My Story From The Ridge
by Kevin Meehan
The Ojai Foundation’s note of departing the ridge compelled me to give my own experience of this land;
In 1975,I had the honor of being introduced to the founder of Human Dimensions Institute West (HDIW) Lucio Gatto and upon visiting him at the original HDIW headquarters (located approximately one quarter of a mile East of the current Ojai Foundation location) he would walk me to the area where the Ojai Foundation is currently located. There was only an erected teepee and his vision which occupied the land at that time. Luke would demonstrate the vision of an institution which would capture the imagination of many, still in it’s infancy at that time. I was captivated by the wealth of dimensional philosophies and ideas which he would attract to the institute; from Darryl Langham to Stanley Krippner. The board of HDIW included the well know potter Beatrice Wood and Liam O’Gallager, to name a few.
The generosity of Luke was demonstrated in his giving to the community of both his work and financial assets. It is with extreme pleasure to see his vision carried on and to entrust his work to others to continue the legacy. I recall several trips made to Big Sir in search of a successor (eventually to be Joan Halifax) of both his vision and work and to carry on the truth of the HDIW lineage (now renamed the Ojai Foundation).
A strong building depends upon a strong foundation to support it. I’m unsure if many know of the actual history of HDIW and I felt compelled to relinquish this, particularly after Luke’s death a few years ago. The integrity of the current Ojai Foundation rests firmly on Lucio’s vision and dedication and it is a pleasure to see the beauty and fruition of his vision continue through the efforts of those who continue to carry the torch.
I feel honored to have witnessed the raw land back in the 70’s from where the Ojai Foundation would eventually root it’s structure’s foundations and to have known the man who began it’s vision and brought it to reality; Lucio Gatto.