takes its nectar and flies away: so should the sage go through a village.” “Focus, not on the rudenesses of others, not on what they’ve done or left undone, but on what you have and haven’t done yourself.” “Just like a blossom, bright colored but scentless: a well-spoken word is fruitless when not carried out. Just like a blossom, bright colored and full of scent: a well-spoken word is fruitful when well carried out.” “Just as from a heap of flowers many garland strands can be made, even so one born and mortal should do— with what’s born and is mortal— many a skillful thing.” “No flower’s scent goes against the wind— not sandalwood, jasmine, tagara. But the scent of the good does go against the wind. The person of integrity wafts a scent in every direction. Sandalwood, tagara, lotus, and jasmine: among these scents, the scent of virtue is unsurpassed. Next to nothing, this scent —sandalwood, tagara— while the scent of virtuous conduct wafts to the devas, supreme.” “Those consummate in virtue, dwelling in heedfulness, released through right knowing: mara can’t follow their tracks.”

“As in a pile of rubbish cast by the side of a highway a lotus might grow clean-smelling pleasing the heart, so in the midst of the rubbish-like, people run-of-the-mill and blind, there dazzles with discernment the disciple of the Rightly Self-Awakened One.”

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