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Consumer Culture vs. Custodian Culture

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about a mindset shift from consumer culture to custodian culture. So there's a legend about a Native American Rite of passage for children to make a transition into adulthood. How this works is one of their parents takes them into the forest, sits them on a rock or a stump, and then puts a blindfold on them. They're told that to pass the test of manhood or womanhood, they're required to stay seated there the whole night, no matter what happens.

So throughout the night, the experience is often terrifying. But finally, after a long, exhausting and frightening night, the sun begins to rise and the blindfold is removed. And that's when they realize that many members of their tribe were sitting around them in the distance through the whole night. They'd been taking shifts and watching over them all night. So the parent then walks over to explain, "I would never leave you here alone and vulnerable in the night.

I'm here in this lifetime to be a support to you in however I can. And so is our whole tribe. And you are also a part of the entire web of life that is also supporting you - the food that grows, the rain that falls, the sun that shines, the heart that keeps beating for you and the whole cosmos - all life is supporting you to live your life every day and it's a great honor to receive this privilege. So much support and love around you. You see," says the parent, "becoming a true woman or man isn't about becoming some fearless warrior or achieving some great feat, it's about acknowledging your privilege and your belonging in life and making a vow too also be of service.

We're all custodians of each other." So I love this story. It's representative of a sentiment that appears in almost every indigenous culture, this attitude of being a custodian. But our consumer culture today is not the same, is it? We really have such a materialistic and individualistic culture. But we can reclaim a more mindful and meaningful way of living by bringing this attitude of being a custodian back into our lives. Now, what might that look like in action? That's going to take a really different expression in all of us.

For some people, it might take the form of, you know, offering a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on to someone in the community. It might mean supporting a great cause. Maybe it means doing your recycling, growing your food, taking your bags to the store. It could take many different forms for each of us. But one thing is for sure, by interacting with the world through a mindset of custodianship, even the smallest gestures can bring meaning, happiness and love back into our lives.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "It's one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely help another without also helping himself." So as always thank you for you practice and you presence here. Let's settle in for meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

Consumer Culture vs. Custodian Culture

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about a mindset shift from consumer culture to custodian culture. So there's a legend about a Native American Rite of passage for children to make a transition into adulthood. How this works is one of their parents takes them into the forest, sits them on a rock or a stump, and then puts a blindfold on them. They're told that to pass the test of manhood or womanhood, they're required to stay seated there the whole night, no matter what happens.

So throughout the night, the experience is often terrifying. But finally, after a long, exhausting and frightening night, the sun begins to rise and the blindfold is removed. And that's when they realize that many members of their tribe were sitting around them in the distance through the whole night. They'd been taking shifts and watching over them all night. So the parent then walks over to explain, "I would never leave you here alone and vulnerable in the night.

I'm here in this lifetime to be a support to you in however I can. And so is our whole tribe. And you are also a part of the entire web of life that is also supporting you - the food that grows, the rain that falls, the sun that shines, the heart that keeps beating for you and the whole cosmos - all life is supporting you to live your life every day and it's a great honor to receive this privilege. So much support and love around you. You see," says the parent, "becoming a true woman or man isn't about becoming some fearless warrior or achieving some great feat, it's about acknowledging your privilege and your belonging in life and making a vow too also be of service.

We're all custodians of each other." So I love this story. It's representative of a sentiment that appears in almost every indigenous culture, this attitude of being a custodian. But our consumer culture today is not the same, is it? We really have such a materialistic and individualistic culture. But we can reclaim a more mindful and meaningful way of living by bringing this attitude of being a custodian back into our lives. Now, what might that look like in action? That's going to take a really different expression in all of us.

For some people, it might take the form of, you know, offering a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on to someone in the community. It might mean supporting a great cause. Maybe it means doing your recycling, growing your food, taking your bags to the store. It could take many different forms for each of us. But one thing is for sure, by interacting with the world through a mindset of custodianship, even the smallest gestures can bring meaning, happiness and love back into our lives.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "It's one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely help another without also helping himself." So as always thank you for you practice and you presence here. Let's settle in for meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

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