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The Walk in Ojai

A Soulful Walk Through an Enchanted Wood in Ojai, Ca.
by Jeff Hutner

You want to get away from it all. You want to take an easy one-hour walk and contemplate things in a peaceful setting. You want to be immersed in nature and interact with soul provoking art and unexpected inner-directed activities along the way. You can now enjoy all these elements in one place at one time. It's not the Yellow Brick Road of Oz or the Twilight Zone but rather a magical adventure known simply as "The Walk."

The Walk, located in Ojai, California, about an hour and a half north of Los Angeles, is a one-of-a-kind experience that invites you to explore a burning question or issue in your life. You take your question into the woods and walk a gently winding path past, over, around and through boulders and brush and past a creek that runs for several months a year. Along the way, you will visit eighteen interactive contemplation stations that invite you to pause and reflect on your life, nature, spirit and the art experiences that have been exquisitely combined to achieve an eco-spiritual masterpiece.

Hundred's of people ages 8-80 have had experiences ranging from fun to the profound on The Walk since it first opened in the summer of 1998. The vision of Ojai artists Zubin and Shahastra, the Walk was an inspiration that moved Zubin from his backyard teahouse into an area of totally overgrown brush that no one had entered for 30 years. Driven by intuition and a deep desire to serve, Zubin did not stop working for four months. 

During that intense summer, he pulled out hundreds of dead plants, cleared spaces, cut as little as possible, created trails where none had existed, and developed the contemplation stations and interactive art pieces with his wife and partner Shahastra. "I have never worked so hard without knowing what was going to be produced. Each place on The Walk spoke to us silently and revealed what was wanted there. our job was simply to listen. Shahstra and I were the land's stewards and totally gave ourselves over to the will of spirit," says Zubin, remembering the burning fever of love that drove him relentlessly to keep going. 

This article has purposely not revealed specifics so that our readers may experience their own magic. "If you don't know exactly what to expect" says Shahastra, "You'll have a much richer experience." "We look forward to having the Soulful Living community visit us this summer and, to one day seeing similar walks that support visitors in experiencing the oneness of life built by other social entrepreneurs in hundreds of locations around the world."

The Walk is available by appointment only since it is in Zubin and Shahastra's back yard and what a back yard--bordering on the Angeles National Forest with beautiful mountain and valley views. The suggested donation is $15 but if you mention SoulfulLiving.com when you make your reservation, you can enjoy The Walk for $10, all of which goes to Zubin and Shahastra's Inspirit Foundation which maintains and promotes The Walk. For further information on The Walk or to read more about Zubin and Shahastra and their other activities, visit their website at www.zscreations.com. For reservations and directions, call 805-646-2000.

Jeff Hutner is an Ojai, California based evolutionary business writer and consultant, master networker musician, and the founding editor of New Paradigm Digest, a window on emerging culture. He is currently completing two books, one on living in the moment from which these quotes are taken and a second of evolutionary wisdom for business. In April, he will embark on a trip around the US to conduct video interviews with "Practical Visionaries" from many disciplines. Email: tehg1@earthlink.net.


Eclectic visionary Ojai artists, Zubin and Shahastra, give form to their many inspirations in a variety of mediums. Zubin, a former professional dancer initiated the trend of Tie-Dyeing in the sixties in New York City. Together they created a handmade silver jewelry company "Shahastra" which brought them to Bali where they designed a house called "Enchanted Fantasy" (which is rentable) overlooking a paradisal river view. Shahastra paints in pastels and oils and creates in clay and mosaic which can be viewed in their rustic outdoor showcase. Shahastra wrote and illustrated the Rainbow Man book series bringing positive new heroes to children, and taught private art classes. Zubin invented a geometric chamber where one can experience a dimensional integration of visuals, color, sound and aroma. Their recent endeavor has been the media of wrought iron, designing multi-functional sculptural works. The culmination of their work together and their crowning jewel is "The Walk." Zubin and Shahastra’s creations can be viewed at the Studio of the Hills in the foothills overlooking the national forest. Visit their Studio of the Hills website at: www.zscreations.com/index.html, P.O. Box 717, Ojai, CA 93024 · 805-646-8000 · Fax: 805-646-8067 Email: ZScreation@aol.com 



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