Rosy Pink Road Signs

I took a break from my Road Trip to Ojai where I had Thanksgiving with allot of Wienke folks when I was fifteen. ” I googled ” Ojai Enlightenment” to inform readers about this Mecca. I found an article about Alpenglow which I was going to – repost on. I still wanted to point out how prophetic this post is. I wrote a poem about the Dove and the Branch which is about Jonah whose tomb was blown up by ISIS.

You got to know where your heart is at.

John ‘The Prophet’

Capturing Similde

Who dare climb
humanities loftiest peak
to capture beauty
adorned in universal peace
Who will take the risk
to own a spiritual transcendence?

Why has no poet or artist gone
to see the treacherous rocks
where from the Rose of the World
was washed away
And with serene brow
and a love for the truth
rendered a work of art
a forgiving sonnet?

Theodoric accepts the challenge
and comes to the Rose Garden
to rescue the beautiful Similde
captured by a dwarf
with an invisible cloak
Brave knights follow
the clue of the crushed roses
and render their foe
visible.

What is there to see
when we chose to rise
above it all
all that is base
lacking grace
and civility?
Youth challenges youth
while wisdom old in years
authors chivalrous poetry
for grandsons un-born

There must be a mystery
and a clue
a broken thread
that marks the point
of no return.
For our destiny awaits
where we dare not go
and we go
to see
if we are truly alive
and are not a mirage
and life a cruel fantasy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpenglow

The Ark upon the mountain
The Dove and Branch upon the sea
The hammers of iniquity
beat upon my forgotten tomb
I am awake upon the turbulant waters
My enemies cast lots
and blame me for their sins
while God’s friends
read me on the Day of Atonement
so all will be saved
so all will be united in peace
The sun went down on me
so long ago
The vine that grew over my head
has wilted in the desert of forgetfulness
But, there on a mountian
a purple haze
a rosy afterglow
in a King’s rosegarden atop a mount
that bid noble knights to climb hither
that beckon knights to sever a thread
and once again
be brave

Jon

Witness the ‘pink moment’ and take a spiritual journey in the Ojai valley

The mysterious alpenglow – an optical phenomenon that materialises as a horizontal glow just after sundown – graces the Ojai valley

ByFionn Davenport20 October 2017 • 10:15am

A jogger in the remote landscapes surrounding Ojai valley
Head space: escape from everyday life in the remote landscapes surrounding Ojai valley CREDIT: Alamy

Sun-splashed Ojai has long been a spiritual magnet for seekers of every description. It might not look too different from other small towns in the Ventura valley, but take a closer look at the clusters of single-storey buildings spaced out along the broad main street and you’ll find an abundance of New Age shops, kooky art galleries and mind-body spas.

Only 90 miles north-west of Los Angeles, Ojai is the Silicon Valley of spirituality, a nouveau hippie utopia with the power to heal.

The native Chumash, whose word for “moon” gave the town its name (you pronounce it “Oh-hi”), felt the pull of what they believed was the valley’s mystic energy, later quantified into a pseudo-scientific theory about a mysterious electromagnetic vortex generated by plate tectonics.

Whatever your thoughts on invisible forces, there’s no escaping the enchanting appeal of the “pink moment” – a fleeting period just before sunset when the valley walls that frame its northern edges take on a reddish alpenglow that will soothe the mind.

Ojai’s transformation into the hippie hideaway it is today began after an alleged epiphany experienced by celebrity mystic Jiddu Krishnamurti in 1922, where an intensive period of meditation left him “God-intoxicated”.

In its wake there came a steady stream of soul pilgrims and settlers looking to bask in the glow of enlightenment, including a who’s who of A-list celebrities from Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo to Johnny Cash and Anthony Hopkins. Fittingly, Frank Capra opted to have the valley represent the mythical Shangri-La in his 1937 film Lost Horizon.

A new generation of pathfinders and Hollywood types have made Ojai their own spiritual Shangri-La; this has caused some friction with more established locals over the rising cost of real estate, but has cemented the town’s reputation as a place that people come for healing.

