July 15, 2012

Photo Essay: Circumnavigating Meditation Mount, Ojai (Updated for 2022)

[Last updated 3/3/22 9:36 PM PT—Meditation Mount burned in the 2017 Thomas Fire but recovered, rebuilt, and reopened to the public in 2020. The below photos are from my 2012 visit, so it likely looks a bit different now.]

On my way out of Ojai, heading back to LA on a Friday afternoon, I decided to get one more tourist stop in before I left. After all, when would I be back?

I drove up to Meditation Mount, not knowing what I would encounter or actually do there. Would I...meditate?

But once I arrived, it was easy enough to follow the signs. I had to walk. I had to follow the path, which I knew would lead me in a circle around the property, but it would take me somewhere along the way.

I hadn't hiked at all on this trip, still recovering from my Bridge to Nowhere injury, which had rendered me useless on foot (though able to endure the pain of bicycling in closed-toed shoes).

But, wearing only flip flops (which was about all I could bear), I braved the graded, dirt slope to encircle the mount, viewing the Ojai Valley (and the surrounding mountains) from all four directions.

It wasn't a difficult walk. It was barely even a hike.

But, surrounded by carefully pruned landscaping and gentle trail markers...

...under the scorching sun on a hot-baked afternoon... was...meditative.

I wasn't going anywhere just yet.

I was literally walking around.

But it was enough.

It was hotter, windier, and more colorful than sitting at a desk all day.

And although nothing really happened while I was at Meditation Mount...

...nothing had to happen.

I could just...

And when I was done taking in the sights, and a lung's fill of mountain breath...

...I could just...leave.


  1. Sandi,

    You've discovered what most of us who call Ojai home have found to be true: here you can Many of us choose to live here, many more return often. It has that allure.

  2. Sandi,

    You've discovered what those of us who call Ojai home, have discovered: we can Some choose to live here, many more return often. It has that allure.