Slipping Out of the Net

Slipping Out of the Net January 2, 2024

The Japanese word for emancipation, todatsu, means “a fish slipping out of the net.” It implies that we must face and shed everything that gets in the way, if we are to transform. We are constantly challenged in life to slip out of the net, whether that net is imposed on us and of our own making. Having slipped out of several nets through the years and having woven even more, I’m drawn to understand our various forms of entanglement, and how our inner liberty depends on our ability to still ourselves, so we can slip out of the net.

Humbly, we’re never done with this process, as no one can avoid being entangled. It’s part of being alive. Yet whenever we slip out of the net we find ourselves in, we come alive like someone waking from amnesia. And so, our daily practice is to discern where we are entangled and how to still ourselves enough that we can slip back into the openness and depth of free living. Like it or not, getting entangled and becoming free form an unending rhythm that everyone has to apprentice in.

When feeling constrained, it is a reflex to push against what is holding us. But the secret to emancipation is to get small and still, so we can slip through the spaces in what is constraining us. Where are you, then, in your endless journey of slipping out of the net? What do you need to put down or let go of so you can free yourself? How can you sharpen your vision in seeing the spaces in all that constrains you? How can you deepen your skill in getting small and still? How can you dive through the holes of light in the fabric of trouble?

There is always a chance of being caught in the nets of life, and there is always a chance to slip out of the net. It is the art of surviving until we thrive.


A Question to Walk With: Discuss with a friend or loved one a passage when you felt entangled by circumstance. How did you slip out of the net? And how did this journey transform you?

This excerpt is from my book in progress, The Language of the Soul.

You can follow Mark on Facebook and Instagram.  

For more information about Mark’s books and upcoming events, visit and  

Information about his upcoming webinars, can be found at

Upcoming Events


Feb 5-10: Modern Elder Academy, Baja, Mexico, Falling Down and Getting Up: Discovering Your Own Resilience and Strength (web link)

May 18 – 24:  River Cruise in France, The Gift of Deepening and The Radiance in All Things (web link)

Dec 8-14: Guanacaste, Costa Rica, Saying YES to Life: The One Life We’re Given (web link)

If you’d like to order Mark’s new book, Falling Done and Getting Up: Discovering Your Inner Resilience and Strength, click here

"I'm not at all sure that we are all talking about the same thing when ..."

The Inner Critic
"that made me laugh. his own wound ruined his momentff.LAURENS.CLUB\v5963pw"

Imparting Bliss
"Monet was nearsighted and painted what he saw."

Stacks of Wheat

Browse Our Archives