“If the world is to be healed through human efforts, I am convinced it will be by ordinary people — people whose love for this life is even greater than their fear.” ― Joanna Macy
The seed of our project began in 2019 with the creation of the undergraduate DeCal class, “Meditation and Mindfulness: Traditional and Neuroscientific Perspectives.” Each semester for over two years, the course has provided a space for hundreds of Berkeley students to learn and practice meditation, discuss relevant current research on consciousness, collaborate on projects for social and ecological benefit, and cultivate resilient well-being. We have offered the course in-person before the pandemic, virtually during the pandemic, and have returned to in-person gathering this Fall. We gather twice each week during the school year.
(Outdoor sit with the Meditation and Mindfulness DeCal Fall 2021)
Our community also offers many free events to the Berkeley community. We run sustainable gardening workshops, weekly “Recess” events on campus for students to meditate and get to know each other through conversation and play, as well as virtual classes for folks calling in from around the world.
(“Recess” at Memorial Glade)
Old and new members of the community have come together to launch Consciousness Collective at Berkeley, an officially recognized organization for students to prioritize mental health, well-being, as well as environmental and social responsibility.
Your gift will plant seeds of change that we will nurture into a blossoming community, oriented around social change, well-being extending to all, and cooperative environmental care. Our multifaceted approach is rooted in meditation, contemplative exploration, and ecological practice, leading to personal and societal transformation.
(sharing meditation with visiting students from a local Muslim high school)
(permaculture workshop for children back in 2020)
The effectiveness of our class has been clearly demonstrated from our data collection. In one semester, 74% of participants reported feelings of peace and tranquility that were equal in degree or greater than anything they had previously experienced. 70% of students responded that in terms of overall life value, the meditation course was equal or greater than any previous experience in their lives (Rappaport 2020). Further, our data from the past year show that students in our class experience far greater benefits and massively reduced negative effects in comparison to UCB students outside of our class (especially those without a personal meditation practice). Students routinely report remission of anxiety, depression, and insomnia, and describe profound increases in compassion and altruism.
(Rappaport 2020, https://escholarship.org/uc/item/0961m6g7)
With the addition of our new projects, the creation of this club, weekly donation-based or free yoga offerings on campus, and meditation retreats for students, we are certain that these benefits will expand.
Your donation will provide funding for free community meditation and yoga classes, sustainable garden building and food distribution, scholarships for student meditation retreats, meditation cushions and other supplies for students, and more. Given our community’s diversity, your donation will take an active step towards equitable access to these activities and practices.
Budgeting Your Donations:
- $10: materials for one student’s gardening workshop
- $40: meditation cushion
- $80: meditation retreat for one student
- $2000: 25 students can go to a retreat
- $500: free yoga to all students for the semester
- $1100: establish a local sustainable garden and aid in food distribution
Funding Tiers (what you can help us accomplish!)
If we reach our initial goal of $3k, we will be able to:
- sponsor 20 students in need of funding for meditation cushions and gardening supplies
- provide free weekly yoga on campus all semester
- build one sustainable garden at a Berkeley student co-op, to provide healthy food for generations to come; we will also offer teaching workshops and support for the garden's long-term success
If we reach $6k, we can do all of the above activities, plus:
- offer 25 scholarships for a weekend-long meditation retreat for students with financial need
- build a second sustainable garden in the student co-op housing system
And with $10k, we could do all of the activities above, plus:
- sponsor an additional 40 students with meditation cushions and gardening supplies
- build a third sustainable food forest, either in a student co-op or a local underserved middle school
- offer free yoga on UC Berkeley's campus for the entire school year
Consciousness Collective at Berkeley, and the meditation course that we offer to UCB students, are both sponsored by the local 501(c)(3) nonprofit Kila Collective. For more information about Kila Collective’s mission and origins, please visit kilacollective.org.
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Together, for the good of all!