In order to go on retreat,
a monk should stay in lodgings
that are secluded and quiet,
frequented by beasts of prey.
Having gathered scraps from rubbish heaps,
cemeteries and streets,
and making an outer robe from them,
one should wear that coarse robe.
Humbling their heart,
a mendicant should walk for alms
from family to family indiscriminately,
with sense doors guarded, well-restrained.
They should be content even with coarse food,
not hoping for lots of flavors.
The mind that’s greedy for flavors
doesn’t enjoy absorption.
With few wishes, content,
a sage should live secluded,
mixing with neither
householders nor the homeless.
They should present themselves
as if stupid or dumb;
an astute person would not speak overly long
in the midst of the Saṅgha.
They would not insult anyone,
and would avoid causing damage.
Restrained in the monastic code,
they would eat in moderation.
Expert in the arising of thought,
they would grasp well the pattern of the mind.
They would be devoted to practicing
serenity and discernment at the right time.
Though endowed with energy and perseverance,
and always devoted to meditation,
a wise person would not be too sure of themselves,
until they have attained the end of suffering.
For a mendicant who meditates in this way,
longing for purification,
all their defilements wither away,
and they realize quenching.
Read this translation of Theragāthā 10.6 Vaṅgantaputtaupasenattheragāthā: Upasena son of Vaṅgantā by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.
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