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The Shadow of Not Knowing

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2005-03-01
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



We cast a shadow between what we know and what we do not. We rely on knowing for familiarity and safety. The shadow of knowing is contained within our routines and habits. Experience how wanting the world to be safe and predictable draws you into a routine. The unfamiliar contains the fear of not being, often experienced as chaos or confusion. Bring awareness to a habit pattern like driving to work. What is the value and limitation of driving the same way? Try driving a different direction. Watch uncertainty arise (“I don’t know this way, will I arrive on time?”). Fear is a sign you are risking what you know. Experience qualitatively what you gain in risking (notice how alive you are, how acutely aware) and how this remains hidden when you focus only on the fear response of doing something different.

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