The Tethered Mind


“Take a walk outside – it will serve you far more than pacing around in your mind.”
Rasheed Ogunlaru

In a place where thought meets action, we come to a point existing in rhythm with life. This point is gentle, fragile and capable of altering our lives for eternity. It is on this precipice of decision where the heart must be heard, the soul must speak.

I recall a time when as a child, as many of us will remember, we would have school recess, and the playground was a field of sanctuary away from the classroom. On this playground were games, monkey bars, sidewalks and many other things.

The one game I remember playing most was tetherball.

The ball, in my youth a giant hard bag shrouded in leather, was attached to a pole by a string. The object was to wrap the ball around the pole faster than your opponent, and not get hit by it in the process. It was a fast game once you learned how it was played.

And yet, in this simple childhood memory, I find a truth.

The mind is much like the tetherball. It remains attached to one point, by a string, forever commanded to circle its pole, its motion bound by the force exerted upon it.

We allow our minds to circle one point far too often, rarely stilling the noise and chatter. We become forced by outward motion, forever made to circle our point of origin. Going in one direction, then the other, and always returning to the same point.

This is life without fruit, listless in our endeavors by allowing such actions upon us.

This is the precipice. This is the space where life commands the heart to be heard.

As we all do, when we see ourselves going in circles, pondering and forgetting, moving forward and backward, shifting left then back to right, we must still our loud minds and find the sanctuary as children once more.

We must let the mind become untethered, fly freely and open the eyes of our soul. It is in this moment where we can hear our hearts speak to us, and once again find our direction.

We must leave our point of origin, breaking the tether and setting aloft to find new loves, new ideas and new life.

This is the compass of the heart, and it knows no bondage.

Still your mind, become untethered, and go in the direction of dreams.

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I am an artist, writer, author, philosopher and lover of nature and life. My blog offers a glimpse into my world, my thoughts, my sphere. Enjoy!

5 thoughts on “The Tethered Mind

  1. Usually I wait for the comfort of coming back after work with a nice hot cup of tea before reading your posts, but the word “tether” immediately lured me in. A well-written post, as usual, but I’ve a question. When you speak of becoming untethered, in which manner do you speak of? Freeing our minds is one thing, but I wonder if you also speak of our spirits? Buddhists strive to let go all of their “earthly tethers” so to transcend and attain Nirvana. Just wanted to know your thoughts on that.

    1. Thank you.. To answer your question, I’m speaking of freeing the mind in order to allow the voice of the heart to speak as one with the mind, thereby allowing for a freeing of spirit in the face of life. As far as letting go of all “earthly tethers” to attain nirvana, the true path of the bohdisatva is not to attain nirvana, but to reduce the suffering of the world in order for others to reach nirvana, even if they should reach it before he does. To me, this is true compassion, fully letting go, and enlightenment in its own right. And thanks for the typo check! Best wishes! 🙂

  2. I loved tetherball too. I was tall so that helped. Another similar word to tether is “fettered.” These concepts appeal to me as very important in how we live.

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