9902 Sulphur Mountain Road
Ojai, CA 93023-9375

Phone: 805-640-0000


Wednesday-Sunday: Noon to 5:00 p.m.
Monday & Tuesday: Closed


Buzz & Ginger Glasky


Sam Ervin, Preident
Ron Holsey, Vice President
Ursula Reinhart, Treasurer
Jim Whitson, Director
Richard Mannis, Director


Margaret Magnus, Secretary

9902 Sulphur Mountain Rd
Ojai, CA, 93023
United States

(805) 640-0000

The Ojai Valley

The Ojai Valley has long been regarded as a place of spiritual pilgrimage.


THE OVERLOOK from the Upper Ojai Valley to the lower valley. This scenic view was the setting for "Shangri-La" in the 1937 film Lost Horizon directed by Frank Capra. (Photo: Margaret Magnus, 2013.)

The Ojai Valley has long been regarded as a place of spiritual pilgrimage even before Avatar Meher Baba visited on August 2, 1956, and blessed Meher Mount above the Upper Ojai Valley with His presence.

"The magnetic center of the earth is here," the Los Angeles Times declared in 1878. Ojai is the place where "Spirit-minded people come to reach the God-centers within themselves." [1]

The Ojai Valley “has always been special to its inhabitants,” says Julie Tumamait-Stenslie, tribal chair of the Barbareño/Ventureño Band of Mission Indians, writing in the Winter 2011-2012 issue of the Ojai Valley Visitors Guide. [2]

“Today’s residents and visitors are amazed at the powerful energy here. Many say it is because of the way the valley is situated, running east and west, in the same manner traveled by the sun and moon, making their journey through our sky.”

Ojai Means “Moon”

WATCHING THE FULL MOON RISE over Santa Paula and the Heritage Valley from Meher Mount. (Photo: Ron Holsey, July 12, 2014.)

The question often arises about the meaning of the name “Ojai.” The name Ojai derives from a Chumash village that was located in the Upper Ojai Valley. Its name was “Awahi,” meaning “moon,” according to Tumamait-Stenslie.

In other literature about Ojai, the name is often translated as “nest.” However, according to Tumamait-Stenslie, the translation of Ojai as “moon” is not in dispute among those familiar with the Chumash culture. She says that Chumash villages date back more than 10,000 years, the most ancient in North America.


THE PINK MOMENT on the 6,200-foot Topa Topa Bluffs as viewed from Meher Mount. (Photo: Dorothy Hartmann, 2011.)

Because of the east-west mountain range, Ojai is one of few places in the world to have a "pink moment" which occurs as the sun is setting. The fading sunlight creates a brilliant shade of pink for several minutes on the 6,200-foot Topa Topa Bluffs at the east end of the Ojai Valley.


AVATAR MEHER BABA (seated) when He visited Meher Mount on August 2, 1956. This photo is taken with caretaker Agnes Baron beside Him. They are in the guesthouse where Meher Baba met with His followers that day. This building was completely destroyed in the 1985 New Life Fire. (Archive photo.)

The Chumash Indians consider Sulphur Mountain, overlooking the Upper Ojai Valley where Meher Mount is located, a place where the blessings of heaven are brought down to mankind.

Paramahansa Yogananda, founder of the international Self-Realization Fellowship, visited the newly-acquired Meher Mount property overlooking the Ojai Valley in November 1946 and spent a few hours there. He remarked: "This place is a dream Oriental paradise. One does not even have to focus to hear the Om sound here." [3]

Avatar Meher Baba's presence sanctified Meher Mount when He visited on August 2, 1956. He said, "I come down to your level so that we can laugh and be free together; but do not forget at the same time that I am the highest of high." [4]

At another time, Meher Baba said, "Whenever I visit a place and stay there, however short a time, its spiritual atmosphere becomes greatly elevated..." [5]


1. "The Ojai Valley," by Erik Torkells, Travel+Leisure, July 2009.

2. Ojai Valley Visitors Guide, December 2011, pages 12-13, “Ojai Means ‘Moon’” by Julie Tumamait-Stenslie.

3. Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, The Biography of the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba, by Bhau Kalchuri, "Manifestation, Inc.", 1986, Online Revised Edition, page 2556, accessed March 24, 2017.

4. Lord Meher, Online Revised Edition, page 4066, accessed March 24, 2017.

5. Lord Meher, Online Revised Edition, page 1209, accessed March 24, 2017.