"Most of the time, however, we find ourselves moving away from that
point. That's our habitual reaction to the world -- grasping after
things or running away from things. I remember, when I was a very
small child, often trying to jump into the middle of my shadow, but
however hard I jumped I just landed on the shadow's feet. And I would
run after my shadow and then jump -- but where would I land? Just in
the same place all over again. And this is what we do with our lives
-- the things that we desire, it's like running after shadows. You
try to catch hold, reaching for the desire so close, and then you
grasp it and then . . .and you haven't really got it. Somehow it's
not what you expected, it's different, not what you really wanted.
And then to run from your shadow -- to be afraid, you keep turning
around: 'It's still behind me, run faster, got to get away.' When we
stop and look though, we realize: 'Well, it's just my shadow.' You
can't get away from it, but there's nothing in it to be afraid of,
it's just a shadow.
So when we stop and rest in the stillness of knowing, we know in our
hearts that all we desire, all we fear, are just shadows. There is no
substance there -- nothing which can make us more complete and
nothing which can threaten us. This is the real freedom of mind."
-- Ajahn Amaro
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