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Control of the Mind
The mind can be compared to a poplar tree. The poplar leaves are always shaking whether there is a wind or not. Similarly, the mind is always unsteady and wavering. In addition to its wavering quality the mind is also strong and stubborn. Take for example an elephant. It is very strong and it can be quite cruel, too. However with the help of a goad you can bring it under control. Likewise, the horse is rarely still. It is always moving its limbs, its ears, its head or its tail. Being unsteady, it will first go one way and then another. But with a bit, it can be controlled and made to go in the direction that the rider wants.
Another example is the monkey, which roams here and there, the very picture of unsteadiness and fickleness. But with training, it too can be brought under control. Therefore, just as with a goad you can control an elephant which may be very cruel and strong, just as with a bit you can control a horse which is nervous and unstable, just as with training even a monkey can be controlled, in the same way the mind, which is also strong and fickle, can be controlled by detachment and constant practice.