Lost in London1

One morning in London I started running at 3:30 in the morning. I had no idea what streets I was going on, so I started remembering landmarks: “Here is a light, there is a mailbox, here is a store called Aladdin’s Lamp.” Like that I got six or seven landmarks to remember.

After running about three and a half miles, I turned around to go back. But I had forgotten two of the landmarks. I had no idea where I was, and I didn’t have any money with me. Anyway, where could I get a taxi at that hour? If I could have found a taxi, I could have gone back to the hotel and gotten some money from there. Then I got angry with myself. Why did I have to meditate while running instead of paying more attention to the landmarks?

At that very moment, when I was totally annoyed, one of my inner beings started making fun of me because I thought I was lost. Usually they are terribly afraid of cutting jokes with me. But this inner being said, “Although you have made a mistake, you are off by only half a block.”

I believed my inner being. I went just half a block in the direction it showed me, and I saw “Aladdin’s Lamp.” Then I had only two more landmarks to find. I had been out only an hour or so, but one of the landmarks had disappeared. Perhaps it had blown away; it was such a silly landmark! My inner being told me, “Definitely that is the place. Make a left turn there.” Again I believed my inner being, and soon I came to the last landmark, which was a mailbox.

If I could have gone into the park, there would have been no problem. I would have remembered the big building — Kensington Palace. But the park didn’t open until 5:30 or 6:00, and the streets were not at all familiar to me. As I passed a bicycle shop, the burglar alarm was ringing and ringing. Even after I had gone at least two blocks more, I was hearing the alarm so loudly! It was about 4:30, and at that hour there were absolutely no policemen out — not even one! Whom to tell? I didn’t see any person and perhaps only one car.


  1. RB 864. 28 March 1982