As the end of the calendar year approaches we are taking stock of the gifts and challenges of 2021. Winter offers us a profound opportunity to reflect and renew as the light wanes and the new year ahead comes into focus. What are you celebrating from the past year? What are you grieving? What are you ready to let go of? To call in?
As the news of our upcoming departure from the ridge spreads, we too are settling into the reality of the change. These questions take on a new dimension as we reflect not only on the past year, but on our 40+ years of stewardship of the Land Sanctuary. We have learned deeply from this place as our teacher, and from the many relationships that have grown on this soil and around the world. What do we celebrate from the past years? What are we grieving? What are we ready to let go of? To call in?
As we look toward completing our stewardship of the ridge in summer 2022, we will continue to ask these questions, and we look forward to engaging them with you. We are currently dreaming up some community events and celebrations, on the land and on Zoom, and will let you know once plans are finalized. As a sneak peak, we will be open for more regular visiting hours at the Land Sanctuary starting in January. (Details below.)
In the past month, since we announced that our lease is coming to an end, we have received many questions about TOF departing from the ridge. We have done our best to answer the most common ones in this doc: Completing TOF Stewardship of the Ridge FAQs. Please take a look if you are interested.
Lastly, this month we are excited to launch two new initiatives: Re-Calling Our Ancestors & the Council & Social Equity Project. We are also welcoming a new team member: Carla Borella. We hope you will join us in celebrating their arrival. Please read on for more info.
The Executive Stewardship Circle
COUNCIL & SOCIAL EQUITY PROJECT
As you may be aware, The Ojai Foundation (TOF) has established the Council & Social Equity Project (CSE), a small intergenerational working group of council practitioners, trainers and allies, to facilitate reflection and evolution of the practice of council for increased accessibility and inclusivity. Though circle practices are inherently efforts toward equity, the CSE Project stems from a recognition that there remain barriers to participation that can be both better understood and addressed. These include experiences along the lines of race, ethnicity, sex, gender, age, ability, class, nationality, cultural appropriation, and more. The CSE Project is an inquiry into these considerations, with the intended outcome of sharing recommendations to support an evolving council practice that offers an accessible, just, and equitable space for all who choose to participate.
Central to this effort is a survey, designed to gather essential feedback and information from council facilitators, trainers, and participants, as well as practitioners of other forms of circle. This survey is designed to be completed in 15-30 minutes, though some folks might have more to share. The survey completion deadline is December 31, 2021.
We hope that you will take the time to complete the survey and that you will send it to those you have trained and/or practiced with, and/or with others you feel might have something to contribute to this effort.
Thank you in advance for your participation.
Share the Council and Social Equity Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/V9DR87C
LAND SANCTUARY VISITING HOURS
Starting January 5, 2022, the Land Sanctuary will be open for visiting hours Wednesday through Sunday, 9am–2pm. We will be closed for retreat for the month of March, and at other times to be announced on the website. Please stay tuned. And when you arrive, please sign in at the Gateway/Reception building.
The Ojai Foundation is excited to announce a new partner program with Golden Bridge, Weaving Earth, & Youth Passageways, launching February 2022:
RE-CALLING OUR ANCESTORS
An exploration in ancestral recovery, truth-telling, truth-seeking, and collective repair
Re-Calling Our Ancestors launches this winter, February 2022, as a moon-cycle-long pilot course for white and white-passing people committed to dismantling the systems of oppression in ourselves and in the world around us, as well as in our communities of practice and in the bodies of work we carry. This inaugural offering is a rigorous personal learning journey and emergent communal inquiry. Through a series of online sessions, home study and practice, and culminating in a collaborative ritual project, we will explore the earth-cherishing traditions of our ancestors, the harm our ancestors endured, the harm our ancestors caused, and the ways ancestors resisted and persisted along the way. Together, we will honor the lineages that we’ve inherited, lay down the inheritances which no longer serve, and hold space for the grief—and relief—of letting go.
This course is a collaboration between TOF, Youth Passageways, Golden Bridge & Weaving Earth
- Program: January 31–March 2, 2022
- Schedule: Weekly meetings on Thursdays, February 3, 10, 17, and 24
- Time: 9:30–11:30am PST (5:30–7:30pm GMT)
- Applications close: January 10, 2022
Course Fees**: $250–500 (sliding scale)
**We are committed to doing our best to enable access for those who wish to join us. Participants are asked to invest at the highest possible level when registering for the course.This helps to eliminate barriers to access for all, covers the real costs of the course, and supports our redistribution and reparations practice. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Full course information is available here.
After a lengthy search, we are thrilled to announce that we have a wonderful new addition to our team: Welcome Carla Oliveira Borella, our new Office Manager and Registrar. Carla has a strong background in marketing and administration and, as a native Brazilian who has lived and worked around the globe, Carla is a devoted global citizen bridging worlds. She has been a friend to The Ojai Foundation since she spent 10 weeks volunteering and living on the land in 2015. Learn more about Carla.