About Us

The mission of The Ojai Foundation is to foster practices that awaken connection with self, others, and the natural world.

Main Offerings

Inspired by the timeless wisdom of multiple world traditions and cultures, The Ojai Foundation is bringing practices of connection and wholeness to our contemporary world. Our main offerings are listed below:

  • Council, the practice of listening and speaking from the heart, is at the core of all our offerings. Fostered at the Land Sanctuary in Ojai, the practice of Council is changing communities around the world -- from social justice non-profits and public schools in Southern California, to prison yards in Central California, to Israeli and Palestinian groups in the Middle East.
  • The Land Sanctuary is our 40-acre ridge in Ojai that continues to inspire, transform and nurture all who visit, hosting over 3,500 students and adults each year for transformation and nourishment whether it's through a rites of passage program or an organized retreat.
  • The Ojai Foundation's Council in Schools initiative serves over thousands of students throughout greater Los Angeles in traditional and charter public schools, as well as secular and parochial private schools.
Guiding Principles
 
In order to fulfill the mission of The Ojai Foundation, our programs, business, and community are guided by these principles:
 
  • The Beauty Way: enhancing and stewarding the land to create an ideal environment for transformative experiences, programs, and retreats. We practice an awareness of how individual energy and actions affect the surroundings, aiming to leave every space more beautiful than we found it.
  • Nature Connection: offering and supporting nature-based programs for youth and adults, including rites of passage programs, ropes course adventures, and other land-based experiences.
  • Wisdom Traditions: honoring Earth wisdom and cycles through Solstice & Equinox celebrations and through the hosting of wisdom teachers from cultures around the world.
  • Regenerative Living: practicing and teaching ecological and permaculture design principles through public workshops as well as our path of service offerings.
  • Living Council: nurturing community and collective well-being through regular gatherings, trainings, and practices.

Our 6 Priorities

We've committed to six clear areas to develop as we move forward.

1. Diversity and Inclusion. With the goal of expanding consciously as an intergenerational, multicultural, educational community, we commit to deepening our cross-cultural literacy. The aim is to better communicate our work to diverse audiences and improve accessibility to a broader population.

2. A School or Educational Center. We commit to expanding our unique educational programming and offering more long-form courses (such as month-long immersions, nine-month courses, etc.) in living council and earth-cherishing ceremonial practices, permaculture and natural building, peace-making and social justice, contemplative traditions, somatic practices, and the arts.

3. Strategic Partnerships and Collaborations. We commit to nurturing current partnerships and building new alliances with schools, universities, educational centers, organizations, and indigenous communities, locally and globally.

4. Water Retention Landscape and Regenerative Design. We commit to continue teaching and modeling right relationship with land and water through permaculture workshops and educational, community-building offerings. 

5. Circle-Based Governance. We commit to vigorously and authentically explore systems for dynamic, collaborative leadership that foster collective wisdom and radical self-responsibility. This includes a re-commitment to integrating community "best practices" and personal development with running a thriving business. 

6. New Funding Initiatives. In order to fulfill the above goals, we commit to wholeheartedly pursue new sources of funding including foundation grants, corporate partnerships, planned giving strategies, and an endowment campaign. As part of this, we launched our new Membership Circle program last June. 

The Ojai Foundation operates as a 501(c)3 with a lean professional staff of administrators and facilitators, a broad base of volunteers, and a dedicated Board of Directors.