It was here that Robert Pattinson hid out after his fling with Kristen Stewart in 2012, lying low in Reese Witherspoon’s house before showing up in the Deer Lodge biker bar and farm-to-table restaurant. A couple of years later, indie songster Ray LaMontagne crooned about never getting back to Ojai, giving the town a mellow hipster anthem of its own.

Pink moment sunset over the Topa Topa Mountains
Think pink: the sunset over the Topatopa Mountains CREDIT: Alamy

Spend some time here and you might run into Emily Blunt and her husband John Krasinski at one of Ojai’s regular pop-up fairs, or browsing books in Bart’s, a wonderful indoor-outdoor bookshop that operates an honour system for the books lining the outside walls.

Or, more likely, you might catch a famous face receiving a treatment in one of Ojai’s selection of mind-body spas – it has been suggested that the town has more of them per capita than anywhere else in America.

The Day Spa of Ojai is one of the most popular: a family-run spot that has been soothing knots and cares away for over two decades. The house specialty is Swedish massage, but it also runs a full service of complementary therapies including energy medicine and mind-body counselling. 

Meanwhile, the award-winning Enhanced Day Spa is a full-service spa with a broad range of treatments, including a five-hour session that will leave your body feeling like it’s floating on tiny bubbles.

The most luxurious of the lot, however, is the superb Spa Ojai in the equally splendid Ojai Valley Inn, a pampering resort at the west end of town with landscaped gardens, an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts and swimming pools – as well as recreational activities including full-moon yoga in a yurt and astrological readings. Not surprisingly, this is a favourite retreat for the Hollywood set, who come to salve their spirits amid the leafy oak trees.

If you really want to get in touch with your inner self, however, you can join the guided morning meditation that takes place at the centre at Meditation Mount, four miles east of town, which was founded in 1971 with the aim of promoting an enlightened world through the power of creative meditation.

The location certainly helps its lofty ambitions, as there’s no nicer spot in the whole valley than the scented gardens to experience the pink moment or to generally soak in the beauty of the surrounding scenery.

Esalen Redux

It is said that change is only possible in response to crisis. For the Esalen Institute, perhaps America’s most famous cathedral to the personal growth movement, that crisis was the devastating mudslides of last winter that left areas of Big Sur completely cut off and caused serious damage to the 27-acre property.

As a result, Esalen was forced to close for six months, the longest closure in its 54-year history. In early February 2017, most of the employees were evacuated by helicopter, leaving only a skeleton group of volunteers to look after the place.

Often dismissed as a hangout for introspective navel-gazing, Esalen used the enforced closure to repair the damage and reassess some of its key priorities, changes that it believes will emphasise the “we” over the “I”.

It’s all a far cry from the earliest days of the institute, when a 22-year-old Hunter S Thompson was the gun-toting caretaker on the grounds, writing about the “jabbering of the Buddhists in the trees” and “people screeching every time I pull a trigger”. It seems the guests took exception to Thompson pulling a gun on them as they soaked naked in the hot natural baths that sit on a ledge above the ocean.

Ojai Valley Inn
Luxury living: Ojai Valley Inn is popular with the Hollywood set

A soak in the baths (minus the gun) has long since been the signature activity at Esalen and you’ll never take a more scenic dip, especially on stormy nights as you stare down at the crashing waves of the ocean.

But the centre is also famous for its wide-ranging menu of esoteric workshops covering virtually every aspect of the human experience, some of which were enjoyed by Don Draper in the final episodes of Mad Men.

You can learn about chanting, yoga, meditation and breathing; and, if you’re so inclined, you can also explore more metaphysical realms in workshops on shapeshifting and shamanic journeywork. One perennially popular class is on the secrets of tantric sex.

The newly reopened Esalen has maintained most of its traditional activities but also added a few more that expand its mission from the personal to the social. You can now do workshops on the subject of the Greater Good, or Dancing with the Planetary Crisis, which is about technology and sustainability.

The centre has also announced plans to open up some of its exclusive events to an online audience, perhaps through the use of virtual-reality headsets, which will allow seekers all over the world to expand their minds and forge new understandings of self and society. Designed to create personal transformation, Esalen is now itself transformed.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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