Just rest

Once there was a man who hated his own shadow.
When he walked and found that his shadow was close behind him, he began to walk faster and faster.

But every time he put his foot down, there was another step, while his shadow kept up with him without the slightest difficulty.

He attributed his failure to the fact that he was not running fast enough.
So he ran faster and faster, without stopping, until he finally dropped dead.


Those who do not understand the Dao are just like this man who hated his shadow. It is actually very easy to be rid of one’s shadow – just rest under a tree.

Just rest.

Chuang Tzu, 369 – 286 BC, Chinese Philosopher

[The Tao or Dao is the natural order of the universe. Health and happiness comes from being in harmony with this natural way]

Activity Mind

The essence of meditation is training in mindfulness. This is done by resting the attention on an external meditation support, and returning to it every time it drifts away into thought. This action is possible because one part of the mind observes and identifies with thoughts and feelings as they arise. If we did not have this capacity for self-reflective awareness we would not know or realize we were thinking when thinking happens. We call the part of the mind that observes “observer consciousness” and the part that thinks and gets observed as “activity mind”

Rob Nairn, Diamond Mind: A Psychology of Meditation

Beyond the mind

We in the West think that the mind is everything, but all Eastern practice is to get beyond the mind to the point of the silent witness, where you’re witnessing yourself, where you’ve gone beyond the ego, beyond the self. The Indian tradition rests on what the West has largely lost: that there are three levels. There is the level of the body and the level of the mind, which the Western world thinks is the end. But beyond the body is the spirit. It’s the Atman, the pneuma of St. Paul, another dimension where we go beyond the mind, the senses, and the feelings, and we’re aware of the transcendent reality. And that is the goal of life, to get to that

Bede Griffiths, 1906 – 1993, Catholic Benedictine/ Camaldolese monk who lived in the ashrams of South India.