How to Get Lost (& What to Do When You Are There)

Description

Getting lost is a way to get beyond your fear of getting lost. Getting lost is also way to get somewhere. Where? The sounds of night and rain. The the gleam of goodness in what frightens you, the peace that has always been here, and runs through everything.

When the night is dark and the world has gone mad, that’s the time to lose your way.

Getting lost is the middle part of the story where everything exciting happens, stranger and mysterious.

All you have to do is get out of bed and already you’re beginning to get lost. You’re alone and afraid, or in a war, or can’t cope with spouses and kids, or you’re lost in the woods with only a red hoodie and a basket and the night is full of sounds. Hardship, impossible tasks, and surprising allies all belong to getting lost.

In the story it seems as though it’s all a means to an end, to “happily ever after”, but we are always in the middle of the story. And that’s where the happiness is, too.

Things happen when you get lost, the world changes, the old ways don’t work anymore, something new comes into being. And this happens over and over again. It’s the beginning of getting found but you don’t know that yet. So perhaps the strategy is just getting really, really lost, waking up from the slumber of a certain destiny into the wonder of what’s here. Getting lost is a way to get beyond your fear of getting lost. Getting lost is also way to get somewhere. Where? The sounds of night and rain. The the gleam of goodness in what frightens you, the peace that has always been here, and runs through everything.

I remember being caught after sunset in the Queensland rainforest. I had no light. The canopy was dense, there was no light from above, even when it rained I might not feel it. I didn’t know where I was and I wasn’t going to get home before dawn. The night was full of voices, birds, luminous beetles and mushrooms, glowworms, the occasional thump of a wallaby. I saw it was a different world from the day and just as important to itself as my world was to me. I slept well in the roots of a great fig. I was dry. When the path ran out, the trees took care of me.

– John Tarrant

Introduction from an Open Mind Retreat with John Tarrant
March 23-26, 2017, Bolinas, CA