by Andrew Pacholyk MS, L.Ac ~
(February 9, 2012) This was a surprising journey initiated by my dear friend and mentor Zachary Selig, one of the foremost theosophist and metaphysical painters of the Chakra Codex. Zachary and I took the day and headed for the mystical town of Ojai.
Ojai, California is a vibrant place with so much natural beauty that it gained fame decades ago when the area was photographed to represent Shangri-La in the 1939 movie, The Lost Horizon. Nestled in the Ojai Valley, the town is surrounded by peaks that give off a glow in the evening light known as “the pink moment”.
Since Ojai is lined up with an east-west mountain range, it is one of few towns in the world to have a “Pink Moment“. This magic moment occurs as the sun is setting, when the fading sunlight creates awash of brilliant shades of pink, lavender, peach and purples for several minutes over the Topatopa Bluffs at the east end of the Ojai Valley. Once you tour the mountains to the Secret Garden and see the Chumash Indian’s sacred places, you could understand why Ojai offers special meaning to all who come time and again.
The exceptional climate of the Ojai Valley has drawn many who wish to rejuvenate their health and wellness, enjoy the dry, comforting air and take in the seemingly never-ending sunshine. It was early on in the discovery of this energetic place that settlers established the reputation of Ojai as a center of physical and mental health. Well known for its new age gurus, metaphysical institute and the coexistence of protestants, Catholics and yoga practitioners, a rich and diverse blend of spiritualism has evolved with room for all.
Driving through this quiet little village, I was introduced to the tall lemon-eucalyptus trees, the weeping pepper trees and fragrant sage and lavender bushes. Ojai is literally dripping with orange groves! The sweet scent of citrus filled the air as we drove through the verdant valley of rolling hills.
Our first stop was the energetic vortex of the Krotona School of Theosophy. We followed the winding road past the stone gates to the very top of the hill. Krotona was one of three important Theosophical “colonies” in the U.S. during the early part of the 20th century. Originally built in Hollywood during 1912, the colony was eventually relocated to Ojai, California in 1926, where it operates today as the Krotona Institute of Theosophy.
I had always heard about the famous Krotona Library, filled with the teachings and writings of Blavatsky, Leadbeater and Olcott, to name a few. Dedicated to the search for truth, the library was founded in 1926 and is a part of the Krotona Institute of Theosophy. The library emphasizes the ageless wisdom and traditions of Theosophy and spiritual teachings of East and West. There are over 10,000 books with new titles added each year.
In the front of the library stands a plaque which represents the energetic vortex. The plaque is in a geographic opposition of its yang counterpart, The Meditation Mount. The plaque reads:
The Three Truths
*The soul is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendor has no limit.
*The Principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and beneficent, is not heard or seen, or smelt, but it is perceived by the one who desires perception.
*Each of us is our own absolute lawgiver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to ourselves, the decreer of our life our reward, our punishment.
These truths which are as great as is life itself are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them.
~The Idyll of the White Lotus
Inside the library, Zachary introduced me to one of the library’s curators, Lakshmi. Lakshmi, named after the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity (both material and spiritual), was an elderly Indian woman, small in stature but rich with knowledge. Her peaceful, quiet demeanor captured attention and respect as she quickly educated me on the history of the school and library. Taking my hand, she lead me into a large, sunlit music room to tell me the story of the paintings by Sarah Eddy hanging on the walls. As I thanked her for the brief history, she leaned into me and said, “Tonight, the moon is full like the almond blossoms in Ahmed’s love garden.” I thanked her for the insight and promised I would make an effort to see it!
Since its founding in 1967, the Krotona School of Theosophy has been helping students deepen their understanding of theosophy, the ancient wisdom, in its many forms, and has encouraged them to live a spiritually oriented life. The school emphasizes “transformative education” which focuses on spiritual renewal. Such studies lead students to orient themselves to eternal truths in a changing world. The school, an integral part of the Krotona Institute, supports the work of The Theosophical Society and its three objects, which are concerned with: 1) The unity of all people; 2) The study of comparative religion, philosophy and science; and 3) The investigation of unexplained laws of nature and our latent powers.
Our next visit was to have tea with Ingrid Boulting. Ingrid, an open, enterprising and endearing spirit, who was an infamous world-class model in the 60’s and 70’s is now the proud owner of a beautiful yoga studio in Ojai called Sacred Space Studio. We had a wonderful afternoon, as her and Zachary, childhood friends for over 40 years, reminisced and caught up. One of Ingrid’s passions is her love and care she gives to stray dogs. We were greeted by the joy and barking of several of her canine house guests as we enjoyed tender jasmine tea in her garden.
Our next stop was Meditation Mount. This sacred site sits on 32 acres of land at the east end of the Ojai Valley, is a remarkable place of peace and beauty. It is comprised of five separate buildings in and among extensive gardens. The premier structure is the auditorium featuring a mostly glass facade overlooking the Valley. The International Garden of Peace is a spectacularly groomed meditational path or journey filled with fragrant herbs and flowers, beautiful Asian sitting structures, stone seats and a blissful water pond. The path leads you to an open field that overlooks the most breathtaking view of the entire Ojai Valley! What better place to experience the power of the full moon!
Some call Ojai a vortex of positive, feminine energy that complements Sedona, AZ, known as the masculine vortex. Men seem mellow and happy visiting Ojai, where there are more female businesses launched per capita than any place in California. People love to escape, re-energize and have a Pink Moment in Ojai.
Ojai, the Chumash Indian word for “moon”, is honored each evening when the Pink Moment fades and the moon comes into view, often lighting up the valley with its own unique glow. My Full Moon Meditation was done with Zachary and myself, along with several new friends we met on the Mount. As always, I came prepared with two pounds of quartz points, which we used to create a meditation circle. I also place at the pinnacle of each quartz point, a very special mother of pearl, to represent the moon’s energy. I handed out tumbled moonstone to each participant. The Full Snow Moon, was huge! The light of the moon shined over the valley floor embracing all it came in contact with.
As always, I am truly grateful for these experiences that come into my life and will continue to learn and keep my heart open to receive them!