Written By: Jessica Jane Robinson
Back in January of 2012 I took my first meditation course and discovered for the first time in over 20 years, peace, comfort, and pure happiness. I felt like a child seeing the world for the first time. 2012 was the year I dived into my spirituality and really started to dig deep about my life purpose, the meaning of life and the truth behind my “why” (what drives me on a daily basis, my true inspiration). That year I took 2 Art of Living Part 1 courses (now called the Happiness Program), 2 Art of Silence courses (being in actual silence during a weekend meditation retreat), 1 Sahaj course (where I learned my own personal meditation mantra), and a Pre-Teacher Training course (a prerequisite to becoming an Art of Living teacher).
You can say I was on the fast track to self-discovery, love, and acceptance.
One thing that I noticed during my spiritual journey, being in the company of my new meditation community, that during many of the events and gathering, rarely did we ever compost and recycle. Not composting and recycling, while being on the path of self-discovery and awareness, did not match up, nor did it sit well in my mind, especially since the group gatherings were happening in the Bay Area, the hub of waste reduction and zero waste. So, being the new and improved outgoing person that I had become, I decided to do something about it.
In July of 2014, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of the Art of Living (the meditation organization I became a part of) was in California and signed a pledge I presented to him for the Bay Area Art of Living (AOL) to compost and recycle.
This pledge was a part of a community/non-profit partnership with StopWaste.org to help spread awareness of the importance of composting food scraps, yard debris, and compostable materials, instead of throwing everything into the landfill. This spring our pledge came to fruition with a $5,000 grant received from StopWaste.org.
This Spring of 2017 the pledge and grant I wrote came to fruition when the $5,000 grant was approved by StopWaste.org and the AOL NorCal Board of Directors giving me the green light.
My grant goal is for all AOL facilities within Alameda County, Santa Clara, San Jose, San Ramon/Dublin and San Francisco to compost and recycle, and reduce waste. As a result, we as a community we will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and increase resource recovery thus becoming part of the solution to climate change (music to my ears, love to my heart)!
I will be holding workshops for members of the Bay Area community during upcoming weekly Satsang (community gathering in celebration) to learn how to reduce waste at home and how to become a part of the solution to climate change through sustainable lifestyles.
I collected 100 compost pails back in 2014 that will be given away for free during scheduled workshop and during the upcoming June 29th -July 2nd meditation courses in San Jose with the founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The grant goal is to collect 200 compost pledges from the AOL community in Alameda County and I know I will exceed my goal (and from folks outside of Alameda County). People who attend the special workshops hosted at local centers will get the opportunity to sign the pledge poster Sri Sri signed. This pledge will be framed and shipped to the Bangalore Ashram office and displayed among Sri Sri’s other gifts from around the world.
I visited Sri Sri’s Bangalore Ashram and sat in his office observing all his gifts from around the world in March of 2016. Sending the original pledge with over 200 signatures all promising to compost, to the Bangalore Ashram office is ironic since the Ashram’s land was deemed infertile in the 1980’s by the government in India. The Indian government gave Sri Sri and his father the “infertile land” to build a school. By applying compost to the “infertile land,” the Bangalore Ashram, is now a land flourishing with vegetation, organic gardens, trees, and plants… but that my friend is another story I will share soon!
Thank you for your interest in my journey, saving the world!
Jessica Jane Robinson
CEO and Founder of Resilience Birthright, Inc