If, with mindfulness’ rope,
The elephant of mind is tethered all around,
Our fears will come to nothing,
Every virtue drop into our hands.
— Shantideva – Verse 3 / Chapter 5 of the Bodhicharyavatara
What is the strong rope with which the mad elephant of the mind can be securely bound? It is ‘awareness’ or mindfulness! One must be on one’s guard against any defilements staining the mind or misplaced conceptions taking hold of it. It must be secured from all directions lest falsities disturb it or disturbing conceptions make it restless. The mind has a tendency to rush out-ward and towards external phenomena and identify itself with it. It should be tamed to rush inwards, look within itself and remain unaffected by external phenomena. Great vigilance must be exercised so that the mind does not contract a tendency for non-existent phenomena. Only then will it remain free from the cover of defilements. When so trained, instead of bringing about havoc, it will generate fearlessness and joy.
— Excerpt from the Parmananda Sharma comment of the Bodhicharyavatara