Greetings from Ojai.

The morning fog has been an extra special treat this summer, with the ridge as dry as many remember ever seeing it. We are in a severe drought in California, as well as neighboring states in the West. We are grateful for every cool, moist moment that comes our way.

As we prepared for the long, dry season, we invited an arborist to help us take stock of our trees and continuously changing landscape. This is a year in which many native plants and trees will sacrifice their lives to redistribute their resources—literally—to their neighbors. We have been performing essential tree and plant care to support this process, to maintain shade and root structure, and to support coherence in the ecosystem. The capacity to redistribute one’s resources is incredible. We are thankful to be learning both how and when to do so from the land. As we learn what it means to more fully center justice and equity at The Ojai Foundation, we recognize that redistribution is a core capacity that is essential in our times, for The Ojai Foundation—as well as our social, financial and ecological landscapes.

Keeping the water bowls filled is another essential part of the routine. Thirsty friends come looking for water throughout the day, and in addition to the usual suspects of rabbit, ground squirrel, bobcat, rodent, rattlesnake, fox and birds galore, we have had frequent sign of two less common residents: mountain lion and badger. We regard their presence as a profound gift. Too, we are grateful for the water that we do have, the waters we can share, and for the continued presence of life on the ridge, especially in these years when the presence of people has been less than usual.

As things continue to open in a post-acute-pandemic time, we look forward to welcoming you to the ridge, to take part in the nourishment and to leave your footprints on the dry earth.

~ The Executive Stewardship Circle

Calendar of Events

Visiting Hours
After an extended hiatus, we are thrilled to open the gates for Visiting Hours on select days in September, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Pre-registration required.

Visiting Hours:
September 5, 2021, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. Register.
September 26, 2021, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. Register.

Please RSVP by clicking the links above and completing registration on our website.


Guided Nature Immersion – Forest Bathing for Health & Wellness with Elena Ríos
Rooted in ancient human practices of nature connection that are reflected in Indigenous Knowledge all over the world, this guided nature immersion is designed to assist you in slowing down, and finding your own way of being in relationship with nature, the land, and all its inhabitants. You will be given directions, in the form of invitations , to assist you. By observing with all of your senses, and “bathing” in the sunlight, shade of a tree, fresh air, and the organic compounds released from plants such as terpenes and immune-boosting phytoncides, you may begin to notice things in a way that you may never have noticed them before. Ends with a ceremony of sharing tea and some healthy snacks. There is no right or wrong way to do it, just come and be yourself! Elena Ríos is an ANFT Certified Nature & Forest Therapy Guide. Limited to ten people. Registration required.

Sunday,  September 19, 2021 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm  A Full Moon (Meztli) Walk for Peace. Register.
Sunday, October 17, 2021 8:30 am – 10:30 am. Register
Sunday, November 14, 2021 8:30 am – 10:30 am. Register

Please RSVP by clicking the links above and completing registration on our website.

Re-Calling Our Ancestors
An exploration in ancestral recovery, truth-telling, truth-seeking, and collective repair. Course details will be announced soon. Stay tuned.







Volunteer Days of Service
Spend a day in community and in practice while giving back to the land.

Sunday, September 26, 2021. Register
Sunday, October 24, 2021. Register.
Sunday, November 14, 2021. Register

Please RSVP by clicking the links above and completing registration on our website.




FIRE Fellowship
In early July, we marked the completion of the inaugural year of the FIRE Fellowship. Launching a pilot program in a pandemic year was a journey worth taking, and stretched all of us into creative solutions to unforeseen challenges. Our situation is not unique, as people around the world are finding new ways to live, do business and, perhaps most importantly, to relate. While we longed for the kind of togetherness that deep retreat can afford, we made the most of what was possible in the time that we had and emphasized incorporation of key practices from day one. We look forward to what will unfold for all of our alumni, including some of their future offerings at The Ojai Foundation. We are in a redesign process for future FIRE programming. Stay tuned.

Youth Retreats
After a longer-than-expected pause, we excitedly welcomed school groups back to the land this past spring. Our aims included supporting students to deepen relationships, celebrate ingenuity and make sense and meaning of the pandemic year. We will start up with retreats again this fall, once the school year is underway.





Sweat Lodge
After over 30 years of practicing sweat lodge at The Ojai Foundation, we marked the completion of an era of ceremony on the land this past March: We ceremonially and physically closed and removed the lodge. The day was met with mixed emotions, as we both celebrated the incredible ceremonies and opportunities for personal and group transformational experiences, and acknowledged there had been missteps and harms done as we charted our course with this practice. First gifted by Wallace Black Elk, many teachers came and offered their ways over the decades, and both the ceremony and physical lodge changed with them. In March, a small group of long-time lodge tenders—and practitioners, in one way or another—gathered to honor the teachers, the healing, the learning, the harms and challenges, and the complex fullness of the history. One question that arose was, “What are the ceremonies that we will engage and offer in the future?” This question has deeply informed our process of reimagining our Youth Retreats, and the fruits are just beginning to be harvested.

Job Announcement

Join Our Team
TOF is hiring. We are looking for a full-time Registrar & Office Manager. This position works onsite and is responsible for welcoming guests, program registrations, and day-to-day office operations. Learn more and/or apply here.

Staff Updates

Mariah Simpson worked onsite as Operations Manager for several years following the Thomas Fire. During the pandemic, she took on a new role as our Admin Specialist, tending to TOF from afar once she relocated to her hometown area in Northern California. She will soon be transitioning out of her role. Mariah has been an essential part of our small but mighty team through these years of fire recovery and pandemic. We are sad to see her go, and also celebrate her budding career as a drug & alcohol counselor. Thank you, Mariah.





Mike Wiatt has been with us for nearly two years, and we are happy to announce he has been promoted to Senior Land Steward and Land & Facilities Manager. We are grateful to Mike for his hard work, dedication and for the warm welcome given to visitors, human and non-human alike.