We so enjoyed sharing a passage with you last month and hearing about the passages that were speaking to you! We'd like to share one passage a month for the next few months to strike up a conversation about the passages, as well as hopefully inspire all of us to memorize some new passages and dust off some old favorites!
The beauty of passage meditation is "you become what you meditate on ", which makes these passages even more precious - we are becoming the words of the passage! This month we chose "The Blessing of a Well-Trained Mind" from Easwaran's translation of The Dhammapada (an ancient collection of the Buddha's teachings) and have copied it out below. This passage is a great showcase of the imagery found in the Buddha's teachings and we're looking forward to meditating on it this month!
We invite you to "study" this passage with us! In the comments below we'd love to hear:
- Is there a line or phrase of this passage that particularly speaks to you?
- If you DO become what you meditate on, what qualities might you get from this passage?
We'll kick it off with a comment below. We can't wait to hear what you think! Happy reading, memorizing, and meditating!
The Blessing of a Well-Trained Mind - The Dhammapada
As an archer aims his 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, the 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 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 not serene, who do not know 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 untrained mind does greater harm. More than your mother, more than your father, more than all your family, a well-trained mind does greater good.