For more than 25 years, The Ojai Foundation's award-winning Council in Schools Initiative has been providing school communities with training and support in the practice and integration of council into the life of school. See our new Council in Schools website by clicking here!!
Ceremonies, like birthdays and graduations, help youth and young adults to mark certain times in their lives and to realize their individual importance in the world. The Youth Programs at The Ojai Foundation allow youth to mark such times of significance while also providing a rich background that helps to frame these experiences.
Our Ropes Course offers groups of all ages, corporate teams, and families the opportunity to overcome personal limitations through exciting and rewarding mental, emotional, and physical challenges. With the assistance of our trained staff, such experiences can become doorways into greater self-confidence, improved ability to relate to others, and opportunities to make empowering choices.
For the past nine years the Foundation has been supporting a variety of council-based programs in Israel. These include councils in schools, women's empowerment groups, municipalities, intimate relationships and inter-cultural councils directed at the creation of a truly Shared Society in the Holy Land. These initiatives resulted in the creation of an Israeli non-profit organization, Ma'agal Hakshava" (Listening Circles), that continues to work closely with Ojai. For current information and links, please click here.
In 2007 the Foundation became the Fiscal Sponsor for a medical research program in Mali, Africa. The clinical part of the Program involves the evaluation of an immune system enhancer called Low Dose Naltroxone as a way of preventing HIV positive individuals from subsequently developing AIDS symptoms. Participants in the clinical trials can also participate in monthly councils involving men and women discussing issues of intimate relationship, health and cultural mores that directly impact the spread of HIV. For current reports and links, please click here.
The Ojai Foundation offers the land for the community to participate in monthly open sweat ceremonies. For information please contact Paul at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 805-264-7138.
A rite of passage is a communal, ceremonial marking of a significant life transition. In indigenous cultures, rituals marking entry into adulthood are guided by adults in the community and usually entail some kind of trial or ordeal, such as walkabout, fasting, teeth-filing, circumcision, etc. These intense experiences give identity, clarity and strength for the next phase of life.
In modern, western culture, where formalized rites of passage have been mostly lost, young people often unconsciously find ways to initiate themselves among their peers in ways that are often self-destructive or fatal. Common ways modern youth initiate themselves are binge drinking, fast driving and commiting crimes.
The Ojai Foundation has been offering a rite of passage experience to youth for over 25 years and has developed a well-conceived structure that gives young people the intense, individual and communal experience they long for within a safe container overseen by caring adults. Through council sharing about hopes and fears, solotime in nature, ceremonial sweat, four directions teachings, singing, drumming and playing, young people who go through our program emerge more aware of their unique gifts, more whole and more inspired about the life before them.
Other life transitions, such as marriage, divorce, empty-nest and elderhood can also be supported through a rite of passage ceremony. Our experienced staff and teachers are available to assist you in creating the appropriate ceremony to celebrate your current passage.