SN 47.6: Sakunagghi Sutta, The She-falcon
Translated by Bhikkhu Nananandahttp://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... passage-25
"Once upon a time, monks, a she-falcon suddenly swooped down and seized a quail. Then, monks, the quail, while it was being carried away by the she-falcon, thus lamented: 'Just my bad luck and lack of merit! [It serves me right] for trespassing outside my own pasture into others' property. If I had kept my own ancestral beat today, this she-falcon would have been no match for me, if it came to a fight.'
"'But what is that pasture, quail, which is your own ancestral beat?'
"'It is a field turned up by the plowshare, a place all covered with clods.'
"Then, monks, the she-falcon, without being stiff in her assertion of strength, not caring to argue with the quail on her own strength, released the quail saying, 'Off with you, quail, but even by going there you will not escape me.'
"So monks, the quail went off to a plowed field, to a place all covered with clods, perched on a great clod and stood challenging the she-falcon, thus: 'Now come on, you falcon! Now come on, you falcon!'
"Then, monks, the she-falcon, without being stiff in her assertion of strength, not caring to argue with the quail on her own strength, poising both her wings, swooped down upon the quail.
"But, monks, as soon as the quail knew that the she-falcon had come too close to her, she slipped inside that very clod. And then, monks, the falcon shattered her breast thereon.
"So it is, monks, with one who goes roaming out of his own pasture, in others' property. Wherefore, monks, roam ye not outside your own pasture, in others' property. To those who so roam, monks, Maara will get access. In them, Maara will find a support.
"And what, monks, is not one's own pasture, but others' property. It is the five kinds of sense-pleasure. What five?
"Forms cognizable by the eye, desirable, charming, pleasant, delightful, passion-fraught and alluring. Sounds cognizable by the ear... scents cognizable by the nose... savors cognizable by the tongue... tangibles cognizable by the body, desirable, charming, pleasant, delightful, passion-fraught and alluring. This, monks, is not one's own pasture but other's property, in the case of a monk.
"Monks, do ye range in your own pasture, keep to your ancestral beat. To those who range their own pasture, who keep to their ancestral beat, Maara will get no access. In them Maara will find no support.
"And what, monks, is a monk's own pasture? What is his ancestral beat? It is the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. What four?
"Herein, monks, a monk dwells, as regards body, contemplating body, ardent, fully aware and mindful, having overcome covetousness and grief concerning the world. He dwells, as regards feeling, contemplating feeling, ardent, fully aware... He dwells, as regards mind, contemplating mind... He dwells, as regards mind-objects, contemplating mind-objects, ardent, fully aware and mindful, having overcome covetousness and grief concerning the world. This, monks, is a monk's own pasture; this is his ancestral beat."NOTES
 The phrases 'sake bale apatthaddha,' 'sake bale asa.mvadamaanaa' have created some difficulty (see K.S. IV. 125. ) They occur twice and the meaning in both contexts should be the same, though K.S. gives 'relaxed her efforts, did not increase her grip' in the first instance and, 'putting forth her effort, not relaxing her effort,' in the second. The 'relaxation' meant by the word 'apatthaddha' ('not-rigid') is psychological rather than physical. It was born of excessive self-confidence, due to which the she-falcon, not being 'stiff' in her ways, first imposed on herself a handicap, and then swooped down unwarily on the quail. 'Asa.mvadamaana' is probably suggestive of her disdainful attitude towards the quail in not caring to give merely verbal rejoinders to its challenges in both instances.
 The Four Foundations of Mindfulness form the ground-plan for the development of the 'Knowledge and Vision of things as they are.' Within its range, awareness is focused directly on experience as such, reducing the tendency towards diffusion and proliferation in thought-currents. This insulation stems the tide of influxes which entices one into the 'others' territory' — the five-fold sense-pleasure.