Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A simple metaphor: being both grounded and free

Yesterday I took an hour long walk. It was a little chilly and gloomy outside, but it was still nice. On the way back I passed by a playground in a public park and decided to visit the swing-set. 

I can't say that I had forgotten, but it was great to be reminded of how fun it is to just swing, head and arms towards the ground on the upswing, feet pointed towards the sky. I stayed on the swing for a few minutes, breathing deeply as I swung backwards, exhaling as I swung forwards to the top. 

It felt so wonderfully free.

After while I slowed down and jumped from the swing. I landed on the soft wood chips, my feet gently coming in contact with the earth. As I walked away I realized that feeling of grounded-ness felt just as good as the freedom I felt on the swing. Moreover, this grounded state is the one that my body occupies most of the time (although my monkey-mind might beg to differ!).

I wanted to share this experience because I felt it was a simple metaphor for but one component of the Middle Way. Day to day we strive to approach our lives while grounded by the ideals of balance, moderation, and mindfulness. But we should also know that despite our circumstances, we still have the thrill of unbounded freedom to decide with our minds. 

What do freedom and balance mean to you? What activities make you feel most balanced and free?

May all beings be Happy!


I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom. ~ Simone de Beauvoir 

Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte 

Balance is beautiful. ~ Miyoko Ohno


  1. Thank you for sharing! I used to swing on a swing but haven't done that for the longest of time now. After reading your post perhaps one of these days I will again.

    For me I love sitting late at night into the early morning hours when the world around me becomes more quiet and still emptying my mind to the point that the thoughts have become no more, or at times listening to what may enter in.

    May you have much peace and happiness?

  2. Dear Now,
    Thanks so much for your comment - I am glad you liked the post.

    I really liked your activity, enjoying the quiet as the night progresses into the morning. It must bring you an enormous sense of well-being.

    May you also have much peace and happiness in your life, always.


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