Mentoring is an age-old practice that aims at revealing the inner nature and natural genius of youth, while also awakening the "inner sage" in those who mentor. Mentoring involves natural inclinations to teach and learn, and essential instincts to guide and protect. When used in creative ways, mentoring becomes a "living bridge" between generations that invites youth into the core ideas and important issues of culture.
Traditionally, the practice of mentoring was related to rites of passage through which a person became more conscious of the unique meaning and purpose of their own life. Initiatory practices typically served two purposes: first of all to introduce young people to the values and responsibilities of their immediate culture, and more deeply, to reveal and awaken the inner spirit and natural genius in the life of each young person. The deeper level of mentoring becomes the ground for "genius to genius" connections that serve to renew a culture and preserve the imagination within it.
When a culture forgets to assist its members through necessary changes, the passage happens with less awareness, usually with less consciousness and eventually with a loss of continuity throughout the society. When young people are not invited into a conscious rite of transition and self-discovery, they attempt to invent their own ceremonies to fill the void.
Each mentoring situation becomes a story in which both mentor and youth face issues of change and growth and can find inspired ideas as well as ways to contribute more fully to their communities. Being more art than science, mentoring requires that the mentors develop ways of being creative as well as practices for the art of survival.
Each component of Mosaic's multilayered model for mentoring and collaborative learning provides a direct impact for the communities involved: youthful voices become heard and valued; youth and mentors directly engage the social, ecological, and spiritual conditions of their community; vital ideas and healthy practices help to sustain personal growth and produce meaningful cultural changes.
Mosaic projects such as Voices of Youth, Voices of Community, Branches of Mentoring and Youth and Mentor Conferences seek to inspire Creative Mentoring and foster dynamic, local forms that help to heal the spiritual dislocation, personal isolation, and alienation from nature that increasingly characterize modern life.
Each project provides radical forums in which youth and mentors encounter potent ideas and traditional practices from a wide variety of cultures. Typically, Mosaic projects include: myth and meditation, chanting and music, lively lectures and honest discourse, all the arts and practices that invite the genius of youth and the wisdom of elders.
For those interested in studying mentoring, Branches of Mentoring is a 2 CD set from Mosaic Audio which provides deep insight into the origins and practice of mentoring. Mentoring evokes the genius in a person, develops gifts, and helps heal both personal and cultural wounds. This presentation directly benefits mentors, teachers, parents, artists, social activists, environmentalists, all and any who work with youth, value elders and seek a renewed sense of community.
© 2017 Mosaic Multicultural Foundation
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