02.09 Abhayā Theri (35-36)


35. Abhaya, fragile is the body, to which ordinary individuals are attached. Attentive and possessed of mindfulness, I shall discard this body.

36. Delighting in vigilance because of many painful objects, I have obtained the annihilation of craving. I have done the Buddha’s teaching.


This body you carry around

is like a small child—

always wanting something.

Over the years,

body and mind have gotten

a little tangled up,

haven’t they?

When one is hungry, the other eats.

When one is sad, the other cries.

Look closely.

Is there

a narrow valley

where one


and the other



1 comment

  1. Notice how the fragility of the body and its constant contact with painful objects becomes “a small child—always wanting something.” It betrays the distain for the (female) body—with its weeping and its overeating (!)—which is a particular hang-up for Westerners.

    In the original, the pains and fragility of the body instead call for care, attention, mindfulness, and vigilance. Here, these wholesome qualities are reduced to a terse scolding: “Look closely.”

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