Over the years, many wisdom teachers, guest educators, and faculty have offered their teachings at The Ojai Foundation. We are grateful to each, and all. What follows is a partial list:
Bernie & Eve Glassman
Brandt Segunda (Hoichol)
Brooke Medicine Eagle
Brother David Steindl-Rast
Chief Darrell Bob (St’at’imc Nation)
Don Jose Matsuwa (Huichol)
Father Bede Griffiths
Fred Alan Wolf
Governor Jerry Brown
Grace Spotted Eagle (Lakota)
Grandfather Semu (Chumash)
Hyemeyohsts Storm (Cheyenne)
Ilarion Merculieff (Unangan, Aleut)
Joe David (First Nations Nuu-chah-nulth)
John & Toni Lilly
Julie Tumamait (Chumash)
Malidoma Somé (Dagara)
Mary Catherine Bateson
Oh Shannah Fast Wolf
Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan
Rolling Thunder (Cherokee)
Roshi Joan Halifax, Founder
Sim Van der Ryn
Sun Bear (Chippewa)
Ted Gaboo Thomas
Terry Tempest Williams
Thich Naht Hanh
Thomas Banyacya (Hopi)
Wallace Black Elk (Lakota )
2021 Program Faculty
Alea Wade is a council facilitator, youth mentor, and resource advocate for children and adults living with disabilities. She is committed to the enrichment of mind, body and spirit. She is a facilitator for Rites of Passage retreats with The Ojai Foundation, Brentwood school, and Crossroads school. She creates and collaborates on social and emotional programs that support community, growth, and empowerment. Alea received her Bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara with studies in Philosophy, English, and Black Studies. She is a FIRE fellow with the Ojai Foundation, working to build programs of resilience for Black communities and communities in need. In addition to her work as a disability advocate with the Independent Living Resource Center, Alea has also collaborated with social justice organizations like The Youth Justice Coalition to promote disability justice in healthcare. Her mission is to continue building bridges of access that meet at the intersections of personal development, council, social justice, healing, disability justice, and philosophy.
Ani Samaha has been leading council circles with corporate teams, the LGBTQ community, and various schools and universities for 14 years. She fell in love with council in 2006 when she began working with the Ojai Foundation, and she later became a council trainer- leading trainings for the public, teachers, graduate students, and inmates in prison. Facilitating council circles to help people connect to themselves and one another has been some of her most rewarding work. In addition, Ani has a Masters Degree in Chinese Medicine and is an avid outdoor enthusiast. From 2004 to 2006, she taught and ran the outdoor program at a semester abroad high school in New Zealand. For the past 20 years, she has worked with Santa Barbara Middle School- facilitating outdoor learning with their 6th-9th graders. Ani also enjoys sculpting, swimming in the ocean, and working in her garden.
A leader of numerous council training programs over the past two decades, Doug Adrianson has facilitated circles in corporate, nonprofit, school, prison, and wilderness settings; has guided rites-of-passage programs for hundreds of teenagers and adults; and served 11 years on the Ojai Foundation Board of Directors. A lifelong writer and editor who loves the power of language, Doug holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and brings to his council work the experience of 25 years in daily newspaper editing, mainly at the Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times. His ongoing education also has included a vision fast and other programs at the School of Lost Borders, an initiation weekend with the ManKind Project, and a vision fast with Animas Valley Institute. Doug is an avid musician, hiker, adventure diner, and tree house builder. He lives in Carpinteria, California.
Irasha has been connected to The Ojai Foundation since its beginning in 1975. She has made her home in Ojai and has been a naturalist ever since, working with projects such as M.E.S.A., Naturalists at Large, Camp Whittier, Forest Hills, Taft Garden, and Wolf. She has worked as a substitute teacher for the Oak Grove School since the early 80s. Through her work as an educator and a naturalist, she has designed many programs over the years, all starting and ending with Council. Her most powerful experiences are with “at risk youth” and “newly released prisoners.” She currently works with Center for Council, offering council primarily inside prisons. She is also in the Trainers Mentoring Circle and is devoted to working for social justice. She looks forward to deepening her practice with others already on this path.
Program Coordinator & Facilitator
Judith Piazza served The Ojai Foundation as Program Director from 2010 through 2016, and currently continues to coordinate and facilitate TOF youth and adult Council-based programs. Her exploration into the mysteries and spirit of council has deepened exponentially over time as she weaves council into Rites of Passage retreats, nature-based council retreats, gender-
based gatherings, music and drum workshops, women’s groups, University retreats, staff retreats, conflict resolution, corporate groups, ongoing staff circles, and more. Her deep respect and joy in council as practice has been grounded by her recognition that listening is an act of love, and that opening a space for sacred communication provides opportunities not often experienced in today’s world.
In addition, Judith has been recognized nationally and internationally in the field of music therapy and education for over 40 years, and has worked with youth and adults of all ages to nurture harmony, health, joy, and vitality in clinical and non-clinical settings. With a BA in music therapy, her journey into the healing arts deepened as she explored and experienced indigenous wisdom traditions through pilgrimage, travel, ceremony, and study. Her love of nature, harmony, indigenous wisdom, sound, rhythm, and life finds expression in her work with people of all ages.
Presently, Judith lives in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado, where she continues to bring council and ceremonial practices into community, organizations, and into her personal and professional life. Find out more at www.resonanceandrhythms.com.
Marc Rosner is the co-founder/director of Circle Ways. A former public school teacher, Marc has been facilitating circles in schools since 1998 and has trained educators in council and restorative practices since 2014. He has created training curricula and lesson plans and led nature retreats for students and staffs. Marc is also a lawyer and mediator and the principal of Rosner Law and Mediation, a practice devoted to providing dispute resolution and restorative justice services for schools, families, businesses, organizations, and communities.
Peter is a gardener and an actor from northern California. In the summertime he takes kids of all ages into the desert to see themselves and be seen by nature. He currently lives in Los Angeles where he runs a small native landscaping company.