Wakefulness

Pond

Wakefulness is the way to life.
The fool sleeps
As if he were already dead,
But the master is awake
And he lives forever.

He watches.
He is clear.

How happy he is!
For he sees that wakefulness is life.
How happy he is,
Following the path of the awakened.

With great perseverance
He meditates, seeking
Freedom and happiness.

So awake, reflect, watch.
Work with care and attention.
Live in the way, and the light will grow in you.

The fool is careless.
But the master guards his watching.
It is his most precious treasure.

He never gives in to desire.
He meditates.
And in the strength of his resolve
He discovers true happiness.

He overcomes desire —
And from the tower of wisdom
He looks down with dispassion
Upon the sorrowing crowd.
From the mountaintop
He looks down on those
Who live close to the ground.

Mindful among the mindless,
Awake while others dream,
Swift as the race horse
He outstrips the field.

By watching
Indra became king of the gods.
How wonderful it is to watch,
How foolish to sleep.

The beggar who guards his mind
And fears the waywardness of his thoughts
Burns through every bond
With the fire of his vigilance.

The beggar who guards his mind
And fears his own confusion
Cannot fall.
He has found the way to peace.

~The Dhammapada

 

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