I’ve never heard of a sacred compost and only recently have I gotten to learn more about composting. So, when my husband told me that he wants to create a sacred compost my reaction was, “What the hell is a sacred compost?”
I didn’t know that I could learn a lot from having one, and I am grateful that my husband suggested it. Before knowing what I learned from having a sacred compost, let me briefly explain what a sacred compost is.
A sacred compost is a place where one can put any organic waste such as rotting food, kitchen scraps, broken pots, and other organic matter. It’s a space where a person can give back excess materials to the soil with good intentions and prayer.
This is the same as dumping your garbage, the great difference is that you don’t think of the stuff you’re throwing as trash rather it is a form of offering; a way of giving back something to nature. This makes a whole lot of a difference because one is recognizing that disposal is part of a bigger process.
What process could it be? Simply the process of life and death; of consuming, disposing of, rotting, and letting that disposal transform into another life form. When a person is aware of the whole process, it is easier to understand that there is never any waste in nature. Everything has life and everything experiences death, and the process keeps repeating.
There is No Such Thing as Waste
When I first started throwing away my excess food scraps from the kitchen to the sacred compost, I didn’t really feel that I was doing something holy. I would dump the “trash” and walk away. Many of us are like this when it comes to throwing “waste” away.
We don’t look at our garbage for more than a few seconds. We try our best to have very minimal interaction with it. We don’t want to think about our dirty slimy garbage. We just want to move on with our day; we close the garbage bin and goodbye stinky junk!
This is one of the first things that I learned from having a sacred compost. I realized that my rotting food shouldn’t be viewed as disgusting smelly scraps. I should look at them as a gift for nature. The fact that these scraps are in the process of rotting and dying means that I should honor and respect this part of the food’s journey.
Nature has given me an abundance of food, and now I can give back the rest that I couldn’t eat. When you start thinking of your waste as something more than a throwaway, you start realizing that everything is part of a natural progression and there is an opportunity for you to be fully part of it.
“My rotting food shouldn’t be viewed as disgusting smelly scraps. I should look at them as a gift for nature.”
It’s easy to throw things, but it’s harder to give. When you offer things back to the soil, you feel humbled by the idea that you can share back what nature has given you. You realize that your actions have effects to the soil; that you have a role in nature and that role can be very tiny but essential for the whole.
When I incorporated a moment of silence before throwing the food and offering a prayer saying, “Thank you mother earth for giving me so much food,” I started feeling grateful for everything that I have.
Nature’s abundance is overwhelming
The stuff I gave to the soil will rot and become natural fertilizer. It will then make the soil richer and better for the plants and trees that are surrounding the sacred compost. These trees will grow and produce fruits for me, which I will eat gracefully. The seed of the fruit, along with the skin and parts that I can’t eat will be put back to the compost. The process repeats.
Nature is so giving that whatever things I cannot eat today will slowly turn into things that I can eat or use in the future. This is how abundant nature is. It sees everything as useful and important. Isn’t it amazing how nature transforms death into life?
When we open our eyes to the abundance of nature, we also release the anxiety of accumulating too much food in our house. I started becoming less greedy, stopping my hoarding and overbuying because nature assures me that if I honor it, I will be taken care of. It felt good knowing that I am free from my worries. Now I take what I only need, and I give back what I don’t.
Who doesn’t fear death? Almost everyone does. One thing I learned from having a sacred compost is the acceptance of death. When I observe my food rotting in the compost, I realize that everything dies. It is easier for me to accept death as it is, because I can see the beauty of this stage.
Death is the key to change; it is not a scary gruesome event. Death is an opportunity to help others live as well. When I see the rotting food being slowly eaten by ants, insects and worms I appreciate that the death of the food is helping others live.
This will happen to me as well. I will soon rot and my body will be shared by different organisms, and I feel happier and less scared of death knowing that the organisms that will eat me will bring more food and life to plants, trees, and many more. Dying is an honorable stage, and we should be excited knowing that even until death we can help others.
“Dying is an honorable stage, and we should be excited knowing that even until death we can help others.”
What I learned from having a sacred compost is the experience of every stage of life. I learned that garbage doesn’t have to be frowned upon and ignored. We should accept our trash, not turn our eyes away from it. I encourage everyone to have a sacred compost. Expose yourself to the dirty and icky and you will find that everything has its purpose.