The Ojai Valley holds several spiritually uplifting sights worth visiting. The smell of sage permeates the air and reminds me that there are points on our planet that uplift and give a boost to making meditation a daily living experience.
The Krotona Institute of Theosophy is at 2 Krotona Road which is just south of the eleven mile inland city of Ojai. It is across from the Ojai Valley Inn Golf Course off N. Ventura Avenue. I had a magical experience in discovering this glorious place. I came upon the complex by seeing the small entrance sign on the main road into town. It is situated on a small hill with parking and lovely grounds. I bought several volumes at their bookstore, then visited the main house and toured the library rooms with a docent. The public are invited and welcome to visit Tuesday through Friday 10:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M., and Saturday and Sunday 1:00 - 5:00 P.M.
The Krishnamurti Library is a lovely homelike structure just 4 miles past Ojai at 1098 McAndrew Road. My husband and I discovered it on one of our trips to Meditation Mount. We sat in the circular rose garden out front and enjoyed the smells from the citrus orchards permeating the air. The atmosphere was so peaceful that we easily slipped into deep meditations. The visiting hours are Thursday and Friday 1-5 P.M., and Saturday and Sunday 10 A.M. - 5 P.M.
To reach Meditation Mount drive east through Ojai and turn left at Bocalli's Restaurant onto Reeves Road. Follow this road even after it turns to a dirt and gravel path to 10340 Reeves Rd. Wind your way up the little foothill that is the Mount and park at the crest. Meditation Mount is open 10 A.M. to sunset. Once again, like the other places in this article, it is a day retreat site with a large glassed meeting room and a chapel. Outside are walking trails and fantastic views of the surrounding hills and mountains. Every time I've visited I've sat on one of the outdoor benches and imbibed the qualities of warm winds, bird calls, open expanse of sky that only can be seen from a high perch, as the mount is. I've made time to visit there often and highly recommend it. Out of the three places described in this article it is my favorite.
None of these destinations serve meals but there are a variety of restaurants in downtown Ojai. Ventura City, on the Pacific Ocean, is just eleven miles to the south for overnight accomodations. And it is an easy day trip from Santa Barbara.
Article by Susan Helene Kramer; photo of downtown Ojai, California, by Stan Schaap. The main street, running through town, holds its own charms with small restaurants, shops, and an eclectic mix of locals and visitors strolling by.
For offline reading
Gentle Yoga and Meditation – for All Adults
Gentle yoga poses and meditations for adults of all ages, plus a dose of yoga philosophy and virtues. All poses illustrated. 107 pages. Table of contents at this link.
Meditation for all Kids
Sitting, walking, dance and group circle meditations, along with positive affirmations, verses and benefits of meditation for kids of all ages and abilities in a 100 page book with illustrations.
I invite you to join me in a world-wide cyber meditation every day of the year. Click on this link to read about it.