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The Parable of the Useless Tree

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 share with you an old parable about a tree, a useless tree. So a carpenter and his apprentice were walking together through a large forest. And when they came across a tall, huge, gnarled, old, beautiful oak tree, the carpenter said to his apprentice, "Do you know why this tree's so tall, huge, so gnarled, and old and beautiful?" The apprentice looked at his master and said, "No. Why?" Well, the carpenter said, "Because it's useless.

If this tree had been useful, it would have been cut down long ago and made into something. This tree is useless. A boat made from it would sink. A coffin would soon rot. A tool would split.

A door would ooze. And a beam would end up with termites. It's worthless timber. It's of no use. And that's precisely why it's reached such a ripe old age.

And it's exactly because it's useless that it could grow so tall, majestic and beautiful so that you can sit in the shade today and relax underneath its canopy." He went on to say, "No one seems to know how useful it is to be useless, like this beautiful tree." He said, "What does it mean to be useless? It's to be empty, free of striving, free of the desire to become something or to be anything special or prove yourself. To be useless is simply to relax as you are, to rest at ease and to allow our true nature to express itself in a simple, easy way, When there's nothing to do, nothing to be, nothing to attain, when we truly let go of any need to be a certain way, leaving everything alone, then we're truly free like this useless tree." I love this story. You know, I think so often our self worth is hitched to being useful to somebody else. We're often evaluating how useful we are to our partner, our company, our community, to our friends, to our world. And there can be this sense that our worth is only in our doing and a background fear that are being isn't enough.

So perhaps we might all benefit from taking some time every now and then to ask ourselves what exactly it is that we're working so hard to be useful for and why, and for whose benefit? What do we hope to gain by all of our efficiency and productivity? And for whose approval or recognition? Are we keeping busy because we think that's what life actually requires of us? Or, are we just filling our moments up, trying to kind of make it in the eyes of the world? Because the reality is that every single person is valuable and worthy just as they are. Each one of us makes a difference to the world around us. No one's useless, even if they're regarded that way by some people around them. So remember it doesn't matter how society labels you or what they think of you. Your worth doesn't depend on you're doing.

You're already whole and worthy in every fiber of your being. So that's the remembrance for today and for the rest of this week. So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.6

The Parable of the Useless Tree

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 share with you an old parable about a tree, a useless tree. So a carpenter and his apprentice were walking together through a large forest. And when they came across a tall, huge, gnarled, old, beautiful oak tree, the carpenter said to his apprentice, "Do you know why this tree's so tall, huge, so gnarled, and old and beautiful?" The apprentice looked at his master and said, "No. Why?" Well, the carpenter said, "Because it's useless.

If this tree had been useful, it would have been cut down long ago and made into something. This tree is useless. A boat made from it would sink. A coffin would soon rot. A tool would split.

A door would ooze. And a beam would end up with termites. It's worthless timber. It's of no use. And that's precisely why it's reached such a ripe old age.

And it's exactly because it's useless that it could grow so tall, majestic and beautiful so that you can sit in the shade today and relax underneath its canopy." He went on to say, "No one seems to know how useful it is to be useless, like this beautiful tree." He said, "What does it mean to be useless? It's to be empty, free of striving, free of the desire to become something or to be anything special or prove yourself. To be useless is simply to relax as you are, to rest at ease and to allow our true nature to express itself in a simple, easy way, When there's nothing to do, nothing to be, nothing to attain, when we truly let go of any need to be a certain way, leaving everything alone, then we're truly free like this useless tree." I love this story. You know, I think so often our self worth is hitched to being useful to somebody else. We're often evaluating how useful we are to our partner, our company, our community, to our friends, to our world. And there can be this sense that our worth is only in our doing and a background fear that are being isn't enough.

So perhaps we might all benefit from taking some time every now and then to ask ourselves what exactly it is that we're working so hard to be useful for and why, and for whose benefit? What do we hope to gain by all of our efficiency and productivity? And for whose approval or recognition? Are we keeping busy because we think that's what life actually requires of us? Or, are we just filling our moments up, trying to kind of make it in the eyes of the world? Because the reality is that every single person is valuable and worthy just as they are. Each one of us makes a difference to the world around us. No one's useless, even if they're regarded that way by some people around them. So remember it doesn't matter how society labels you or what they think of you. Your worth doesn't depend on you're doing.

You're already whole and worthy in every fiber of your being. So that's the remembrance for today and for the rest of this week. So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.6

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